Sunday, December 31, 2006

End of the Year Currents and bubbles

I am breaking my general rule that I do not blog on Sundays, only because it is the last day of the year (one out of 365 is not bad). Bring on 2007. Just before this stuff goes stale (mostly from Washington Post):

Politics of (and) "Free" Speech (George Will)
A three-judge federal court recently tugged a thread that may begin the unraveling of the fabric of murky laws and regulations that traduce the First Amendment by suppressing political speech. Divided 2 to 1, the court held -- unremarkably, you might think -- that issue advocacy ads can run during an election campaign, when they matter most. This decision will strike zealous (there is no other kind) advocates of ever-tighter regulation of political speech (campaign finance "reformers") as ominous. Why? Because it partially emancipates millions of Americans who incorporate thousands of groups to advocate their causes, groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association.
Classically Innocuous WP: "O'Malley's Gift" (very political and correct--maybe the perfect Christmas gift)

on Nifong (the Duke rape case prosecutor is in trouble now)

more resolutions (Deborah Howell/ombudsman)

Broder on years end

Teggies (Rob Pegoraro/WP)

2006 and the Constitution
2006 was not a good year for the Constitution. It was not remotely a good year for the concept of separation of powers in government or for the idea that our system works best when there are sufficient checks on the excesses of one branch over another. It was not a good year for opponents of an imperial presidency or for supporters of a concerned and compassionate Congress. It was not a year that offers a lot of hope that things will get any better, or even stabilize, in 2007.

So we got out of the law this year what we deserved from it. And hopefully we will come to realize in 2007 and beyond that if we continue to ignore and neglect the most important and weighty issues that confront the Constitution, its power and authority will erode, slowly but surely, until one of the best ideas ever conceived by man is relegated to being just another dusty, historical document.

Andrew Cohen writes Bench Conference and this regular law column for He is also CBS News Chief Legal Analyst. His columns for CBS can be found online here.
Gitmo stuff (get rid of the kangas--better late than never! Staunch the stench!?)
“We have tried again and again to have a say in the process,” said Barbara Olshansky, a lawyer who has coordinated much of the work of the detainees’ lawyers for the Center for Constitutional Rights. “But we learned pretty early on that these were kangaroo courts.”
(from the New York Times)

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