It’s another busy Wednesday. I lay down after finishing my research this morning. I have a grocery delivery coming this afternoon, and I have to unpack and put them away. Later, Wendy is coming to wash the TomCat, do some light cleaning and have dinner. I made a one-day chili for us this morning, so we can send a double green cloud after the Squatch. Happy hump day to all!!
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:52 (average 5:51). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From CCR (Hat-Tip JL A, who sent me an email about it): Today, nearly 14 years after the case began, the Supreme Court granted John Ashcroft and other Bush-era government officials’ requests to review CCR’s class action challenge to the post-9/11 immigration detentions. In Turkmen v. Ashcroft, the Supreme Court will directly confront, for the first time, whether the Constitution guarantees non-citizens the right to sue cabinet-level officials for clearly unconstitutional discrimination and abuse in a US prison.
In some ways, the answer seems obvious. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, hundreds of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian men were arrested on civil immigration charges and treated as suspected terrorists based on nothing more than their race and religion. As a panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals explained last year, “detaining individuals as if they were terrorists, in the most restrictive conditions of confinement available, simply because these individuals were, or appeared to be, Arab or Muslim exceeds [constitutional] limits. It might well be that national security concerns motivated the Defendants to take action, but that is of little solace to those who felt the brunt of that decision. The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy.”
And yet. Ashcroft, along with former-FBI director Robert Mueller, and former-INS Commissioner James Ziglar, are arguing that non-citizens injured in the name of national security, and pursuant to high-level policy, should not even be allowed in the courthouse door. A doctrine called “qualified immunity” already provides these Government actors with substantial protection, allowing them to be held personally liable only if they are shown to have violated clearly established law about which any reasonable official would have known. These defendants want more. Represented by the current Solicitor General of the United States, former government officials are asking the Supreme Court to grant them the right to violate clearly established constitutional rights at will. Perhaps even more troubling, they are also arguing that it is not clearly established that our Constitutional guaranty of equal protection prohibits the government from placing people in the most restrictive conditions of confinement that exist in the federal prison system based only on their race, religion, ethnicity and national origin, while knowing there is no non-discriminatory reason to suspect them of ties to terrorism.
In my opinion, the Republicans that committed this war crime should be convicted both civilly and criminally. This case also shows how important it is to have Supreme Court vacancies filled by Clinton, not Trump. Trump Injustices would criminalize refraining from committing war crimes.
From TPM: Four former contestants in the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant told Buzzfeed News that Donald Trump walked into the dressing room while they were changing clothes.
"I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’" Mariah Billado, former Miss Vermont Teen USA, told Buzzfeed News.
Billado said that Trump said something along the lines of, "Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before," when he walked into the room.
As Buzzfeed News noted, girls as young as 15 competed in the pageant, and contestants told Buzzfeed that the dressing rooms were typically open spaces without barriers shielding them while they changed clothes.
Three other former contestants in the Miss Teen USA pageant confirmed to Buzzfeed News that Trump walked into the dressing room, but they asked to not be named. One former contestant said that Trump’s decision to enter the dressing room was "shocking" and "creepy," according to Buzzfeed News.
We now have enough Republican smoking guns to start WWIII.
From NY Times: With early voting already underway in many of the states that will decide the presidency, Hillary Clinton is beginning to reap the benefits of years of Democratic efforts to target and register voters, even as Republicans steadily close their disadvantage in party registration.
The first wave of data from states like Florida and North Carolina shows preliminary signs that Mrs. Clinton was building a slight edge even before the revelation that Donald J. Trump had bragged about sexual assault roiled the race.
The closer we get to election day, the more news of this kind we will get. We must not allow complacency to set in.