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Second Circuit Ruling Reverses Lower Court's Decision in ACORN

A deeply conservative panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the multiple victories we had in the lower court.

Bill Quigley, Center for Constitutional Rights

We have gotten some of our best feedback from friends and allies this year on our work defending ACORN, so I am sorry to have to pass along the news that a deeply conservative panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the multiple victories we had in the lower court.

The panel somehow found that ACORN was not being punished when Congress cut off its funding based on rightwing grandstanding, FOX news rants and a video that turned out to be a lie. The court did find that ACORN had standing to sue, just not on Bill of Attainder grounds, and they sent the case back to the District Court to look at possible First Amendment and due process violations.

The Bill of Attainder provision in the U.S. Constitution says that no person or organization may be singled out for punishment by the government without benefit of a trial. The appeals court turned our argument on its head and declared that since hundreds of unspecified allied organizations might be affected by the de-funding it was perfectly legitimate since Congress did not just single out ACORN!   

Though ACORN has obviously been seriously damaged by this campaign, they continue to struggle on and make the best of their situation, while government and independent investigations clear them of wrongdoing again and again. But because we cannot stand by and let this ruling empower the targeting of other politically vulnerable groups like ACORN, we will fight this deeply flawed decision. We will be seeking en banc review by the entire Second Circuit, and will keep you posted on our progress.

For more information visit our case page. Thank you for standing with us and our allies at ACORN. The fight continues!

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Other Countries Probing Bush-era Torture — Why Aren't We?

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"That's part of why we're so concerned. The Obama administration, rather than investigate the abuses of the last eight years, has increasingly become an obstacle to accountability."

Shashank Bengali, the McClatchy Newspapers, in Common Dreams

In June, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Canadian man who contends that U.S. authorities mistook him for an al Qaida operative in 2002 and shipped him to a secret prison in Syria, where he was beaten with electrical cables and held in a grave-like cell for 10 months.

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Four years earlier, however, the Canadian government had concluded an exhaustive inquiry and found that the former prisoner, Maher Arar, was telling the truth. Canada cleared Arar of all ties to terrorism and paid him $10 million in damages, and his lawyers say he's cooperating with an investigation into the role of U.S. and Syrian officials in his imprisonment and reported torture.

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More...

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US Judge OK's Confession Extracted by Threatening Suspect with Rape

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  • Omar Ahmed Khadr, apprehended at age 15, imprisoned in Gitmo for the past 7 years awaiting trial for terrorism and war crimes.
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  • ACLU Report: Obama Continuing Bush-Era Torture Policies
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Eric W. Dolan, Raw Story

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

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In one of the first military commissions held under the Obama administration, a US military judge has ruled that confessions obtained by threatening the subject with rape are admissible in court.

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The case involves Omar Ahmed Khadr, a citizen of Canada who was apprehended in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old and has remained in Guantanamo Bay for the last seven years awaiting trial for terrorism and war crimes.

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As AFP reported on Monday (Aug 9) , Khadr, now 23, is accused of throwing a grenade in 2002 that killed a US soldier. He also is alleged to have been trained by Al-Qaeda and joined a network organized by Osama bin Laden to make bombs.

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Related:

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ACLU Report: Obama Continuing Bush-Era Torture Policies, Deborah Weinstein,  TruthOut.org, in AlterNet

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  • Fear of an unchecked, unaccountable government permeates the report, particularly in the section about targeted killings.
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  • On torture, U.S. must clean house
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Protests of UST Law Prof Delahunty's Co-Authoring of Bush Torture Memos

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  • "The University of St. Thomas School of Law, as a Catholic law school, is dedicated to integrating faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on morality and social justice."
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  • Center for Torture Accountability lists U St. Thomas Professor  Delahunty as deserving probe.
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Coleen Rowley, Evergreene Digest

Leafleting and bannering on August 16th and on August 30th to remind the St. Thomas School of Law how it’s failing to follow its own Mission Statement when it employs Robert Delahunty who coauthored with John Yoo the Office of Legal Counsel memos that declared the Geneva Conventions no longer applied to “non-state Actors” thus opening the door to torture.

August 16, Monday:  4:30 - 5:30 pm, at 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis  (during a student reception event)

August 30, Monday:  10:00 - 11:00 or 11:30 at 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis (Robert Delahunty’s return to classes)

Related:

Center for Torture Accountability lists St. Thomas Professor  Delahunty as deserving probe, The Center for Torture Accountability<>
Delahunty helps John Yoo write memos making legal case for suspending constitutional rights and protections

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