Tuesday, June 27, 2006  


The Supremes! (as in Court). Don't have much time to ruminate- good little worker bee has to do some (oh, horrors!) work. And that crack about this blog being more interesting than cleaning the house? Man, you'd better believe it. Time to pretend I listened to my poor mother who tried so hard to civilize me...

Anyway, before I do battle with dust bunnies (and frankly, probably get my ass kicked- them things is feral!), back to these interesting folks, otherwise known as the Judicial Branch of the checks and balances system (Note to "W"- you have heard of that concept, haven't you?). Slate's Dahlia Litwick is engaged in an interesting breakfast conversation on Monday's rulings and anticipating Wednesday's:
Yet to come are decisions involving the constitutional right to mount an insanity defense, regulation of prisoners' access to magazines and newspapers, whether there will be any meaningful judicial limits on partisan redistricting, the potentially explosive issue of whether the Vienna Convention creates individual rights that can be asserted in state courts and whether those state courts must respect rulings of the International Court of Justice—and, of course, the deeply important case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on the use of military trials in "war on terror" cases.

read more

Wednesday is going to be a particularly important day, decision-wise. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld will have major import for any of the up-coming (supposedly) military trials for the "war on terrorism." It will be harder for the Bush administration to throw a snit fit over the Court's decision if it rules against them, than it was in the case of the International Court of Justice ( Vienna Conventions) when it ruled against the US in Mexico v. US, also known as the "Avena Cases", where Mexico accused the US of ignoring the Vienna Conventions requirement to inform countries when their nationals have been picked up for legal reasons. The ICOJ found that in 52 cases of Mexicans on death row in the US, all 52 had experienced some violations of their VCR rights.

Bush sent the cases back to the courts and then the US promptly withdrew from the Optional protocal recognizing the ICOJ's authority. Which basically means, a) we are poor sports, b)we can't sue anyone and c)more importantlyno one can sue us- like Iraq...
Think about that for a moment.
For an article about the VCR and the cases before the Supreme Court:
LOS ANGELES, May 24 (IPS) - Moises Sanchez-Llamas said he was drunk when, in 1999, he aimed a gun and almost hit an Oregon policeman.

Though he was told in Spanish and English of his rights to remain silent and have a lawyer, the Mexican never was notified that, as a foreigner, he also had a right to contact his consulate.

Sanchez-Llamas eventually was found guilty of attempted murder, but the U.S. Supreme Court will decide this term whether that conviction should be reversed.

Though the Mexican is not on death row, his fate, along with that of Honduran Mario Bustillo, whose case has been merged with Sanchez-Llamas, has significant implications for the estimated 120 foreign nationals from 31 different countries who are awaiting execution in the United States. Bustillo was found guilty in 1998 of murdering a Virginia man with a baseball bat.

Many of these prisoners may have had less than adequate representation, said a Death Penalty Information Centre official, because their rights to contact their consulate were violated under a 1969 treaty.

"What the treaty says is pretty clear, but it doesn't get done that way here (in the U.S.)," Richard Dieter, Executive Director of the centre, told IPS.

Article 36 of the Vienna Convention requires that police contact foreign governments when their citizens are arrested in another country. The U.S. added that provision to the convention when it was written and U.S. is the most frequent user of it for its roughly 6,000 citizens who are arrested abroad each year.

more at IPS.org

You're writing some good posts here Zazou. I am so pressed for time these days.. I feel your pain re. the cleaning. I have the scuzziest bathroom that I have had time to clean..it is scary!
there is always (aside from my mommy commitment) the computer beckoning to read, or post or comment...it's addicting isn't it? I trust you will post on the Hamden outcome tomorrow..
See ya!
(oh ding dong..I finally figured you're in the States right now...)
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