Friday Morning News Roundup

February 18, 2005

At least 20 people were killed in Baghdad today by a series of bombs targeted at Shiite Muslim mosques that were filled with worshippers observing the religious festival of Ashura.
The ACLU released files detailing new allegations of abuse of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq. The files include a report of one detainee "who was beaten and seriously injured was forced to drop his claims in order to be released from custody." ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said, "The torture of detainees is too widespread and systemic to be dismissed as the rogue actions of a few misguided individuals. The American public deserves to know which high-level government officials are ultimately responsible for the torture conducted in our name.
Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog is reporting that, "Slowing down a case that appears headed for the Supreme Court, the D.C. Circuit has refused to grant en banc review, at this point, in the case testing the constitutionality of President Bush's military tribunals set up to try foreign nationals on war on terrorism criminal charges."
Alan Greenspan told a House committee, contrary to claims by the Bush administration, that Social Security is not facing a crisis, "Crisis to me usually refers to something which is going to happen tomorrow or is on the edge of going into a very serious change. That is not going to happen." Greenspan did say that Congress does need to respond to future funding issues in Social Security and medicare. Greenspan warned that the cost of Bush's plan to create private retirement accounts could cause higher interest rates and deficits.
Congressional Democrats introduced a bill that would require major changes in nation voting aimed at making it easier to vote. The Count Every Vote Act includes provisions that would make election day a federal holiday, allow for voters to register on election day and require that states reduce waiting times for voters to cast there votes.
Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage will stand, for now. The three same-sex couples who challenged the Indiana law banning gay marriage who decided not to appeal a Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the law.
Vikram Amar and Alan Brownstein offer the second part of their series on President Bush's proposed same-sex marriage amendment, "Wise and Unwise Constitutional Amendments." This article focuses on, "why the most common assertions that have been advanced in support of amending the Constitution are not compelling enough to overcome this presumption." Click here for the first article in the series.
Balkinization highlights a Michigan Law Review that argues for a new approach around "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to help "promote a kind of voluntary integration in the inclusive command."
The creator of the video game Grand Theft Auto, Take Two, has been blamed for the shooting death of two Alabama police officers and a dispatcher. Families of two of the victims filed a $600 million dollar lawsuit claiming that the video game helped train the shooter.
Global Warming is well underway, according to a series of studies released today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said, based on the studies released today, "The debate over whether or not there is a global warming signal is now over, at least for rational people."