Things that I tweeted over the past few days.
- Should we end ‘one man, one vote’ and give younger people greater political influence? http://bit.ly/iCmxBO.
- Victorian ALP gay marriage debate falls flat: http://bit.ly/ln3gvo.
- Herman Cain enters 2012 GOP presidential race: http://j.mp/lS3iR7.
- The cult of Apple is real. Scientists find that Apple and religion light up the same part of the brain: http://bit.ly/iG6efy.
- Gov. Mitch Daniels will not seek the GOP nomination for President: http://nyti.ms/kuiobg.
- Five reasons that Herman Cain could be a factor in the 2012 GOP Presidential Primaries: http://bit.ly/mQdpVZ.
- GOP Rep. claims that if healthcare reform is not repealed, “we won’t have a country”: http://bit.ly/ioQds6.
- Bob Katter flags new political party, wants to be ‘the new Ben Chifley’: http://j.mp/iTeNrW.
- Former aide to Sarah Palin plans to reveal all in an unflattering assessment of the former Governor in a new book: http://wapo.st/j0Ufru.
- A queer history of the United States - What do 500 years reveal about gays in America? http://slate.me/kvD8m5.
- GOP Senator Scott Brown will not vote for the #Ryan Budget Proposal: http://politi.co/jslYlB.
- Amid changes, law school tries to get real: http://ti.me/mLNd9r.
- Law firms are creating a second tier of low-paid lawyers who will never make partner in return for better conditions: http://nyti.ms/kD0CIa.
- My brief summary of Brown v. Plata, a decision that will lead to the release of 46,000 prisoners: http://bit.ly/mxun0E.
- The secretive and at times arbitrary process that app developers must go through with Apple: http://bit.ly/kjsOJ8.
- Many products that claim to be eco-friendly have minimal environmental benefits: http://ti.me/kKEiHT.
- Is it unethical to spread the Taliban’s tweets? http://bit.ly/iQezFn.
- 1 in 3 people are avoiding dentist due to cost in Australia: http://j.mp/iPWUQJ.
- Donald Trump is looking into running as an independent in presidential election: http://j.mp/mID94S.
- President Obama apparently thinks that it is still 2008. http://bit.ly/lohNGN.
- Herman Cain has ties to radical right-wing group that, among other things, accused Dems of wanting to kill black babies: http://bit.ly/kMhfb0.
- No substantive evidence of an impending attack was found at the hideout of Osama bin Laden: http://bit.ly/lhinN2.
- Democrat to win #NY26, a heavily conservative District. The election was viewed as a referendum on #Ryan budget: http://on.msnbc.com/mcYosQ.
- Coalition fine with donations from big tobacco: http://j.mp/lnyDd2.
- Democrat Wins Special Election For N.Y. House Seat in heavily conservative district: http://j.mp/iHX5ZZ.
- In defense of universal healthcare - Patients before profit: http://bit.ly/l2iRPU.
- As Crime Declines, U.S. on Pace to Become Switzerland: http://j.mp/igEwrA.
- ‘Loser Pays’ Moves Closer to Becoming the Law in Texas: http://j.mp/kxH7uH.
- The story of #Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning, as told through his Facebook status updates: http://bit.ly/lB2IaQ.
- Asylum seekers won’t be caned in Malaysia: Bowen http://bit.ly/kFgKUq.
- Malcolm Turnbull rebukes claims that he missed votes in Parliament: http://bit.ly/mPdkbN.
- Bob Brown complained directly to the Managing Director of the ABC about its coverage of the Greens: http://bit.ly/kSRSmi.
- Will she or won’t she? Signs that Sarah Palin is planning to run for the GOP nomination: http://bit.ly/l5Ah8g.
- Paul Ryan will not back down from his Medicare proposal despite its failure to pass the Senate: http://bit.ly/maga9j.
- Newt Gingrich is defiant over his $500,000 account at Tiffany’s: http://reut.rs/kn67mT.
- Nicola Roxon tells Tony Abbott to ‘kick the tobacco donations habit’: http://bit.ly/iuoXxW.
- The GOP pledges to improve its messaging on the #Ryan Budget Proposal after loss in #NY26: http://bit.ly/loikpw.
Today, the US Supreme Court handed down a case that will have systemic implications for the State of California. The opinion of the Court affirmed the decision of a three judge District Court that ordered the release of 46,000 prisoners from the system due to overcrowding. It was a sharply divided opinion along mostly ideological lines with Justice Kennedy writing an opinion in which Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan concurred. Justice Scalia wrote a dissent in which Thomas J joined, and Justice Alito filed a separate dissent in which Roberts CJ joined. Each dissent was scathing of the majority, with both describing the action taken by the Court as ‘radical.’
In short, the Court held that the problems associated with overcrowding in prisons – in the words of the Court, “needless suffering and death” – caused by “severe and unlawful treatment of prisoners through grossly inadequate provision of medical and mental health care” were inconsistent with the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution (the “cruel and unusual” section). The Court subsequently held that California should reduce its prison population to 137.5% of capacity within two years (the relief provided by the lower Court). Given that the present population is about 200% of capacity, this will mean (at the time of writing) that up to 46,000 prisoners will have to be released within two years in order to comply with the order of the Court.
