Archive for Supreme Court

Justice Stevens voices support for NYC mosque

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by loonwatch

hat tip: JustAFan.

Justice Stevens voices support for NYC mosque

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Thursday that Americans should be tolerant of plans to build an Islamic center and mosque near the site of the World Trade Center in New York.

The 90-year-old Stevens said it is wrong to lump all Muslims with the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks that killed 3,000 people. “Guilt by association is unfair,” he told a Japanese-American group in Washington.

The center’s location two blocks north of where the Twin Towers once stood has upset some relatives of Sept. 11 victims and stirred nationwide debate and angry demands that it be moved. Critics say the site of mass murder by Islamic extremists is no place for an Islamic institution, while supporters of the center say religious freedom should be protected.

But Stevens, a World War II veteran, compared the criticism of the mosque to the emotion he said he initially felt when he saw Japanese tourists at Pearl Harbor.

Among the thoughts that he said flashed through his mind during a 1994 visit to the memorial to the Japanese attack that brought the U.S. into World War II was, “These people don’t really belong here.”

He said many New Yorkers might have had a similar reaction to news about the mosque in lower Manhattan.

But Stevens said he realized he was drawing conclusions about a group of people that did not necessarily fit any one of the tourists he saw at Pearl Harbor.

“We should never pass judgment on barrels and barrels of apples just because one of them may be rotten,” said Stevens, who left the court in June. He commented on an issue of public debate in a way he most likely would have avoided had he still been serving as a justice.

He said that a nation built by people who fled religious persecution “should understand why American Muslims should enjoy the freedom to build their places of worship wherever permitted by local zoning laws.”

Stevens said the National Japanese American Memorial in Washington offers a similar message in its recognition that the internment of thousands of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent during World War II was wrong.

He called the monument a “a powerful reminder of the fact that ignorance — that is to say, fear of the unknown — is the source of most invidious prejudice.”

 

Supreme Court Will Hear Aschcroft on Unlawful Arrests of Muslims

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by loonwatch

(via. Huffington Post)

Supreme Court Will Hear Ashcroft’s Request to Avoid Responsibility for Unlawful Arrests of Muslims

MARK SHERMAN | 10/18/10 11:02 AM | AP

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will consider an appeal by former Attorney General John Ashcroft to throw out a lawsuit seeking to hold him personally responsible for improperly arresting a Muslim U.S. citizen after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The justices on Monday stepped into a dispute that, at its roots, concerns the Bush administration’s aggressive moves against Muslims and Arabs in the United States following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Abdullah al-Kidd was one of at least 70 people detained under a law aimed at insuring that witnesses would be available to appear in court and testify at trial, according to a study by civil liberties groups. Like many others, al-Kidd was never called to testify before a grand jury or in open court and was not charged with a crime.

He sued Ashcroft, asserting that his arrest in 2003 stemmed from a policy announced by the then-attorney general less than two months after 9/11. At that time, Ashcroft touted the use of material witness warrants to detain suspected terrorists when the government did not have sufficient evidence to hold them on criminal charges.

The suit has not gone to trial and Ashcroft, represented by the Obama administration, says he should be shielded from lawsuits concerning his official duties.

Civil liberties lawyers say no attorney general has ever been held personally liable for official actions. Other federal officials, particularly at a lower level, have been held personally liable for their actions. It is, however, exceptionally rare.

Supreme Court rulings allow high-ranking officials to be held liable but set a high bar: An official must be tied directly to a violation of constitutional rights and must have clearly understood the action crossed that line.

The federal appeals court in San Francisco held that al-Kidd’s case met the high court’s standards.

Rejecting Ashcroft’s bid for immunity, Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. strongly criticized the use of material witness warrants for national security. “We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution,” Smith said in a 2-1 decision. Smith, appointed by Bush, was joined in the majority by a Ronald Reagan appointee.

The Kansas-born Al-Kidd is a one-time University of Idaho football star who converted to Islam while in college. He was arrested at Dulles International Airport in suburban Washington, D.C., preparing to board a flight to Saudi Arabia.

The FBI persuaded a judge to issue a warrant for al-Kidd’s arrest by claiming that he had paid $5,000 for a one-way ticket. Al-Kidd’s lawyers say that was untrue; al-Kidd had a much cheaper, round-trip ticket. In addition, they said, he had cooperated fully with authorities following Sept. 11.

The dispute over the accuracy of the information is not before the Supreme Court. When the case is argued early next year, the justices will consider just whether Ashcroft can be held liable.

Justice Elena Kagan, who reviewed al-Kidd’s lawsuit as a top Justice Department official, is not taking part in the Supreme Court case.

The case is Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd, 10-98.

 

Robert Spencer Watch: Elena Kagan Ignorantly Promoting Shariah Law

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2010 by loonwatch
Robert Spencer next to his Perpetual Serf Pamela Geller

Robert Spencer contradicts himself once again. In a recent article in the Daily Caller, Spencer is quoted as saying,

“[Kagan] would knowingly and wittingly abet the advance of Sharia, but she wouldn’t do it understanding anything about Sharia. She would do it out of her ignorance.”

Yes, because the only one who understands Sharia is Robert Spencer.

What a convoluted way of saying what he really wants to say, “Kagan will ‘advance Shariah.’”

So will she “knowingly” or “ignorantly” advance Sharia?

Spencer attributes Kagan’s fondness for Sharia to naïveté and liberalism. “There is a general tendency on the part of political liberals in the United States today to take a benign view of Islam and Islamic law,” he said. “They are generally uninformed and share a hatred of the West and Western civilization.”

Essentially, if someone disagrees with Spencer they are cast as either “ignorant” or “taking a benign view of Islam and Islamic law.” This woman has devoted her whole life to the study of law, does he not think for a second that Kagan might know more about Islamic law than himself?

Spencer’s wild-eyed conspiracy theories are then exposed,
According to Spencer, Kagan will be a willing accomplice in the ongoing stealth jihad — or the institution of Sharia into non-Muslim societies via non-violent means, such as the courts and mainstreaming Islamic customs — currently underway against the West. “The goal of the jihad is to assert the primacy of Islamic law over non-Muslim society and over Muslim societies where it is not fully enforced, and that can take place either through violent or non-violent means and the goal is the same,” he said.

More of the same old conspiracies. On Spencer’s hate blog, he posted this article with the comment, “Ignorance and naivete, mixed in with the fashionable Leftist contempt for America.” Is he referring to the reporter or to Kagan? He doesn’t dispute anything the reporter wrote and instead finds it fit to criticize liberals as being “accomplices in the ongoing stealth jihad.”

 

Rachel Maddow: Kagan Closer to Confirmation

Posted in Loon Media, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by loonwatch

Rachel Maddow on the hysteria directed at Elena Kagan from the far right! Frank Gaffney considers Kagan an appeaser of Islam. The Washington Times ran his story accompanied with photoshopped images of Kagan in a turban.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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