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Center for Torture Accountability lists St. Thomas Professor Delahunty as deserving probe

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Delahunty helps John Yoo write memos making legal case for suspending constitutional rights and protections

The Center for Torture Accountability

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

Robert Delahunty, whose Justice Department career spanned the presidency of Clinton as well as the early Bush years, found in his new colleague John Yoo a legal philosophy rooted in the same way of thinking as his own. They collaborated on a spate of memos for the White House and Justice Department, most of which have not yet been declassified.

Delahunty is not known to have coauthored Yoo's notorious "torture memo," which attempted to define torture so narrowly that the United States's interrogation techniques could not be classified as torturous. But he and Yoo did produce memos arguing that neither the Geneva Conventions nor other treaties and law would control U.S. treatment of prisoners during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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The Party of No, No, No, No, No . . .

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  • The GOP is putting partisanship above principle. It's time for them to learn that America won't stand for the "Party of No."
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  • Tell the Senate: We’ve Had Enough Delay. Stop Republican Obstruction.
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Marge Baker, People For the American Way

Last week (August 1-7), the Senate confirmed President Obama's second nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan. But unnoticed by much of the media, Senate Republicans also blocked a large group of lower court nominees-including a significant number approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Before adjourning for recess, the Senate confirmed four judges, and agreed to move forward on one more. But it refused to act on seventeen more nominees, nine of whom were approved by voice vote or unanimous roll-call vote in the Judiciary Committee.

Led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, GOP Senators even demanded that some nominees be re-nominated by the President, then re-approved by the Judiciary Committee. Although the process can't block confirmation of nominees, it does eat up weeks of time.

Republicans are able to get away with this procedural foot dragging because they think no one will notice. But they're wrong.

Join me in raising your voice against Republican obstruction. Sign our petition to let the Senate know that we won't stand for this blatant obstruction any longer.

Throughout the Bush Administration, Republicans stacked the Courts with judges willing to twist the law to favor corporate interests over the rights of individual Americans. Now, Republican Senators don't want to confirm judges who will stand up for the law.

Tell the Senate leaders that you've had enough delay. We need judges who will keep faith with the Constitution-- its amendments, its history, and its core values like justice and equality under the law. We'll be delivering these petitions to Senate Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell when they return to session.<>

The GOP is putting partisanship above principle. It's time for them to learn that America won't stand for the "Party of No."

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Oil in the Courts

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  • No matter how much BP spends on clean up efforts, ultimately the accountability of BP and the other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico disaster -- Transocean and Halliburton -- will be determined in the courts.
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  • A New Debate on the Court and the Constitution
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  • The Corporate Courts: Fifth Circuit Judges Are Marinating in Oil
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Michael B. Keegan, People For the American Way

No matter how much BP spends on clean up efforts, ultimately the accountability of BP and the other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico disaster -- Transocean and Halliburton -- will be determined in the courts.

Think the courts don't have much impact on our everyday lives?

In 2008, the Supreme Court gave Exxon Mobil a $2 billion gift by reducing the punitive damage award from $2.5 billion to $507.5 million for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The Roberts Court's willingness to invent a rule capping punitive damages against Exxon does not bode well for those hoping to hold BP accountable for this most recent disaster.

As detailed in our report, "Rise of the Corporate Court," the Court's decision in Exxon Shipping v. Baker was part of a larger trend of the Court's conservative bloc of justices bending over backwards to distort, reinterpret and even rewrite the law in order to rule in favor of big corporate interests over the rights of ordinary Americans. And this extreme corporatist model of judging is encouraged wholeheartedly by Republican lawmakers.

The business lobby and Republican Senators are trying to keep Rhode Island environmental lawyer John McConnell off the federal bench because he represented that state in a lawsuit to get a lead paint manufacturer to clean up the damage caused by its toxic product. (In that case, a jury awarded the state $2.4 billion in cleanup costs but the Rhode Island Supreme Court later overturned the verdict.)

A lawyer representing BP in current and pending litigation over the Gulf leak was, up until last year, a justice on the Texas Supreme Court -- a court that was friendly to BP in litigation over a 2005 major refinery fire. Right now BP is trying to have all litigation heard in Texas, where even federal courts pay deference to the oil industry, and pushing for specific, industry-sympathetic judges.

