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By Linda R. Monk | February 11, 1999
THE ONE sure outcome of the impeachment trial is that the rule of law has been diminished as much by Republicans as by Democrats. And, to the chagrin of many of his constituents, House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde has become its chief detractor.According to a recent Chicago Tribune poll of Mr. Hyde's conservative Illinois district, 35 percent of the respondents said their opinion of the congressman had dropped because of his handling of the impeachment proceedings.In his opening statement to the Senate, Mr. Hyde cited the case of Sir Thomas More, a former lord chancellor who was executed in 1535 for refusing to swear an oath that the king of England was supreme over the pope.
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NEWS
By Jules Witcover | June 28, 2013
The Supreme Court's mixed bag of decisions in the session's final days, particularly on voting rights and same-sex marriage, seized the nation's headlines but did little to bolster its own clarity or credibility. Interested non-lawyers were left dependent on legal experts to sort out where this highest bench, with a general but not rigidly consistent conservative majority, comes down in today's cultural and political climate. Liberal defenders of the Voting Rights Act's preclearance monitoring of discriminatory practices in states, mostly in the Deep South, were jolted by the court's split decision to abandon the provision.
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NEWS
By Trudy Rubin | September 20, 2005
BEIJING -- One of the most exciting developments in China is the rising awareness at the grass-roots level that ordinary people have legal rights. Chinese law has long been used as a tool to help the Communist Party control the people; call it rule by law, not rule of law. But the country's staggering pace of growth has spawned all kinds of injustices, including a huge gap between rich and poor fueled by government corruption. The population is looking for redress. A few years ago, ordinary Chinese would have suffered in silence, afraid to raise their voices.
NEWS
November 18, 2010
When a federal jury in New York found terrorism suspect Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani guilty Wednesday on just one of the more than 280 charges of conspiracy and murder, it was to be expected that critics would leap to condemn the verdict as proof the Obama administration was wrong to insist on trying terrorism suspects in civilian courts rather than before military tribunals. In fact, however, the jurors' decision proved just the opposite: that despite the many obstacles the government had to overcome in getting evidence of Mr. Ghailani's crimes before the jury, the defendant was still convicted and now faces a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.
NEWS
By TAMIR MOUSTAFA | July 9, 2006
It is conventional wisdom these days that the Arab world has a thing or two to learn from the United States when it comes to democracy. After all, the region is plagued by recalcitrant regimes willing to sacrifice most everything to stay in power. Even in Iraq, where a brutal dictator was deposed, the new government is barely able to function. It might, therefore, come as a surprise to suggest that we Americans might have something to learn from the Arab world about standing up for democracy.
NEWS
January 19, 2006
The following are excerpts from a speech Monday in Washington by former Vice President Al Gore that was sponsored by the Liberty Coalition and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. The executive branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress to prevent such abuses. It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored.
NEWS
By Robert W. Farrand and Michael G. Karnavas | April 1, 2002
ARCHITECTS CRAFTING the framework for peace in war-weary Afghanistan must be alert to models that have worked reasonably well elsewhere. While circumstances vary and analogies rarely serve as clear guides to action, the process of reconstructing (or constructing) a nation, whose populace has for more than two decades been subjected to violence and war, can benefit from successful efforts in other crisis zones. The dramatic psychological lift brought about by the routing of the Taliban must be quickly built upon so the perception of progress is not lost.
NEWS
December 29, 1997
GUNMEN who invaded the village of Acteal in southern Mexico and murdered 45 Tzotzil Indians last Monday, wounded the hopes for democracy and rule of law in Mexico. The reform administration of President Ernesto Zedillo is back to Square One in attempts to restore the credibility of Mexican institutions.There has been corruption of police and the army in fighting narco-terrorism, political murders at the highest level, stolen elections, a currency crisis impoverishing millions and now this.
NEWS
By TRUDY RUBIN | July 4, 2006
PHILADELPHIA -- I can't think of any better gift to the nation on Independence Day than the Supreme Court ruling last week that checked President Bush's expanding claims of executive power. The Fourth of July should remind us how blessed we are to live under the rule of law. Most Americans take that blessing for granted and fail to understand how rare is the legacy bequeathed by the Founding Fathers. A 5-3 majority on the court gave us a wake-up call. The case, Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld, was technically about whether Osama bin Laden's former chauffeur, a Yemeni named Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who is imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, could be tried by military commission - a system established by Mr. Bush.
NEWS
By David M. Crane | July 21, 2008
On June 4, 2003, as Liberian President Charles Taylor walked up the steps for the opening ceremony of the Accra Peace Accords in Ghana, I stood in front of the world's press and announced that I had unsealed an indictment charging him with 17 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The international community reacted with praise - and condemnation. Politicians and diplomats voiced concern that my announcement had jeopardized the newly organized peace process and hopes for stability in West Africa.
NEWS
July 15, 2010
My step-son has been in line for several years to obtain his green card. The way things are going, however, I should have advised him to go to Mexico and swim across the Rio Grande to the U.S. Greeting him must be President Barack Obama, holding out a citizenship card, a passport, free health insurance, a Social Security check, a plane ticket to Baltimore and, if he's lucky, a bottle of Gatorade. I'm all in favor of immigration: legal immigration. If it were not for the process of legal immigration, I wouldn't be here to write this letter, and I wouldn't be married to a naturalized U.S. citizen from Shanghai.
NEWS
By Stephen H. Sachs | April 2, 2010
M aryland's General Assembly is being justly criticized for considering holding at least $500,000 hostage to demands for information about clients of the University of Maryland School of Law's environmental clinic. This is in response to a clinic lawsuit, alleging pollution of Chesapeake Bay, filed on behalf of the Assateague Coastal Trust and the Waterkeeper Alliance. One of the defendants is Perdue Farms. Most of the criticism of these budgetary restrictions has contended that they would undermine both the ethically mandated independence of the clinic's lawyer-teacher and students and academic freedom.
NEWS
February 5, 2010
Here's an alternative for conservative hard-liners who insist the only way to get actionable intelligence out of terrorist suspects is to beat, torture and starve them into submission: Fly in their families and get them to persuade reluctant detainees to cooperate. That's reportedly what the Obama administration did with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber who allegedly tried to blow up an international flight over Detroit on Christmas Day. After being confronted by his mom, dad and a bevy of kinfolk, the 23-year-old would-be mass murderer capitulated and started telling interrogators things they wanted to know.
NEWS
By Susan Goering | July 9, 2009
America is at a turning point. How we will come to terms with the government abuses unleashed in the aftermath of 9/11 is a historic test of our highest principles. Are we a nation of laws? Will we stand by our commitment to the rule of law over the tyranny of state-sanctioned brutality? Maryland's particularly powerful congressional delegation in Washington can be pivotal as the nation chooses how to proceed. And, of course, members of Congress will more likely rise to the occasion if they hear from the public they represent.
NEWS
April 25, 2009
Last week, the Obama administration released a series of memos describing the "harsh interrogation" of suspects authorized by Bush administration officials. For the uninitiated, I would note that "torture" of suspects would be a more accurate characterization. But to quote the president, "It is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice ... that they will not be subject to prosecution." The use of torture is despicable. The U.S. should never have descended to the point where we would use tactics normally associated with totalitarian regimes, thus besmirching the country, the Constitution and the rule of law. But as with all crimes against humanity, it is the leaders, those who authorized the torture, who are the main offenders, and really need to be held accountable and brought to justice.
NEWS
February 20, 2009
A federal appeals court panel this week threw a monkey wrench into efforts to free 17 Chinese dissidents detained as terrorist suspects after the U.S. toppled Afghanistan's Taliban government in 2001. President Barack Obama, who has pledged to close the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo, should use this case to repudiate the Bush policy of indefinite detention without charge and order their release. The suspects are ethnic Uighurs (pronounced "WEE-gurz") from western China who had fled to Afghanistan fearing persecution for their separatist views.
NEWS
October 14, 1999
THE LEGAL morass gripping Augusto Pinochet may serve the old dictator right and make human rights advocates feel good. But it augurs ill for the rule of law or an orderly world.A Spanish investigating judge wants to try General Pinochet in Spain for crimes he committed against humanity when he ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. The former president was arrested in Britain.An appeals court ruled that the 83-year-old general could not be extradited because the crimes in question occurred before Britain ratified an international convention outlawing torture in 1988.
NEWS
By Jonathan Weisman and Jonathan Weisman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | November 15, 1998
ELMHURST, Ill. -- Rep. Henry J. Hyde sat Buddha-like at the local Elks Club as his -admirers in the Elmhurst Republican Women's Club gingerly approached to offer encouragement: "Good luck, Henry," they said, or "We're praying for you," or "You've got a big job ahead of you."But sitting quietly at a table with surprisingly few other guests, Hyde seemed more weary than confident -- almost as if he already knew, on that Thursday night before the election, that his life was about to go from difficult to nightmarish.
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