The Declaration of Independence

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their justice Powers from the consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government” (The Declaration of Independence, www. founding. com).

Upon these words, the founding fathers of the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain. In July of 1776, the thirteen colonies: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, signed the completed Declaration of Independence and formally marked their separation from Great Britain (The Declaration of Independence, Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000). Even more, the document established the new American revolutionary government and officially declared war against Britain.

The Declaration of Independence was the colonists’ reaction to King George’s III new policy of control over all of British North America. Upon gaining new land from France following the French and Indian War, King George and the Parliament enforced a firm command of the colonies and ended one hundred years of salutary neglect. With the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, Tea Act, Quartering Act, and Intolerable Acts the colonists began to abandon their previously peaceful methods of protest such as petition, boycott, and committees. The colonists turned to violence.

Arguing that they were being taxed without representation in the English Parliament, the colonists organized the First Continental Congress. In September of 1774, twelve of the thirteen colonies met in Philadelphia to discuss the fact that the Intolerable Acts were unconstitutional. The colonists defended that they had the same civil rights as the English and that they would boycott all English goods. Tensions continued to mount between the colonies and Britain, and as a result, the Congress vowed to meet again in May of the following year in the event that no agreement had been reached.

In 1776, Thomas Paine published his pamphlet, Common Sense, which won over many doubting colonists (The Declaration of Independence, www. americaslibrary. gov). Meanwhile, the king had rejected the Olive-Branch Petition that had been sent by Congress as a last effort at reconciliation. He sent an additional twenty thousand troops to North America and hired mercenaries from Germany to assist his military. Thus, the colonists realized that they would have to declare themselves wholly independent from Britain in order to gain much needed military support from France.

This was the revelation for the colonists, and in June of 1776, Thomas Jefferson, along with, Richard Henry Lee, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman, drafted The Declaration of Independence (The Declaration of Independence, www. thedeclarationofindependence. org). The Declaration of Independence opened with a preamble that described the reasons that the colonists had taken steps to overthrow their ruler in order to declare independence.

The document clearly outlined a numbered 27 abuses that the colonists had suffered under British rule since 1763, the end of the French and Indian War. The declaration listed the fact that the king had incorporated a tyrannical authority in the place of a representative government. Furthermore, the colonists stated that they felt that the involvement of the Parliament had resulted in the destruction of self-rule. Finally, the colonists argued that the king had taken specific actions to abandon the colony and leave no choice for the colony but to wager war.

Among these abuses, the colonists stated that the king had interfered with the colonists’ rights to self-government and a fair judicial system. The colonists also argued taxation without representation, as well as an outright destruction of American life. The colonists claimed that in refusing to protect the colonies’ borders and in confiscating American ships, Britain was attempting to destroy America (The Declaration of Independence, www. thefounding. com). With these strong accusations the thirteen colonies proceeded to wager war on their motherland, and so was the beginning of The Revolutionary War.

Problems, Solutions, and Future of Law Enforcement Intelligence

The use of intelligence within law enforcement intelligence agencies is not always perfect. There may be a way to safeguard against the misuse of intelligence processes to assure proper use it at all times, but it has not yet been discovered. The only way that agencies can try and control the misuse of intelligence is to study the historical failures of the past. It is of most important to protect United States citizens’ right to the freedom of speech.

For the average American it is hard to understand why the government does not viciously target extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party; but it is necessary to protect the rights of these groups or the overall rights of every citizen could be compromised. The fifties gave a good example of how the government could abuse the law and compromise the freedoms of the citizens. Senator Joseph McCarthy was at the spearhead to try and squash out the threat of communism.

In the process of identifying supporters of the anti-American communistic ideas, McCarthy also investigated and sometimes ruined the lives of anyone that stood in his way. Many Americans were discredited before McCarthy and his actions were discovered as improper use of the Congressional investigation process. The extremist movement within the United States is formulated out of citizens that are enraged against improper governmental control.

These groups feel that unless they rise up against the ignorance and oppressive government, then the government’s power will only be enhanced until finally smothering all the rights of those without enough power to fight back. The extremist groups main tool is provocation, and the only way for the government to properly fight these groups without compromising the rights of all citizens, is to allow the message to be heard as long as the rights and liberties of no other citizen is compromised.

In order to change from the abuses of the past, there must be an understanding of what is true. Many times intelligence is misunderstood and the following are statements that are misguided, but often thought to be true: 1) All law enforcement agencies can engage in intelligence, 2) Intelligence can be performed by any member of a police department, 3) Intelligence systems are essentially information systems, and 4) Intelligence is nothing more than being prepared.

There is confusion over these topics which brings the necessity to revisit the basic elements of intelligence that Intelligence is a specialization, is critical, is measurable, seldom seeks publicity, targets organized crime problems that are often ignored by other, and require attention to detail. Many times intelligence can be lost due to hasty deadlines or lack of analyst present.

Valuable information on police reports must be processed in order to maintain and file away for possible future use, or many times information is passed over phone lines and then not recorded on paper are only a couple of mistakes that can be made when trying to push to meet a deadline. The analyst must have time to go over every detail in order to draw a final conclusion and build the best intelligence product. Another example of a loss of intelligence is most greatly seen in the drug wars. The cartels have a great amount of money, which is sometimes overwhelming to some police officers that are willing to look the other way for a price.

There is no way to totally avoid the bait that the wealthy cartels can use to try and find law enforcement officials that will help them out, but through education and morality training the police officer has a chance. When the wrong person gains intelligence information than many lives are put at risk. Covert operations are given one of the highest security levels in order to protect the lives of those members of law enforcement that are serving undercover. It is up to everyone, whether they possess a clearance or not, to ensure that no one without the right to know and the need to know gains access to intelligence information.

Other problems that are faced within law enforcement intelligence are failure to share, lack of training, and lack of cooperation. It is up to the officers in charge to ensure that all members of their unit are properly trained and understand that information that is discovered must be shared with any other agency that needs it, as long as it does not compromise the current mission. Cooperating with other units will also greatly increase the chance that the information will travel in both directions.

There are many professional organizations that are available to law enforcement agencies for training and informative systems. The Regional Systems Sharing System (RISS) was designed to encourage the sharing and cooperation process among law enforcement intelligence agencies. The RISS program has acquired over 4,500 agencies that all sponsor and support the program, which was designed for the purpose of sharing information. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program is a federal program that provides funds to help fight against the drug problems that are the result of drug trafficking.

There have been 31 areas that operate in 40 states, which have been designated as HIDTA and the key priorities of the program are to assess regional drug threats; design strategies to focus efforts that combat drug trafficking threats; develop and fund initiatives to implement strategies; facilitate coordination between federal, state and local efforts; and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of drug control efforts to reduce or eliminate the harmful impact of drug trafficking.

Other law enforcement intelligence agencies include the National Drug Intelligence Center, The El Paso Intelligence Center, and The Financial Crime Enforcement Network to name a few. It is important to remember that even though these organizations exist, they alone will not provide the law enforcement agency with intelligence products all the time. A little information may have to be received from a couple of different agencies and then fused together to build the product that the investigating agency may want to build.

So to can be said about software applications, they are only the storage and presentation arenas for information. There are five general categories of software applications: Graphics, financial, statistical, database, and desktop publishing. Criminal intelligence databases and applications help analysts to store their information in an easily accessible filing system in order to retrieve it for later use or to help them to share it with other agencies. The analyst must understand how to use these mechanisms in order to achieve optimal information retrieval.

The databases and applications are also used to build intelligence products that give a complete and total picture for the investigating officer. The applications that the databases can provide are data entry, data visualization, query mechanisms, dissemination, and a purge review. There are many challenges that law enforcement agencies are facing. Terrorism is one of the problems that America is facing on an international level, but terrorism also exists on a domestic level. Take for instance the bombing of abortion clinics that have in the recent years plagued the Midwest of the United States.

These are acts that are used to try and coerce medical professionals to stop clinical practices. Other challenges that are faced by law enforcement agencies counterfeiting, prostitution, narcotics, organized crime, and many more are greatly hindered by the use of the computer. The intelligence analysts of the twenty-first century has an outstanding weapon that does not require range practice and does not have a lot of safety hazards, the computer. In the future, with the proper use of databases and applications, the law enforcement agency will have the upper hand in the fight against crime.

The future of intelligence is bright as long as we keep heading in the right direction. In order to be successful, the law enforcement agencies must work together both federal and state. There are many ways to open information and put it at the fingertips to anyone that has the need and right to know, but security must be kept paramount in order to avoid the information falling into the wrong hands. The intelligence analyst will only survive if the efforts are known by the agencies, and the days of the analysts working away in a dimly lit basement are over.

First Amendment Essay

No other democratic society in the world permits personal freedoms to the degree of the United States of America. Within the last sixty years, American courts, especially the Supreme Court, have developed a set of legal doctrines that thoroughly protect all forms of the freedom of expression. When it comes to evaluating the degree to which we take advantage of the opportunity to express our opinions, some members of society may be guilty of violating the bounds of the First Amendment by publicly offending others through obscenity or racism. Americans have developed a distinct disposition toward the freedom of expression throughout history.

The First Amendment clearly voices a great American respect toward the freedom of religion. It also prevents the government from “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. ” Since the early history of our country, the protection of basic freedoms has been of the utmost importance to Americans. In Langston Hughes’ poem, “Freedom,” he emphasizes the struggle to enjoy the freedoms that he knows are rightfully his. He reflects the American desire for freedom now when he says, “I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.

I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread. ” He recognizes the need for freedom in its entirety without compromise or fear. I think Langston Hughes captures the essence of the American immigrants’ quest for freedom in his poem, “Freedom’s Plow. ” He accurately describes American’s as arriving with nothing but dreams and building America with the hopes of finding greater freedom or freedom for the first time. He depicts how people of all backgrounds worked together for one cause: freedom. I selected Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as a fictitious example of the evils of censorship in a world that is becoming illiterate.

In this book, the government convinces the public that book reading is evil because it spreads harmful opinions and agitates people against the government. The vast majority of people accept this censorship of expression without question and are content to see and hear only the government’s propaganda. I found this disturbing yet realistic. Bradbury’s hidden opposition to this form of censorship was apparent throughout the book and finally prevailed in the end when his main character rebelled against the practice of burning books.

Among the many forms of protests are pickets, strikes, public speeches and rallies. Recently in New Jersey, more than a thousand community activists rallied to draft a “human” budget that puts the needs of the poor and handicapped as a top priority. Rallies are an effective means for people to use their freedoms effectively to bring about change from the government. Freedom of speech is constantly being challenged as is evidenced in a recent court case where a Gloucester County school district censored reviews of two R-rated movies from a school newspaper.

Superior Court Judge, Robert E. Francis ruled that the student’s rights were violated under the state Constitution. I feel this is a major break through for students’ rights because it limits editorial control of school newspapers by educators and allows students to print what they feel is important. A newly proposed bill (A-557) would prevent school officials from controlling the content of student publications. Critics of the bill feel that “student journalists may be too young to understand the responsibilities that come with free speech.

This is a valid point; however, it would provide an excellent opportunity for them to learn about their First Amendment rights that guarantees free speech and freedom of the press. In his commencement address to Monmouth College graduates, Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School defended the broad right to free speech. He stated, “My message to you graduates is to assert your rights, to use them responsibly and boldly, to oppose racism, to oppose sexism, to oppose homophobia and bigotry of all kinds and to do so within the spirit of the First Amendment, not by creating an exception to it.

I agree that one should feel free to speak openly as long as it does not directly or indirectly lead to the harm of others. One of the more controversial issues was the recent 2 Live Crew incident involving obscenity in rap music. Their record, “As Nasty as They Wanna Be,” was ruled obscene in federal court. They were acquitted of the charges and quickly became a free speech martyr. Although many stores pulled the album, over two million copies sold as a result of the incident. I feel that in this case the principles of free speech have been abused because young children can purchase and listen to this obscene music.

The American flag, symbol of our country’s history and patriotism, has also become a topic of controversy. The controversy was over the right to burn the flag without punishment. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan offered the response that “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable. ” Burning the flag is considered a form of symbolic speech and therefore is protected under the First Amendment.

As in the 2 Live Crew case, I feel that we are protecting the wrong people in this case. The minority is given precedence at the sacrifice of the majority. The book, American Voices, is a collection of essays on the freedom of speech and censorship. I chose to put this collection of essays into my book because they represent the strong central theme of freedom of expression as the cornerstone of American government, culture and life. Each essay strongly defends a case for free commercial speech. Each was generally in favor of fewer limitations on freedom of expression.

The American voice on freedom has been shaped throughout the course of history by the initial democratic notions of the immigrants to the same desire for greater freedom that we have today. The freedom of speech has constantly been challenged and will continue to be challenged in the future. It is important that we learn from the precedented cases of the past of our constitutionally protected rights so that in the future authority will not violate our freedoms or oppress our liberty. Ever since colonial times, the protection of personal freedoms in the United States has been significantly important.

Even in the early stages of American history there was an urge to put legally protected freedoms into written government documents. The result was the drafting of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, by James Madison. The applications of the personal freedoms described in the Bill of Rights, particularly the freedom of speech, have been challenged repeatedly in American courts of law and elsewhere. These incidents and challenges of authority reflect the defensive American attitude toward the ever important freedom of expression and the growing significance of personal rights throughout American history.

In Colonial America, members of diverse nationalities had opposing views on government, religion, and other subjects of interest. Serious confrontations were prevented because of the vast lands that separated groups of varying opinions. A person could easily settle in with other like believers and be untouched by the prejudices and oppression of others. For this reason, Unitarians avoided Anglican or Puritan communities. Quakers and Anabaptists were confined to Pennsylvania and Rho….. de Island while Catholics were mainly concentrated in Maryland.

As the United States grew larger and larger, these diverse groups were forced to live together. This may have caused individual liberties to be violated because of the distrust and hostile feelings between ethnic and religious groups. Most of the initial assemblies among the colonies considered themselves immune from criticism. They actually issued warrants of arrest, interrogated, fined, and imprisoned anyone accused of libeling the assembly as a whole or any of its members. Many people were tracked down for writing or speaking works of offense.

The first assembly to meet in America, the Virginia House of Burgesses, stripped Captain Henry Spellman of his rank when he was found guilty of “treasonable words. ” Even in the most tolerant colonies, printing was strictly regulated. The press of William Bradford was seized by the government when he printed up a copy of the colony’s charter. He was charged with seditious libel and spent more than a year in prison. A more famous incident was the trial of John Peter Zenger which established the principle of a free press. In his newspaper he published satirical ballads regarding William Cosby, the unpopular governor, and his council.

His media was described “as having in them many things tending to raise seditions and tumults among the people of this province, and to fill their minds with a contempt for his majesty’s government. ” The grand jury did not indict Zenger and the General Assembly refused to take action. The defendant was acquitted on the basis that in cases of libel the jury should judge both law and the facts. James Alexander was the first colonial writer to develop a philosophy on the freedom of speech. He founded the American Philosophical Society and masterminded the Zenger defense.

Alexander’s chief conviction was “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar in a free government: when this support is taken away, the constitution is dissolved and tyranny is erected on its ruins. ” The original Constitution did not contain a bill of rights because the convention delegates felt that individual rights were in no danger and would be protected by the states. However, the lack of a bill of rights was the strongest objection to the ratification of the Constitution. Less than a decade after the Bill of Rights had been adopted it met its first serious challenge.

In 1798, there was a threat of war with France and thousands of French refugees were living in the United States. Many radicals supported the French cause and were considered “incompatible with social order. ” This hysteria led Congress to enact several alien and sedition laws. One law forbade the publication of false, scandalous or malicious writing against the government, Congress or the President. The penalty for this crime was a $2,000 fine and two years in prison. The public was enraged at these laws. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison pleaded for freedom of speech and the press.

The alien and sedition laws became a prime issue in the presidential election of 1800. Soon after Jefferson was elected, the Sedition Act expired and those who had been convicted under it were immediately pardoned. The next attack on the First Amendment occurred in 1835. President Andrew Jackson proposed a law that would prohibit the use of mail for “incendiary publications intended to instigate the slaves to insurrection. ” John C. Calhoun of South Carolina led a special committee that opposed the proposal on grounds that it conflicted with the First Amendment. The proposal was defeated because it was a form of censorship.

The next violation of the principles contained in the First Amendment came on January 2, 1920. Under the direction of A. Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson’s Attorney General, about 500 FBI agents and police raided 3,000 Russians and other European immigrants, looking for Communists to deport. The victims were arrested without warrants, homes were ransacked, personal property was seized, and they were hauled off to jail. An even more vicious episode was known as “McCarthyism,” an incident in the 1950’s when Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin proclaimed that the federal government had been thoroughly infiltrated by Communist agents.

His attacks on United States information libraries abroad led to the burning of some books accused of being Communist propaganda. Reduced congressional support caused many librarians to resign and the closing of libraries. On the morning of December 16, 1965, thirteen year old Mary Beth Tinker went to school in Des Moines, Iowa. She and her fifteen year old brother, John, had decided to wear black armbands as a protest to the Vietnam War. In advance to their arrival, the principal had decided that any student wearing an arm- band would be told to remove it, stating that, “The schools are no place for demonstrations.

If the student refused, he would be suspended until the armband was permanently removed. On December 16, the Tinkers refused to remove their armbands. They were suspended and did not return to school until after January 1, when by a previous decision the protest had ended. The students brought suit in federal court to confirm their First Amendment right to wear the black armbands. They lost in The Federal District Court on grounds that this type of symbolic expression might disturb school discipline.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was divided equally (4-4) so the decision remained unchanged. On February 24, 1969, the United States Supreme Court decided in the students’ favor by a vote of 7 to 2. The Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District decision was a landmark case for students’ rights and liberties. Speaking for the majority of the Court, Justice Abe Fortas wrote, “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.

During the sixties and early seventies a new wave of court battles for First Amendment freedoms emerged. The freedom of speech was recognized as a vital element in a democratic society. Censorship and the infringement of First Amendment rights, especially among students and their newspapers, could not and would not be tolerated. American citizens took a firm stand against the government and authority at important times when they could have yielded to the oppressive violations of their rights.

The Securities And Exchange Commission

In 1934 the Securities Exchange Act created the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) in response to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was created to protect U. S. investors against malpractice in securities and financial markets. The purpose of the SEC was and still is to carry out the mandates of the Securities Act of 1933: To protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities market by amending the current laws, creating new laws and seeing to it that those laws are enforced.

During the 1920s, approximately 20 million Americans took advantage of post-war prosperity by purchasing shares of stock in various securities exchanges. When the stock market crashed in 1929, the fortunes of many investors were lost. In addition, banks lost great sums of money in the Crash because they had invested heavily in the markets. When people feared their banks might not be able to pay back the money that depositors had in their accounts, a “run” on the banking system caused many bank failures. After the crash, public confidence in the market and the economy fell sharply.

In response, Congress held hearings to identify the problems and look for solutions; the answer was found in the new SEC. The Commission was established in 1934 to enforce new securities laws that were passed with the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The two new laws stated that “Companies publicly offering securities must tell the public the truth about their businesses, the securities they are selling and the risks involved in the investing. ”

Secondly, “People who sell and trade securities must treat investors fairly and honestly, putting investors’ interests first. Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in a landslide in the 1932 election and began to work on his “New Deal”. In the New Deal four key regulatory bodies were established: The National Labor Relations Board, Civil Aeronautics Authority, Federal Communications Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wall Street was not enamored with the coming regulation, but Congress was confident that the Street was seen as an easy target for the Crash and the Depression that followed.

In response, the SEC was created by Congress on June 6, 1934 for the purpose of protecting the public and the individual investors against malpractice in the financial markets. Commenting on the creation of the SEC, Texas Congressman and future Speaker Sam Rayburn admitted3 “he didn’t know whether the legislation passed so readily because it was so good or so incomprehensible. ” However, historian David Kennedy viewed the SEC as “ingeniously simple”. In his book Freedom From Fear he states that “For all the complexity of its enabling legislation, the power of the SEC resided principally in just two provisions, both of them ingeniously simple.

The first mandated detailed information, such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and the names and compensation of corporate officers, about firms whose securities were publicly traded. ” The second “required verification of that information by independent auditors using standardized accounting procedures. ” These two simple concepts ended the monopoly enjoyed by the House of Morgan and their like on investment information. Wall Street was saturated with data that was relevant, accessible, and comparable across firms and transactions.

The SEC’s regulations unarguably imposed new reporting requirements on businesses. They also gave a huge boost to the status of the accounting profession. But they hardly constituted a wholesale assault on the theory or practice of free- market capitalism. The SEC’s regulations dramatically improved the economic efficiency of the financial markets by making buy and sell decisions well-informed decisions, provided that the contracting parties consulted the data that was then so copiously available. It was less reform than it was the rationalization of capitalism. “5

The SEC prohibited the “pools” and other devices used by the likes of Joseph Kennedy to amass their fortunes. While manipulation of the markets was still possible, there were now risks. FDR decided that instead of naming Kennedy Secretary of Treasury, he would name him the first commissioner of the SEC. Thus, Joseph Kennedy was appointed to oversee the very activities he had participated in. A position appointed from FDR that was long overdue after the contributions of over $250,000 to FDR’s convention campaigns. However, this resulted in FDR initially being accused of selling out to Wall Street.

However, Kennedy was the right choice since he was the only one with the intimate knowledge of the very acts that the SEC was set up to prevent. It was a classic case of “the fox guarding the henhouse. ” Joseph Kennedy proved to be a highly effective leader of the SEC. As one of his first official duties he delivered a national radio address: “We of the SEC do not regard ourselves as coroners sitting on the corpse of financial enterpriseWe do not start with the belief that every enterprise is crooked and that those behind it are crooks. ” At this Wall Street realized that regulation didn’t necessarily mean persecution.

Although Kennedy only stayed one year as commissioner, he was most effective in establishing the credibility of the organization. Historian John Steele Gordon described his time in office: “Kennedy knew where the bodies were buried. But he regarded his job to be not only to restore the confidence of the country in Wall Street, but, equally important, to restore the confidence of Wall Street in the American economy and government. ” In addition to the importance of the commissioner’s personality there were also the laws that governed the commission.

There are six main laws that govern the Securities Industry, but only four that are relevant to the majority of people. The first law is the Securities Act of 1933, which is often referred to as the “truth in securities”. The Security Act of 1933 has two basic objectives: to require investors to receive significant information concerning securities being offered for public sale; and to prohibit deceit, misrepresentation, and other fraud in the sale of securities. These two objectives are accomplished primarily by registration which discloses important financial information.

While the SEC requires this information to be accurate, there is no guarantee that it will be. However, if investors purchase securities and suffer losses due to the fact that the information given was incomplete or inaccurate they have recovery rights. The registration process requires corporations to supply the essential facts while minimizing the burden and expense of complying with the law. These requirements include a description of the company’s properties and the security to be offered for sale, information about the management of the company and financial statements certified by independent accountants.

If U. S. domestic companies file this information, the statements are available on the EDGAR database. (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) “Its primary purpose is to increase the efficiency and fairness of the securities market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy by accelerating the receipt, acceptance, distribution, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the agency. ” The second law, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, created the SEC.

The Act grants the SEC authority over the securities industry, including the power to register, regulate, and oversee brokerage firms, transfer agents, and clearing agencies. The Act also prohibits dishonorable conduct in the market and gives the Commission the disciplinary power to regulate all companies and individuals associated. The Act also allows the SEC to require periodic reporting of information by companies with publicly traded securities. Under this Act corporations are required to file additional periodic reports that are available to the public through the SEC’s EDGAR database.

Companies required to file Corporate Reporting are those having more than $10 million in assets and whose securities are held by more than 500 owners. One of the most important parts of this Act is the disallowance of any kind of fraudulent behavior including any kind of connection with the offer, purchase, or sale of securities. “These provisions are the basis for many types of disciplinary action, including actions against fraudulent insider trading. Insider trading is illegal when a person trades a security while in possession of material nonpublic information in violation of a duty to withhold the information or refrain from trading.

The Investment Company Act of 1940 regulates the organization of companies, including mutual funds, that engage primarily in investing, reinvesting, and trading in securities, and whose own securities are offered to the investing public. This was designed to minimize conflicts of interest that arise in these complex operations by requiring these companies to disclose their financial condition and investment policies to investors when stock is initially sold and periodically afterwards.

The Act focuses on the disclosure of information to the investing public about the funds and its investment objectives as well as the investment companies’ structure and operations. The law that regulated investment advisors is the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This Act requires that firms or sole practitioners compensated for advising others about securities investments must register with the SEC and conform to regulations designed to protect investors.

When the Act was amended in 1996, only advisors with at least $25 million in assets under management or who advise a registered investment company must register with the commission. ) The SEC is comprised of five presidentially appointed Commissioners, four divisions and 18 offices. There is approximately 2,900 staff in the Washington DC headquarters. The SEC has 11 regional district offices throughout the country. The Commissioners are appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate. Their terms are five years in length and are staggered so the Commission remains non-partisan.

No more than three commissioners can belong to a single political party. There is also one designated commissioner who is the Chairman, which is the top executive office. The Commissioner’s job is to interpret federal securities laws, amend existing rules, propose new rules to address changing market conditions and enforce the existing rules and laws. The SEC is organized in a hierarchy. Beneath the Commissioners are the eighteen divisions and offices. A key division of the SEC is the Division of Enforcement. This division enables the SEC to enforce the laws.

The division investigates possible violations of securities laws and recommends Commission action when necessary, either in a federal court or before an administrative law judge, and negotiates settlements. This is the division which gives the SEC its authority. There are six common violations of the laws in which the SEC will investigate: insider trading, inaccurate or incomplete trading information, manipulation of prices, stealing funds or securities, unfair treatment of the customer and sale of securities without proper registration.

If found guilty the SEC has the authority to disallow any further buying or selling of securities, and confiscate existing securities if there is just cause to this. The primary mission of the SEC has been to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the market. This has been accomplished through the combined efforts of the divisions of the SEC and its Commissioners. The economy and economic welfare of the U. S. has depended upon the effectiveness of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the success of the Commission has been seen in that there has not been any repeat of the Crash of 1929 nor the Depression that followed.

Racial Profiling Essay

The great era of civil rights started in the 1960s, with Martin Luther King, Jr. s stirring I have a Dream speech at the historic march on Washington in August of 1963. At the same time Birmingham Police Commissioner Bull Connor used powerful fire hoses and vicious police attack dogs against nonviolent black civil rights activists. Although these years proved to be the highlight and downfall of civil rights in America, even with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act being passed, time has repeated these tumultuous events again in the present.

Racial profiling has been one of many ivil rights issues concerning the unnecessary stopping and arresting of people based on race, color, ethnicity and gender. Skin-color has become evidence of the propensity to commit crime, and police use this evidence against minority drivers on the road all the time. This practice is so common that the minority community has given it the derisive term, Driving While Black or Brown a play on the real offense of driving while intoxicated.

Although many law enforcement officers defend themselves by saying they are fighting against the War on Drugs by arresting these law offenders, recent rials and reports show that no basis of arrest have been found against these minorities. Official skin-color prejudice is still reflected throughout the criminal justice system. Today, skin-color makes you a suspect in America. It makes you more likely to be stopped by a law enforcement officer, more likely to be searched, and more likely to be arrested and imprisoned.

Tens of thousands of innocent motorists on highways across the country are victims of racial profiling, and these discriminatory police stops have reached epidemic proportions in recent years. Fueled by the War on Drugs, this fight has given police a pretext to target people who they think fit a drug courier or gang member profile. At many times, these minorities have been stopped and arrested for illegal offenses, however we are not sure if these stories have been filed truthfully by law enforcement officers.

Many police departments face issues concerning racist law enforcement officers who cause the problems of racial profiling. One such example comes from the Hillside Police Department, where several racial bias charges have been made against them. Racial slurs have ecome common in the Hillside district, where even the department supervisor does background checks on minorities IN the squad, even to kick them off the squad. In this department, only two officers are Hispanic and one is of African decent.

The officers, many of whom are white, are encouraged to target minorities first to fill their ticket quotas for the month. Hillside officers defend themselves saying that Hillside is 40 percent black and 20 percent Hispanic. However, the actions taken by Hillside officer, such as targeting to fill quotas and background checking, seem disconcerting. The Reverend Jesse Jackson even needed to call for federal protection for whistleblowing police officers. Because of the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act, passed this year, other officials who witness this discriminating act are protected.

It says, The identity of a law enforcement officer who complains in food faith to a government agency or department about the unlawful practices of a law enforcement agency shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed by any person except upon the knowing written consent of the law enforcement officer. This section shall not preempt any right of confrontation protected by the Constitution of by Federal, State or tribal law. In many cases, we can not determine whether the racial profiling comes from the individual law enforcer, or the department itself.

Many policies have been suggested to either report these discriminatory acts, or to record the ethnicity, race, or gender of the person being stopped. However, without the correct supervision of these officers, we can not truthfully tell whether these policies will be followed. There have been bills proposed to even make the slightest positive effect on acial profiling, yet many have been overlooked. Former California Governor Pete Wilson served as best he could to fight key civil rights issues such as affirmative action and immigrant rights, however Governor Gray Davis has had a disappointing civil rights record.

Although he has helped establish new civil rights gains for the lesbian and gay communities, he has also vetoed a number of bills aimed at reducing discrimination against communities of color and immigrants. SB 44, a bill sponsored by Senator Richard Polanco, encourages state and local governments to conduct outreach programs. SB 44 had bipartisan support and was previously endorsed by former Attorney General Dan Lungren. Governor Davis vetoed the bill claiming that outreach toward minorities and women would violate Proposition 209, a position contrary to recent court decisions.

Davis also vetoes what has been colloquially referred to as the Driving While Black or Brown bill (SB 78. ) The bill was proposed to combat racial profiling law enforcement actions taken simply because of the race of the driver by requiring police officers to file reports on all motorists they stop. Although President Clinton has recently ordered federal law enforcement agencies to begin collecting this data, and a number of Bay Area police departments have similar plans, Davis saw little need to collect this information.

However, the Driving While Black or Brown bill makes much sense to part of the solution I will propose to help decrease or even end the crime of racial profiling. Although there have been many ideas brought up to solve racial profiling in American, there still isnt one dynamic and problem solving solution. Many ills have been passed to help and protect minorities, who can bring their cases all the way to court, however, sometimes the officers being accused are not found.

All though my proposed solution is not the most money conserving idea, it will cover almost all the faulty lines, the bills and the policies have forgotten to mention. A committee should be established within the United States Government in which the committee shall oversee each county and district and department for any racial profiling. These members should be made up of civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and the ACLU. Also, there should be advising law enforcement officers and people appointed from each civil rights division in the government.

Within districts, officials shall be appointed to oversee the actions of the departments, and report to higher authorities in the committee. A committee similar to this has been formed because of the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act of 2000, called the Task Force on Law Enforcement Oversight. Each department should first make an independent audit. There have been many policies made and almost approved to make these audits mandatory for all police departments. Each person should record the following: race, color, ethnicity, gender, and the reason for being stopped.

Every 4 months or so, the committee shall evaluate each district and their statistics on what kinds of people are being stopped and determine which city has higher minority stopping, based on population of the area and racial crime in the area. Because Americans are segregated into communities, as in the Greater Los Angeles Area, more minorities will be stopped in certain areas than others will. Because of this problem, the committee will evaluate the area, and observe data written by aw enforcement officers, to see if plausible reasons have caused the stopping of a minority.

Once all data has been evaluated, the districts with the highest racial profiling rating shall complete a full audit report for the following months. Also, individual law enforcement shall be evaluated as well, to see if it is only one individual who increases the rating, rather that the whole department. If the racial profiling is targeted and found, the committee shall be the one who files complaints to the Attorney General, and that certain epartment or law enforcer will be detained to consequences can be established.

To be able to bring these racial profilers to trial, people should not only file a complaint to the department itself, fear of the complaint being lost, but to the committee as well so the complaint can be used as evidence. This solution can only work if districts, departments, and law enforcement officers can truthfully carry out these procedures. No matter how hard the outside world tries to find the culprit, the officer can easily protect or defend themselves ecause of their high position as a law protector.

Many minorities are arrested with valid reason by law enforcement officers, just as white people are. But these officers can also be the targets of accusation of racial profiling. Racial profiling has been a long and disconcerting problem in the United States. It will be a long time before minorities will not serve as the targets to law enforcers. The blame is almost easier to put on the minorities because of their difference to the American Culture, as almost to say that minorities are not part of the American Culture.

Problems, Solutions, and Future of Law Enforcement Intelligence

The use of intelligence within law enforcement intelligence agencies is not always perfect. There may be a way to safeguard against the misuse of intelligence processes to assure proper use it at all times, but it has not yet been discovered. The only way that agencies can try and control the misuse of intelligence is to study the historical failures of the past. It is of most important to protect United States citizens right to the freedom of speech.

For the average American it is hard to understand why the government does not viciously target extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party; but it is necessary to protect the rights of these groups or the overall rights of every citizen could be compromised. The fifties gave a good example of how the government could abuse the law and compromise the freedoms of the citizens. Senator Joseph McCarthy was at the spearhead to try and squash out the threat of communism.

In the process of identifying supporters of the anti-American communistic ideas, McCarthy also investigated and sometimes ruined the lives of anyone that stood in his way. Many Americans were discredited before McCarthy and his actions were discovered as improper use of the Congressional investigation process. The extremist movement within the United States is formulated out of citizens that are enraged against improper governmental control.

These groups feel that unless they rise up against the ignorance and oppressive government, then the governments power will only be enhanced until finally smothering all the rights of those without enough power to fight back. The extremist groups main tool is provocation, and the only way for the government to properly fight these groups without compromising the rights of all citizens, is to allow the message to be heard as long as the rights and liberties of no other citizen is compromised.

In order to change from the abuses of the past, there must be an understanding of what is true. Many times intelligence is misunderstood and the following are statements that are misguided, but often thought to be true: 1) All law enforcement agencies can engage in intelligence, 2) Intelligence can be performed by any member of a police department, 3) Intelligence systems are essentially information systems, and 4) Intelligence is nothing more than being prepared.

There is confusion over these topics which brings the necessity to revisit the basic elements of intelligence that Intelligence is a specialization, is critical, is measurable, seldom seeks publicity, targets organized crime problems that are often ignored by other, and require attention to detail. Many times intelligence can be lost due to hasty deadlines or lack of analyst present.

Valuable information on police reports must be processed in order to maintain and file away for possible future use, or many times information is passed over phone lines and then not recorded on paper are only a couple of mistakes that can be made when trying to push to meet a deadline. The analyst must have time to go over every detail in order to draw a final conclusion and build the best intelligence product. Another example of a loss of intelligence is most greatly seen in the drug wars. The cartels have a great amount of money, which is sometimes overwhelming to some police officers that are willing to look the other way for a price.

There is no way to totally avoid the bait that the wealthy cartels can use to try and find law enforcement officials that will help them out, but through education and morality training the police officer has a chance. When the wrong person gains intelligence information than many lives are put at risk. Covert operations are given one of the highest security levels in order to protect the lives of those members of law enforcement that are serving undercover. It is up to everyone, whether they possess a clearance or not, to ensure that no one without the right to know and the need to know gains access to intelligence information.

Other problems that are faced within law enforcement intelligence are failure to share, lack of training, and lack of cooperation. It is up to the officers in charge to ensure that all members of their unit are properly trained and understand that information that is discovered must be shared with any other agency that needs it, as long as it does not compromise the current mission. Cooperating with other units will also greatly increase the chance that the information will travel in both directions.

There are many professional organizations that are available to law enforcement agencies for training and informative systems. The Regional Systems Sharing System (RISS) was designed to encourage the sharing and cooperation process among law enforcement intelligence agencies. The RISS program has acquired over 4,500 agencies that all sponsor and support the program, which was designed for the purpose of sharing information. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program is a federal program that provides funds to help fight against the drug problems that are the result of drug trafficking.

There have been 31 areas that operate in 40 states, which have been designated as HIDTA and the key priorities of the program are to assess regional drug threats; design strategies to focus efforts that combat drug trafficking threats; develop and fund initiatives to implement strategies; facilitate coordination between federal, state and local efforts; and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of drug control efforts to reduce or eliminate the harmful impact of drug trafficking.

Other law enforcement intelligence agencies include the National Drug Intelligence Center, The El Paso Intelligence Center, and The Financial Crime Enforcement Network to name a few. It is important to remember that even though these organizations exist, they alone will not provide the law enforcement agency with intelligence products all the time. A little information may have to be received from a couple of different agencies and then fused together to build the product that the investigating agency may want to build.

So to can be said about software applications, they are only the storage and presentation arenas for information. There are five general categories of software applications: Graphics, financial, statistical, database, and desktop publishing. Criminal intelligence databases and applications help analysts to store their information in an easily accessible filing system in order to retrieve it for later use or to help them to share it with other agencies. The analyst must understand how to use these mechanisms in order to achieve optimal information retrieval.

The databases and applications are also used to build intelligence products that give a complete and total picture for the investigating officer. The applications that the databases can provide are data entry, data visualization, query mechanisms, dissemination, and a purge review. There are many challenges that law enforcement agencies are facing. Terrorism is one of the problems that America is facing on an international level, but terrorism also exists on a domestic level. Take for instance the bombing of abortion clinics that have in the recent years plagued the Midwest of the United States.

These are acts that are used to try and coerce medical professionals to stop clinical practices. Other challenges that are faced by law enforcement agencies counterfeiting, prostitution, narcotics, organized crime, and many more are greatly hindered by the use of the computer. The intelligence analysts of the twenty-first century has an outstanding weapon that does not require range practice and does not have a lot of safety hazards, the computer. In the future, with the proper use of databases and applications, the law enforcement agency will have the upper hand in the fight against crime.

The future of intelligence is bright as long as we keep heading in the right direction. In order to be successful, the law enforcement agencies must work together both federal and state. There are many ways to open information and put it at the fingertips to anyone that has the need and right to know, but security must be kept paramount in order to avoid the information falling into the wrong hands. The intelligence analyst will only survive if the efforts are known by the agencies, and the days of the analysts working away in a dimly lit basement are over.

The rights of individual in the international public law

The question of the role of individuals in international law is closely bound up with the rise in the international protection of human rights. This theory maintains that individuals constitute only the subject-matter of intended legal regulation. Only states, and possibly international organizations, are subjects of the law. This has been a theory of limited value. The essence of international law has always been its ultimate concern for the human being and this was clearly manifest in the Natural Law origins of classical international law.

The growth of positivists theories, particularly in the nineteenth century, obscured this and emphasized the centrality and even exclusivity of the state in this regard. Nevertheless, modern practice demonstrate that individuals have become increasingly recognized as participants and subjects of international law. The link between the state and the individual for international law purposes historically has been the concept of nationality. This was and still remains crucial, particularly in the spheres of jurisdiction and the international protection of the individual by the state.

It is often noted that the claim of an individual against foreign state, for example, becomes subsumes under that of his national state. Each state has the capacity to determine who are to be its nationals and this is to be recognized by other states in so far as it is consistent with international law, although in other states to accept this nationality there has be a genuine connection between the state and the individual in question. The nationality

Since every state possess sovereignty and jurisdictional powers and since every state must consist of a collection of individual human beings, it is essential that a link between the two be legally established. The link connecting the state and the people it includes its territory is provided by the concept of nationality. By virtue of nationality, a person becomes entitled to series of rights ranging from obtaining a valid passport enabling travel abroad to being able to vote. Also, nationals may be able to undertake various jobs (for example in the diplomatic service) that a non- national may be barred from.

Nationals are also entitled to the protection of their state and to various benefits prescribed under international law. On the other hand, states may not mistreat the nationals of other states nor, ordinarily, conscript them to into their armed forces, nor prosecute them from crimes committed outside the territory of the particular state. The concept of nationality is important since it determines the benefits to which persons may be entitled and the obligations which they must perform.

The problem is that there is no logical, accepted definition of nationality in international law and only conflicting descriptions under the different municipal laws of states. Not only that, but the rights and duties attendant upon nationality vary from state to state. Generally, international law leaves the conditions for the grant of nationality to the domestic jurisdiction of states. Since the concept of nationality provides the link between the individual and the benefits of international law, it is worth pointing to some of the basic ideas associated with the concept, particularly with regard to its acquisition.

In general, the two the most important principles upon which nationality is founded in states are by descent from parents who are nationals (jus sanguinis) by virtue of being born within the territory of the state (jus soli). It is commonly accepted that a child born of nationals of a particular state should be granted the nationality of the state by reason of descent. This idea is particularly utilized in continental European countries, for example in Switzerland and Germany, where the child will receive the nationality of his father, although many municipal systems do provide that an illegitimate child will take the nationals of his mother.

On the other hand, in common law countries such as Britain and the US the doctrine of the jus sanguinis is more restricted, so that where a father has become a national by descent it does not always follow that the fact will be sufficient to make the child national. The common law countries have tended to adopt the jus soli rule, whereby any child born within the territorial limits of the state automatically becomes a national thereof. The British Nationality Act of 1948 (and of 1981), for example, declared that every person born within the United Kingdom and Colonies shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by birth.

There is an exception to this, however, which applies to virtually every country applying the jus soli rule, and that is regard to persons entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of the state. In other words, the children of diplomatic personnel born within the country do not automatically acquire its nationality, How far this exception extends varies from state to state. Some countries provide that this rule applies also to the children of enemy alien fathers born in areas under enemy occupation.

Nationality may also be acquired by wives of nationals, although here again the position varies from state to state. Some states provide for the automatic acquisition of the husband’s nationality, others for the conditional acquisition of nationality and others merely state that the marriage has no effect as regards nationality. Problems were also caused in the past by the fact that many countries specific that a woman marrying a foreigner would thereby lose her nationality.

The convention of 1957 on the Nationality of Married Women provides that contracting states accept that the marriage of one of their nationals to an alien shall not automatically affect the wife’s nationality, although a wife may acquire her husband’s nationality by special procedures should she so wish. Nationality may be obtained by an alien by virtue of a naturalization process usually involving a minimum period of residence, but the conditions under which this takes place vary considerably from country to country. Diplomatic protection

Nationality is the link between the individual and his or her state as regards particular benefits and obligations. It is also the vital link between the individual and the benefits of international law. Although international law is now moving to a stage whereby individuals may acquire rights free from the interposition of the state, the basic proposition remains that in a state- oriented world system, it is only through the medium of the state that the individual may obtain the full range of benefits available under international law, and nationality is the key.

One of the rights is diplomatic protection of the nationals. According to Article 1 of the ILC’s Draft Articles on Diplomatic Protection adopted in 2002 provides that, “Diplomatic protection consists of resort to diplomatic action or other means of peaceful settlement by a state adopting in its own right the cause of its national in respect of an injury to that national arising from an internationally wrongful act of another state”. A state is under a duty to protect its nationals and it may take up their claims against other state.

However, there is under international law no obligation for states to provide diplomatic protection for their nationals abroad. In addition, once a state does this, the claim then becomes that of the state. This is a result of the historical reluctance to permit individuals the right in international law to prosecute claims against foreign countries, for reason relating to state sovereignty and non- interference in internal affairs. Once a state has taken up a case on behalf of one of its subjects before an international tribunal, in the eyes of the latter the state is sole claimant.

It follows that the exercise of diplomatic protection cannot be regarded as intervention contrary to international law by the state concerned. Coupled with this right of the state is the constraint that a state may in principle adopt the claims only of its own nationals. Diplomatic protection may not extend to the adoption of claims of foreign subjects, although it has been suggested as an exercise in progressive development of the law that a state may adopt the claim of a stateless person or refugee who at the dates of the injury and presentation of the claim is lawfully and habitually resident in that state.

Such diplomatic protection is not a right of the national concerned, but a right of the state which it may or may not choose to exercise. It is not a duty incumbent upon the state under international law. According to ICJ Reports of 1970, “Within the limits prescribed by international law, a state may exercise diplomatic protection by whatever means and whatever extent it thinks fit, for it is its own right that the state is asserting.

Should the natural or legal person on whose behalf it is acting consider that their rights are not adequately protected, they have no remedy in international law”. The United Kingdom takes the view that the taking up of a claim against a foreign state is a matter within the prerogative of the Crown, but various principles are outlined in this publication, “Rules regarding the Taking up of International Claims by Her Majesty’s Government”, stated to be bases on international law. This distinguishes between formal claims and informal representations.

Where an individual possesses dual or multiple nationality, any state of which he is a national may adopt a claim of his against a third state and there appears no need to establish a genuine link between the state of nationality and the dual or multiple national. In the case of more than one nationality, the rule to be that the state with which he has the more effective connection may be able to espouse his claim as against the other state. Self – determination Article 1 of both International Covenants on Human Rights, 1996 provides that, “all peoples have the right to self – determination.

By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”. The Helsinki Final Act of 1975 refers to, “the principle of equal rights and self determination all peoples have the right, in full freedom, to determine, when as they wish, their internal and external political status, without external interference, and to pursue as they wish their political, economic, social and cultural development”. Article 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1981 stipulates that, all peoples shall have the right to existence.

They shall the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have chosen. ” The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations referred to the colonial situation and noted that subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constituted the violation to the principle.

A number of UN resolutions have discussed the relevant of self-determination also to situations of alien occupation where the use of force has been involved. The International Law Commission in 1988 expressed its view that the principle of self-determination was of universal application, while the practice of UN Human Rights Committee has been of particular significance. The self- determination is used very often in relation to the context of decolonization.

Many Declarations stress that this is the right of all peoples, if this so, then all peoples would become thereby to some extent subjects of international law as the direct repositories of international rights. In fact, that has not occurred and an international law concept of what constitutes a people for these purposes has been evolved, so that the self’ must be determined within the accepted colonial territorial framework. Attempts to broaden this have not been successful and the UN has always strenuously opposed any attempt at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of a country.

The UN has based its policy on the position that “the territory of a colony or other non-self governing territory has under the Charter a status separate and distinct from the territory to the state administering it” and that such status was to exist until the people of that territory had exercised the right to self-determination. Self-determination has also been used in conjunction with the principle of territorial integrity so as to protect the territorial framework of the colonial period in the decolonization process and to prevent a rule permitting secession from independent states from arising.

The principle of self-determination provides that the people of the colonially defined territorial unit in question may freely determine their own political status. Such determination may result in independence, integration with a neighbouring state, free association with an independent state or any other political status freely decided upon by the people concerned. Self-determination also has a role within the context of creation of statehood, preserving the sovereignty and independence of states, in providing criteria for the resolution of disputes, and in the area of the permanent sovereignty of states over natural resources.

3 branches of government

Democracy is a Greek word meaning rule by the people. The idea of a democratic government began in Greece in 700 B. C, about twenty-five hundred years ago. Rome was so large that not everyone could play a role in government so the Roman citizens elected representatives to speak and act for them. This form of government was called a republic. The United States has a representative form of government. The representatives make laws and rules for the country. The government should be rated at an 8 because it has some flaws but it is still decent. There are three branches of government in the United States representative democracy.

The legislative branch, makes the laws for the country and creates agencies and programs. The judicial branch makes the laws and determines if the acts of congress are constitutional or unconstitutional. The executive branch carries out the laws making it the most important branch of the United States government. The Judicial Branch in the United States, unlike most national Judicial systems, yields great political power and must be counted as part of the American Political system. Someone or some group must go to the court first; the court does not take the initiative.

The Judicial Branch is a system of courts that manage court cases at all levels including federal, state, and local. Federal cases have a higher penalty under conviction. Judges of Federal court cases are both strict and just. If found guilty in a federal court one must face sentencing to a variety of punishments. Punishments include the death penalty and prison sentencing. The Judiciary is the safeguard of our liberty and of our property under the constitution. This quote is a good description of the judicial branch and courts. The Judiciary is a safeguard of our liberty because it governs the court system, which keeps society in line.

The goal of the Judicial branch is to hold people accountable for crimes and keep justice in the land. This goal is being reached for the most part. Those who commit crimes are brought to trial. The court system is responsible for many duties of justice. Courts make the world a safer place. The Judicial Branch is made up of 3 types of courts: The Supreme Court, U. S. court of appeals and district courts consist of nine justices, are appointed by the President with consent of the Senate. These nine justices serve without any type of time limitations. The U. S. Court of Appeals deals with appealing cases of lower courts.

Lastly, district courts, which are more locally based, deal with local issues and crimes. The Judicial Branch of government both interprets and enforces the laws. It interprets the laws by holding court cases that find the significance of what is happening. The Judicial Branch enforces the laws by holding trials to convict those that oppose them. Opposing the laws and defying the courts is done everyday even if it may be foolish. The Court system is usually fair in their rulings, thus making them honest and just. In government the Judicial Branch is very important.

Having a system of courts is absolutely necessary to hold a civilized nation. The Federal appeals court in San Francisco overturned a 3 strikes sentence in November 2001 of a 50 years to life sentence of a California shoplifter. A law had been challenged on constitutional grounds. A panel of three judges listened to the appeal and made a 2-1 decision that the 3 strikes sentence was cruel. This is one example of the power of the Judiciary branch (Lane, 2001). The Supreme Court of Virginia repealed the states 49-year-old ban on burning crosses. Cross burning is allowed because it is a way of expression and is protected by the first amendment.

It was a four to three decision that stated that the 1952 statute was unfair to a symbol and viewpoint and overturned the convictions of a Klu Klux Klan leader and two other men who were charged in two incidents in 1998 (Brooke A. , 2001). In my opinion, Americans should not be allowed to burn crosses because it is a symbol of disrespect for those religions that praise the cross. On October 26, 2001, the basement mailroom of the Supreme Court tested positive for Anthrax. An institution that likes to stay out of the headlines suddenly became frontpage news.

Chief Judge Rehnquist, who has kept arguments on track when the rest of Washington has shut down for blizzards, never considered cancelling last weeks hearings. While some branches of government closed down, the Supreme Court decided to keep working and deserves high scores for this decision. The judicial branch is extremely powerful and is a force to be reckoned with. If one were to oppose this branch of government it would be truly foolish. Going against the supreme, state or local court system is discouraged among Americans because of its strong penalties. Overall the judiciary branch does a fairly good job of keeping things in order.

The rating for this branch of government should be a 7. The Legislative division of government debates primarily over policy. They debate about which policy to adopt and the best way to turn it into a law. This debate may occur in a special body designed for this sole purpose- a legislature, congress, parliament, or council of advisors. Whatever the forum the debate is influenced by forces of society as a whole. Even the most powerful dictator cant make decrees that directly strike at powerful forces that can effectively oppose him. The bureaucracy and the masses also cant be ignored.

Within each of these general groups, special interest groups must also be taken into consideration. In a public debate within a legislature, these interest groups will usually speak for themselves directly or have elected representatives speak for them. An open process of compromise and conciliation usually tells the way of the resulting laws. In less democratic systems, the debate may turn to strategy: how to do something by dividing, immobilizing, or handling potential opposition. On Thursday the 18th 2001 all representatives of the house were sent home from capitol hill. Thursdays retreat was for testing of the facility for anthrax.

Anthrax can be (most commonly lately) mail-born. Anthrax is a very dangerous mold that needs to be taken care of properly. People shouldnt be afraid to live everyday life. This behavior has not become an epidemic so people should be bold and have faith in their countrys military and filtering capabilities. This type of terrorist (or whoever may be held accountable) attack is very cowardice and out of line. The people that did or are doing this should definitely be held accountable and given a trial. In the near future hopefully this country will see a change in peoples (the majority) attitude towards feeble attempts to break our country.

Currently, the House is trying to decide on whether baggage screeners at the nations airports should be on the federal payroll. The Senate thought this was a good idea and voted unanimously to federalize some 28,000 luggage screeners. This was something that polls showed the American people thought was a good idea. The House decided to kill the bill complaining that it would expand federal government too much and create more bureaucracy. The House and Senate even though they need to work together to beat a common enemy need to stop fighting with each other. Also, the Senate was not listening to what the people wanted.

They get rated poorly for not working together on this issue. The executive branch of government is the branch that enforces the laws. The U. S. president is the head of the executive branch. The states themselves divide work of government in a similar way, having the governer as executive. Terrorists are trying to obtain nuclear weaponry. Some of the German military forces have been deployed to fight terrorism. They are trying to obtain weapons that would be a threat to every nation and, eventually, to civilization itself President Bush states. Also we have many countries on our side (the U. S. hat are providing military support.

Terrorists are being very foolish in this instance. Terrorists probably wouldnt be able to get nuclear weapons if they tried much less be able to house them. Nuclear weapons are extremely hard to maintain and are very unstable. They wouldnt be able to afford nor have the expertise to hold nukes. These outcasts are largely outnumbered and should back down promptly. This article affects mostly the executive branch. The executive branch of government has to make decisions upon this type instance. The executive branch of the U. S. must do whatever it takes to keep nuclear weapons out of harms way.

This type of event has a serious impact on the executive branch. If nuclear weapons ever did happen to get into terrorist hands the result could be catastrophic. Also in the event of terrorists actually obtaining weapons of mass destruction the executive branch would be tied in knots trying to destroy them. The events of this article also affect the executive branch in a negative way. When something like this happens the executive branch has to keep the people of this country calm and under control. The decision making process that this branch takes in this time of crisis is very crucial to the effects of humanity.

If the country gets out of control the executive branch has to keep catastrophe from occuring by using its TV and news priveleges. One of the roles of the president as leader of the executive branch is to assure the American people tha they are safe. Many Americans are afraid to fly in recent months as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. ABC News reports that because of the huge decline in air travel following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the number of passengers flying this year will be less than last year according to the Air Transit Association, the trade group for the major airlines.

Th e president has decided to expand the National Guards role at airports to protect the American people, especially during the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. During a poll, many Americans thought this would be the most likely time for a terrorist attack. He is trying very hard to protect people from further terrorist atttacks by telling airlines they need to improve security. One way of doing this is to make cockpit doors stronger so terrorists cant get in and kill the pilots.

He is also trying to encourage people to fly because that would help stimulate the economy. Two months after the September 11th attack the president returned to the ruins of the World Trade Centers in New York City. Amid the still smoking rubble he asked Americans to remember the terrible harm that an enemy can inflict. He also wanted to remind people of the sacrifices the military are now making. As the leader of the Executive Branch he is in charge of the military, air and navy units that are now at war in Afghanistan.

It is his job to thank them and make the American people aware of the good job they are doing. In his Homeland Address on November 8, he again praised the soldiers fighting the war against terrorism and received a standing ovation from the people in the audience. He also told the Ameican people that we are a strong nation and will defeat this international enemy of humanity. He is doing a good job letting the American people know what is going on, even though he cant tell them everything because he would risk telling the enemy too much.

The president is also travelling all around the world trying to get allies in the war against terrorism. One of his strongest supporters is British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He has also travelled to Africa and China to gather support for the war effort. Also he has invited many leaders to come to the the White House to talk and visit him. He needs to enlist countries all over the world because he knows he will need much help to win the war. He is trying very hard to get other countries to see things from our point of view.

Ethics Law Essay

Advertising is constantly bombarded by criticism. It is accused of encouraging materialism and consumption, of stereotyping, of causing us to purchase items for which we have no need, of taking advantage of children, of manipulating our behavior, using sex to sell, and generally contributing to the downfall of our social system. Critics of advertising abound. Barely a week goes by without some advertisement or campaign, or the ad industry, being the focal point of some controversy.

There even are web sites dedicated to criticizing various aspects of advertising. To illustrate some of the many attacks on dvertising, I have compiled a list of relatively recent examples that have appeared in newspapers and magazines. This is far from being an exhaustive list. It is intended merely to provide you with some ideas about how the public-at-large perceives advertising, and to give you a sense of the many legal and ethical problems inherent in the advertising profession. Ethics Law and ethics are not coterminous.

All the issues discussed on this page have ethical dimensions, but not all of them implicate legal realities. The law is confined by limitations on government authority, principally through the Constitution, hile ethics bear no such limitations. Ethics, therefore, should be subject to a higher standard of expectation than law. See: bibliography of advertising ethics Ethics & Self-Regulation links Morality and Ethics quotes. First Amendment The United States Constitution, through the First Amendment, places constraints on government repression of speech.

Advertising is recognized by the courts as a form of “commercial speech. ” Commercial speech has been defined by the Court as speech “which does no more than propose a commercial transaction. ” Although the courts never have recognized it as being as aluable as some other forms of speech, commercial speech is protected by the First Amendment. This means that many of the criticisms aimed at advertising are not regulable by government.

However, the Supreme Court, in Central Hudson Gas & Electric v. Public Service Commission, declared that commercial speech can be regulated if: It is misleading or concerns an illegal product, OR if There is a substantial government interest, AND The regulation directly advances that government interest, AND The regulation is narrowly tailored to that interest. If a regulation can pass that test, it will be held constitutional. You can read some of the advertising-related Supreme Court decisions here. In addition, we have provided a bibliography of articles and books about commercial speech, to help you learn more about this topic, along with some quotes about advertising and free speech.

Deception The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the primary regulator of deceptive advertising in the U. S. It was created by the FTC Act in 1914. Section 5 of the Act gave the Commission the authority to regulate “unfair methods of competition. ” The Act was later changed, by the Wheeler-Lea Amendment, to give the FTC authority over both “unfair methods of ompetition” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices. ” It is through this latter power that the FTC regulates deceptive advertising.

Commissioners of the FTC act like judges, hearing cases when marketers are charged with violating the FTC Act. The Commission also publishes advertising guidelines for marketers, which are not law but merely advisory, and adopts trade regulation rules, which are law. Basic Principles According to its 1993 Policy Statement on Deception, the FTC considers a marketing effort to be deceptive if: (1) there is a representation, omission, act or practice, that (2) is likely to islead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances, and (3) that representation, omission, or practice is “material.

The term “material” refers to the fact that some deceptive claims are trivial, and that the FTC will only regulate deceptions that are important to consumers, i. e. , those that affect consumers’ “choice of, or conduct regarding, a product. ” Our bibliography on deceptive advertising and our bibliography on “materiality” can point you to numerous articles that discuss the intricacies of this definition. Evidence To prove that an ad claim is, in fact, deceptive, he FTC is not generally concerned with what the claim says, but what it conveys to consumers.

If that conveyed message differs from the reality of the product attribute being advertised, the claim is considered deceptive. This requires the Commission to look at two types of evidence: (1) evidence concerning what message is conveyed to consumers, and (2) evidence concerning the product attribute’s true qualities. The former requires looking into the heads of consumers. The FTC considers surveys the best form of evidence to discover what message is conveyed by an ad, though sometimes the Commission relies on other evidence.

The question of how best to unearth the inner thoughts of consumers has been an issue of significant research efforts and theoretical discussion. See our bibliography about evidence used to discover the conveyed message. The second form of evidence can require a variety of different methods of assessing a product’s attributes. If, for example, the claim refers to the fuel mileage of an automobile, laboratory testing of the vehicle’s fuel efficiency would normally be required. However, the FTC requires that advertisers conduct such testing prior to making the ad claim.

If a claim is made ithout evidence in hand that the product will perform as advertised, the claim will be considered deceptive. This is known as “substantiation,” and the Commission’s requirements are detailed in the 1984 FTC Substantiation Policy. See, also, the bibliography on substantiation. Remedies Most cases started by the FTC never require the Commission to make a final decision about the deceptiveness of an advertiser’s claim. Those cases end, instead, in a “consent order,” whereby the advertiser simply agrees to do what the FTC staff asks.

No hearing is required. In those cases that do end in a final FTC decision, f the claim is found deceptive, the advertiser will face one of three possible remedies: (1) a Cease and Desist Order, which requires the advertiser to stop making the claim, (2) an Affirmative Disclosure Order, which forces the advertiser to provide consumers with more information, or (3) Corrective Advertising, which is a form of affirmative disclosure that is intended to correct lingering deception that results from a long history of deceiving the consumer.

See our bibliography on Corrective Advertising. Puffery Historically, claims that were “mere exaggerations” or “hyperbole” were considered to e puffery, and therefore not deceptive. Terms like “the best” or “the greatest” were sales talk, and the FTC would not regulate them. After all, everyone knows that “Wonder Bread” is not really a wonder, and “The Greatest Show on Earth” is not what everyone considers the greatest.

Puffery, therefore, was a form of opinion statement, and considered unregulable. Some observers have expressed concern that the “puffery defense” was a loophole through which many deceptive claims fell. The Commission has been criticized for allowing deceptive claims to slip through under the guise of puffery. On the other hand, the FTC has defined puffery as claims that (1) reasonable people do not believe to be true product qualities, and (2) are incapable of being proved either true or false.

Consequently, if deception is the creation of a “false belief” about the product in the mind of a consumer, claims that fall into the FTC definition of puffery cannot be deceptive. By definition, such claims can be neither false nor can they create belief. This means that if deceptive claims have slipped through regulation as puffs, it is because the FTC has failed to follow its own definition. See our bibliography on puffery and puffery quotes.

The American Constitution

The basis of all law in the United States is the Constitution. This Constitution is a document written by “outcasts” of England. The Constitution of the United States sets forth the nation’s fundamental laws. It establishes the form of the national government and defines the rights and liberties of the American people. It also lists the aims of the government and the methods of achieving them.

The Constitution was written to organize a strong national government for the American states. Previously, the nation’s leaders had established a national government under the Articles of Confederation. But the Articles granted independence to each state. They lacked the authority to make the states work together to solve national problems.

After the states won independence in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), they faced the problems of peacetime government. The states had to enforce law and order, collect taxes, pay a large public debt, and regulate trade among themselves. They also had to deal with Indian tribes and negotiate with other governments. Leading statesmen, such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, began to discuss the creation of a strong national government under a new constitution.

The United States is a republic that operates under a federalist system. The national government had specific enumerated powers, and the fifty states retain substantial endowment over their citizens and their residents. Both the national government and the state government are divided into three different branches, executive, legislative, and judicial. Written constitutions, both federal and state, form a system of separated powers.

Amendment, in legislation, is a change in a law, or in a bill before it becomes a law. Bills often have amendments attached before a legislature votes on them.

Amendments to the Constitution of the United States may be proposed in two ways:

(1) If two-thirds of both houses approve, Congress may propose an amendment. The amendment becomes a law when ratified either by legislatures or by conventions in three-fourths of the states. (2) If the legislatures of two-thirds of the states ask for an amendment, Congress must call a convention to propose it. The amendment becomes a law when ratified either by the legislatures or by conventions in three fourths of the states. This method has never been used.

The Federal Government is comprised of three branches: Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch.

The executive branch includes the President the vice President, the cabinet and all federal departments, and most governmental agencies. All executive power is vested in the President [US Const. Art. II, sec 1, cl. 1], currently Bill Clinton, who serves a four-year term. The President is the commander in Chief of the military [US Const. Art. II, sec 2, cl. 1], and has primary authority over foreign affairs. The President has the power to make treaties, but only with two-thirds of the US senate [US Const. Art. II, sec 2, cl. 2]. The President of the US has the power to nominate all Supreme Court Justices, all other federal juries, ambassadors, and all other officers of the United States. The President had the jurisdiction to veto legislation. The vice President is the President of the Senate. The Vice President serves the same four year term as the President.

The heads of each department form the cabinet, which is the highest advisory group to the President. The executive branch also includes dozens of government agencies. There is a difference between departments and agencies. Agencies have a very specific purpose while the departments are more broad. Heads of any governmental agencies are not members of the cabinet.

All federal legislative powers are vested in the Congress of the United States, which contain two chambers, a Senate and a House of Representatives [US Const. Art. I, sec 1,]. There are one hundred Senators, two from each of the fifty states. Senators serve six-year terms [US Const. Art. I, sec 3, cl. 1]. The House of Representatives has 435 members, the population of each state determines this number. Each state is granted minimum of one representative. Each representative serves a two-year term.

The powers of Congress are specifically enumerated in the Constitution and include, among other things, the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, and tariffs. Congress also has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among several states, and with Indian tribes.

To pass a law, a bill must be passed by both the House and the Senate, and signed by the President. The President has the option of vetoing the legislation, but the Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds vote of both chambers.

The Congress also has substantial powers in overseeing the activities of the executive branch. The House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach the President and other officers, and the Senate the sole power to try impeachment. U.S. Congressional committees may demand disclosure of information and require agency officials to testify before them. The Congress has also established the General Accounting Office (GAO), which evaluates executive branch activities and reports back to the Congress. Most GAO reports are public documents, which can be viewed upon request.

Much of Congress’ work is done by Congressional committees. The number and scope of Congressional committees can change, particularly when political control of the chamber changes parties and when the jurisdiction of committees overlaps, as is often the case.

Practically all the elections in the United States are the same, except the presidential election, which happens every four years. All political elections are based on two major parties, the democrats, and the republicans. Both parties have different beliefs and usually stick to them.

For the majority the popular vote wins, and determines the victor. Two or more candidates for the office desired ,”run”, and try to convince the voters that they are the best person for the job. While at the same time try to ruin each others. It takes one more than half the votes, to declare a triumphant party.

Presidential elections however are quite different. Two candidates, or more, run for the office of president. Along with the presidential office is the vice presidential office. The Presidential candidates chooses a running mate (the vice president hopeful). All parties, weather an independent or a popular party, have what they call a “platform”.

This “platform” is made up of many “planks”, which are what each party/person/group believes in and stands for. When it comes time for the legal citizens to vote upon an official, they go into voting areas and vote for each president. However, the citizens do not vote for the president directly. They vote for his electors, which are regular people chosen by each candidate to vote fore the president. Then the electors vote for the president. Each state has a different number of electors equal to the number of representatives.

EXAMPLE: Two candidates, A and B. Three States, 1, 2 and, 3. State 1 has a population of 100 people, and 2 representatives. State 2, 200, and 3 representatives. Lastly state three has 500 people, and 6 representatives.

Candidate A gets 30 votes of state 1, candidate B gets the remaining 70. Thus, candidate B receives the two electoral votes. State 2 is split 60 (A) and 140 (B), candidate B, again, receives the electoral votes. Now as it stands A, zero; and B, 5. The last state is a landslide for A. He gets 130 votes. He gets the 6 electoral votes. Candidate A wins the election. Even though that B had 280 votes from the citizens, he lost the election, because it is not the number of the popular votes that counts. It is the number of the electoral votes. Though it usually work hand in hand, popular and electoral, it sometimes does not.

The word citizen comes from the Latin word civitas, which in ancient times meant membership in a city. Today, citizenship refers mainly to membership in a nation.

What it means to be a citizen The rights of citizens differ from nation to nation. The Constitution of the United States provides the basic rights of American citizens, and laws passed by Congress give additional rights. These rights are called civil rights. They include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly (the right to gather peacefully for political or other purposes). American citizens have the right to vote for the President and members of Congress and to run for government office themselves. U.S. citizens have the right to travel throughout the United States. American citizens, unlike those of some countries, cannot be forced to leave their homeland. American citizenship cannot be taken away, except for certain serious actions.

Aliens and non-citizen nationals share many of the rights of U.S. citizens. But they cannot vote, hold public office, or do certain other things that citizens can do.

The rights of citizens have certain limits. For example, U.S. citizens must be at least 18 years old to vote. States also can limit voting rights to people who have registered to vote. Freedom of speech does not allow a person to tell lies that damage someone’s reputation. Many other civil rights also have limits.

The duties of citizens, like citizens’ rights, differ from nation to nation. Most governments demand that citizens pay taxes, defend their country, and obey its laws. Some governments require certain citizens to serve on juries.

Many people believe that citizens also have duties not demanded by law, such as voting, learning about public problems, and trying to help other people. Many of these duties go along with rights. For example, the duty to vote comes with the right to vote. The duty to learn about public problems comes with freedom of speech and of the press, which protect the open discussion of public events and the exchange of ideas.

Aliens must obey the laws of the country in which they are traveling or living, except for those that bind only citizens. In addition, aliens must obey some of the laws of their homeland. For example, some foreigners who work in the United States must pay taxes both to the U.S. government and to the government of their own country. Travelers who break the laws of a country they are visiting may be put on trial and fined or imprisoned. Many nations grant diplomatic immunity to aliens who represent foreign governments. Diplomatic immunity is a set of special rights granted to the representatives of foreign governments and to the representatives’ families and staffs. In many countries, these rights include freedom from arrest, search, and taxation.

Ways of becoming a citizen Nations have various laws that govern the granting of citizenship. People become citizens in two ways: (1) by birth and (2) by naturalization.

Birth. Most people become citizens of a country simply by being born there. The right to citizenship in the country of one’s birth is called jus soli (pronounced juhs SOH ly), a Latin phrase that means right of soil. The laws of most nations, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, grant citizenship based on jus soli. Some nations limit jus soli to children whose parents already have citizenship in that nation. Some nations also deny jus soli to certain groups of persons. Such persons include children who are born in a country where their parents are serving as diplomatic representatives. Persons denied jus soli also include babies born to refugees (persons who have been forced from their homeland by war or some other difficulty).

Some countries use another rule of citizenship instead of jus soli–or in addition to it. This rule provides that the citizenship of children is determined by the nationality of their parents, no matter where the children are born. The right to citizenship in the country of one’s parents is called jus sanguinis (pronounced juhs SANG wuh nuhs). This phrase is a Latin term that means right of blood. Canada, France, the United States, and a number of other nations grant jus sanguinis to children born abroad if one or both parents are citizens.

Naturalization is the legal process by which foreigners become citizens of a country they have adopted. Each nation sets requirements that aliens must meet to become naturalized. For example, aliens cannot undergo naturalization in Canada or the United States unless they have lived in their new country for a number of years. On the other hand, Israel allows Jewish immigrants to become Israeli citizens the day they arrive under a rule called the Law of Return. Many nations naturalize only people who understand the rights and duties of citizenship and can use the national language. The United States and certain other countries require aliens to give up citizenship in their homelands to become naturalized.

Naturalization usually takes place in a ceremony in which qualified aliens promise loyalty to their new country. In the United States, many naturalization ceremonies take place on Citizenship Day, September 17.

Treaties or the passage of special laws may naturalize groups of people without the usual naturalization process. For example, an act of Congress naturalized the people of Puerto Rico in 1917. The United States had taken over Puerto Rico through the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Criminal courts decide the legal guilt or innocence of people accused of violating the law. The courts also determine the punishment for those who are convicted.

Pretrial procedures. In most cases, the suspect is brought to court for a hearing within 24 hours after being arrested. At this hearing, called arraignment, a judge reads the charges against the defendant. The judge also reads the person his or her rights concerning a fair trial. The most important right of any defendant is the right to be considered innocent until proved guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If the defendant pleads guilty to the charges, the judge may sentence the person immediately. If the individual pleads not guilty, the case goes to trial. The judge appoints a defense attorney to handle the defendant’s case if the accused person cannot afford a lawyer.

The judge decides whether to keep the defendant in jail until the trial or to release the person on bail. The defendant or another person puts up bail to guarantee that the accused will return to the court to stand trial. A defendant who cannot put up bail must stay in jail until the trial. The courts cannot require bail so high that no one can furnish it. But the judge may deny bail to a person considered likely not to return for trial. Some states also prohibit bail for individuals who are accused of such serious crimes as espionage and murder.

Cases involving less serious crimes, such as disorderly conduct or driving without a license, may be completed in a single court session. In these cases, the judge hears the testimony, decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant, and sentences the guilty.

Cases of murder, kidnapping, or other especially serious crimes may be presented to a grand jury. This panel, which consists of 16 to 23 citizens in most states, decides if the evidence against the defendant justifies bringing the case to trial. The purpose of the grand jury is to protect the defendant from being accused of a crime with insufficient evidence.

Many cases are settled by plea bargaining. In this procedure, the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for being charged with a less serious crime or being promised a shorter prison sentence. About 90 per cent of all defendants plead guilty, most of them through plea bargaining.

The trial. When a criminal case goes to trial, the defendant chooses to have it heard either by a jury or by the judge alone. In most states, a trial jury consists of 12 citizens. However, the juries in some states may have as few as 6 members. The jury or judge hears the evidence for and against the defendant and then reaches a verdict. If the individual is found guilty, the judge pronounces sentence. If the defendant is found not guilty, he or she is released.

In most cases, the judge determines the sentence for a defendant convicted of a crime. The judge imposes punishment that he or she feels will best serve both the offender and society. Laws may provide a maximum and a minimum sentence according to the crime involved. In some cases, the recommendation of the jury determines the sentence that may be given to the offender.

The judge may put a convicted offender on probation to protect the individual from the harmful effects of being imprisoned with experienced criminals. A lawbreaker who is on probation remains free but must follow certain rules. A probation officer assigned by the court supervises the individual’s conduct. A probationer who violates any of the rules of his or her probation may be sent to prison. Some judges require offenders to repay their victims, either with money or by working for them without pay.

The Brehon Laws

Passed down for centuries, the Brehon Laws have made it to the present day. Although no longer in practice, the Brehon Laws give us a glimpse of what things were like in Ireland centuries and centuries ago. The actual technical term for the law tracts is Fenechas, which basically means the law of the Freemen. These laws are probably the oldest European laws that we know of. They were originally composed in poetic verse and were memorized by the Filid. Years later they were written down and preserved in several books of law, such as the Senchus Mor, the Book of Acaill, and the Uraiccecht Becc.

The Brehon Laws are believed to have existed as early as the common Celtic Period (c. 1000 BCE). According Alix Morgan MacAnTsaoir, author of Introduction to the Brehon Law, The Brehon Law was ordered codified in 438CE by Laighaire, High King of Ireland. This work was done by three kings, three Brehons and three Christian missionaries, and is contained in the Senchus Mor. The texts originate in the 7th and 8th centuries CE and are found in manuscripts written in the 14th-16th centuries. Ireland is well known for their legends and myths and their laws seem to have mingled within them as well.

Legends have become intermingled with almost every aspect of Irish living. Perhaps that is why they are called a superstitious lot. It stands to reason then that because of Christianity coming into practice, there are many inconsistencies and later additions that make room for new ideas. In spite of all these discrepancies, the collection of laws that have come to our eyes are astonishing. Finding information on the history of English Laws was not so simple. Englands country stayed in uproar for much of its beginning years and was held by many different conquerors. Some of the earliest people were the Celtic people.

It is not really fair to clump them all together but too difficult to separate all of them in this paper. So, due to the amount of space I am limited to and for better understanding, I will simply refer to the early settlers of England and Ireland as Celts. Unfortunately not a great deal is known about the Celts and their history. We do know, however, that they were a warrior society and their wealth was measured in land and livestock. The Romans, better known as Julius Caesar, saw the southern Celts as a threat. He invaded twice but neither really represented a conquer.

Britain was virtually left alone by the Romans from 54BC through 43CE because the Romans had far more to deal with than the Celts. There were major uprisings and Civil Wars to deal with that took up most of the Romans time and left little time to invade the Celts. The Romans eventually did take England though but they never made it to Ireland. Changing rulers, or conquerors, makes it difficult to lay down some existing rule. The victors had their own set of rules and the English were left always trying to figure out what their rules were since they were taking some of the traditions from many different conquerors.

It was not until the High Middle Ages that any real solid laws or traditions were set. Feudalism was the beginning of a way of life for the English. Feudalism grew out of conditions that went with the collapse of the Roman Empire. There was an urban decline and reduction of trade to luxuries. Small farmers could not sustain themselves with their own production. The system of feudalism brought about a revival of the urban life. It is through this new system that many traditions and hence, laws were made.

The aristocracy became very important as did the social status of a person. Class consciousness became most apparent during this age and the idealization of women came into play. Before feudalism there was much chaos and problems were solved in a barbaric manner. Although punishment or acquittal was not exactly pleasant during the feudal days, it was a step up. It was a step towards the tranquil, peaceful and subdued way of life that the English are known for. Irelands Brehon Laws are unique in that they are some of the most liberal laws I have ever seen for that time period.

The laws texts were usually generalized into family obligations rather than in individual obligations so that contracts made were between families. The society depended on the family or tribe rather than the individual. It was a must for an individual to be a part of their tribe. The laws set down class distinction and made it quite clear that there were no rights to those that had been exiled from their family or tribe. Although there are class distinctions, the laws are fair and humane. The Brehon Laws clearly state the rights of innocent dependents of guilty parties.

There are even such guarantees as barring a witness during presentation that will gain from the out come. Provisions for protection of the weak members of the community are included as well as protection for clients from violent or dishonest lords. People that are criminals, non observers of the law, etcare not given the nice treatment as others. In other words, if you are innocent then you are well provided for but if you are guilty or otherwise not part of the community then you have no rights and will not be treated in an easy fashion. The English were not quite as forgiving in their codes as were the Irish, however.

The Roman Law which was in effect for some time during the Roman period was by far more severe than the Brehon Laws. The book, An Illustrated History of Ireland From AD 400 to 1800 makes a statement comparing the Roman law to the Brehon law, saying that, the cruel severity of the law for insolvent debtors, forms a marked contrast to the milder and more equitable arrangements of the Brehon code. The Roman Law rested on the Twelve Decemviral Tables, and therefore on a basis of written law. The Twelve Tables were not the first set of laws but they are some of the earliest recorded.

Im using the Roman Law because that was the main influence on laws during the times of the Brehon Laws. We know much of our information, if it can be called such, not by historical writings but by literature such as the Greek Homeric poems. An essay by Henry Maine on Ancient Laws states, When a king decided a dispute by a sentence, the judgment was assumed to be the result of direct inspiration. Customary Law, or an era of codes, was the period of ancient laws such as the Twelve Tables. The aristocracy during the time of Customary Law found it very easy to monopolize their legal knowledge.

It is easy to imagine then that the lower classes were not given as many rights as those of the aristocracy. That would not be common of any law during that time. One thing that I found to be exceptionally interesting when studying the Brehon Laws was who enforced the Brehon Laws. The job was done by a specialized group of well trained Druids, a religious group of Celts, called the Brithem or Brehon. The training of the Brehons was a long and tiring process and the memorization of long tracts of law was essential. Learning the intricacies of such complex law tracts was mandatory.

Alix Morgan MacAnTsaoir says, Brehons were reciters of the law and Brehons were held personally responsible for damages if they gave false interpretation or recited the law incorrectly. Only after the law was recited by the Brehon could the King or Queen make the judgment. Then as now Truth and Justice were the code of the Celtic people. The difference I found in this to the English laws was that there was that the King or Queen was the one to make the decision and they did not have to wait for somebody to recite them the law. It seemed to me that the Irish had a very formal and good system.

The issues of personal matters were handled very differently by the Irish and the English. The Brehon Laws gave many more rights to women than most any other law written in that time age. During a time of suppression to women, Ireland gave women rights to do things unimaginable for other countries. Richard OConnors book, The Irish, defines the rights of women as such: Foreign invaders may have slaughtered the menfolk and placed the survivors in captivity, but they also ended what must have been one of the historic heydays of feminine independence.

Under the Brehon laws of the eighth and ninth centuries, the Irish female possessed rights which even a modern feminist might hesitate to demand. The Brehon laws provided that a woman could get a divorce if she considered her husband sexually unsatisfactory, if he did not promptly make her regnant, if he embarrassed her in front of visitors, if he struck or abused her physically or verbally, or if he was unfaithful. All of which could hardly be demanded in England.

In fact, in England it was not even socially acceptable to get a divorce and definitely not tolerated for the woman to demand the divorce. Women were looked on upon as chattel to the English. They were the fathers property while young and the husbands property as an adult. She was expected to provide an heir for the husband and to raise the children but otherwise have nothing to do with her husbands affairs at all. The loss of Brehon laws was a terrible thing in certain ways such as providing womens rights.

I think that with that as an example, there may have been headway in the womens rights. However, the class distinctions are discarded with them and that is a good change. The loss of the Feudal society and laws is also a good thing in my opinion, since it was also based on class distinction. The similarities between the two sets of laws are almost hard to find since England was changing hands so often in the beginning but once you start to dig then you do find some similarities.

I found many more difference however, and obviously that is what I decided to emphasize in this paper. The Brehon Laws basically were more humane and liberal. The different societies that they were formed in though, account for the differences. The Romans had a great affect on the Laws, even if they had little effect on anything else. The fact that they were both preserved says something for both of the laws and that is that they are worth reading and learning from. We can learn from the mistakes made in each set of laws but also in the good things about each.

Our Living Shield: The First Amendment

The authors of the Constitution of the United States created a magnificent list of liberties which were, at the time ascribed, to most people belonging to the United States. The main author, James Madison, transported the previous ideas of f undamental liberties from the great libertarians around the world, such as John Lilburne, John Locke, William Walwyn and John Milton. Madison and other previous libertarians of his time were transposed into seventeen different rights which were to be secured to all those in the United States.

These eventeen civil liberties were compressed into ten different groupings which were designated as the “Bill of Rights. ” In this document lay the First Amendment which stated that the people of the Uni ted States had the “freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government… ” The First Amendment was drafted by federalist Madison mainly as a political tactic to abolish anti-federalist resistance to the Constitution. After its passage in December of 1791, the First Amendment emained more idealistic than realistic.

The First Amendment remained a set of ideals which were not to be carried out during its first century, then progressed to more realistic terms during its latter half of utilization. During the first century of the First Amendment, the First Amendment was paid a glance by all when it came to actually carrying out the freedoms guaranteed by this amendment. For example, in 1794, Pennsylvanian backcountry farmers protested a whiskey tax. The protesters were not violent such as those of the previous Shay’s Rebellion.

George Washington sent in a militia to crush the rebellion denying them of their First Amendment right to “peaceably assemble. ” Later, in 1836, anti sl avery newspaper editor James G. Birney had been warned that his newspaper “The Philanthropist” was not desirable in the city of Cincinatti. When Birney refused to cooperate, mob action took rule and, “scattered the type into the streets, tore down t he presses and completely dismantled the office. ” This contradicted the First Amendment which stated that, “freedom… of the press,” is a constitutional right.

The Supreme Court could do nothing about these situations when in Barron v. Baltimore, t he Court ruled that, “These amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to state governments. This court cannot so apply them. ” Thus, the Supreme Court could not interfere when First Amendments are being violated within a state. These acts were representative of the lack of recognition for our First Amendment rights during the first half of the Bill of Right’s acceptance. The second half of the Bill of Rights was marked by a rebirth in which the Bill f Rights was no longer a set of ideals.

The second half began when in 1925, the court ruled in Gitlow v. New York that the First Amendment supersedes state laws . This nullified the Court’s ruling in Barron v. Baltimore, which took place 92 years earlier. Also, in 1931, the Court overturned Minnesota’s conviction of Jay M. Near, whose anti Semitic “Saturday Press” violated Minnesota law which prohibited ” malicious, scandalous and defamatory” remarks towards politicians and other public officials. The Court stamped Minnesota’s law in violation of he First amendment.

In 1937, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes overturned the conviction of Oregon Com munist Dirk De Jonge. De Jonge had been detained for attending a meeting to protest the police shooting of striking longshoremen. The Court ruled that “Peaceable assembly for lawful discussion cannot be made a crime. ” More recently, in 1985, the S upreme Court ruled that burning the American flag is protected by the First Amendment when the Court reversed the conviction of Gregory Lee Johnson, who was arrested for violation of the Flag Protection Act of 1989.

The Court then ruled the Flag Protection Act of 1989 unconstitutional. These instances clearly portray the rebounding of libertarian beliefs. The First Amendment of the Constitution started off as a set of beliefs meant to supply reason for one being patriotic rather than supply those inalienable rights discussed in the Declaration of Independence. It then developed into a powerfu l document which is the only living manuscript which specificly lists out the peoples rights. One cannot look back without looking ahead. The supreme court currently is overwhelmingly conservative.

Without the balance of conservatism and liberalism, a deficiency evolves. And this deficiency is human rights. The Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that two American Indians were not protected by the First Amendment when they religiously smoked peyote. This is only a sample of the conservatism which wi ll eventually plague America. The Court’s decisions are close to eternal and decisions made now will affect America’s future. And whether or not we should put America’s future in one group’s hands is out of the question. The court is currently dan gerously conservative.

Copyright Laws Essay

With the new millennium now here, what are some of the changes headed towards us? Now that we have Y2K out of the picture, we unfortunately have something new to fear, well at least for some of us. The stealing of intellectual property is on the rise and there are very few copyright laws and regulations out there to prevent these things from happening. Since we are now living in the digital age it is very easy for anyone to get a hold on intellectual property and spread it around to whoever is online. The hard thing is to track down who these people are. More government regulations are needed on the Internet to protect intellectual property.

Without more laws and regulations, there will be more Napster imitators in the future. The Internet is a relatively new thing and very unpredictable at this point. New things are being discovered everyday, both for good and not-so-good reasons. Of course there are also laws and regulations that apply to the Internet. Very few of them protect against intellectual property, but they do exist. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) passed in 1998, is a law that tried very hard in protecting all sorts of copyrighted digital material such as movies, songs, and books.

The trouble is that all forms of commercial digital copy protection have been broken quickly and efficiently, and will continue to be hacked” (Scheschuk 60). The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) accuses Napster of “contributory infringement and vicarious infringement,” not of direct copyright violation. Because of this, The Staple Article Of Commerce Doctrine defends Napster of contributory infringement because Napster provides other non-infringing uses such as sampling, space shifting, and the authorized distribution of music.

The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (AHRA) is another regulation that helps protect Napster users because it allows audio music swapping for noncommercial use (Mercer 1). The term “Napster” is now well known amongst the people who are doing a lot of online music trading. This is a program that makes trading music online easier. It all started in 1999 when a Northeastern University dropout decided to make a program that will make it easier for people to trade MP3 files online (Kaminer 48). Shawn Fanning has now become a well-known name around the music industry.

This is because people from the music business are accusing him of stealing their copyrighted music. Although this is somehow true, Fanning has a few tricks up his sleeve in his defense. Since there are very few laws and regulations for the Internet there isn’t much that the courts can say about it. There are a lot of people who are in support of Napster. Even some music artists are supporting Napster, especially the unknown bands; they want to get their music out there. Whether or not their music is copyrighted or not, Napster will do them a favor to distribute their music.

Once someone hears their music and likes it, they will tell their friends about it and so on. This is sort of like free advertising for their music. It seems as though nothing can stop this music-swapping phenomenon. People have been downloading copyrighted music for a couple of years now for free, so they think they have the right to do it. But it isn’t right, it’s a privilege” (Ulrich 54). Since more and more people are using the Internet, file sharing is more widespread. Napster is a free program to use and this is why so many people are registered to use it.

When Napster was brought to court, it lost the first of many cases. So, why did they lose their first case? Section 1008 of the AHRA, which regulates “home taping,” was not written with online technology in mind, giving the complainants’ lawyers respectable arguments. Section 1008 governs noncommercial home taping by consumers; Napster users, they argue, are engaged in public distribution. These lawyers also argue that Napster has tried to profit from what it knows are illegal copying activities (Mercer 1). Although Napster lost this case, the fight is still going strong till this very day.

The reason? There are many different views on what the definition of property is and what makes it ownable. The RIAA has had good success in its legal crusade to shut down Napster’s music-swapping service. So far, the RIAA has argued that they’re trying to restrain not a technology but a business, Napster, which is stealing their industry’s property (Caulfield 69). Most of the people from the music business are accusing Napster of these infringements. Since their hard work is being put up on the Internet and is free to the taking, they have a right to feel this way.

They all feel that Napster is robbing them of their hard work, their very lives. This is why they are making a big effort to shut it down. We now live in world that relies on the Internet in many ways. When our internet-centric generation has an urge for something entertaining; they know that they can find something to keep them busy in cyberspace, most likely for free. They now know that they don’t have to go to Blockbuster to rent movies or Tower Records to buy CD’s anymore. They can just sit comfortably in their own homes and download if from the Internet.

This is why Napster is so popular nowadays because this gives them what they all want. Right now it’s only music but as the year goes on, they will have movies and even books ready to be downloaded (Mendham 26). Napster is just a small part of the theft of intellectual property because they are just songs. When it comes to worldwide publications and big hit movies, it becomes a bigger deal. There are already Napster-like services for videos and full-length feature films. Books, blueprints, vintage comics and stock photos may be next in line. Even newspapers and magazines are worried.

This is the time when everyone will jump into the fight (Ulrich 54). For good reason, major film companies are taking action because of what they found out. Since there are many Napster-like services out there that you can download full-length feature films that are only out in the theaters on to your computer screen for free, they have every right to take some action. This is what they need because they can join forces with major record labels to try and stop these programs from spreading, for good. Whether we like it or not, the stealing of intellectual property happens everyday.

Besides the whole Napster case, people can actually steal ideas, even if they haven’t had it written down yet. When this happens, the question is, what can you do? Companies that have been reported of the theft of intellectual property usually called in the feds or local law. But does this mean that they will do anything about it? Most of the time they cannot do much. Many of the cases usually go civil or simply go away (Albiniak 70). Nobody knows the true numbers, but probably about 90% or more of cases involving trade secrets or intellectual property thefts never see the light of day.

They’re quietly settled out of court or resolved in civil proceedings that are seldom made public. But every once in a while, companies decide to file criminal charges (Littman 1). Generally, it’s a good idea to involve the law or report it to some kind of high authority. Luckily there are options to choose from, the FBI, the Secret Service, increasingly sophisticated regional high-tech task forces, and even local police can be responsive. But the best way is to pick your cyber cop carefully because you need to know if they are knowledgeable about these kinds of cases (Littman 1).

Napster will always be looked at as the master of intellectual property theft. Currently the case between Napster and the RIAA is still going strong but it seems as though Napster will be forced to turn into a multi-million dollar business with the help of other big businesses. “In roughly a year, Napster has become the vortex of legal technological issues. Copying and stealing the work of others is not in the public interest, but all computer technology is fundamentally built on fast, perfect copying” (Dugan 2).

The reason why Napster is considered to be breaking the rules of the game is because it does more than just sharing files. People go on the website and register their computers to get a username, now they are ready to search for their favorite songs at no charge to them (Dukart 1). Napster wasn’t even planned to be a business. This reason alone isn’t enough to stop people from filing charges against Napster. Even if Napster ended up being wiped off the Internet, there are many other Napster wannabes out there that will someday create problems again.

Other programs like Gnutella and Freenet are also growing to be very popular in the substitution of Napster. Both were built to demonstrate and expand on the Internet’s potential to facilitate the free flow of information and also will be much more difficult for a judge, or anyone else, to shut down (Caulfield 69). Also since these programs are developed by AOL software and act more as a business type program, it’s more likely to stay. Currently, since there aren’t enough laws and regulations that protect intellectual property, programs like Napster will seem to never disappear.

Even if Napster loses the battle in court, it will have the option of turning into a business and being partners with big budget record companies. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how many laws are out there that is protecting against intellectual property. It matters on how detailed the laws are. The laws and regulations need to be more specific and apply to what these programs are actually doing. Programs like Napster will most likely show up sooner or later. It seems like Napster is a nightmare that won’t go away to the record companies.

On the other hand, society will forever appreciate what it has done for us in the two years it’s been in existence and hopefully will continue to do so in the future. By the end of the year, the courts will likely rule one way or the other, and many predict that the Napster case itself will make it all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court (Alsop 83). Napster’s future looks pretty bright from recent news. It has been offered many deals from huge entertainment companies, but still has not decided it’s next move. It looks like the laws that currently exist didn’t do much to protect what they call intellectual property.

Constitution of the United States

When the Constitution of the United States was first created in 1787, its purpose was to unify our country. However, by 1850, the United States had become ‘source of sectional discord and tension and ultimately contributed to the failure of the union it had created. ‘ What happened during the 63 years after it was first established to ‘contribute to the failure of the union it had created? ‘ One must look at what the Constitution promoted to make the country unified and what it did to make it disunified. Compromises such as 3/5, the Missouri, and the tariff of 1850 all helped to unify and shape our country.

However, compromises such as the Fugitive Slave Law, Popular Sovereignty, and the slave trade all led to disunify our country. The large populous states naturally wanted the number of representatives in the new Congress to be based on population. The Virginia Plan provided that there would be two houses of Congress and that in each one representation would be based on population. Like many other ideas that have made history, it was remarkably simple. Why not divide the Congress into two houses? In one house (the Senate) each state, regardless of population, would have the same number of representatives.

In the other house (the House of Representatives) each member would represent the same number of people. ‘Quite appropriately this came to be called the Great Compromise. Other major compromises came on slavery and on the control of commerce. The southern states, where the slaves were really treated as property, still wanted the slaves counted as people for the purposes of representation in the New House of Representatives. Some delegates argued that if one kind of property was counted for representation, other kinds should be too. This issue was resolved when slavery and taxation were linked.

It was assumed that Congress would raise money by levying direct taxes on the basis of population. That would mean that if all slaves were counted for the purposes of representation, then all slaves would be counted for taxation. Southerners decided that they were willing to lower demands. By the three-fifths compromise it was agreed that three fifths of the number of slaves would be counted both for representation and for levying direct taxes. It unified the nation in a way because it allowed the slaves to vote for government. The 3/5 Compromise helped unify our country because it allowed the slaves and white men to come together and vote.

Though they only counted as 3/5 of a person, it was something. It would be years the first time in history that slaves would be able to vote for government officials. One sectional interest in America was more sensitive and more explosive than all of the others, slavery. Unlike other economic issues, slavery was a great moral problem. In the days of the Founding Fathers, people presumed that slavery would eventually die out. The price of tobacco was so low that many plantation owners were finding the use and care of slaves unprofitable. But the cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney, soon changed their perspectives on slaves.

Plantations would prosper if only they could find the workers to work, to plant, to cultivate, and to gin the cotton. Black slaves seemed the obvious labor supply, and slavery began to seem necessary for southern prosperity. At the same time planters were eager to get more land and began moving westward. Over 60,000 settlers had crossed the Mississippi and into the Missouri River. St. Louis was a bustling city and the center of western fur trade. Although most of the settlers in Missouri were from the states north of Ohio, where slavery was prohibited, there were some from slaveholding states.

They had brought with them 10,000 slaves. When Missouri requested to be allowed to enter the Union, it opened up a heated debate whether or not the expansion of slavery would be allowed there. It was all a matter of power. If Missouri came in as a slave state, it would tip the political balance in the South’s favor. Missouri was the first part of the Louisiana Purchase to apply for statehood. When the request came to enter the Union, there was an effort to keep an even balance among free and slave holding states; 11 free and 11 slave. This meant that there was an even vote in the Senate.

It also meant that there was no state to match Missouri to make the balance even. In 1820, Congress sat down and devised a plan, the Missouri Compromise. Missouri was added as a slave state, while Maine became a free state. At the same time the law drew a line through all the rest of the lands of the Louisiana Purchase excluding slavery forever from north parallel of 36*30′ The Missouri Compromise was nothing more than a truce that announced the opening of a fight to the finish. The Missouri Compromise preserved sectional balance for over 30 thirty years and provided time for the nation to mature.

Nevertheless, if an era of good feelings existed, it was badly damaged by the storm of sectional controversy over Missouri. Americans were torn between feelings of nationalism on the one hand and feelings of sectionalism (loyalty to one’s own region) on the other. Therefore the Missouri Compromise helped to unify our country though it was a slave state. The gold rush and the influx of about 10,000 settlers into California created the need for law and order in the West. In 1849, Californians a constitution for their new state- a constitution that banned slavery.

Even though President Taylor was a slaveholder himself, he supported the immediate admission of both California and New Mexico, as free states. Some southerner extremists met in Nashville in 1850 to discuss secession. Henry Clay had a proposal for solving this political crisis.

1. Admit California to the Union as a free state. 2. Adopt a Fugitive Slave Law and enforce it rigorously 3. Ban the slave trade in the District of Columbia 4. Give the land in dispute between Texas and New Mexico territory to the new territories in return for the federal government assuming Texas’ public debt of $10 million. 5. Divide the remainder of the Mexican Cession into two territories: Utah and New Mexico- and allow settlers in these territories to decide the slavery issue by majority vote or popular sovereignty.

The passage of the Compromise of 1850 bought time for the nation. Because California was admitted as a free state, the compromise added to the North’s political power, and the political debate deepened the commitment of many northerners to saving the Union from secession. On the other hand, parts of the compromise became sources of controversy, especially the new Fugitive Slave Law and the provision for popular sovereignty.

By the 1850’s the Constitution had become a source of sectional discord and tension, contributed to the failure of the union, and no longer was an instrument of national unity. Although the compromises helped to solve the problem of the time, however they were delaying the inevitable and these helped lead to the Civil War The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 kept tempers hot in the North. It provided that state and city authorities and even plain citizens should assist in the capture and return of runaway slaves.

It was the passage of strict fugitive slave law that persuaded many southerners to accept the loss of California to the abolitionists and Free Soilers. The law’s chief purpose was to track down runaway slaves who had escaped to a northern state, capture them, and return them to their southern owner. State after state passed Personal Liberty Laws. These forbade state officials or private citizens to assist federal courts in enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act. The law also tried to guarantee protection and a fair trial to runaways.

Pierce had just become President of the United States and hoped that no sectional ambition or radical excitement might again threaten the durability of our institutions or obscure the light of our prosperity. (p. 257) Any captured person who claimed to be a free black and not a runaway slave was denied the right to trial by jury. Citizens who attempted to hide a runaway or obstruct enforcement of the law were subject to heavy penalties. In document D, it was said that the F. S. L. is a statue which enacts the crime of kidnapping, a crime on one footing with arson and murder.

A man’s right to liberty is an inalienable as his right to life… its a high crime and misdemeanor, punishable with fine and imprisonment to resist the reenslaving a man on the coast of America. ‘ In the flyer created by an abolitionist, it pointed out that man was able to capture free or runaway slaves’ to be on the lookout. This flyer had no right to allow whites to kidnap a man due to the color of his skin, free or runaway. Transcendentalists such as Emerson and Thoreau, both supported a variety of reforms, especially the antislavery movement.

Emerson’s essays argued for self-reliance, independent thinking and the primacy of spiritual, matters over material ones. Thoreau used observations of nature to discover essential truths about life and the universe. The Fugitive Slave Law is definitely a reason why the Constitution ended up in national discord. It was in reaction to the Fugitive Slave Law that made the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe so popular and made Pierce’s ‘hope’ unlikely. In her book she tried to portray the entire range experiences a slave could have, from good owners to bad, from being bought and sold to attempts to escape to freedom.

Southerners condemned the untruths in the novel and looked upon it one more proof of the North’s incurable prejudice against the South’s way of life. Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Fugitive Slave Law both led to national discord in the Constitution. Due to the proposal of extending the Missouri Compromise line, many alternatives were drawn up against doing so. Lewis Cass, a Democratic Senator, proposed a Compromise solution that soon won considerable support from both moderate northerners and moderate southerners.

Instead of Congress determining whether to allow slavery in a new western territory or state, Cass suggested that the matter be determined by a vote of the people who settled the territory. Cass’ approach to the problem was known as popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty being one of the alternatives, ‘relieved Congress of the responsibility of addressing the slavery issue by passing it on to territorial governments, popular sovereignty won support from many northern Democrats who otherwise might have converted to free soil.

Popular sovereignty didn’t really specify at what point the people of a territory could legalize or prohibit slavery. It also did not say how much authority territorial governments could exercise in regulating slavery. Popular sovereignty held the greatest possibility for maintaining the unity of the Democratic Party and national unity on the slavery issue. With the Democrats firmly in control of national policy both in control of national policy both in the White House and in Congress, a new law was passed that would have disastrous consequences.

A bill was proposed that the Nebraska Territory to be divided into the Kansas territory and Nebraska territory and the settlers there to be free to decide whether or not to allow slavery. These territories however were located north of the 36* 30’ line and gave southern slave owners an opportunity that had previously been closed to them by the Missouri Compromise. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed and the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The overriding purpose was to express opposition to the spread of slavery in territories.

In 1856 the case of Dred Scott, a slave suing for is freedom, reached the Supreme Court. ‘ Scott, had lived for a period of time in the free state of Illinois and the Wisconsin territory, where the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery. Scott claimed that his residence was in a free state and a free territory had made him a free man. The majority of the Court decided against Scott claiming that 1. Scott had no right to sue in a federal court because the Framers of the Constitution did not intend people of African American decent to be U. S. citizens. 2. Congress did not have the power to deprive any person of property without due process of the law; and, if slaves were a form of property, then Congress could not exclude slavery from any federal territory.

A lot of Southerner Democrats were thrilled with the Courts ruling. Republicans denounced the Dread Scott decision of the greatest crime in the annals of the republic. Though the Dred Scott decision was considered a ‘crime in the annals of the republic,’ many wondered if Buchanan had planned the Dred Scott Decision.

After all it did occur right after he was inaugurated into office. The Dred Scott Decision helped disunify the country because it was just the beginning of the slavery questions that would go on for years to come . The decision increased northerners suspicions of a slave powered conspiracy and ‘induced’ thousands of former Democrats to vote Republican. The Dred Scott Decision helped lead to disunify the country and the Constitution as well did popular sovereignty. Presidents in the early years did not have great qualities of leadership nor did they receive high standings from others.

When elected President, ‘Millard Fillmore gladly supported the Compromise of 1850 which had been drafted by Henry Clay. ‘ However, when Fillmore decided to try and enforce the Fugitive Slave Law, he received nothing but criticism from northern abolitionists. Franklin Pierce, our country’s 17th president, was dominated by southerners such as Jefferson Davis and William Marcy, both of whom hoped to maneuver Pierce into obtaining new land, to create new slave states. Another one of our country’s early Presidents was James Buchanan rejoiced because he ‘believed that the Dred Scott decision would end the problem of slavery forever.

He believed that it was ‘illegal for the South to secede but told northerners he would not use force to make the South stay in the Union since the Constitution did not give him that power. ‘ It’s no wonder why these 3 presidents were rated so lowly. The 58 historians surveyed by C-SPAN, assessed the 41 men who have served in the Oval Office on 10 qualities of presidential leadership, from managing the economy to providing moral authorities. They rated Fillmore 35th, Pierce 39th, and Buchanan dead last at 41. President Lincoln did however receive the highest rating, #1.

In a speech Lincoln gave to Congress in 1861 he said ‘the sophism itself is, that any state of the Union may, consistently with the national Constitution, and therefore lawfully, and peacefully, withdraw from the Union, without the consent of the Union, or any other state. ‘ Lincoln continues to say that ‘ having never been States, either in substance, or in mane, outside of the Union, whence this magical omnipotence of the State’s Rights, asserting a claim of power to lawfully destroy the Union itself. ‘ Lincoln saw it himself that the Union would be destroyed if it continued to go on the way it did.

It’s no wonder why Lincoln received the high rating he did. By the 1850’s the Constitution had become a source of sectional discord and tension, contributed to the failure of the union, and no longer was an instrument of national unity. Although the compromises helped solve the problems of the time, however, they were delaying the inevitable and these helped lead to the Civil War. Therefore, there were many leading key factors that helped to the national and sectional discord in our Constitution. These compromises had both its ups and downs but still managed to contribute to the downfall of the Constitution.

By the three-fifths compromise it was agreed that three fifths of the number of slaves would be counted for representation and for levying direct taxes. It unified the nation in a way because it allowed the slaves to vote. The Missouri Compromise was nothing more than a truce that announced the opening of fight to the finish. The Missouri Compromise preserved sectional balance for over 30 years and provided time for the nation to mature. The Fugitive Slave Law however, helped lead to the disunification of both the country and the Constitution.

The F. S. L. ated that any captured person who claimed to be a free black and not a runaway slave was denied the right to trial by jury. Popular Sovereignty held the greatest possibility maintaining the unity of the Democratic Party and national unity, but that like a lot of other things was proven to be wrong. Buchanan presumably premeditated the Dred Scott Decision but no one really proved it. In conclusion, like stated in the thesis, there were many factors that led to the nation’s sectional discord and the unity within the nation. Some of which are still around today but work better.

Comparing the Meiji and MacArthur Constitution

Two major changes in government were the driving force for the Meiji and 1947 (MacArthur) Constitutions to be drafted in Japan. The Meiji Constitution presented in 1889, was created during an era of restoration that reestablished the Emperor as head of the Japanese government and its people. This document served to not only bring back an old form of government to the Japanese, but effectively ended a disorganized duel system of government (Emperor and Bakufu) and unified a nation in order to compete with western powers.

The occupation of Japan by the United States after Word War II also served to bring about great change in Japanese government. The result of this occupation was a drastic alteration of Meiji government along with its constitution in order to quill fears of Japanese aggression reemerging in the future. Both the Meiji and 1947 constitutions were major turning points in Japanese history, and can be compared due to their similarity. Known as the Meiji Era (1868-1912) Japan was in a process of reconstructing its self into a modern nation when the right elements existed to make a constitution.

With the Emperor as their national symbol, Japans people railed to the threat of Western powers taking over their country. Beginning in 1853 a policy of isolation that was well established for close to 200 years came to an end. Commodore Matthew Perry and a fleet of American warships sailed into Tokyo bay with a request to open its ports for trade. Out matched by western technology and aware of imperialism being posed on china the Japanese had no choice but to open their nation to the world.

The arrival of the west not only opened Japans ports but also resulted in a series of unequal treaties signed between the feudal Takugawa Shogunate and the Americans, British, and Dutch. To the Japanese people any treaties signed were unacceptable and something had to be done about it. Open rebellion eventually took place and the Shogun was overthrown. With the Takugawa gone marked an end to a duel system of government placing a figurehead Emperor in Edo, and a military government in Kamakura. In its place rose new central authority under the symbol of the Emperor.

Before this new authority could give rise the Japanese searched for suitable examples of government that they could use to make there own government. Representatives were sent to Europe and brought back many ideas that were used to create Japans government. The information the Japanese brought back ended up shaping the new government into what it was during the Meiji Era. With this new government shaped by western and Japanese ideals still something was missing, the idea of a Constitution was being considered.

Eventually this idea became reality and a constitution consisting of seven chapters, establishing an Emperor as ruler, diet (legislative body) as representation for the people, Penal laws, land rights, and the abolishment of the confusion style class system came into being. Along with the Emperor and a constitution came the build up of Japans military. With the threat of western powers winning a war against Japan, the Emperor was convinced that he should build up a strong Navy, Army, and Air Force to ensure Japans security.

Envoys were once again sent to western countries to gain knowledge of modern warfare and organization of a military. Upon there return delegates from these envoys suggested that a conscript law be established to draft solders for a modern military. This system effectively replaced the samurai and ensured the abolishment of feudalism. By the start of World War II the Japanese were a superpower in Asia Japans military had beaten the Russians, Chinese, and Korean giving the United States a reason to feel threatened by Japan.

The event that brought the United States to a panic came with the signing of treaties with Italy and Germany, and the invasion of Indochina by Japanese troops in the summer of 1941 . In response to these treaty and invasion the United States along with Britain placed embargos on Japan effectively cutting off supplies of oil and rubber. These two products were essential to the Japanese military and without them Japan would be sure to run out of their reserves quickly.

This ensured a war between Japan and the United States because of Japans isolation in the Pacific, and after all debate was over Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. From 1941-45 Japan fought intensely against the United States but ultimately lost. Atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki, and Hiroshima, and the Russians declaring war on Japan proved to be the endgame on August 14th Japan officially surrendered. With this surrender marked a new turning point for Japan. For the first time in its history Japan had lost a war, and had a foreign country occupying their land.

After the war Japan as a country laid in ruin, she had to be rebuilt from the inside out. The Japanese responded to this challenge with a speed unseen by any nation. The reason for this was simple for two reasons, one Japan was allowed to keep the Emperor, and two Japanese government with modifications remained intact with the United States as its guide. After the occupation was established the United States began a plan to rebuild Japan by Demilitarization, Democratization, and Rehabilitation. General Douglas MacArthur Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers was placed in control of these efforts.

First MacArthur set out to dismantle the military and return Japan to its original size before expansionism occurred. Next MacArthur decided to establish a new Constitution; this is often considered one of the most important changes enacted. MacArthur kept some elements of the original constitution, but similarities and differences can be drawn when looking at both documents. Major differences in the 1947 and Meiji Constitution were a new definition of the Emperor, a totally elected Diet with the establishment of a Cabinet, and Article nine.

In the original constitution the Emperor was described as a monarch that with almost absolute power, in the 1947 constitution Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power. This meant that the people were the reason the Emperor held the office he did. In the original Meiji Constitution the people served the Emperor and the State in more of a dictatorship however they could still vote him out of they choose.

The second change that can be observed is the establishment of a Cabinet that made both houses of the Diet elective. Next was the Decentralization of the national police force, Human rights guaranteed through a Bill of Rights, and lastly and most importantly Article Nine. Article Nine is important because it again shows the fear that the west had of a reemergence of Japanese aggression. Article Nine stated, The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right and that as a result no military forces will be kept or recognized.

The only exceptions to this article would be in case of Self-defense, Collective self-defense, Participation in UN enforcement actions, and Peace- keeping operations. Now Japan was Demilitarized, Democratized, and all that was left was Rehabilitation. Much was done to try and rebuild the economic, and educational system in Japan. Labor unions, and land reform was instituted along with the rebuilding of Japanese economy. Education was also an important factor set along a western standard a grade system of 6-3-3-4 was set along with college afterward.

The Meiji and 1947 MacArthur Constitution were both important documents. Equally these constitutions represented major turning points in Japans history. The Meiji Constitution represented an end to feudalism and the establishment of a strong central government run by the Emperor. The 1947 Constitution established by the United States redefining the Emperor as a ruler chosen by the people, established a cabinet making the Diet elective, Decentralizing the police force, Guaranteed human rights for everyone through a Bill of Rights, and restricted Japan from having a military with Article nine.

Reno v. ACLU

The conflict began on February 8, 1996, when President Clinton signed the CDA law and ACLU, along with EPIC and eighteen other plaintiffs, immediately filed its legal challenge. ACLU v. Reno represents the first legal challenge to censorship provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The CDA makes it a crime, punishable by up to two years in jail and/or a $250,000 fine, for anyone to engage in speech that is indecent or patently offensive on computer networks if the speech can be viewed by a minor.

The ACLU is a nationwide, non-partisan organization dedicated to defending and preserving the Bill of Rights for all individuals through litigation, legislation and public education. EPIC is a non-profit, education and research organization based in Washington, D. C. EPIC examines civil liberties and privacy issues that arise in new electronic media. Janet Reno was the attorney general for the U. S. The kind of indecency identified as potentially criminal by government witnesses in Reno v. ACLU included Internet postings of the photo of the actress Demi Moore naked and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair, and any use online of the famous seven dirty words.

In addition, the CDA would put at risk much of the socially valuable material posted online by the plaintiffs, including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Stop Prisoner Rape, Human Rights Watch and Critical Path AIDS Project. The ACLU argued that everyone, including minors, are entitled to have access to such socially valuable information.

Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter, Judge Stewart Dalzell, and Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter were appointed to hear the preliminary injunction, which included five days of live testimony, written testimony, documentary evidence, and detailed stipulations about the nature of the online medium. The decision issued by the District Court contained over 400 separate findings of fact that included information about the nature of communication and content in the cyberspace medium.

The ACLU argued in the lower court that the censorship provisions are unconstitutional because they would criminalize expression that is protected by the First Amendment and because the terms indecency and patently offensive are unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. ACLU plaintiffs Particia Nell Warren of Wild Cat Press and Kiyoshi Kuromiya of the Critical Path AIDS Project told judges they fear censorship under the new law. Ann Duvall, president of Surf Watch, took judges on a first-ever live tour of the Internet, including a demonstration of how her companys software blocks access to sites deemed unsuitable for children.

Dr. Donna Hoffman, an expert witness on marketing in cyberspace, tells the court that the censorship law would destroy the democratic nature of cyberspace, causing many mom & pop websites to close up shop for fear of civil and criminal penalties under the vague indecency ban. Government witness Howard Schmidt conceded under cross-examination that it is highly unlikely for anyone to come across sexually explicit information on the Internet by accident.

Plaintiff witness Dr. Albert Vezza told the court about PICS (Platform for Internet Content Selection), a new rating system designed to allow parents to control childrens access to the Internet without censorship. Dan Olsen, another government witness, acknowledged that PICS would allow parents to control their childrens Internet access according to their own values. These judges decided in favor of free speech in cyberspace and the end of the CDA law. The lower court agreed with the ACLUs view that the CDAs ill-conceived effort to censor speech in the unique medium of cyberspace violates the First Amendment.

When the government decided to appeal the preliminary injunction ruling to the Supreme Court, it offered this court its first opportunity to consider how traditional free speech principles should be applied to the Internet. The government appealed to the Supreme Court, not by writ of certiorari, but by direct appeal because the CDA itself provides for a right of direct appeal to the Supreme Court. The court accepted Reno v. ACLU for full review.

The Court recognized the speech enhancing qualities of cyberspace, saying that the growth of the Internet has been and continues to be phenomenal. As a matter of constitutional tradition, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we presume government regulation of the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange of ideas than to encourage it. The Court ruled that the CDA places an unacceptably heavy burden on protected speech, which threatens to torch a large segment of the Internet community.

With these words, the Supreme Court closed its opinion: The interest in encouraging freedom of expression in a democratic society outweighs any theoretical but unproved benefit of censorship. In a virtually unanimous decision written by Justice Stevens, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 to affirm the lower court decision striking down the CDA as unconstitutional. Justice OConnor, with Chief Justice Rehnquist, concurred in the judgment but dissented in part. In its ruling, the Court does several important things that will have an impact in the future.

It gives evidence that the CDA is unconstitutional, it refutes its own decision in Pacifica v. FCC, and it tackles the analogy question about the Internet. The Justices agreed that the CDA violates the First Amendment due to its vagueness and overbreadth, calling the CDA a content-based blanket restriction on speech. They also found it ambiguous in that each of the two parts of the CDA uses a different linguistic form. The Supreme Court was very concerned that serious speakers on issues like birth control practices, homosexuality, and the consequences of prison rape would be dampened by the CDA.

The severity of its criminal penalties may well cause speakers to remain silent rather that communicate even arguably unlawful words, ideas and images. The governments argument was that because the CDAs indecency language overlaps a section of the three-part Miller standard used in obscenity prosecutions, the law is not vague. Both the CDA and Miller standard hold that the material in question must be patently offensive under contemporary community standards. Reno v. ACLU leaves obscenity laws alone and deals only with the issue of non-obscene indecent speech.

The Court said that a term that is not vague in context might be vague when standing alone. It explained in footnote thirty-eight: Even though the word trunk, standing alone, might refer to luggage, a swimming suit, the base of a tree, or the long nose of an animal, its meaning is clear when it is one prong of a three-part description of a species of gray animals. The Justices concluded that the CDA unquestionably silences some speakers whose messages would be entitled to constitutional protection.

Stopping the CDA was the reason the case came into being, but the Justices did not cease there. They also reversed the ruling of Pacifica v. FCC, popularly known as the Seven Dirty Words case, from twenty years ago. Until Pacifica, the Court had always justified censorship of radio and television based on a doctrine known as spectrum scarcity. In other words, the governments role in assigning frequencies in the scarce broadcast spectrum led to a role in reviewing content as well.

In Pacifica, the Court labeled these mediums as pervasive and said that was why the government could censor. The Court defines radio and television as pervasive because it comes into the household, and that children turning a dial may stumble on indecent programming, thus justifying the censorship of indecent speech. Ithiel de Sola Pool, a communications scholar, wrote in 1983 that the pervasiveness doctrine would someday be used to justify quite radical censorship. The prediction almost came true in 1996 with the CDA law.

The Supreme Court gave further stimulation to the CDA law by using pervasiveness as a rationale for censorship of non-scarce cable television in its Denver Area Educational Telecommunications Consortium v. FCC decision. The Court declared that the Net is not pervasive in its Reno v. ACLU opinion. Though [indecent] material is widely available, users rarely encounter such content accidentally The existence of warning screens and document descriptions dictates that the odds are slim that a user would enter a sexually explicit site by accident.

Unlike radio and television, use of the Net requires a series of affirmative steps more deliberate and directed than merely turning a dial. Using the word invasive instead of Pacificas pervasive, the Court concluded: The Internet is not as invasive as radio or television. The Internet can hardly be considered a scarce expressive commodity. It provides relatively unlimited, low-cost capacity for communications of all kinds. Another important thing that the Courts ruling did was to make the analogy question about the Internet a little clearer.

Until recently, courts analyzed new technologies by reference to older, similar ones. For example, in the last century the courts decided that the telephones legal regime could be determined by regarding it as a telegraph. The courts have done this because a strong analogy gives clear legal guidance, avoids messes, and saves time. For the last twenty-five years, the Supreme Court has departed from the analogy solution where new media are concerned. Instead, it has taken the view that for freedom of speech purposes, every new medium is unique and presents particular problems.

At the same time, it has issued decisions that are slightly confusing, from Pacifica through last years Denver, saying that an analogy isnt necessary. This insistence by the Court that technological precedent isnt useful has tripped the Court up. For example, the Court announced that cable is not to be treated like broadcast television (Turner v. FCC I) and then saying that it is in fact to be treated like broadcast television (Turner v. FCC II). Unlike the District Court, which analogized the Net to print and the telephone, the Supreme Court decision doesnt rely on analogy to reach a result.

However, the Court makes a couple of significant references: The Web is thus comparable, from the readers viewpoint, toa vast library including millions of readily available and indexed publications And again: Through the use of Web pages, mail explorers and newsgroups, [any Net user] can become a pamphleteer. The Supreme Court applies standards of various strictness to determining the constitutionality of laws. Its highest standard of review is called strict scrutiny, which says that to survive, a law must be based on a compelling government interest and use the least restrictive means of reaching the goal.

Laws evaluated under a strict scrutiny standard rarely survive, so the battle is mostly won when the Court agrees to apply this standard. By applying its highest standard to the Net, after referring to the Net as a library and Net users a s pamphleteers, the Court is acknowledging that the Net should be treated like print media, which has always had the highest level of First Amendment protection. Elsewhere in the opinion, the Court backs away from this conclusion. It has long objected to almost every kind of restriction on the content of non-obscene print communications.

The District Court observed that Congress would not even considered passing a Newspaper Decency Act. The Supreme Court does not tackle this issue because appellees do not press this argument before the Court, we do not consider it. The Court goes on in footnote thirty to re-affirm that the government has a compelling interest in protecting minors from indecent, patently offensive speech. Thus, the Court leaves open the possibility that it may still tolerate a higher level of censorship for the Net than it has for print.

Looked at this way, Reno v. ACLU may say nothing more than that the vague CDA fails where a more sniper-like approach may prevail. Many people view this as a precedent-setting event. ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser hailed the ruling as an unprecedented breakthrough in the fight to determine the future of free speech into the next century. Everyone knew the CDA was unconstitutional, but Congress passed the law and the President signed it, Glasser said. Todays historic decision affirms what we knew all along: cyberspace must be free. Reno v.

ACLU has indeed served as an example for many cases concerning the Internet in keeping cyberspace free. One such case occurred in 1998 and the offending law was so similar to CDA that one attorney said, Whether you call it the Communications Decency Act or the Congress Doesnt Understand the Internet Act, it is still unconstitutional and it still reduces the Internet to what is fit for a six-year-old. The law was the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which makes it a federal crime to knowingly communicate for commercial purposes material considered harmful to minor.

Another law that was shut down in Mainstream Loudoun v. Board of Trustees of the Loudoun County Library in 1998. This law censored library computers and the librarys website of all material deemed wrong for a minor. Both of these cases used Reno v. ACLU as a precedent, and both of the cases stopped laws that prohibited speech on the Internet. The high courts decision came just three days after federal district judges in New York and Georgia struck down Internet censorship laws in those states.

The New York case, American Library Assoc. Pataki, dealt with a law almost identical to the federal CDA. Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled that the law violated the Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution because it attempted to regulate activity beyond states borders. In the Georgia case, ACLU v. Miller, Judge Marvin Shoob found a law banning anonymous speech on the Internet to be an unconstitutional restriction on free speech that affords prosecutors and police officers with substantial room for selective prosecution of persons who express minority viewpoints.

The Supreme Courts ruling on Reno v. ACLU, together with the New York and Georgia decisions, creates a body of law that will help ensure that the free speech principles embodied in the Constitution apply with the same force on the Internet as they do in other strict scrutiny media. Many more cases challenging state attempts to regulate the Internet have occurred, and are strengthening and solidifying the Reno v. ACLU decision. The Supreme Courts decision will stand as one of the most important First Amendment decisions of the 20th century.

The Court, whose freedom of speech jurisprudence had recently been fragmented and confusing, has issued a clear, logical and correct statement which will be the cornerstone of free speech decision-making into the next century. The Supreme Courts decision that the Internet cannot be censored by CDAs guidelines is critically important to the future of what one judge described as the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed.

International Tribunal Essay

On May 25, 1993, U. N. Security Council Resolution 827 established an international tribunal charged with prosecuting violations of international law arising from the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Not since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, following World War II has an international court tried individuals accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.

The International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTFY), which was established at The Hague, Netherlands, is widely seen as an important step toward the deterrence of crimes, the establishment of the firm rule of international law, and the promotion of world peace. Yet, from its inception, the tribunal has generated controversy among supporters and detractors.

Among those who believe that the tribunal idea is sound, the principal concerns are that such an institution be established on a sound legal basis, that it adhere to an acceptably high standard of due process, that it administer equal and dispassionate justice, and that it be perceived by nations and individuals to be legitimate, fair and effective. Unfortunately, the Yugoslavia tribunal has not yet met all these standards–and may never be able to meet all of them in the fullest sense.

A discussion of some of the realities that face the ICTFY demonstrates why the task of making the tribunal work is so difficult–and why it is vital that it be accomplished. None of the four requirements that the tribunal must meet is easily achieved, and, in some cases, success seems unlikely. Many supporters of international humanitarian law are convinced, however, that, so long as the court does no harm, it must continue to pursue its original goals. This position supports the general idea of the rule of law, without reference to the circumstances.

Ordinarily, of course, justice is supposed to be above the particularities of any case. Yet the nature of the circumstances in the case of the former Yugoslavia may undermine the ICTFY’s credibility and render it ineffective in obtaining justice and promoting the concept of international humanitarian law. Justice must be predicated on detachment and impartiality. But the ICTFY is essentially a first attempt at administering such justice, and the peculiarities of the test case have to be kept from contaminating the process.

The U. N. panel of experts that recommended the establishment of the tribunal had concluded that “willful killing, organized massacres, torture, rape, pillage, and destruction of civilian property” had all been employed in the former Yugoslavia. In eastern Bosnia, these atrocities were war crimes that breached the Geneva Conventions and other international laws governing conflicts between nations. They were also breaches of international humanitarian law, as formulated at Nuremberg and elsewhere.

When these tactics were employed by Bosnian Serb forces as part of the program of so-called “ethnic cleansing” directed against Bosnian Muslims and other non-Serbs, they also constituted genocide. The Genocide Convention is specifically designed to cover crimes against groups, as opposed to crimes against humanity which “do not necessarily involve offenses against or persecutions of groups. ” But the Convention also limits the crime of genocide to actions occurring between states. Under the tribunal’s mandate, however, ethnic persecution is treated as an “international” crime even if it has occurred within a single state.

This is a considerable expansion of international law, yet, through it, ICTFY “exemplifies a new understanding of accountability that makes heinous and systematic rights violations an international matter. ” The thinking behind this change in the interpretation of international humanitarian law is based on the easily observed fact that “victims of ethnic persecution are citizens who have been rendered aliens within their own homeland,” and their status, accordingly, “transcends to the international sphere. ” Despite a great delay in selecting a chief prosecutor, Richard Goldstone was appointed in July, 1994.

For such an unwieldy forum, the tribunal has proceeded quite swiftly. As of July, 1996, 75 persons had been indicted by the tribunal–though only 10 of them were in custody. The first trial, “that of Dusan Tadic, the civilian accused of participating in the torture of Muslim detainees,” began in May 1996. Yet more than $80 million had already been spent on the court by the time this trial began. Thus, the question of continued financial support for the project is also important, and it hinges on U. N. General Assembly members’ perception of the fairness and effectiveness of the courts.

Comparisons of the ICTFY with the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials are frequently made in discussions of the current tribunal. Such comparisons have little value as precedents, but they do provide insight into the problems inherent in the earlier tribunals. Despite the considerable differences in their circumstances, the Nuremberg and Hague tribunals face problems that are quite similar. These similarities point up some of the drawbacks of the concept of international criminal courts. Such problems may be capable of resolution, but solutions are far from being realized.

At Nuremberg (and Tokyo), for instance, the trials were a postwar phenomenon, while the Hague tribunal began sitting when the war was still in progress. Many hoped that the initiation of the tribunal would aid in securing peace in the region. Thus, at Nuremberg, prosecutors “sought justice after peace [while] the Hague seeks peace through justice. ” This is a significant difference, since it raises questions about possible motives behind almost every one of the court’s actions–motives that may impinge on the objectivity of the proceedings.

In such matters as the selection of individuals or types of crime to be prosecuted, for instance, the court may believe that it has an obligation to the peace process that takes precedence over its obligation to justice. These are precisely the sort of considerations that usually militate against any attempt at punishing such crimes, as “so-called realpolitik considerations” prevail, and rights violations are ignored in the hope of solving the larger problem. The biggest problem that emerges is that, most often, the political and military leaders benefit from these peace concerns.

The fear that such leaders will be able to sabotage the process of conflict resolution results in their being “granted international legitimacy” in order to facilitate the greater goal. Unfortunately, this is precisely what has happened in the case of the ICTFY. Beginning in 1992, as international sanctions began to have an effect on the various Serb forces engaged in scattered conflicts, Serbia’s President Slobodan Milosevic began to support the Vance-Owen plan–the forerunner of the Dayton-Paris accords.

Milosevic gradually jettisoned his “former disciples and agents in ‘Western Serb Lands,'” in order to position himself properly with the West as the Serbian hope for peace. Milosevic successfully completed this transformation and, along with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, became a primary force in securing the negotiated end to hostilities. Many observers believe, however, that “these two men bear principal responsibility for the last five years of carnage.

They ask if this means that justice will not be extended to cover as many of the guilty parties as possible, or ensures the escape of those with the broadest responsibility: “Most of those responsible for war crimes remain at large,” and most remain unindicted as well. The process, some say, has become irretrievably politicized. This argument is reinforced by the fact that, in the wake of the December, 1995 Dayton Accords, the guarantee of free elections and other political prerogatives of sovereign states might be infringed upon by arresting all the accused parties since some are political leaders.

This was especially important in the cases of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, two indicted Serbian leaders who had not been taken into custody. As Guest noted, the purpose of the Dayton-endorsed elections was to “sideline nationalists and open the way for a more moderate brand of Serb politician. ” As head of the Serb Democratic Party, Karadzic and, even if he stepped aside, his surrogates played too important a role in the political process to be ignored. Individuals may be indicted and arrested, but banning an entire party “threaten[s] the integrity of the elections.

This reluctance to harm the political process played an important role in the reluctance of the U. N. forces to seize Karadzic and Mladic. Another significant related problem is that some of the parties involved refuse to recognize the authority of the ICTFY. The “Bosnian Serb Republic,” for example, had no intention of recognizing a body that would not recognize the existence of that polity in the first place. This, of course, touches on the problem of national sovereignty and self-determination.

While such claims may be understood to be self-justifications for genocide in the case of the former Yugoslavia, they will be, nonetheless, important factors for any future tribunals dealing with the application of international criminal law. Thus, critics of ICTFY say that “both the retention of political control” by those responsible for crimes and criminal policies and the “politics of maintaining the fragile Dayton accords” have rendered the tribunal all but impotent. The critics say that this becomes perfectly clear on considering the first trial that was conducted by the tribunal.

The defendant, Tadic, has been described as “no more than a thug of the lowest rank, having held no official governmental or military position. ” Many people have inferred from this trial and from the failure of the tribunal to even consider indicting certain higher level individuals that the political effect has taken hold in the ICTFY and that justice will amount to the punishment of some of the foot-soldiers of the ethnic cleansing campaigns, while ignoring those who devised these horrors. The tribunal was, however, designed to avoid just this kind of result.

From the beginning, its function was considered to be the punishment of individuals–at every level of involvement in war crimes, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. This was deliberate because those involved in the process understood that it was necessary to create a strong distinction between a “spontaneous outburst” of ethnic feeling and what was, in the former Yugoslavia, a “conflict deliberately provoked by power-hungry leaders through a campaign of indoctrination and misinformation aimed at political homogenization of ethnic groups through the creation of a common ‘enemy.

Such a design also allowed, however, for assigning individual responsibility at any level where it might be appropriate. This was important because, as Dimitrijevic shows, the evolution of the crimes in the area may have been the result of the leaders’ campaigns, but the crimes were often the result of individual initiative. Yet, overall, the prevailing notion that the wars in the former Yugoslavia were generated by centuries of pent-up tribal hatred was allowed to flourish because, essentially, this was what the leaders of Serbia and Croatia wanted their followers to believe.

The idea of victimization was central to formulating the political-military-genocidal strategies employed in the area. Serbian leaders argued that they had exhausted peaceful means in trying to resolve disputes after centuries of oppression and genocide at the hands of their neighbors. Thus, they were forced to turn to war. Since this was a “war for survival” and self-determination in the “creation of a new state,” this meant no rules. In such a war, “mercy and sentiment are out of place, even towards one’s conationals [and[ individuals are of no concern, neither as victims nor as perpetrators. ”

Later, as a result of the undeniable Serb aggression, the Croats became genuine victims. But, according to “popular argument” in Croatia, the Serbs, by their aggression, “had forfeited the protections owed to ordinary combatants and civilians,” and this argument proved to be “a formula for lawless cruelty” in their response. Needless to say, the Croatians also saw themselves as engaged in a war for survival. When Croat atrocities committed against Bosnian Muslims began to come to light and when the Serbs’ early tide of victories turned, these victimization arguments became increasingly strident.

Both sides believed that their victimization and their struggle for self-determination entailed a justifiable “wholesale dismissal of criminal responsibility. ” These attitudes had enabled the commission of crimes which shocked the world. They enabled them to provide psychological justification for the perpetrators and to motivate the planners. The primary justifications were at the level of the sense of outrage that was engendered in people who were persuaded that they were victims (or who actually were victims).

But the overriding belief was that perpetrators of such crimes were untouchable. Certainly, the absence of accountability has always been an important factor in such crimes. Without the sense that they could act with impunity, “few would be willing to engage in human rights abuses,” and those who were already familiar with repressive political regimes in the former Yugoslavia believed that, just as political and military leaders persistently escaped punishment for such deeds, anyone who served their caused and followed their orders would be similarly immune.

The planning aspect of the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia is especially important, since it is key to the concept of individual responsibility that underlies the tribunal’s operations. In an important sense, the tribunal is concerned with the prosecution of the major war criminals, those who have responsibility for inciting, planning and ordering the systematic employment of human rights abuses of all kinds as a strategic means of waging war and as aspects of the ethnic cleansing initiative.

The Nuremberg court was also dedicated to the prosecution of “major war criminals,” a distinction that meant that only 24 people were accused and scheduled to be tried before the court. That number was, however, considered to touch very few of the major criminals involved in those abuses. Thus, the ICTFY has taken care to keep the definition of criminal responsibility at the higher levels fairly open. An excellent example of the necessity of this approach is found in Niarchos’ analysis of the problems of prosecuting rape at The Hague.

As she notes, rape is often dismissed as a random act committed by individual soldiers. The truth that has emerged from the Yugoslav witnesses, however, has been that rapes there “appear to be carried out as a deliberate policy. ” At least 80 percent of the reported rapes took place in custodial facilities, and many of the accused attackers have reported that they were ordered to commit rape “to ensure that the victims and their families would never want to return to the area. ” Clearly, this makes the crime of rape a much more complicated matter than it already was.

Not only does it represent a deliberate policy, but it is revealed as a strategy of the ethnic cleansing initiative as well. In dealing with questions of individual responsibility, therefore, all the crimes that have been revealed in the former Yugoslavia lend themselves to prosecution at several levels. Yet the attempt to define individual responsibility generates a great deal of confusion. In defending the choice of Tadic as the tribunal’s first trial, Guest opened by asserting that “Tadic played a more important role in ethnic cleansing than his rank would suggest.

Tadic was a cafe owner who, apparently, “out of resentment against his more successful Muslim neighbors,” went to Omarska, where “the Muslim leadership and intelligentsia from Northwest Bosnia were taken to be murdered,” and served as a prison guard. The charge against Tadic revolved around an incident in which he forced a prisoner to castrate other prisoners with his teeth. As Guest says, there were witnesses to the act and it “traumatized the entire camp population,” and, he concludes, “Tadic’s role should not be underestimated. ”

The fact that Guest feels compelled to justify the prosecution of Tadic by elevating the importance of his role in the ethnic cleansing campaign speaks to the problem of individual responsibility and the trials at The Hague. Guest clearly feels uncomfortable with the fact that Tadic was the first to be prosecuted, and wishes to inflate the importance of his role compared to a greater level of responsibility. If the presidents of Serbia and Croatia are not being indicted, at least those who are indicted should, Guest seems to argue, be responsible for more than just their own actions.

The fact that Tadic’s sadistic crimes are horrible in themselves is not sufficient for Guest or, it seems, for the critics of ICTFY that he is answering. But this is the underlying problem with assigning individual responsibility and making accountability for past crimes the basis on which nations can be rebuilt. As Dworkin notes, the idea, which goes back to Nuremberg, is that by accusing and trying those leaders who have the broadest responsibility for the crimes, “you remove the stigma that would otherwise attach to the nation in whose name the acts were carried out.

In the case of the ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, this logic seems even more pertinent, as the peoples involved need to “learn not to judge each other guilty merely by virtue” of ethnic group membership. If those who encouraged the atrocities are removed from the circulation, this will facilitate the rebuilding of society in the region. But where can such levels of responsibility stop? In the case of crimes such as the murder of more than 6,000 Muslims in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, in which Mladic and Karadzic have been implicated, the arrest and conviction of these men is intended to create some sort of resolution.

Dworkin notes that “it is neither practicable nor desirable” for international courts to pursue all the cases of atrocities, “not least because of the intrusion into national life it would entail,” Goldstone and the ICTFY have, therefore, attempted to establish the degrees of responsibility at which convictions need to be pursued on the international level. As Akhavan noted, on behalf of the prosecutor’s office, for whom he is a legal advisor, “the symbolic effect of prosecuting even a limited number of such leaders before an international jurisdiction would have a considerable impact on national reconciliation.

In another context, Akhavan has argued that, even “absent [the] arrest and surrender to the Tribunal” of many leaders such as Mladic and Karadzic, their indictment and “the consequent stigmatization, deprivation of liberty, and removal from public office, has had the effect of an ‘interim justice. ‘” This raises another significant difference between the Nuremberg and ICTFY courts, which is that, after its defeat, Germany was entirely in the hands of the victors, while, in the former Yugoslavia, “no one is in complete control of the territory or capable of seizing those who [are to] be prosecuted.

The problems that this raises are twofold. First, the failure of the U. N. to arrest those who have been indicted demonstrates a lack of will, and undermines the credibility of the tribunal as an administrator of international law. Thus, any attempts to ascribe an expanded field of action and responsibility to the horrors committed by a Dusan Tadic simply serve to undermine the tribunal’s ineffectual status. In addition, of course, Tadic’s crimes point up the degree to which thousands of people were involved in the commission of horrifying acts of brutality.

If the tribunal and the Security Council merely hope that these trials will facilitate national reconciliation, the evidence of Tadic’s behavior shows far too many people involved to achieve reconciliation merely by placing the blame on the leaders (though they, of course, deserve to be tried). What the recourse to international law produces in the case of the ICTFY is a tendency to ignore the importance of internal justice. How were the citizens of the area to deal with Dusan Tadic if he had not been tried before an international tribunal?

Another difficulty is that, in the Yugoslavian cases, the only form of evidence available is the testimony of witnesses. Despite “a huge amount of corroborated evidence of what happened in Yugoslavia,” timeliness is extremely important. No substantial number of documents or filmed evidence, so far as is known, exist for any of the crimes of which the accused are charged. Witness testimony is very much subject to change as time elapses, and witnesses, especially since the trials are not being held on the site of the crimes, are often hard to locate.

Nor is ensuring the safety and non-coercion of witnesses easy. This is, of course, very different from the case in Germany, where a vast civil service and organized military administration kept very efficient track of every aspect of military and civilian operations. In the former Yugoslavia, chaos has been the order of the day for several years–but those responsible used modern methods to convey their message.

With the inability of the tribunal to indict, arrest, and try even those ring-leaders whose public statements, published and televised as they were, constitute a part of the evidence against them, there is little chance that, at justice’s slow pace, convictions will ever reach any very great number. In the meantime, of course, the ring-leaders, as much as the ordinnary citizens who committed so many of the actual crimes, will be at home and will be the responsibility of the internal justice systems of the region. This, in turn, is likely to send the region up in flames all over again.

A History of English Common Law

The origin of English Common in the 12th century was sparked by the death of King Henry I in 1135. The nephew of Henry I was Stephen, and he was acknowledged to be the rightful king, but the magnates and such had sworn loyalty to Henrys daughter, Matilda. The entire reign of Stephen, which lasted from 1135 to 1154, was spent fighting with Matilda and her French husband. Upon Stephens death the son of Matilda, Henry II, became king in 1154.

It was from here on that the King started to take noticeable interest in the dealings of the court system, and put in to place a royal system instead of allowing the lords to deal with all matters in feudal courts. 1 According to F. W. Maitland, The reign of Henry II is of supreme importance in the history of our law, and its importance is due to the action of the central power, to reforms ordained by the king. He was forever busy with new devices for enforcing the law. The term common is used because the laws established are just that, common to every jurisdiction and administered through a central court.

When Innocent III ruled, the term was used in the church as well as in the royal courts to distinguish ordinary law from the law applicable to particular provincial churches. 3 The term common also stems from the fact that the law was characterized by processes of categorization and routinization, in particular the routine royal treatment of a wide range of cases. 4 Arthur Hogue sums up the common law by using two opposite views. What the common law is not, and what it is. He says The common law is not a written code. the principles of common law have always eluded complete embodiment in any code or collection of writings.

Judicial decision recorded on the plea rolls of the common-law courts, declaratory statures, and learned treatises on the common law may all express the principles of the common law, but these writings never comprise its totality. 5 Another rule that does not apply to the common law is that the common law does not apply to a single group, for example the church. Therefore it is unlike the canon law. Third, the common law is not local custom for everyone, and it is not identified along with the rules of any of the local courts. Specialized rules are not part of common law.

Rogue goes on to explain what the common law is by using five simple explanations. First, the common law is a body of general rules that apply universally throughout the realm. Second, royal courts enforce the laws. The treatise called Fleta states that the Crown asserted a general responsibility for the judicial work of every secular court in the land. Third, the laws are made in reaction to actual legal controversies, as opposed to the whim of the lawmakers. Fourth, the jury selected becomes increasingly more knowledgeable about the facts and particulars of a certain case.

Finally, the supremacy of law is very important to the tradition of common law. All subjects are held responsible for the laws decided, and are all subject to examination. These five principles of common law briefly explain what common law is. 6 To differentiate between how the laws of England changed after King Henry II, a comparison of the court system can be used. Local, ecclesiastical, and borough courts decided cases in the old system of English law. Each of these courts could render very different decisions based on the same case and it was acceptable.

The common law courts can be listed as Common Pleas, Seignorial courts, Kings Bench, and Exchequer. 7 The local courts, or courts of the counties, began to lose their importance as the royal courts, the Common Pleas, began to extend jurisdiction. The people of the area created the local courts; the royalty had nothing to do with it, so these new Common Pleas courts took away certain feelings of local pride. Therefore, these common courts were the most difficult to establish, and for many years many of the hundreds and such remained intact to protest the new rule.

Local common law courts, referred to as shire courts or hundreds, had irregular schedules and meeting places. Sometimes the courts would meet outside, and other times they would meet in houses or monasteries. In to the thirteenth century, however, a schedule of meetings and meeting places had been established, making it easier to organize and hear pleas. These local courts heard claims that dealt with land, violence and theft, and some ecclesiastical cases. 8 The hundreds dealt with and enforced a system of peacekeeping called frankpledge.

This body of police consisted of about ten men who swore to be faithful to the king, and swore to bring wrongdoers to him so that they could be punished. The group was collectively known as a tithing. Once a boy reached the age of twelve, he was expected to swear and oath of loyalty and strive to belong to the tithing. Certain men were not included in frankpledge for various reasons. The inhabitants of the forest, clerics, and those under control of lords were not allowed to become part of the tithing. The tithing was a basic form of law enforcement that is similar to the system in modern England.

The men are the police, guards, punishers, and examples for the entire area. When one does wrong, he is amerced, or forced to pay a fine or suffer a punishment. When someone who is not a part of the tithing commits a wrong, the entire community is amerced, so it is considered a good to the whole of the community if as many men as possible are allowed to be in tithing. 9 The seigniorial courts were established for the Lords. The greater men were distinguished from the lower lords in all ways, including the judicial system.

The honorial courts were not only a place for the lords pleas to be heard, but were often used as a sort of advising time for the lords to meet and discuss issues with the vassals. The lords generally kept jurisdiction over their own households, but some sought to extend their personal jurisdiction to the actions of any man on their property. This type of jurisdiction was commonly referred to as sake and soke. This type of jurisdiction is like that of the hundreds in most ways. Along with sake and soke comes the right of lords to exercise infangentheof, or execution.

The hundred courts were not allowed this right. 10 The Kings Bench court generally deals with the placita coronae, or the pleas of the Crown, criminal cases, and appeals. The appellate branch of this jurisdiction was over the court of Common Pleas. These two courts exercised a joint jurisdiction over civil actions. The King had a choice to sit on the bench with the judges and make decisions, as he did occasionally, hence the term the Kings Bench. 11 The Court of Exchequer was made of the marshal, the chamberlain, the justiciar, the treasurer, the chancellor, accountants and clerks.

These men sat to decide royal financial matters as well as other pleas. This court was basically the only court in Angevin England that could not be ignored anywhere. 12 These courts, along with a few others, made up the judicial system that imparted common law. There are differences between the common civil and common criminal laws however, although they are decided in general by these same courts. Henry II was the first to require a jury of indictment. This meant that a jury of men who swore loyalty to the King was responsible for deciding whether or not a man could be guilty of a crime.

If the jury decided that he could have committed the wrong, then he was sent to trial. The regular jury was then selected, and usually it consisted of most of the same men from the indictment jury. Once it was decided that this was unfair, a petty jury was selected of different men. These men were often from the same area, as it was expected that they would know something of the occurrence and be better able to make a judgment of truth and fact than someone who had no previous knowledge of the case or who was involved. 13 Land holding in common law is difficult to classify.

The customary framework of the control of land held in fee can easily be divided in to three categories, the first of which is security of tenure. 14 If a lord forfeits his lands, or does something to make the King take his lands, the tenants on the land are in danger of losing their usage of the same land. Customarily, a tenant had considerable security in relation to the possible change of a lord. It was believed that the longer a man in good standing held the same land, the better chance he had of keeping the land and not being forced to forfeit it. The second category of land holding is heritability.

After the Norman Conquest, the Normans were accustomed to the idea that the son was the heir to the property, and would always inherit what his father had owned. This idea held true after the conquest and in to the Anglo-Norman period. To ensure the proper land was being inherited, records were kept referring to the gifts of any man to another. Some charters written, however, were written to ensure that the landholder knew that his holding was only for life, and could not be passed to his children.

An example of this would be the church giving land to laymen. When there were several male heirs, the eldest received the entire inheritance. 16 It was the same with females until around the 1130s, when the inheritance was divided among all of the daughters of a family without a son. As can be expected, there were several instances where the inheritance was not definite. If the son was a minor, then the lord might wish to have a temporary adult vassal. Lords were also wary of distributing their land to more distant relatives of the deceased.

Another example of difficulty in determining an heir would be when the man had married more than once and had subsequent male heirs. The lord did have the authority to choose who got the land, or not to grant the land to anyone at all. 17 The third landowning classification is alienability. The first way to be alienated is subinfeudation. This is when the land is given to a new tenant, and that new tenant owes his services to the lord, and relieves the old tenant of those duties. The second method is called substitution. Both of these involve the taking away of land from a tenant.

When a lord wished to give land to the church in a gift, he often had to alienate it from a tenant of his. Tenants were also allowed to give their holdings to others, as long as the receiving tenants promised to be loyal to the lord. These land-owning classifications are used primarily to describe how the land was held and who it rightfully belonged to, which is helpful to common law courts in settling disputes over land and between lords. 18 The monarch who had the most influence at the beginning of common law was Henry II.

In 1154, Henry was crowned King of England. His desire for a more absolute government was visible as soon as he took the throne. He was already duke of Normandy and of Aquitaine, so his French affairs kept him out of England for the majority of his reign. It was Henry II who established the desire of the monarch to control the laws of the land, and therefore the new court system is attributed to him. King Richard I and King John were abusive and negligent rulers, but they failed to destroy the upstart of the common law.

His more prominent successors, his son Henry III, and Edward I, carried on the development of the common law by persuading Parliament to enact new laws and taxes beyond the customary feudal dues. King Henry II is credited with developing ways to handle disputes over property. In fact, it was the most important to him between the years 1164 to 1179. He also believed that the jury should be involved in any land dispute. From this comes the royal doctrine that no man need answer for his free tenement without a royal writ. This just meant that any dispute needed a royal writ to be heard by the jury.

Several Assizes were made during the aforementioned time period to assure that the method of resolving land disputes was common all over. The Assize Utrum was reached based on the Constitutions of Clarendon in 1164. This Assize stated that if one party in a case claimed the land was frankalmoin (ecclesiastical tenure) and another claimed it was lay fee, then, said Chapter Nine of the Constitutions, the matter should be settled by the verdict of a jury.

The Assize of Novel Dissuasion was established in 1166 to supply a speedy remedy for the dispossessed freeholder: The king himself will protect by royal writ and inquest of neighbors every seisin of a free tenement. This Assize restored possession to someone whose property had been disturbed. In the end, a jury would be used to decide which man had better claim to the disputed land. The Assize of Mort DAncestor, which may have come from the council of Northampton, was developed to protect someone who lost a relative and sought to seize the land that had belonged to him or her.

A jury was to decide whether the dead man had possession at the time of his death and whether the claimant was his heir. One last Assize was the Assize of Darrein Presentment. This particular Assize did not concern land, but instead dealt with the power to appoint a clergyman to fill a vacant office, or advowson. This power of nomination was treated as a property right. The jury was just asked to decide who would be allowed to nominate the clergyman.

These four Assizes therefore governed questions of property rights throughout the countryside. When there was a question of fact, the English Royal Courts thought that the best way was for a jury to decide what is true, but the trip to Westminster Hall was often expensive and therefore unfeasible for most people. The answer to this problem was know as nisi prius, which means unless earlier. This allowed for the plea to be heard in the county that it pertains to, and that if the royal justices arrived in the county before they made it to Westminster, they could hear the case right there.

This applied to any case that could normally be brought before the common law courts at Westminster. 21 Gaol delivery was useful for the commissioners because it freed up space in the jails for the real criminals. It involved allowing appointed commissioners to travel from county to county to try the prisoners, as a royal court must try them. Under the reign of King Edward, the commission of Oyer and Terminer was established. This type of commission resembled a mobile mini-court that was enabled to hear felonies and other high crimes. 22 According to Rogue

The steady employment of juries of freeholders and the appointment of knights of the shire as commissioners to serve as justices show the Crown making excellent use of men prominent in their localities. These lay judgesto contrast them with the professional justicesrepresented the royal authority in their counties and, even more readily, represented their county courts at Westminster. After the decline of the general eyre they became essential to administration of royal justice in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 23 As the common law took root, equity in decisions faded away.

Perhaps the only protected laws and decisions were involved with canon and ecclesiastical law. Until the early fourteenth century, some equity remained in the court system, but soon enough the common law of the land took away the fairness by not being written specifically. Judges could be corrupt and could be bought over for decisions. One example of a man who was trying to conserve equity was Chief Justice Bereford, who was a layman. He said in 1319 a plea of account shall not be conducted my Common Law, but by equity and reason. Quickly he became disliked, and no ecclesiastic was appointed to judgeship after 1316.

When the eyre, or traveling court, was fully comprised of the architects of the Common Law system most people were scared of it. Although it was easier to use, as one did not have to wait for a writ to be heard, and no lawyers had to be hired or anything like that, most people would wait sometimes for seven years for a travelling branch of the Exchequer to come to the county to hear cases. As a result of this, some cases were not even heard because by the time the court arrived, there were too many cases to be handled in the time allotted.

This eyre was conceived basically to help the poorer citizens, and the wealthier chose to continue to do their legal business at the court in Westminster. This system of eyres lasted for nearly one hundred years before it was abandoned. The system had made steps toward equity as it had allowed even the poorer men and tenants to be heard in the courts of law as equal as the richer people. Once a more rigid case law had been established, however, more and more people were scared of the courts interpretation, or their use of stare decisis, in relation to a decision.

It was true that for some time the decisions of the eyre judges did not come strictly from writ bound and case bound law. 25 As has already been discussed, Common law was integrated with the expectation of equality. However, as is usually the case, women were often excluded from civil remedy. Men had a large amount of political control over their wives, and the women were offered no means of recovery from abusive situations. When a woman inherited land, it was managed and under the name of her husband, as was all of her moveable goods.

However, upon her husbands death, a woman was allowed to make her own transactions in her name and even allowed to revoke some of her husbands transactions. These are civil matters. In dealing with criminal law, a woman is only allowed to bring to the appellate level any case involving the death of her husband or rape. And in some courts, it was required that the woman actually witness the death of her husband to be considered as a decent claimant. 26 In the fifteenth century, the idea of a common law had gone throughout and diffused in to nearly all of England.

Men were well versed in many laws that pertained to them and their property and inheritance. They learned that The law was no longer a shield for the weak and oppressedrather it was a sword for the inscrupulous. Men learned its rules as they learned the rules of sword play. 27 Soon after the Black Death, the country went in to a slump with regard to the economy. The soldiers were returning from the Hundred Years War, and the market was fluctuating with no remorse. The higher social classes liked the system of common law, as it was easy to buy skilled lawyers and such to get out of trouble.

The lawyers, who were now making up their own classes, wealthy and country gentry, became indistinguishable in status while in the House of Commons. It was not feasible for an absolutely poor man to become a lawyer as he would not be able to live the life as it is expensive, but there were social divisions. The court of Chancery was considered to be the last resort to restoration of order. The more difficult and unruly subjects were referred to him as their judge, and he helped the king decided cases in which there was no common law decision possible.

Once the Court of Chancery had dealt with and sorted out the most difficult cases, it was decided that the King should resume the judicial powers that had been away from him for nearly three centuries. 28 The Common Law of England may very well have been abolished in the fifteenth century when the War of the Roses weakened the strength of the throne and also the central governments powers of law and enforcement. According to Hogue Men of wealth and influence terrorized juries, bribed witnesses, intimidated judges, and controlled sheriffs, while intervening in litigation not their own.

The weak could not secure justice. 29 Only after King Henry VII was the common law restored to something respectable. Again in the sixteenth century, however, the common law was threatened. This type of threat resembled the takeover of Roman law in place of the medieval system in place. It was only to be expected, as most scholars studied the Roman law as the foremost legal system in Europe. King Henry VIII saved the common law from being torn apart, even though he favored Roman law. Once the Tudor dynasty ended and the Stuart family resumed the throne, many political issues came about.

The Great Reformation swept across the country and most of the European continent as monarchs struggled to compete with the church for absolute power over the entirety of the legal systems. This absolutist point of view jeopardized the common law, as surely the monarch in control could and would appoint judges that favor him and his desires. Once the Parliament was decided to be the legislative sovereign, it was decided that the common law would never be the same, as it was always to be affected by written statute passed by parliament, with or without total consent from the monarch.

The establishment of the legislative power of the Parliament as well as political uprising in favor of reform led to a reorganization of the court system. The Judicature Act of 1873 merged the Common Pleas court, Kings Bench, and Exchequer in to the Kings Bench Division and Commercial Court. The medieval courts that survived were the courts of Assize, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery. The doctrine of Stare Decisis is still intact however, and every case is not considered solely on the rules in the books. 30 Judge Baron Parke stated the modern theory of case law:

Our Common Law system consists in the applying to new combinations of circumstances those rules of law which we derive from legal principles and judicial precedents; and for the sake of attaining uniformity, consistency, and certainty, we mush apply those rules, where they are not plainly unreasonable and inconvenient, to all cases which arise; and we are not at liberty to reject them, and to abandon all analogy to them, in those to which they have not yet been judicially applied, because we think that the rules are not as convenient and reasonable as we ourselves could have devised.

It appears to me to be of great importance to keep this principle of decision steadily in view, not merely for the determination of the particular case, but for the interests of law as a science. 31 In conclusion, the common law of England went through many barriers to officially be the legal system, and as it developed it worked out its own kinks, only to be threatened by war and economic troubles, and finally by the monarch himself.

Jim Crow Laws

Jim Crow laws are about power. Power of one race over another. These laws really highlight the flaws and weakness of human nature. One group of people asserting power over another for the pride and vanity of a system of politics that had been defeated at the cost of thousands of American lives during the civil war. The term “Jim Crow” has its origins of interest also. The interpretation was intended to ridicule the African American by white American’s in the position of power.

The Jim Crow laws were initiated after the civil war during the deconstruction of the new south and they help to create a racial caste system in the American South. These laws were protected by the constitution and were a form of constitutional racism. When the Supreme Court ruled on Plessy v. Ferguson the Federal Government legalized racism but under the guise of a doctrine referred to as “separate but equal”. The Jim Crow laws were in place until the Supreme Court of 1954 threw them out with it’s ruling on Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka. This court had a different opinion of equality.

Soon after the Reconstruction, African Americans and whites Americans ate in the same restaurants, often rode together in the same railway cars, used the same public facilities, but did not often interact as equals. The development of large black communities in urban areas and the significant black labor force in factories presented a new challenge to white Southerners. They could not control these new communities in the same informal ways they had been able to control rural black Americans, which were more directly dependent on white landowners and merchants (sharecropping system) than their urban counterparts.

In the city, blacks and whites were in more direct competition than they had been in the countryside. There was more danger of social mixing. The city, therefore, required different, and more rigidly institutionalized, systems of control, henceforth Jim Crow laws. The Jim Crow laws were a response to the new reality that required the white supremacy to move to where it would have a more rigid legal and institutional basis to retain control over the black population.

Articles of Confederation

As the first written constitution of the United States, the Articles of Confederation created a legislature where each state was represented equally. The Congress had jurisdiction over foreign relations with the authority to form alliances and make treaties, make war and peace, sustain an army and navy, coin money, establish a postal service, create admiralty courts, and settle disputes between states. Thus, the power vested in Congress allowed it to operate with moderate control over the states.

Another successful point was in the allowance of qual votes in Congress for each state and the decree that most decisions be decided by majority vote. However, through these articles, the United States government lacked a sufficient system of taxation. Under the Articles of Confederation the Congress had no power to tax the states, instead it depended on donations by the states. The states desired moderate government involvement and thus, were repulsed by the idea of federal taxation. Lacking in adequate funding, inflation soon overwhelmed the nation.

Another obstacle in effective governing was that The Articles did not grant Congress the power to enforce its laws, instead depending on voluntary compliance by the states. In place of executive and judicial branches, The Articles created an inefficient committee system branching out of Congress. Most importantly, any amendment to the Articles of Confederation required the ratification by all the states, a measure that virtually eliminated any chance of change. The negatives of The Articles gradually magnified.

The British refused to evacuate from forts in the American Old Northwest. Finally, Shay’s rebellion in Massachusetts symbolized the feebleness of the nation, and inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation. Although, some states opposed a radical change in governmental form , it was inevitable by 1787. The Articles of Confederation provided effective management of expansion for the United States. It also gave Congress ample control over guidance of the country. However, The Articles were insufficient in several important matters.

Without an executive branch the country lacked a clear, decisive leader. The Congress had no power to lay and collect taxes, nor did it possess the power to enforce its laws, making it virtually dependent on the states. On matters of amendment The Articles left little room for change, relying on an unanimous decision to alter it. Despite, success in expansion policies, The Articles of Confederation was a failure in creating a prosperous and efficacious country that could support and defend itself and its people.

Measure for Measure Essays: Mercy vs. Justice

Theme:
Mercy vs. Justice. Allusion to justice = eye for eye, tooth for tooth [measure for measure]; allusion to mercy = let him without sin cast the first stone [esp. sexual sin].

Summary:
Duke wants to restore the strictness of fornication/adultery laws. He sets up Angelo to do it, while he feigns that he will be away. Instead he remains to check up on Angelo and the town (Vienna). Angelo goes ahead and closes down Overdone’s brothel and the others, and puts Claudio in jail, condemned to die the morrow, for impregnating Juliet.

Isabella, Claudio’s sister and about to enter a nunnery, pleads for Angelo’s mercy on him. Lucio counsels her to be warm to him, and she is just warm enough to inspire Angelo to seduce her: seduction in exchange for Claudio. The Duke, posing as a Friar, overhears her exchange with Claudio in which he counsels her to go through with the act. He enters and sets up a plan: Angelo ought to have married Mariana but didn’t: Mariana therefore will go in Isabella’s place.

Angelo, after the deed, calls even more quickly for Claudio’s head. The Duke (as Friar) puts this off: now Angelo is two steps behind (not knowing about either Mariana or Claudio). The Duke returns, as Duke, and asks for anyone against Angelo to speak. Isabella does: finally it comes out that the Friar was behind Isabella’s suit. The Friar is called for, and so the Duke disappears and comes back as the Friar, but is revealed to be the Duke. The switch is revealed and Angelo must marry Mariana; Claudio is revealed as alive and is pardoned by the Duke. Lucio (a subplot) also gets his deserts.

Morality: mercy wins over justice, and yet there is a strong sense of justice having been done. Symbolically accomplished by the Duke (justice) taking on the habit of “a true friar” (mercy but with sense of justice) starting with I.iii.48.

II.i.17 ff, Angelo on justice without mercy: “‘Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,/Another thing to fall. I not deny,/The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life,/May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two/Guiltier than him they try. What’s open made to justice,/That justice seizes: what know the laws/That thieves do pass on thieves?”–this is unmitigated justice, just as II.i.30-31: “Let mine own judgement pattern out my death, [which Angelo is willing to accept once caught, in V.i.371]/And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.” And also cf. II.ii.81-83 and V.i.474. The Duke plans to hold Angelo to it in III.ii.260-63 and in V.i.407 ff. (eye for eye, “Measure still for Measure” in line 409).

Escalus explains one aspect of why justice is necessary in II.i.85 ff.: “Pardon is still the nurse of second woe”; Angelo seconds this in II.ii.101 ff: “I show it [pity] most when I show justice;/for then I pity those I do not know,/Which a dismiss’d offence would after gall;/And do him right that, answering one foul wrong/Lives not to act another.” This may be the idea behind Mariana’s statement in V.i.437-38: most men “become much more the better/For being a little bad.”

Lucio: the “go for it” morality, I.iv.77-79 — Lucio counsels a wrong action with the right idea: our fear of adverse consequences might keep us from taking the good action. Same as Duke (as Friar), III.i.209: “Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.”

Froth: puts forward notion that he is good, but that an external force draws him to the bad, II.i.110-12: “For mine own part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but I am drawn in.” But others work from the notion that everyone commits sexual sin: e.g. Pompey, II.i.231 ff, Provost, II.ii.5, Lucio, III.ii.103, even Angelo II.iv.121,123 when trying to seduce Isabella (but Angelo and the Duke think they can cut down on it with deterrents of punishment). Also cf. Isabella’s similar pleas, II.ii.63-66 and II.ii.137 ff. Related to this is the ‘he who is without sin’–the notion that the sins of the judge justify mercy about the sins of the judged, II.ii.176-77–this spoken by Angelo once he falls for Isabella, in passion, (but then cf. II.iv.15-17: “Blood, thou art blood:/Let’s write good angel on the devil’s horn,/’Tis not the devil’s crest”) and spoken more forcefully by the Duke at IV.ii.108 ff., IV.ii.59 ff., and V.i.108 ff. (this last being aligned with reason). Franklin, “On Censure or Backbiting”: he who will always “excuse and palliate the Crimes of others, may rationally be suspected to have some secret darling Vice, which he hopes will be excused him in return,” Lemay 195. Is this not the situation of the Duke, and the reasoning of these others?

The difficultly of remaining without sin “when once our grace we have forgot”: the Pauline words of Angelo “we would, and we would not!” at IV.iv.34-35.

Claudio: the virtue of a necessary sin (see also All’s Well III.vii: “lawful deceit,” “lawful meaning in unlawful act”), III.i.131-133: “What sin you do to save a brother’s life,/Nature dispenses with the deed so far/That it becomes a virtue.” The Duke says as much to Mariana at the end of IV.i: “[fear not (be bold as virtue is bold) and] ’tis no sin,/Sith that the justice of your title to him/Doth flourish the deceit [and indeed the time is ripe]”, and likewise in V.i.533: “Th’offence pardons itself.” And compare Pompey as the “lawful hangman” in IV.ii.

But Isabella disagrees: her morality comes from spirit and truth, III.i.206-08: “I have spirit to do any thing that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.” She recognizes, as does Angelo, that Claudio ought to be punished, but tempers her justice with mercy.

Charles Dickens’ Bleak House: Chancery, The Parasite That Plagues the Victorian Society

In Charles Dickens Bleak House, Chancery is portrayed as a disease that plagues the Victorian society. Dickens uses the suits and the lawyers of Chancery to display its effects on the whole society.

The suits are “slow, expensive, British, constitutional kind of things” (25) that stifle and bemuse those that come in contact with them. In Ms. Flite’s case, the suit has deteriorated her life. She attends Chancery regularly expecting a judgement that is never to come and yet, she lives a “pinched” (73) lifestyle, unable to help herself or others. In addition, she cages birds she intends to set free on her judgement day, however, she states, “I positively doubt sometimes whether while matters are still unsettled I may not one day be found lying stark and senseless here, as I have found so many birds!” (74).

Like Miss Flite, the suit has stagnated Robert’s life. Robert, “So young and handsome, and in all respects so perfectly the opposite of Miss Flite…[is] so dreadfully like her” in his clouded, eager, and seeking mannerism (592). Under the misconception that the suit “can’t last forever” (599), Robert declares, “I am young and earnest; and energy and determination have done wonders many a time…I devote myself to [the suit]. I make it the object of my life” (599). As a result, this suit not only causes Robert to loose himself, but his misplaced suspicions cause him to loose his sound relationship with Mr. Jarndyce.

“The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself…viewed by this light it becomes a coherent scheme” (621) of which lawyers are the key players. Mr. Vholes, Robert’s lawyer, “always looking at the client, as if he were making a lingering meal of him with his eyes as well as with his professional appetite,” (624) dupes Robert into believing that he needs him for his suit. This “respectable” lawyer tells Robert that because he is represented he will have a voice in the legal system, however, it means nothing for Robert’s suit. Thus, these false hopes told to Robert by his lawyer eventually results in his melancholy death.

“Make man-eating unlawful, and you starve the Vholeses,” (623) however, Mr. Vholes is only one type of lawyer. Mr. Tulkinghorn, “reputed to have made good thrift out of aristocratic marriage settlements and aristocratic wills,” (23) leads to Lady Dedlock’s demise. Mr. Tulkinghorn wished to display his power over Lady Dedlock (a representative of the aristocratic class) thus, he blackmailed her. In Lady Dedlock’s own words, “I am to remain upon this gaudy platform, on which my miserable deception has been so long acted, and it is to fall beneath me when you give the signal” (659).

Mr. Tulkinghorn’s desire to know the secrets of the aristocratic leads him to deceive, bribe, threaten, blackmail and eventually kill others. One unfortunate soul used by Mr. Tulkinghorn is Joe. He bribes Joe to confess about Lady Dedlock’s visit to him disguised as her maid. Later, he hires Inspector Bucket who says, “Don’t you be afraid of hurting the boy…it’s all right as far as the boy’s concerned…he’ll be paid for his trouble, and sent away again…it’s the best and wisest way to keep little matters like this quiet”(356). This inspector kidnaps Joe, bribes him, threatens him to stay away from London and leaves him to fend for himself. However, Joe falls ill and returns to London where he eventually dies.

Thus, Dickens successfully portrays how Chancery diminishes people’s way of life, whether they are of a lower class like Joe and Ms. Flyte, or are of an upper class like Robert and Lady Dedlock. I personally believe that the message is that the cause and the need for change are present and people need to work together despite their differences or social classes to bring on the necessary change.

Universally Accepted Declaration of Human Rights

The preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) proclaims that the rights discussed in the document are “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. ” This document, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), are meant to be global agreements that span all cultures and traditions. These documents however do not live up to their intent.

In fact, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights prove this unrealized and unrealistic expectation of the earlier universal and international treaties. Theoretically perhaps, there does exist a set of universal human rights, but in this diverse world any set of human rights that is to be recognized internationally must be more of a universally accepted set of human rights. This Declaration of Universally Accepted Human Rights would be a document focused on overlapping consensus of many cultures.

In order to accomplish this, first, an all inclusive document must be drawn up that deals with those rights that fall under an overlapping consensus of the many different cultures of the world. Specifically, more input from African, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures must be included in this consensus. Second, the legacy of imperialism and slavery must be acknowledged and addressed. Many African and island cultures have suffered and continue to suffer because of these practices. The novels Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, and A Small Place, by Jamaica Kincaid, deal with many of these issues.

The purpose of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was to establish a standard of human rights that is universal. Unfortunately, shortly after the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948 the United States found itself politically and ideologically at odds with the Soviet Union and China, the latter falling to the Communists in 1949 (Donnelly 7). As a result, human rights issues became just another political outlet for the world superpowers to attack each other (Donnelly 7).

Much work for the advancement of human rights was put on the back burner because of cold war politics. The ICESCR and ICCPR were put off for over a decade and split into two separate entities as a result of ideological conflicts between the US and USSR (Donnelly 8). This weakened their effectiveness as universal treaties. The political arm wrestling between the US and Soviet Union also shows why building an overlapping consensus was so difficult during the cold war. Additionally, many African and Asian countries were under Western colonial rule during the initial drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Donnelly 8).

This left many voices unheard. As a result, documents such as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the Banjul Charter have been drafted and signed by Islamic and African nations, respectively. The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam was signed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference on August 5th, 1990. In the preamble it states a wish to “protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shariah.

Article One of the Cairo Declaration states that “All human beings form one family whose members are united by submission to God and descent from Adam. ” These religious references to the Shariah, God, and Adam are all aspects of the Islamic viewpoint that are obviously not in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because in the UDHRs attempts at universality it can not embrace one religion openly. Some articles in the Cairo Declaration could be interpreted at odds with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 6a of the Cairo Declaration specifies that women are equal to men “in human dignity” and have “rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform. ” Article 6b declares the husband as the caretaker of the family. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes no mention of gender roles for the family. Article 16a of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights addresses the right to marriage without discrimination “due to race, nationality or religion” and equal rights to marriage, during marriage, and after marriage.

Article 16b states that marriage shall be entered with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The corresponding article in the Cairo Declaration, article 5, neglects to mention religion as an unacceptable reason to restrict marriage, equal rights for men and women before, during or after marriage, and does not address the issue of consent for spouses. The fact that the Cairo Declaration was written so many years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would leave one to believe these exclusions to be purposeful.

Bielefeldt writes that these are specific issues that are at conflict between universal human rights and Islam (595-96). Article 10 of the Cairo Declaration prohibits the conversion from Islam to another religion. This violates Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which proclaims the freedom of religion, which “includes freedom to changereligion or belief. The Cairo Declaration also specifically addresses the prohibition of colonialism, a western practice, as “one of the most evil forms of enslavement” (Article 11).

For the most part, the Cairo Declaration claws back some rights specified in the UDHR and reshapes the remaining ones to reflect Islam. Perhaps a document that a majority of Middle Eastern Muslims agreed upon and would only seek to strengthen with their own focused Muslim charter would prove better than a document they seek to neutralize and negate. The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights also strongly addresses the issue of colonialism. The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights was adopted by the Organization of African Unity on June 17th, 1981 and entered into force on October 21st, 1986.

In the preamble the Charter states a “duty to achieve the total liberation of Africaand undertaking to eliminate colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, zionism and to dismantle aggressive foreign military bases and all forms of discrimination. ” The Charter also addresses colonization in article 20-2, “Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means” Article 20-3 defines foreign domination as political, economic, or cultural.

Both the Middle East and Africa were heavily colonized areas of the world when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, therefore nothing is specifically mentioned about colonialism in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Naturally, both the Cairo Declaration and the African Charter specifically prohibit these practices because of their first hand experience with the negative effects and legacy of Western colonialism. There are other differences between the African Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Chapter II of part I of the Charter goes into depth about an individuals duties, while the Universal Declaration of Human Rights simply mentions that everyone has duties (Article 29). An individuals duties, according to the African Charter, include preserving national unity, independence, and territorial integrity, paying taxes, strengthening African cultural values, and promoting African unity (Article 29). Also, Article 14 of the African Charter states that the “right to property shall be guaranteed.

It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community. ” The elaboration of an individuals duties and the wording of Article 14 on property make the African Charter sound like more of a socialist, or at least a collectivist, document. This alone does not put the Charter in contradiction with the UDHR, however it does show another example of a culture and society that felt misrepresented by the UDHR.

The difference between the Cairo Declaration and the African Charter is that instead of clawing back on several specific articles in the UDHR the African Charter clarifies that an African individuals rights and duties revolve first around Africa and its protection from neocolonialism and its unity. Many differences exist between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. This shows the lack of universality in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the case of the Cairo Declaration the disparity in universality in the UDHR focuses on religion, and in the case of the African Charter it is more of a cultural and regional issue. If an overlapping consensus could be reached and a minimum standard could be agreed upon between all cultures then the binding force of such international documents as the International Bill of Human Rights would be much greater and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be called the Declaration of Universally Accepted Human Rights.

Specific articles should address the role of slavery and colonialism and their aftermath, as in the Cairo Declaration and the African Charter, as a manner to stimulate a true international and universal role to the documents. In his novel Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe tells the story of the Igbo tribe and its initial encounter with British imperialists. The main character Okonkwo first loses his oldest son to the British culture and “the poetry of the new religion” (Achebe 104). Soon the symbols of the tribes culture are attacked as in the killing of the sacred python by one of the osu converts (Achebe 112).

Achebe never judges either culture but shows what happens when one culture actively seeks to dominate another. First, the Igbo are dominated religiously and culturally, then politically and legally. Okonkwos friend Obierika tells him: The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart. (Achebe 125)

Slowly, Okonkwos culture is being assimilated and erased. When the British first arrived it was voluntary converts to Christianity that followed the white man, but by the end the British courts and officers are telling the people of Umuofia to break up their village meeting because “the white man whose power you know too well has ordered this meeting to stop” (Achebe 144). Achebe shows how one culture can dominate another, politically, economically, and culturally, but the results of colonialism are better shown in another novel.

Jamaica Kincaids novel, A Small Place, tells the reader of a small island nation called Antigua that falling apart due to excessive corruption and exploitation. This is a free nation, once colonized by Britain, that is still suffering from the effects of imperialism. There are too many examples of Kincaid citing the aftermath of colonialism as the direct cause of the islands corruption. One of the earliest describes the day Antigua became free of Great Britain, “and Antiguans are so proud of this that each year, to mark the day, they go to church and thank God, a British God, for this” (Kincaid 9).

Antiguans religion is that of the old colonists. Kincaid also tells of how the West refuses to acknowledge the role slavery and underpaid black labor played in making these counties the wealthy economic powers they are today (10). Antiguas natives are descended from slaves. The Antiguan people may no longer be slaves, yet they their Hotel Training School that teaches young Antiguans to be good servants (Kincaid 55). A servant is just a slightly better paid slave. Perhaps countries are not starting on an equal playing field in regards to human rights, especially economic human rights.

Kincaid continues describing the conditions of post-colonial Antigua. She writes that it is “odd that the only language [she has] in which to speak of this crime is the language of the criminal who committed the crime” (Kincaid 31). Antiguas national language is English, the language of the colonizers. Even the government of Antigua suffers the lasting effects of colonialism. The island has been ruled by the same government for twenty of the past twenty-five years (Kincaid 70). The corruption and exploitation of the government in Antigua is just one more thing learned from the English colonial government (Kincaid 33).

The people have been exploited since their ancestors first left Africa. First, they were slaves, then a colonized relocated people robbed of their own culture. These issues of colonialism, post-colonialism, and slavery must be addressed in human rights documents in order to represent the vast amount of the population that continues to be affected by their legacy. Otherwise, a Euro-centric human rights agenda will look and feel like cultural imperialism to the African continent, as well as many Eastern cultures.

If the west cannot, at least, admit its own mistakes in the past then how could any other culture trust them in the future. In conclusion, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not universal. Through documents such as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights one can see failings of the UDHR. These documents, representing mostly Middle Eastern and African People, show some of the voices that were left out of the original drafting of the UDHR. These were a heavily colonized people during this time.

Now with freedom from Western Imperialism these countries justifiably reject many ideas of human rights from the West as cultural imperialism, which is the reason these separate cultural documents are drafted. If a new declaration, entitled the Declaration of Universally Accepted Human Rights or the International Declaration of Human Rights, were drawn up and represented an overlapping consensus of many different cultures that called for the minimum standard of human rights that all agreed upon then this document would be more universal and would be a stronger pillar to base international law.

These rights may or may not be inherent in the nature of humans, but internationally the vast majority of countries choose to recognize and accept their existence. Cultures and regions could then write up their on documents adding and strengthening the original declaration for their people if they chose to do so. However, in order for their to be a truly international effort on this task the West must admit and perhaps alleviate some of the burdens placed upon many smaller countries as a result of colonialism and slavery. The new international declaration should also contain articles addressing these issues and outlawing them.

Jurisdiction in the Global Internet Age

E-Jurisdiction (or the lack thereof)… At the beginning of a new century, the Internet Revolution is upon us. At the turn of the last century, when the Revolution was Industrial instead of Virtual, the courts and legislatures struggled to enact policies to keep pace with the changing times and technologies. Laws governing labor practices, trade practices, anti-trust regulations, and even intellectual property all developed in reaction to the surges of the new industrialized world.

So too, in this new E-world, lawmakers are now attempting to quell the erosion wrought by the powerful Digital wave on our existing legal systems. Whether by adapting old mores to fit new paradigms, or by creating new standards with which to judge novel issues, lawmakers of the new millennium face overwhelming challenges in confronting the growing expanse of cyberspace. One such challenge is how to address the issue of Jurisdiction over disputes in a new global marketplace where the only boundaries are bandwidth.

This paper will discuss some of the problems of E-Jurisdiction and present some possible solutions. “The unique nature of the Internet highlights the likelihood that a single actor might be subject to haphazard, uncoordinated, and even outright inconsistent regulation by states that the actor never intended to reach and possibly was unaware were being accessed. Typically, states’ jurisdictional limits are related to geography; geography, however, is a virtually meaningless construct on the Internet. ”

American Library Association v. Pataki, 969 F. Supp 160 (SDNY 1997). I. Problems with traditional jurisdiction analyses Traditionally, U. S. Courts have exercised jurisdiction only over those who had “minimum contacts” with the state in which the suit was filed. See International Shoe v. Washington, 326 U. S. 310 (1945). In an age where someone in Singapore can have “minimum contacts” merely by routinely accessing a server in San Francisco, this rule seems overly broad. However, courts have differed whether to find jurisdiction in the virtual context.

For example, in CompuServe, Inc. v. Patterson, the court held that a Texas programmer who wrote programs for use by CompuServe and uploaded them to CompuServe’s site in Ohio was subject to jurisdiction in Ohio. 89 F. 3d 1257, 6th Cir. (Ohio), Jul 22, 1996. In Inset Systems v. Instruction Set, Inc. , the court held that a company which advertised on the Internet and whose site was accessed from within Connecticut was subject to jurisdiction in Connecticut. 1996 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 7160, 1996 WL 498411.

Conversely, in Bensusan Restaurant Corp. King, the court found that website advertising viewed by New York residents did not establish jurisdiction over a trademark action in New York. 937 F. Supp. 295, S. D. N. Y. , Sep 09, 1996. This uncertainty has caused great unrest in the legal and academic communities, both domestically and internationally. Collateral to the issue of jurisdiction over disputes arising in cyberspace is the problem of conflict of laws. For instance, what if an Italian company infringes a British trademark on a server in Venezuela?

Even assuming one can settle the jurisdictional quandary, the problem of which laws to apply becomes extremely relevant when the outcome of the dispute entirely depended on which laws govern. For example, in 1998 a German court found that a German executive of the U. S. -based CompuServe was liable for pornography stored on a CompuServe computer in Germany. [NOTE 1]. This was despite the fact that Germany had passed a law in 1997 exempting Internet Service Providers from liability for content stored or transmitted through their servers, and despite the fact that both the prosecution and the defense urged acquittal.

Yet the German judge ignored all this and attempted to apply U. S. law. Although the decision was later overturned, it underscores the difficulty and confusion of multi-party and multi-national litigation in the Digital Age. Equally problematic is the issue of enforcing judgments on a global scale. “Although U. S. courts have traditionally been quite liberal in recognizing and enforcing foreign judgments (i. e. , so long as there are no serious due process violations), U. S. judgments have not received similar treatment in foreign jurisdictions. NOTE 3].

The Brussels Convention and the Lugano Convention provide for the enforcement of judgments within European Union countries. [NOTE 4]. However, the United States is not a party to these agreements and must rely on individual countries’ laws for recognition and enforcement of judgments which are often quite restrictive. [NOTE 5]. II. Attempts at a solution. At the suggestion of the United States, the Hague Conference on Private International Law agreed in May 1993 to begin work on a jurisdiction and judgments convention. [NOTE 6].

In October of 1999, the Convention released a preliminary draft outlining methods to combat international jurisdiction and enforcement problems. [NOTE 7]. Article 3 of the Convention confers general jurisdiction over a defendant in a State where he is “habitually resident” and then defines that term. This effectively eliminates the need for the “minimum contacts” test. Article 12(4) confers exclusive jurisdiction in the case of patents, trademarks, and trade dress to those states in which the holders of such rights have applied for or obtained registration.

This section does not apply to Copyrights even though copyright registration is possible. As it reads currently, this section does not apply to revocation or infringement actions, only objections to the registration, validity or nullity of the rights, though “infringement” and “revocation” are bracketed for future discussion. These words should be included in the section since the most common defense to any infringement action is invalidity of the patent or trademark. Therefore, exclusive jurisdiction should extend to infringement actions. [NOTE 8].

Of note is that this section confers jurisdiction for Trademarks but not Copyrights. One would suppose the argument for excluding Copyrights is that Copyrights in many jurisdictions do not require registration. However, Trademarks also are often derived from common law usage and are not necessarily also registered. Article 18 of the Convention expressly prohibits certain grounds of jurisdiction. Of note, is the prohibition of what is commonly known as “tag jurisdiction. ” Countries such as the United States and Australia commonly exercise this jurisdiction over persons who are merely passing through the State. [NOTE 9].

In contrast, Article 17 permits states to adopt jurisdictional practices so long as they are not prohibited by Article 18. This leaves a small loophole for states to ‘work around’ the Convention. Articles 23-28 establish outlines for enforcing judgments. Specifically, Article 24 provides that no judgment shall be enforceable under the Convention whose basis was an Article 17 jurisdiction. Perhaps this is in effect a deterrent to exploiting the loophole mentioned previously. Article 28 provides States with some discretion to refuse to enforce judgments in circumstances where a party’s right to Due Process has been violated.

III. Conclusion The Hague Draft Convention seems to be a good starting point from which to tackle the problem of the information age’s impact on traditional intellectual property law. It does address the issues of jurisdiction and enforcement. However, it does not address the highly complex issue of “conflict of laws,” perhaps because such an agreement may be ill-equipped to do so. Good starting point or not, many believe that the only real solution to the problem is a system of transnational tribunals. [NOTE 10].

Perhaps the legal world should follow the example of the private dispute resolution world and implement a virtual tribunal. Companies such as CyberArbitration. com and others are pioneering the movement to resolve commercial disputes via Internet. Perhaps in the not too distant future, InternetCourt. com will be a reality in which parties from any part of the world can argue before proctors from any part of the world in a global forum with uniform guidelines and “justice for all. ” “It cannot be helped, it is as it should be, that the law is behind the times. ” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Gun Control and the Second Amendment

“If the second amendment does not mean what it says, what about the first? “, this was the question asked by author, and National Rifle Association member, Bill Clede. In his article “Gun Control, Press Control”, he warns journalists about the hidden dangers associated with gun control. When dealing with the interpretation of the Constitution, there are two views one can take. The Constitution can be viewed as a “living document” or in its “original ” understanding. The original understanding, people are guided by what the Framers of the Constitution had in mind when they drafted it.

The Constitution can also be viewed as a living document, in which the interpretation should be surveyed in light of today’s social and politics environments. Bill Clede ideas in his article seem to be guild by the idea of the Constitution being a living document. At the time the Second Amendment was written, it had a major impact on this country because State and National governments were unable, or lacked the power to protect the people. This Amendment gave the power to the people to bear arms for protection.

As Clede points out in his article, it was not the ntent or purpose of this Amendment to bestow unlimited rights upon the people. The question to ask today is, are the people responsible enough to have the unlimited rights that they seem to have under this Amendment. Clede states, “that does not mean that the government can constitutionally prohibit all weapons, but it probably means that the government can reasonably regulate and limit their use. ” I agree with Clede’s point. The language of the Constitution is very vague.

The second amendment states, ” A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the eople to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ” Never did the Constitution define or give examples of what a well regulated militia is or types of weapons deemed reasonable for protection. It then should be left to Congress, or more importantly the Supreme Court to interrupt this vague language. I think the government could reasonable regulate guns, without compromising the second amendment, but like Clede I believe Congress should concentrate more on who is using the guns and not guns themselves.

Patrick Henry felt that we should preserve our public liberties, and if need be by force. As Patrick Henry stated, “The great objective is that every man be armed. ” Thomas Jefferson and John Adams also held the same views as Patrick Henry, that every man should have the right to bear arms for private self-defense. Our forefathers felt that it was very important for individuals to bear arms for protection of property, life, or limb, when they created a document that protected these rights, this seems to be evident because to right to bear arms is the Second Amendment.

Again, the question must be raised, did our forefathers foresee a time when this freedom that they embraced would cause uch wide-spread crime in our country. The perplexing question to ask is, how can we maintain our individual rights, and yet get the guns out of the hands of convicted felons, drug addicts, and people who are mentally impaired from owning guns as Clede suggests in his article. He and every other self-respect gun owner is in favor of a waiting period before the purchasing of any type of gun.

Clede has clearly taken the stand of some type of tighter control on the sale of guns, without touching the Second Amendment. A large problem that has been addressed in Clede’s article is that no atter what changes we make in the law concerning guns, the crime element in this country will always be able to obtain guns. Perhaps we should take a closer look at the manufacture of guns and why they are manufactured in such abundance when the number of guns already exceeds the population of this country.

Although the law forbids the ownership of automatic weapons, they can easily be obtained for the right price, and always to the criminal element in our society. These are the problems that should be addressed, not the out right banning of guns. I think Bill Clede has done an excellent job in addressing the issues of gun control in his article. He makes people realize that the issues involved in gun control are not so cut and dry, that it is not simply an issue of should we have a form of gun control.

This point is apparent at the end of his article, when he finally returns to the question he asked at the beginning of the article, “if the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says, what about the first. ” If lobbyist or government officials are able to change the second amendment and chieve strong forms of gun control, which is an infringement on peoples’ Constitution rights, it could be easily assumed that the next target could be the First Amendment.

My nations in the world today, including western-style democracies, control or limit the press in some way. Luckily measures of press control have not happened in this country, particularly because of the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment, but it should be noted censorship is a prime source of debate in America today. Clede has clearly pointed out how closely related the issues of gun control and press control are in his article.

The Value of a Jury System

The Founders of our nation understood that no idea was more central to our Bill of Rights — indeed, to government of the people, by the people, and for the people — than the citizen jury. It was cherished not only as a bulwark against tyranny but also as an essential means of educating Americans in the habits and duties of citizenship. By enacting the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments to the Constitution, the Framers sought to install the right to trial by jury as a cornerstone of a free society.

The Framers of the Constitution felt that juries — because they were composed of ordinary citizens and because they owed no financial allegiance to the government — were indispensable to thwarting the excesses of powerful and overzealous government officials. The jury trial was the only right explicitly included in each of the state constitutions devised between 1776 and 1789 . And the criminal jury was one of few rights explicitly mentioned in the original federal constitution proposed by the Philadelphia Convention.

Anti-federalists complained that the proposed constitution did not go far enough in protecting juries, and federalists eventually responded by enacting three constitutional amendments guaranteeing grand, petit, and civil juries. The need for juries was especially acute in criminal cases: A grand jury could block any prosecution it deemed unfounded or malicious, and a petit jury could likewise interpose itself on behalf of a defendant charged unfairly. The famous Zenger case in the 1730s dramatized the libertarian advantages of juries .

When New York’s royal government sought to stifle its newspaper critics through criminal prosecution, New York grand juries refused to indict, and a petit jury famously refused to convict . But the Founders’ vision of the jury went far beyond merely protecting defendants. The jury’s democratic role was intertwined with other ideas enshrined in the Bill of Rights, including free speech and citizen militias. The jury was an essential democratic institution because it was a means by which citizens could engage in self-government.

Nowhere else — not even in the voting booth — must Americans come together in person to deliberate over fundamental matters of justice . Jurors face a solemn obligation to overlook personal differences and prejudices to fairly administer the law and do justice. As the great historian of anti-federalist thought, Herbert Storing, put it, “The question was not fundamentally whether the lack of adequate provision for jury trial would weaken a traditional bulwark of individual rights (although that was also involved) but whether it would fatally weaken the role of the people in the administration of government .

Perhaps most important was the jury’s educational mission. Through the jury, citizens would learn self-government by doing it. In the words of Alexis de Tocqueville, “The jury is both the most effective way of establishing the people’s rule and the most effective way of teaching them how to rule” . This learning, of course, would carry over to other political activity. As Tocqueville explained: “Juries, especially civil juries, instill some of the habits of the judicial mind into every citizen, and just those habits are the very best way of preparing people to be free .

They make all men feel that they have duties toward society and that they take a share in its government. By making men pay more attention to things other than their own affairs, they combat that individual selfishness which is like rust in society . [The jury] should be regarded as a free school which is always open and in which each juror learns his rights and is given practical lessons in the law. I think that the main reason for the political good sense of the Americans is their long experience with juries in civil cases” .

Once we see how juries serve as major avenues for popular education and political participation, the connections early American observers drew between jury service and other means of political participation –especially voting-make more sense. Tocqueville keenly understood these linkages: “The jury system as understood in America seems to me to be as direct and extreme a consequence of the . . . sovereignty of the people as universal suffrage. They are both equally powerful means of making the majority prevail.

The jury is above all a political institution [and] should be made to harmonize with the other laws establishing the sovereignty . For society to be governed in a settled and uniform manner, it is essential that the jury lists should expand or shrink with the lists of voters . “[In general] in America all citizens who are electors have the right to be jurors. ” We have come to think of voting as the quintessential act of democratic participation.

Historically, the role of the people in serving on juries was often likened to the role of voters selecting legislative bodies, and even to the role of legislators themselves. Indeed, the jury’s place in the judicial framework was closely related to the idea of bicameralism: Just as the legislature comprised two equal branches, an upper and a lower, juries and judges constituted the lower and upper branches, respectively, of the judicial department. The Supreme Court has reinforced the linkage of jury service and voting as part of a “package” of political rights.

For example, in a 1991 case challenging race-based exclusions in jury selection, Justice Anthony Kennedy observed in his majority opinion that “with the exception of voting, for most citizens the honor and privilege of jury duty is their most significant opportunity to participate in the democratic process . Whether jury service may be deemed a right, a privilege or a duty, the State may no more extend it to some of its citizens and deny it to others on racial grounds than it may invidiously discriminate in the offering and withholding of the elective franchise” .

Later in the same term, Justice Kennedy again invoked the similarity between jury service and voting, observing that just as government cannot escape from constitutional constraints by farming out the tasks of administering elections and registering voters, neither can it evade constitutional norms by giving private parties the power to pick jurors. The link between jury service and other rights of political participation such as voting was also recognized and embraced by the drafters of the Reconstruction amendments and implementing legislation, and still later by authors of various 20th-century voting amendments.

For example, the framers of the Fifteenth Amendment, which prohibited race-based discrimination in voting, understood well that the voting they were protecting included voting on juries: That amendment, drafted and ratified in the 1860s, proved to be a template for later amendments protecting women, the poor, and the young from voting discrimination . Albert Aschuler writes that the weaknesses of jury trials are sometimes ascribed to the mediocre capacity of ordinary citizens to adjudicate matters of law and fact in an increasingly complex society .

It is true that jurors will not always decide “correctly,” any more than voters will always choose the most qualified candidates for public office. But the real problem is not that we rely too much on men and women of ordinary intelligence and common sense to decide questions of fact and value in the courtroom. The problem is that we rely too little. The jury is crippled by constraints imposed by the court professionals.

In the era of the Founders, the jury was no more egalitarian than was suffrage, limited by race and sex and by tests of personal traits thought necessary for judging cases. Over two centuries, even as the right of jury service was gradually extended to all citizens of voting age, the freedom of jurors to participate in the finding of fact in the courtroom was constricted. Contrary to the spirit in which the jury trial was woven into our constitutional fabric, judges and lawyers have aggrandized their own roles in litigation at the expense of the jury.

From what I have read and learned, the deepest constitutional function of the jury is to serve not the parties but the people — by involving them in the administration of justice and the grand project of democratic self-government. Alas, over the years, the search for adversarial advantage by attorneys won out over the values of public education and participation. Judges, charged with protecting these enduring constitutional values, have at times done just the opposite in order to maintain their control over trials.

The jury was to check the judge — much as the legislature was to check the executive, the House of Representatives to check the Senate, and the states to check the national government. It is not surprising that we — as jurors, as citizens-have not fought off these creeping assaults. The benefits of jury service are widely dispersed — they redound to fellow citizens as well as the individual jurors. But the individual juror bears all of the cost — the hassle, the inconvenience, the foregone wages — of jury service.

If the jury system is to remain a central institution of democracy and citizenship, it must be refined. Jury trials must attract engaged and thoughtful citizens; the rules of the courts must treat jurors as sovereign, self-governing citizens rather than as children. To this end, we suggest a number of reforms. In many instances, these changes would require no new laws, but merely a willingness on the part of the courts to unleash the common sense of the ordinary citizen.

International Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms

After the war crimes committed by the Germans in the holocaust that occurred during World War II, the United nations decided to create a document guaranteeing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people, regardless of race, sex, language, or religion. This document was called The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration was voted in on December 10, 1948, which is now celebrated each year as Human Rights Day. The Declaration says that “all human beings are born free and equal” and establishes basic rights for all people and rules for the actions of governments in many areas pertaining to those rights.

For example, it says that all people have the right to liberty, religious and political freedom, education, and economic well-being. It bans torture and states that all people have the right to participate in their governments. The declaration is not a law, unfortunately, and in some cases has had little actual effect on the member countries of the UN. Governments with poor human rights records, such as China, do not agree with the UN’s attempts to promote human rights, saying that such actions interfere with their internal affairs. The UN has a Commission on Human Rights.

Its job is to monitor abuses of the declaration in member countries, hold international meetings on human rights issues and handle complaints about violations to the basic human rights. It was in 1993 that the General Assembly created the position of High Commissioner for Human Rights. The commissioner job is to oversee all of the UN’s human rights programs, work to prevent human rights violations, and investigate human rights abuses. It is also in the commissioner’s power to publicize abuses to human rights taking place in any country.

However most publicity about abuses to human rights does not come from the UN but from rival countries or non-governmental groups like Amnesty International The UN has also written four international treaties on human rights. These treaties do have the force of law but are very hard to enforce. The treaties deal only with the problems of genocide, racial discrimination, civil and political rights, and economic and social rights. These four treaties have only been signed by about half of the countries of the world.

Notably the United States has only signed the treaty concerning genocide. Other countries have also refused to sign the conventions because of concerns about the specific terms of the conventions and the loss of authority that such treaties imply. Recent Human Rights Activities The UN’s most well known recent activities dealing with human rights are the two International Criminal Tribunals held to bring to justice those responsible for the horrible acts of violence committed during the recent civil wars in the former countries of Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

The tribunal for crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia was established by the UN’s Security Council in 1993. The council started the Rwanda tribunal in 1994. They are the first international war crimes trials since the Nrnberg Trials for Nazi war criminals that followed World War II. Although the tribunals were established by the Security Council, they operated independently of the UN. The trials depend on contributions from countries to keep operating and were often hampered by financial shortages.

Another more serious problem was the inability to arrest suspects in countries that do not recognize the treaties brought in by the UN as valid. The Yugoslav tribunal indicted 75 people for war crimes and genocide, including the top military and political leaders of the Serb forces in Bosnia and a high officer in the Croatian militia in Bosnia but neither Serbia nor the Bosnian Serb forces have turned over suspects. The international military forces in Bosnia have also refused to arrest them. The president of Croatia actually gave an indicted officer a promotion and medals.

In 1997 the tribunal had only a handful of low-ranking suspects to actually bring to trial. Impact Many critics of the UN claim that the International Declaration Of Human rights has had very little real impact on infringements to any of the rights outlined in it since it does not carry the force of law. In many cases this is true, China still has virtually no freedom of speech, in the former country of Yugoslavia there are still reports of ethnic cleansing and horrible crimes against humanity committed by both sides.

What the Declaration has done is spoken up. Before it was put into writing there was no real outline for how people should be treated or what are the most basic in alienable rights that should be given to any human being. Another thing the declaration has done is cause people to stand up and take notice of human rights issues in the world. Before it was drafted, many cases involving human rights were simply ignored or kept quiet.

Take for example just before World War Two, Nazi Germany was known to want to eliminate a great percentage of people not fitting into their “Aryan” master race, yet they still hosted the Olympics of 1936. At those Olympics they refused to grant a gold medal to a Jewish person, Jesse Owens, and still America and many other countries chose to ignore Germany for political reasons. After the war, almost in response to the declarations, various human rights organizations, such as amnesty international have been created.

They almost always use the Declaration as their basic outline for the rights of human beings. These groups bring much attention to the human rights problems of the world. A good example was the later war in Vietnam, protests in the United States over unfair treatment of enemy civilians is one of the main reasons they were forced to pull out. So in conclusion I must say that nobody can argue that forcing people to stand up and take notice is the only way to eliminate a problem and that is what the Declaration has achieved.

Thou Shalt not Trample on the Constitution

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. This is the first amendment to the Constitution. In essence this states that the government will not become involved or sponsor any religion. There is a reason our founding fathers added this amendment to the Constitution. Any time a government becomes involved with religion or visa versa, Disaster happens.

If you want evidence of this look at the history of Europe for the past 700 years and see what chaos has arisen when religion and the state intertwine. Yet we do not seem to be learning from the past. Congress on June 17, 1999, passed a law that slaps the First Amendment in the face. That law allowed for the states to choose to post the Ten Commandments in public schools and other government buildings. The law that was proposed by Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), Rep. Robert Alderholt (R-Al), and Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL). The bill was created in response to the Columbine shootings that took place April 20, 1999.

The bill was swept through the house at a time when the country was in shock over the shootings. There were several reasons why the house felt the need to pass such a bill. Rep. Alderhold believed that it is an important step to promote morality, and an end of children killing children. (Leavitt) Rep. Hyde believes that the amendment should “slow the flood of toxic waste into the minds of our children. ” (Webster) Rep. Barr went as far to say that if “Columbine had the Ten Commandments posted that the massacre of April 20th would not have occurred.

These are the arguments for the Ten Commandments to be posted in public schools. These are the best reasons our elected representatives could come up with to slap the First Amendment in the face. Is it really as Rep. Alderholt said “We have the freedom of religion, not freedom from religion”? (Leavitt) According to the Supreme Court The honorable Alderholt is wrong. In 1980 the Supreme Court ruled that a similar Kentucky law, which required all classrooms to post a copy of the Decalogue, was unconstitutional. The oppositions’ arguments against this law are enormous.

One major argument is which set of commandments do you use? Do you use the Catholic, Jewish, or Protestant versions? Is there one version better than the others? Is it thou shalt not kill or is that thou shalt not murder? (Boston) Does that include self defense? What constitutes a graven image? These are just some of the questions brought up by those opposed to the bill. If the government puts up the Ten Commandments will they also post the Five Pillars of Islam, The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, the Wiccan Rede and the Affirmation of Humanism? (Boston) The government should not play favorites with religion.

Religion does not need the governments help to promote the Ten Commandments. For a few thousand years, the leaders of Judaism and Christianity have been doing a pretty good job of getting the word out to the people. Four of the Ten Commandments are religious in nature. People have fought and died because they disagreed over what constitutes a “false god” or over the meaning of the ban on worshipping a “graven image. ” Does this mean that believers of Islam and Hinduism should be punished because they worship a different god then what is on a piece of paper?

What day is the Sabbath Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? Religious leaders differ on these questions. They not government bureaucrats are best suited to interpret the Commandments. No matter which way one looks at it, posting a version of the Ten Commandments would exclude millions of Americans who follow different religions, or none at all, and many of them would be upset to stare at someone else’s beliefs every day in a public school. Other arguments against posting the Ten Commandments are the moral implications of forcing ones religion on another? America is religiously diverse.

For starters there are 2,000 different religions, traditions, denominations, and sects in the United States. Spreading the word of God is one thing. If you want to show others how great you love is for god, you have the right to pass out as many pamphlets on the street corner as you wish and give speeches and sermons until your hoarse. However you aren’t allowed to do so on public school grounds. (Leavitt) It is wrong to force your religion on others. Our fore fathers knew this from experience which is why the first amendment was added to the constitution.

A third argument is raised. After the Stone v. Graham decision when the Supreme Court struck down the Kentucky law that required schools to post the Ten Commandments. Lower federal courts have struck down the display of the Decalogue at government buildings as well as schools. Public schools who post the Decalogue are begging for a lawsuit that they are almost certain to lose. (Boston) Who will ultimately pay for that lawsuit. The tax payers will with time and money. The end result will be the Decalogue will be removed and we will be back at square one only we will have wasted our time and money. There are very few arguments for posting the Ten Commandments.

Most of the arguments are like the ones the honorable representatives have stated. Others believe this will bring back to society what it has been missing. The posting of the Ten Commandments will be the key to having a peaceful society. (Associated Press) The “first step” toward instilling moral values in children. (Associated Press) as Rep. Alderholt (R-Al) “I understand that simply posting the Ten Commandments will not instantly change the moral character of our nation, however it is an important step to promote morality, and an end of children killing children. Associated Press)

This is all the argument there is for the posting of the Ten Commandments. A public school is not a place of religion. But religion has a constitutional place in the public schools. This is an argument by the state Attorney General of South Carolina Charlie Condon. Other arguments are if the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the Commandments. These are the arguments that are being repeated over and over to support the posting of the Ten Commandments.

Lets be logical for a minute. A kid who is homicidal will not show up to school with an automatic weapon with the intent of murdering his classmates and then see the Ten commandments and think, “Gee, I shouldn’t do this. That piece of paper says “thou shalt not kill. “” Lets be realistic posting the Ten Commandments will not give us this utopic society we want. It will not end violence. It is not the public schools job to instill morals and values. The school is responsible for reading, writing and arithmetic thats it.

If the Ten Commandments have not changed the moral character of the children yet they are not going to do so. It is the parents and church leaders’ jobs to instill the moral character they want their children to show. I don’t know about everyone else but when I was in elementary and high school meditating about some poster on a wall was the farthest thing from my mind. I kept seeing a poster telling me not to do drugs. That did not stop me from lighting up a joint after school. Then there was the abstinence poster ironically that did nothing to slow me down either.

Why would an educated population think that a poster would keep me from executing hundreds of my classmates in a blood bath or turning my teacher into a red spot on the wall. Let’s face it, many politicians and special interest groups seem ready these days to use religious symbols and language to win elections. Do we really want sanctimonious, poll-obsessed politiciansmany of whom don’t impose the Ten Commandments on themselvesimposing them on us? In conclusion the Ten Commandments are not a magic charm that can make society’s problems disappear overnight.

Although some people and politicians treat the commandments as though they are a lucky rabbit’s footpost them on the wall and all of society’s ills will disappear! This is simplistic thinkingand it distracts us from the hard work of solving thorny social problems. Not Posting the Ten Commandments in schools wouldn’t be keeping people from religion. It would only be protecting everyone’s constitutional right not to have anyone’s views forced upon them in a government-run organization. The Ten Commandments should not be posted because they violate the first amendment.

They don’t allow for the beliefs of other religions. It is wrong to force your religion on others. I believe it is a waste of time and money to even attempt to hang the Ten Commandments up. They will just come back down when the courts rule it unconstitutional. Finally I believe that we are fooling ourselves, thinking that a manuscript written thousands of years ago is going to change school violence today. The only thing that is going to change school violence today is more parent involvement in the lives of their children, not some archaic code of laws.

The Securities And Exchange Commission

In 1934 the Securities Exchange Act created the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) in response to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was created to protect U. S. investors against malpractice in securities and financial markets. The purpose of the SEC was and still is to carry out the mandates of the Securities Act of 1933: To protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities market by amending the current laws, creating new laws and seeing to it that those laws are enforced.

During the 1920s, approximately 20 million Americans took advantage of post-war prosperity by purchasing shares of stock in various securities exchanges. When the stock market crashed in 1929, the fortunes of many investors were lost. In addition, banks lost great sums of money in the Crash because they had invested heavily in the markets. When people feared their banks might not be able to pay back the money that depositors had in their accounts, a run on the banking system caused many bank failures. After the crash, public confidence in the market and the economy fell sharply.

In response, Congress held hearings to identify the problems and look for solutions; the answer was found in the new SEC. The Commission was established in 1934 to enforce new securities laws that were passed with the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The two new laws stated that Companies publicly offering securities must tell the public the truth about their businesses, the securities they are selling and the risks involved in the investing. Secondly, People who sell and trade securities must treat investors fairly and honestly, putting investors interests first.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in a landslide in the 1932 election and began to work on his New Deal. In the New Deal four key regulatory bodies were established: The National Labor Relations Board, Civil Aeronautics Authority, Federal Communications Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wall Street was not enamored with the coming regulation, but Congress was confident that the Street was seen as an easy target for the Crash and the Depression that followed.

In response, the SEC was created by Congress on June 6, 1934 for the purpose of protecting the public and the individual investors against malpractice in the financial markets. Commenting on the creation of the SEC, Texas Congressman and future Speaker Sam Rayburn admitted3 he didnt know whether the legislation passed so readily because it was so good or so incomprehensible. However, historian David Kennedy viewed the SEC as ingeniously simple. In his book Freedom From Fear he states that For all the complexity of its enabling legislation, the power of the SEC resided principally in just two provisions, both of them ingeniously simple.

The first mandated detailed information, such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and the names and compensation of corporate officers, about firms whose securities were publicly traded. The second required verification of that information by independent auditors using standardized accounting procedures. These two simple concepts ended the monopoly enjoyed by the House of Morgan and their like on investment information. Wall Street was saturated with data that was relevant, accessible, and comparable across firms and transactions.

The SECs regulations unarguably imposed new reporting requirements on businesses. They also gave a huge boost to the status of the accounting profession. But they hardly constituted a wholesale assault on the theory or practice of free- market capitalism. The SECs regulations dramatically improved the economic efficiency of the financial markets by making buy and sell decisions well-informed decisions, provided that the contracting parties consulted the data that was then so copiously available. It was less reform than it was the rationalization of capitalism.

The SEC prohibited the pools and other devices used by the likes of Joseph Kennedy to amass their fortunes. While manipulation of the markets was still possible, there were now risks. FDR decided that instead of naming Kennedy Secretary of Treasury, he would name him the first commissioner of the SEC. Thus, Joseph Kennedy was appointed to oversee the very activities he had participated in. A position appointed from FDR that was long overdue after the contributions of over $250,000 to FDRs convention campaigns. However, this resulted in FDR initially being accused of selling out to Wall Street.

However, Kennedy was the right choice since he was the only one with the intimate knowledge of the very acts that the SEC was set up to prevent. It was a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse. Joseph Kennedy proved to be a highly effective leader of the SEC. As one of his first official duties he delivered a national radio address: We of the SEC do not regard ourselves as coroners sitting on the corpse of financial enterpriseWe do not start with the belief that every enterprise is crooked and that those behind it are crooks. At this Wall Street realized that regulation didnt necessarily mean persecution.

Although Kennedy only stayed one year as commissioner, he was most effective in establishing the credibility of the organization. Historian John Steele Gordon described his time in office: Kennedy knew where the bodies were buried. But he regarded his job to be not only to restore the confidence of the country in Wall Street, but, equally important, to restore the confidence of Wall Street in the American economy and government. In addition to the importance of the commissioners personality there were also the laws that governed the commission.

There are six main laws that govern the Securities Industry, but only four that are relevant to the majority of people. The first law is the Securities Act of 1933, which is often referred to as the truth in securities. The Security Act of 1933 has two basic objectives: to require investors to receive significant information concerning securities being offered for public sale; and to prohibit deceit, misrepresentation, and other fraud in the sale of securities. These two objectives are accomplished primarily by registration which discloses important financial information.

While the SEC requires this information to be accurate, there is no guarantee that it will be. However, if investors purchase securities and suffer losses due to the fact that the information given was incomplete or inaccurate they have recovery rights. The registration process requires corporations to supply the essential facts while minimizing the burden and expense of complying with the law. These requirements include a description of the companys properties and the security to be offered for sale, information about the management of the company and financial statements certified by independent accountants.

If U. S. domestic companies file this information, the statements are available on the EDGAR database. (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) Its primary purpose is to increase the efficiency and fairness of the securities market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy by accelerating the receipt, acceptance, distribution, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the agency. The second law, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, created the SEC.

The Act grants the SEC authority over the securities industry, including the power to register, regulate, and oversee brokerage firms, transfer agents, and clearing agencies. The Act also prohibits dishonorable conduct in the market and gives the Commission the disciplinary power to regulate all companies and individuals associated. The Act also allows the SEC to require periodic reporting of information by companies with publicly traded securities. Under this Act corporations are required to file additional periodic reports that are available to the public through the SECs EDGAR database.

Companies required to file Corporate Reporting are those having more than $10 million in assets and whose securities are held by more than 500 owners. One of the most important parts of this Act is the disallowance of any kind of fraudulent behavior including any kind of connection with the offer, purchase, or sale of securities. These provisions are the basis for many types of disciplinary action, including actions against fraudulent insider trading. