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Discussion Starter #1
The good and the bad. I'll start...

Establishment Clause is the clause in the First Amendment of the US Constitution that prohibits the establishment of religion by Congress.


”If the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause means anything at all, noted the appeals court, it must mean that the state may not create a policy favoring Christian chaplains over those of any other faith. As the appellate court also noted, “We can think of no principle more elemental to the Establishment Clause than that the states and the federal government shall not favor one religious denomination over another.”

Time and time again the courts have demanded religious neutrality from the state, whether the context is schools, government programs, or religious displays. Alabama acknowledges that since 1997, the Rev. Chris Summers has witnessed nearly every execution in the state, kneeling and praying with prisoners just before they are killed. But they would not allow Ray’s imam to do the same.

As the 11th Circuit noted, this was not a complicated question: “The central constitutional problem here is that the state has regularly placed a Christian cleric in the execution room to minister to the needs of Christian inmates, but has refused to provide the same benefit to a devout Muslim and all other non-Christians.” The state argued that only the chaplain was allowed to be present because he was a prison employee and “a member of the execution team.” He was trained in execution protocols—but prison officials would not explain what such training demands, or why Ray’s imam could visit him regularly in prison but not be with him at the time of execution. The appeals court was bothered by the paucity of briefing and had ordered a fast-track hearing to better understand the reasons for the policy. The state agreed that the Christian chaplain need not be present and, feeling that it had cured the constitutional defect, asked the high court to vacate the stay. Ray’s attorneys responded in pleadings that “Mr. Ray does not dispute that the state has an interest in enforcing its judgments. But it does not have an interest in doing so unconstitutionally.”


An Execution Without an Imam


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The SCOTUS did not rule on whether Alabama's practices wrt religion in the execution chamber was constitutional, they ruled the guy can't have a stay to his execution based on that and his last minute appeal. If this "law" or "practice" is challenged, the challenge will win.
 

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The SCOTUS did not rule on whether Alabama's practices wrt religion in the execution chamber was constitutional, they ruled the guy can't have a stay to his execution based on that and his last minute appeal. If this "law" or "practice" is challenged, the challenge will win.

They could have easily stayed the execution, they are the SCOTUS after all...


The Supreme Court, in its brief order reversing the stay, disagreed. In Dunn v. Ray, the majority decided that Ray’s constitutional complaints were just the subject of some really bad timing: “On November 6, 2018, the State scheduled Domineque Ray’s execution date for February 7, 2019. Because Ray waited until January 28, 2019 to seek relief, we grant the State’s application to vacate the stay.” That’s because, as the court tersely notes, “A court may consider the last-minute nature of an application to stay execution in deciding whether to grant equitable relief.”

Justice Elena Kagan wrote a powerful dissent in which she was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. As she notes, “given the gravity of the issue presented here, I think that decision profoundly wrong.”

A stay of execution is always a last minute appeal that the court sees rather frequently. Most are delaying tactics based on technicalities. This one is not, personally I find it incomprehensible they would allow someone to die because there's a schedule to be maintained.

The ruling and Justice Kagan's dissent.


https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18a815_3d9g.pdf
 

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Of course they can, no issue there, but “not getting to see my preacher” just didn’t pass the sniff test to stay an otherwise lawful execution. They haven’t yet addressed Alabama’s state preference for a religion, though, was the point for suggesting a challenge to the practice.
 

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sorry, the fucker shot killed two teenage boys in cold blood, then later raped and killed a 15 year old girl

it then took the system 20+years to finally get rid of him

no sympathy from me, hope he rots in hell
 

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sorry, the fucker shot killed two teenage boys in cold blood, then later raped and killed a 15 year old girl

it then took the system 20+years to finally get rid of him

no sympathy from me, hope he rots in hell


no doubt deserves it but has little to do with a specific case-
 

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Of course they can, no issue there, but “not getting to see my preacher” just didn’t pass the sniff test to stay an otherwise lawful execution. They haven’t yet addressed Alabama’s state preference for a religion, though, was the point for suggesting a challenge to the practice.

not sure i'm as optimistic as you. could have had the right individual there in 2 hours if they wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm not a believer of the state taking a life for any reason but under our justice system a verdict and conviction has been legally rendered.