The dissenting Justices were predictably scathing of the majority. Both called the decision ‘radical,’ while Justice Alito said that the majority is, “gambling with the safety of the people of California.” The basic elements of Justice Scalia’s dissent was that the Court had overreached its authority and scope with the decision, holding that the majority decision, ‘takes federal courts wildly beyond their institutional capacity’ and that the decision ‘[defies] all sound conception of the proper role of judges.’ Justice Alito held the same view while also finding that the decision posed an unacceptable risk to the people of California: ‘the court gave inadequate weight to the impact of its decree on public safety.’
The authority to order a reduction in prison population was held to be with the lower Court under the Prisoner Reform Litigation Act 1995. Their order in the present circumstances to reduce prisoner population was held to be lawful and valid by the majority, while the dissents did not accept that the judicial system has the authority to order such relief under the Act. I am not going to pass judgment on the finding of the Court at this time.
I don’t think I am qualified to comment in the absence of reading extensive outside materials, which I don’t have the time to do. I just wanted to provide a brief summary – in plain English – of a case that I thought was fairly interesting, and one that has “real world” implications for a large number of people. I’ve never blogged something like this, so I hope it is okay. Feedback would be welcome!
Some of the things that are making news today.
- The women who would be President - Will they run? http://nyti.ms/lbOsDm.
- Former President Bush has made an astounding $15m through paid speeches since leaving office: http://bit.ly/mosLnO.
- Kentucky gives tax incentives for the opening of a Bible themed amusement park: http://bit.ly/irmdPj.
- Yale Law School scholar argues that legal originalism is a constitutional scam: http://bit.ly/lHLQue.
- Study finds that voters dislike of Tony Abbott cost the Coalition the last election: http://bit.ly/iCX9NR.
- Wisconsin High Court rules that it is okay to sentence juveniles to life imprisonment without parole: http://on.wsj.com/mk6dWa.
That depends on how you define ‘best.’
Ronald Reagan presided over a period where the United States regained its sense of pride and hope. I think that is a remarkable thing given the events preceding his Presidency. He also oversaw a period of significant economic expansion which lifted millions out of poverty across the world. I accept that the expansion was somewhat unequal; however, I would rather unequal growth rather than equal decline. Opponents of Reagan seem to prefer the latter when speaking of the unequal way in which the growth under his Presidency occurred.
I don’t think he deserves the ‘God-like’ status that has been given to him by the modern Republican Party, but nor does he deserve much of the criticism that is levelled against him and his Presidency by the Left. But I do think that his legacy is largely a positive one that will be remembered for decades to come.
Obviously, it is going to happen. As it was supposed to happen in 1843, 1844, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1942, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, and 1995. Those were just test runs.
I prepared by being intolerant, backwards, misogynistic, casually racist, attracted to children, and generally a hater of anyone who isn’t exactly like me. That is how one gets into Heaven, right?
Some of the things that are making news over the past few days.
- Brazilian woman is given the right to surf porn and masturbate up to eighteen times each day: http://bit.ly/kEsuCF.
- Is Twitter making us dumber? http://nyti.ms/kQ1qFw.
- US Supreme Court Justices on writing: ‘Keep it simple’: http://on.wsj.com/ieBmBS.
- Is higher education a right or privilege? http://wapo.st/igsHVn.
- Bob Brown turns on the Canberra press gallery for asking him tough questions: http://bit.ly/is7vUY.
- Malcolm Turnbull has conceded that he wants the Liberal leadership back: http://bit.ly/lmt7UQ.
- Sarah Palin calls Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘disgusting’: http://politi.co/iCb989.
- Ohio completes “bloody” execution under new method as Mississippi moves to the same method: http://bit.ly/kOxRmr.
- Turnbull exposed Coalition’s climate truth: Gillard http://is.gd/sZx5YB.
- Newt Gingrich still on defensive after critique of GOP’s Medicare plan http://lat.ms/mG9KGL.
- Area 51: Was the Roswell UFO a U.S.S.R. Spy Plane? http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2011/05/18/area-51-revisited/
- Mother’s diet ‘can make kids fat’ - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13119545
- Rapist petitions for DNA test to clear his name. Instead, it confirms his conviction, and links him to another crime: http://bit.ly/iBx3Nc.
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas calls critics of the Court lazy and illiterate: http://politi.co/iZwVZb.
- Newt Gingrich is now claiming that he was not referring to Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget: http://bit.ly/kYN2cQ.
- Nobody will get the $25m bounty for Osama bin Laden’s death: http://bit.ly/lm3TaG.
- Al Gore calls out Rupert Murdoch for abuse of power: http://bit.ly/kNqJEs.
- Malcolm Turnbull will never lead the Liberal Party again, according to Liberal MPs: http://bit.ly/lOOUbW.
- Bob Brown is under pressure, and he is showing it, writes Dennis Shanahan: http://bit.ly/k4C4Ln.
- I like my MPs to be ambitious, Tony Abbott says of Malcolm Turnbull: http://bit.ly/lV4WtI.
- Truly remarkable colour photos from the Great Depression and World War II: http://bit.ly/mM5tAD.
- Governor of Texas signs law that would force women to see a sonogram of their fetus 24hrs before getting an abortion: http://reut.rs/jSqsZv.
- Malcolm Turnbull costed the Coalition’s climate change plan at $18b/yr in a blog post defending his comments: http://bit.ly/iRDxc4.
- Bob Brown v The Press, by Ben Eltham: http://bit.ly/mhu1RS.
- Harden up Greens, the game is changing by Chris Uhlmann: http://bit.ly/miGoCg.