Yesterday was an unmitigated disaster- parking wise. When court is closed Monday, the double dose of people flooding into our building on Tuesday causes complete havoc. It is just not fair to tell someone they must appear in court, and then not have any parking spaces for them.
Something must be done. The only short term solution we think can be immediately implemented is to plan for these "Terrible Tuesdays" and have the clerk re-schedule some of the arraignments and other miscellaneous hearings over the course of the following week.
The comments on the blog yesterday were very wide ranging and very good. There was a top ten circuit judge list, which we were waiting for some enterprising attorney to write. There were some historical discussions on presidents, and there were several critiques on Judge Seidlin in Broward and his handling of the Anna Nicole Smith circus. There was one disturbing comment about a local judge who refused to allow an attorney to use the restroom until voire dire was completed. We think anyone with real knowledge of the incident should post it in the comments section.
The Monday Editorial page of the NY Times contained a short blurb on The Bush Administration putting a small amendment into the large defense appropriation bill which has the effect of suspending the Possee Comitatus law.
Once again, with little notice, and no fan-fare, this administration-in the name of fear, has expanded the power of the federal government. As our Constitutional Law Professor used to say when a student agreed with an over-reaching use of federal power- "what are you going to do when they come for you?"
From the NY Times Editorial on Monday:
The provision, signed into law in October, weakens two obscure but important bulwarks of liberty. One is the doctrine that bars military forces, including a federalized National Guard, from engaging in law enforcement. Called posse comitatus, it was enshrined in law after the Civil War to preserve the line between civil government and the military. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807, which provides the major exemptions to posse comitatus. It essentially limits a president’s use of the military in law enforcement to putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights.
The newly enacted provisions upset this careful balance. They shift the focus from making sure that federal laws are enforced to restoring public order. Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any “other condition.”
Just who among us is comfortable with George Bush or Dick Cheney deciding what "any other condition" means?
When some armed solider from Nebraska asks you for ID before you can drive down your street in the future, just don't say we didn't warn you.
See You In Court, as soon as we can find a parking spot.