If we are to avoid more catastrophes at the hands of Big Oil and other corporate polluters, these companies must be held accountable by the courts for the environmental and public health disasters they cause.

It's imperative that President Obama nominate -- and the Senate confirm -- federal judges, including Supreme Court Justices, who understand that protecting the constitutionally guaranteed rights of individuals is more important than doing favors for corporations. Governors who appoint judges need to do the same. And, in places where voters elect judges, citizens must be diligent about casting their votes for judges who appreciate the law's impact on regular people and who won't contort the law to help corporations and the powerful.

Related:

Michael B. Keegan wrote a piece for the Huffington Post yesterday (June 3) titled, "A New Debate on the Court and the Constitution," which discusses how thanks to the Roberts Court's recent string of pro-corporate decisions, culminating in the infamous Citizens United v. FEC, progressives have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take back the debate on the Supreme Court.

The Corporate Courts: Fifth Circuit Judges Are Marinating in Oil, Nan Aron, Alliance for Justice

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  • Alliance for Justice has issued a report, "Judicial Gusher: The Fifth Circuit's Ties to Oil," detailing the extensive connections between these three judges and their Fifth Circuit brethren and the oil and gas industry.
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  • Slick Justice? More on the Fifth Circuit and Its Ties to Oil
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  • 5th Circuit Judges in Drilling Moratorium Case Have Oil Ties, Report Says
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  • Majority Of Judges Hearing Drilling Moratorium Appeal Attended Oil-Funded Junkets
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Change? Obama's "Crimmigration" Policies Mimic Bush's

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  • The Obama administration has chosen to follow its predecessor in pursuing the criminal prosecution of unauthorized immigrants for minor, nonviolent offenses.
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  • DHS under the Obama administration is needlessly clogging the federal courts with people who have not committed any serious crime.
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Walter Ewing, Immigration Impact

It would seem that the Obama administration has chosen to mimic its predecessor in its zeal to pursue the criminal prosecution of unauthorized immigrants for minor, nonviolent offenses such as crossing the border. As the Associated Press reported recently, “federal prosecutions of immigrants soared to new levels this spring, as the Obama administration continued an aggressive enforcement strategy championed under President George W. Bush.”

However, the IPC has noted that this “dramatic increase in criminal prosecutions can be traced in large part to Operation Streamline, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program which mandates federal criminal prosecution and subsequent imprisonment of all persons caught crossing the border unlawfully.” Yet large numbers of these federal immigration prosecutions “have focused on non-violent border crossers.” In other words, DHS under the Obama administration is needlessly clogging the federal courts with people who have not committed any serious crime.

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Federal prosecutions of immigrants soar, Garance Burke, Associated Press, on MSNBC
Obama continues enforcement tactic championed under Bush

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Facing the Future as a Media Felon on the Gulf Coast

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Gulf Coast now a BP police state as law enforcement conspires with BP to intimidate journalists
Media, boaters could face criminal penalties by entering oil cleanup 'safety zone'

Georgianne Nienaber, Reader Supported News

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

God forbid you should see this.

The United States Coast Guard considers me a felon now, because I "willfully" want to obtain more photos like these to show you the utter devastation occurring in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, as a result of the BP oil catastrophe. If the Coast Guard has its way, all media, not just independent writers and photographers like myself and Jerry Moran, will be fined $40,000 and receive Class D felony convictions for providing the truth about oiled birds and dolphins, in addition to broken, filthy, unmanned boom material that is trapping oil in the marshlands and estuaries. We don't have $40,000 to spare, and have had to scrape the bottoms of our checkbooks as is to hire boats to take us to the devastation the Coast Guard, under the direction of BP, does not want you to see.

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Gulf Coast now a BP police state as law enforcement conspires with BP to intimidate journalists, Mike Adams, Natural News

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  • This is scary stuff, folks. Now we have a police state in America. No one can deny it. You can't argue the point anymore. It is documented fact, and it's happening right now in the Gulf Coast.
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  • First Amendment suspended in the Gulf of Mexico as spill cover-up goes Orwellian
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  • White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill
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Media, boaters could face criminal penalties by entering oil cleanup 'safety zone' Chris Kirkham, New Orleans Times-Picayune | LA

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