This is in no way intended to diminish his heinous crimes.
 

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On some levels, that a sitting SC Justice thinks this way is somewhat frightening...





In Justice Thomas’s view, the First Amendment did nothing to limit the authority of states to protect the reputations of their citizens and leaders as they saw fit. When the First Amendment was ratified, he wrote, many states made it quite easy to sue for libel in civil actions and to prosecute libel as a crime. That was, he wrote, as it should be.

“We did not begin meddling in this area until 1964, nearly 175 years after the First Amendment was ratified,” Justice Thomas wrote of the Sullivan decision. “The states are perfectly capable of striking an acceptable balance between encouraging robust public discourse and providing a meaningful remedy for reputational harm.”

The events leading to the Sullivan decision test that assertion. The case arose from an advertisement in The Times seeking support for the civil rights movement. The ad contained minor errors.

‘A Pumping Conspiracy’: Why Workers Smuggled Breast Pumps Into Prison
L.B. Sullivan, a city commissioner in Montgomery, Ala., who was not mentioned in the ad, sued for libel. He won $500,000, which was at the time an enormous sum. It was one of many suits filed by Southern politicians eager to starve the civil rights movement of the oxygen of national attention. They used libel suits as a way to discourage coverage of the movement by national news organizations.

Against this background, and animated by an urge to protect the American public’s ability to assess the situation in the South for itself, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled for The Times and revolutionized American libel law.

Justice Thomas’s statement came in the wake of complaints from President Trump that libel laws make it too hard for public officials to win libel suits.

“I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Mr. Trump said on the campaign trail. “We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.”


I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States
Oath of Office, President of the United States


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment I, Constitution of the United States of America.
 

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Supreme Court Puts Limits on Police Power to Seize Private Property​



The Supreme Court has ruled that the Eighth Amendment, which bars “excessive fines,” limits the ability of the federal government to seize property. On Wednesday, the court ruled that the clause also applies to the states.

Previously, the Supreme Court had never squarely addressed that question. It had addressed the status of the Excessive Fines Clause, but only in the context of the federal government. The court had, however, previously ruled that most protections under the Bill of Rights apply to the states — or were incorporated against them, in the legal jargon — under the 14th Amendment, one of the post-Civil War amendments.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for eight justices, said the question was an easy one. “The historical and logical case for concluding that the 14th Amendment incorporates the Excessive Fines Clause is overwhelming,” she wrote.

“For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” she wrote. “Excessive fines can be used, for example, to retaliate against or chill the speech of political enemies.”

“Even absent a political motive,” she wrote, quoting from an earlier decision, “fines may be employed ‘in a measure out of accord with the penal goals of retribution and deterrence,’ for ‘fines are a source of revenue,’ while other forms of punishment ‘cost a state money.’ ”

Justice Ginsburg wrote that excessive fines have played a dark role in this nation’s history.

“Following the Civil War,” she wrote, “Southern States enacted Black Codes to subjugate slaves and maintain the prewar racial hierarchy. Among these laws’ provisions were draconian fines for violating broad proscriptions on ‘vagrancy’ and other dubious offenses.”

The court left open the question of whether the seizure of the Land Rover amounted to an excessive fine, leaving its resolution to lower courts. But Justice Ginsburg suggested that the penalty was disproportionate to the offense.

The case concerned Tyson Timbs, who pleaded guilty to selling $225 of heroin to undercover police officers. He was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years of probation, and he was ordered to pay $1,200 in fees and fines.

State officials also seized Mr. Timbs’s vehicle, which he had bought with the proceeds of his father’s life insurance policy; authorities said he had used it to commit crimes. Justice Ginsburg wrote that the vehicle was worth “more than four times the maximum $10,000 monetary fine assessable against him for his drug conviction.”
 

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Great news.
The Supreme Court stopped a scam being run by the states to steal people's properties.
 
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