I don’t know. It seems a little extreme.
But I don’t see anybody trying to stop Bugs. Bugs Bunny, Florida, Zimmerman Trial, Stand Your Ground
I don’t know. It seems a little extreme.
But I don’t see anybody trying to stop Bugs. Bugs Bunny, Florida, Zimmerman Trial, Stand Your Ground
And in Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott , the Tea Party, and CSCOPE critics are scheming to get that teacher fired, calling him or her a “communist,” mischaracterizing his or her religion as Islam instead of the Baptist he or she has been all his life, and claiming she or he is trying to tear down America for Obama, despite having voted Republican in every presidential election since he could vote.
He (or she) doesn’t need your sympathy. He needs justice, and he needs you to help your children with their homework, and read to them and support them in learning about life. Justice probably won’t come the teacher’s way, but he or she will consider it a good deal if your child learns, and does well.
Could we stop with the injustice, though?
Here’s one from a maybe-odd source, but with relatively good citations.
If we have limited money to spend in government, can we put spending on a balance to see where it should be spent? This is one example out of many pending before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, today — right now, and for the coming several months. When you hear elected representatives say “we must cut spending to reduce deficits,” you need to understand that their proposal is to cut spending for education, for job training, for employment assistance, for unemployment payments, for health care, for mental health care, for drug rehabilitation programs, but generally NOT for incarceration programs. In short, they are saying we must cut off the education of poor kids, to build jails to house them if they run afoul of the criminal justice system after being unable to get the education and training to get a job that will produce the income that would have made them great parents and taxpayers.
If we have limited money to spend in government, can we put spending on a balance to see where it should be spent?
What do you think?
Here’s a headline that shouldn’t be buried in lame duck Congress folderol nor holiday news doldrums: The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and plaintiffs in the Cobell case reached a settlement that the court has approved. This is the end of litigation — parties hope — on the long-running saga of government mismanagement of trust accounts held by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for the benefit of Native Americans, over the last century.
Billions of dollars went missing to bad accounting.
Wikipedia has a concise, but thorough enough description of the case and its predecessors:
Cobell v. Salazar (previously Cobell v. Kemp- thorne and Cobell v. Norton and Cobell v. Babbitt) is a class-action lawsuit brought by Native American representatives against two departments of the United States government. The plaintiffs claim that the U.S. government has incorrectly accounted for the income from Indian trust assets, which belong to individual Native Americans (as beneficial owners) but are managed by the Department of the Interior (as the legal owner and fiduciary trustee). The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The original complaint asserted no claims for mismanagement of the trust assets, since such claims could only properly be asserted in the United States Court of Federal Claims.
Arguments, appeals and deeper investigation strung the case out; lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfoot Tribe, did not live to see the end of the case (she died in 2011).
It’s difficult to judge whether justice has been served in this case, and that judgment may not be ripe for many years. Ending the litigation should create some hope for better conditions on Indian Reservations, and for Native Americans across the nation. Especially the education benefits of the law required to settle the case, could provide a foundation for future prosperity of the affected tribes and people.
Salazar Announces Final Steps on Cobell Litigation and Implementation of Settlement
Settlement includes land consolidation program to help promote tribal self-determination and strengthen economic development
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today lauded the final approval of the Cobell settlement and outlined steps that Interior will take to help implement the historic $3.4 billion settlement. The settlement resolves a long-running class action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government’s trust management and historical accounting of individual American Indian trust accounts. It became final on November 24, 2012, following action by the Supreme Court and expiration of the appeal period.
“With the settlement now final, we can put years of discord behind us and start a new chapter in our nation-to-nation relationship,” said Salazar. “Today marks another historic step forward in President Obama’s agenda of reconciliation and empowerment for Indian Country and begins a new era of trust administration.”
The settlement includes a $1.5 billion fund to be distributed to class members for accounting and potential trust fund and asset mismanagement claims. The settlement also includes a $1.9 billion fund for a land consolidation program that allows for the voluntary sale of individual land interests that have “fractionated,” or split among owners, over successive generations. Fractionated land can have many owners – sometimes hundreds or more – diminishing the land’s value and making it difficult for individuals to use the land for agriculture, business development, or housing from which tribes can benefit. Up to $60 million of the $1.9 billion fund may be set aside to provide scholarships for American Indians and Alaska Natives to attend college or vocational school.
“This marks the historic conclusion of a contentious and long running period of litigation,” said Hilary Tompkins, Solicitor for the Department of the Interior. “Through the hard work and good will of plaintiffs, Interior and Treasury officials and Department of Justice counsel, we are turning a new page and look forward to collaboratively working with Indian country to manage these important funds and assets.”
Payments to Claimants
The Claims Administrator will now begin overseeing disbursement of the $1.5 billion to nearly 500,000 class members. The court previously approved GCG, Inc., as the Claims Administrator. The Department of the Treasury will transfer the $1.5 billion to an account at JP Morgan Chase, a bank approved by the court. Per the terms of the settlement agreement, Interior’s Office of the Special Trustee (OST) has assisted GCG with its database by supplying contact information of individual class members from its records.
“We will continue to work with GCG to ensure it has the information it needs to make expeditious and accurate payments,” Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes said. “At the same time, we’re focused on making meaningful improvements to our trust administration so that we’re more transparent, responsive and accountable in managing these substantial funds and assets.”
Trust Land Consolidation Program
The Department of the Interior will use $1.9 billion from the Trust Land Consolidation Fund to acquire interests in trust and restricted lands that have “fractionated” over successive generations since the 1880s.
Individual owners will be paid fair market value for such interests with the understanding that the acquired interests will remain in trust and be consolidated for beneficial use by tribal communities. Interested sellers may convey their fractional interests on a voluntary basis. Currently, there are over 2.9 million fractional interests owned by approximately 260,000 individuals.
While the settlement was pending, Interior held a series of consultation meetings with tribes in 2011 to ensure that this landmark program incorporates tribal priorities and promotes tribal participation in reducing land fractionation in a timely and efficient way. These discussions informed a draft land consolidation plan released in February of 2012. Interior is incorporating public comments and expects to release an updated plan by the end of the year for additional consultation.
“The land consolidation program is our chance to begin to solve a fractionation problem that has plagued Indian country for decades,” said Interior Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn. “We are anxious to get started. We know that Interior’s continued outreach through consultations with Indian Country is a crucial component to accomplishing truly open government-to-government communication”
Congress approved the Cobell settlement on November 30, 2010 as part of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010. President Obama signed the legislation on December 8, 2010. The district court approved the Cobell settlement on August 4, 2011 and it has been upheld through the appeals process.
For additional information about the individual class-action payments, please contact GCG, Inc. at 1-800-961-6109 or via email at Info@IndianTrust.com
For additional information on the Trust Land Consolidation Program, please visit http://www.doi.gov/cobell/index.cfm
Woody Guthrie wrote of freedom . . . when was this written? 1930-something? [1941, it turns out.]
[That one disappeared? Try this one:]
This film must be at least ten years old, maybe more. The song is more than 60 years old [71 years — from 1941].
It’s still a powerful indictment of corporate greed, heartless and oppressive immigration policies, and it’s a case for a strong labor movement.
Be sure you vote in the November 6 elections. Sing this song on the way to the polls.
Found this at Under the Lobsterscope — our incarceration rates form a testament to one of the greatest failures of the U.S. over the past two decades. Live links added here for your convenience.
- Source of the graphic, http://www.onlinecriminaljusticedegree.com/no-justice-for-all/
- New York Times, “U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations” April 23, 2008
- List of incarceration rates by country (“We’re #1!)
- Land of the Free: the Best Investigative Reporting on U.S. Prisons (propublica.org)
- Tragedies … Read the Essay about Jon E. Yount (faktensucher.wordpress.com)
- Why Do We Keep Building Needless Prisons? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
(This may be the last time we use the reblog feature — it’s very clunky!)
PG posted this photo in one of his collections at Chamblee54:
I wondered whether this is the motel in the case testing the 1964 Civil Rights Act — and sure enough, it is. The case was decided, finally, by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1964, Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc., v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964) .
This important case represented an immediate challenge to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark piece of civil rights legislation which represented the first comprehensive act by Congress on civil rights and race relations since the Civil Rights Act of 1875. For much of the 100 years preceding 1964, race relations in the United States had been dominated by segregation, a system of racial separation which, while in name providing for “separate but equal” treatment of both white and black Americans, in truth perpetuated inferior accommodation, services, and treatment for black Americans.
During the mid-20th century, partly as a result of cases such as Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45 (1932); Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944); Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948); Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950); McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 (1950); NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958); Boynton v. Virginia, 364 U.S. 454 (1960) and probably the most famous, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the tide against segregation began to turn. However, segregation remained in full effect into the 1960s in parts of the southern United States, where the Heart of Atlanta Motel was located, despite these decisions.
The Atlanta Time Machine, a great collection of photos in the history of Atlanta and Georgia, has more photos, and this description of the site:
The Heart of Atlanta motel, located at 255 Courtland Street NE, was owned by Atlanta attorney Moreton Rolleston Jr. Rolleston, a committed segregationist, refused to rent rooms at his hotel to black customers. Upon passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Rolleston immediately filed suit in federal court to assert that the law was the result of an overly broad interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause. Rolleston represented himself in the case, HEART OF ATLANTA MOTEL, INC. v. UNITED STATES ET AL., which went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Rolleston lost when the Supreme Court ruled that Congress was well within its powers to regulate interstate commerce in such a manner. The Hilton Hotel now stands on the former site of the Heart of Atlanta Motel.
Texts in law school rarely have illustrations. I know the motel mostly as a citation on pages of text, great grey oceans of somnambulent text. This case is important in civil rights, though it is mentioned almost never in history texts. What are these cases really about? These photos offer us insight.
The Heart of Atlanta Motel aspired to greatness in the late 1950s and 1960s — evidenced by this publicity flyer photo from the Atlanta Time Machine; notice the flag flying for the motel’s Seahorse Lounge (Atlanta is landlocked):
For the 1960s, this place offered great amenities, including two swimming pools and in-room breakfast service.
This photo is amusing — I can just imagine the difficulties of launching a motor boat of this size in one of the swimming pools, obviously for a publicity stunt. The photo is dated February 27, 1960, in the Pullen Library Collection.
To compare how times have changed, you may want to look at this aerial photo of the area, including the Heart of Atlanta Hotel, and compare it with modern photos which show the Hilton Hotel that replaced the property.
Rolleston appears to have had a big ego. As noted above, he represented himself in this case, and he argued it in the Supreme Court. Here’s a picture from about that time, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School “Famous Trials” site:
You may decide for yourself whether this fits the old legal aphorism that a lawyer who represents himself in a case has a fool for a client. The Oyez site at the University of Chicago provides access to the audio of the oral arguments. Did Rolleston argue ably? Rolleston argued against Archibald Cox, who went on to fame in the Watergate scandals. This appears to have been Rolleston’s only appearance before the Supreme Court; it was Cox’s ninth appearance (he argued 20 cases before the Court in his career, several well known and notable ones).
Heart of Atlanta vs. United States was argued on October 5, 1964. The opinion was issued on December 14, 1964, a 9-0 decision against Rolleston and segregation authored by Justice Tom C. Clark (one of Dallas’s earliest Eagle Scouts).
This was a fight Mr. Rolleston picked. He was not cited nor indicted for violation of the Civil Rights Act, but instead asked for an injunction to prevent the law’s enforcement; according to the published decision,
Appellant, the owner of a large motel in Atlanta, Georgia, which restricts its clientele to white persons, three-fourths of whom are transient interstate travelers, sued for declaratory relief and to enjoin enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, contending that the prohibition of racial discrimination in places of public accommodation affecting commerce exceeded Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause and violated other parts of the Constitution. A three-judge District Court upheld the constitutionality of Title II, §§ 201(a), (b)(1) and (c)(1), the provisions attacked, and, on appellees’ counterclaim, permanently enjoined appellant from refusing to accommodate Negro guests for racial reasons.
Facts of the Case
Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade racial discrimination by places of public accommodation if their operations affected commerce. The Heart of Atlanta Motel in Atlanta, Georgia, refused to accept Black Americans and was charged with violating Title II.
Did Congress, in passing Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, exceed its Commerce Clause powers by depriving motels, such as the Heart of Atlanta, of the right to choose their own customers?
The decision turned on the commerce clause, and the reach of Congressional power to regulate interstate commerce.
Decision: 9 votes for U.S., 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II
The Court held that the Commerce Clause allowed Congress to regulate local incidents of commerce, and that the Civil Right Act of 1964 passed constitutional muster. The Court noted that the applicability of Title II was “carefully limited to enterprises having a direct and substantial relation to the interstate flow of goods and people. . .” The Court thus concluded that places of public accommodation had no “right” to select guests as they saw fit, free from governmental regulation.
Heart of Atlanta Motel is gone. The site is occupied by the Hilton Atlanta, today.