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The Long Arm of The Law

Mar
1
2005

Two court decisions today are enough to make you think that, slowly but surely, some kind of reasonableness is returning to civic life.
First, the Supreme Court has ruled that it’s unconstitutional to execute children. If you’re under 18, says the court in a nice, reasonable follow-up to the ruling on mentally handicapped defendants, you’re too young to face the death penalty.
Take that Diane Feinstein. DA Kamala Harris’ approach to the death penalty is looking smarter all the time.
The other good news came when a Bush-appointed judge in South Carolina told government lawyers to free Jose Padilla, the “enemy combatant” who has been in jail for three years. The New York Times says the judge in the Padilla case was taking his cues from a similar ruling last year before the Supreme Court.
The Times did a very good series on Padilla late last year. The administration tried very hard to make this wanna-be tough guy sound like a threat to world peace, that’s not what the Times found.
This is an interesting background for the Senate fight over judicial appointments. And it’s worth remembering that this is how that checks and balances process is supposed to work. Clearly, the administration over-reached.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 1:07 PM | Permalink

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