Courts and Law
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George Washington's Farewell Address
In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union…parties by geographical discrimination [can] acquire influence within particular districts, misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts, [and] tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests. They are likely [to] become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, and is truly their worst enemy. This leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism [as] the disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.
Open The Federal Courthouses
In the era of instantaneous 24-hour news, two of the most important and newsworthy events of the year just occurred, and shockingly, the public did not see any of it. Forget about cameras, reporters were not even permitted in the courtroom with their phones, tablets or computers. That meant no live reporting on Twitter and no emails to the newsrooms with updates. In a world focused on information and news as it happens, this is unacceptable. The only group of people who seem to be against cameras in the courtroom are federal judges.
6 Ways to Reduce Gun Violence in America
Gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis. It goes beyond the mass shootings that grab the nation’s attention. Every day, gun violence takes lives from communities all across the country in the form of suicides, unintentional shootings, and interpersonal conflicts that become fatal due to easy access to guns. In this country, an average of 35,000 people are killed with guns every year—96 each day.
Pathways to Police Reform Community Mobilization
Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Sam DuBose, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, . . . . The litany of Black people who have lost their lives at the hands of the police or in police custody seems endless. People are killed and brutalized, but the legal system gives us no relief. Police officer after police officer is either not charged or acquitted. Police who kill are given paid vacation instead of being held accountable. "We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. … They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but. —Justice Sonia Sotamayor
Llibertat: Catalonian Independence
Aquesta Llei representa la resposta democràtica a la frustració generada pel darrer intent promogut per una majoria molt àmplia d'aquest Parlament per garantir al poble de Catalunya el ple reconeixement, la representació i participació en la vida política, social, econòmica i cultural de l'Estat espanyol sense cap tipus de discriminació. En el procés previ, s'han fet tots els esforços per trobar una via acordada perquè el poble de Catalunya pugui decidir lliurement el seu futur. El Parlament, atenent al mandat majoritari del poble de Catalunya, assumeix la plena representació sobirana dels ciutadans una vegada que s'han esgotat totes les vies de diàleg i negociació amb l'Estat.
Gideon's Trumpet: Indigent Right to Counsel
Charged in a Florida State Court with a noncapital felony, I appeared without funds and without counsel and asked the Court to appoint counsel for me; but this was denied on the ground that the state law permitted appointment of counsel for indigent defendants in capital cases only. I conducted my own defense about as well as could be expected of a layman; but was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. Subsequently, I applied to the State Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus, on the ground that my conviction violated his rights under the Federal Constitution. The State Supreme Court denied all relief.
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