Monday News Roundup

August 23, 2004

The first arraignments of Guantanamo detainees will take place this week. Cases that will reach this preliminary stage before the military tribunal include those of a poet who allegedly composed terrorist propaganda and of a man accused of being Osama bin Laden's driver. Defense lawyers have complained mightily about the procedures, with one being unable to contact his client for the past four months.
Professor Balkin recounts how close Roe v. Wade was to being overturned until a last-minute switch by Justice Kennedy in the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. He also details why it was not overturned in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services in 1989.
Two vacancies on Canada's Supreme Court will soon be filled. The country will experiment with scaled-down versions of U.S.-style confirmation hearings.
In a guest column for the New York Times, Dahlia Lithwick details growing pressure on the separation of church and state.
A Texas man is free after 40 years wrongfully spent in jail. Convicted of robbing a Safeway supermarket in 1962, a judge found that sheriff's deputies crushed his fingers between jail cell bars to extract a confession. Moreover, he was not the only victim of that practice.
TalkLeft reports that a new website is publicly outing police informants. Law enforcement is not amused.
Bob Herbert again calls attention to the "unprecedented" use of "state troopers to zero in on voter turnout efforts" in Florida.
The Kerry campaign has filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "illegally coordinated" with the Bush campaign and the Republican party, and that the SBVT adds are deceptive. According to the Gainsville Sun, a flyer which was distributed in a Republican Party office announced a "pro-USA" rally featuring both official GOP organizations, and SBVT. A copy of the flyer is provided by DailyKos. In related news, a Bush campaign advisor has quit after appearing in a SBVT ad. The Bush campaign previously filed a similar complaint against left-leaning 527s Media Fund and Americans Coming Together.
Senator Kennedy isn't the only one placed on Homeland Security's "watch list." The Times of India reports that Congressman John Lewis also was delayed in boarding a flight due to the name "John Lewis" appearing on that same watch list.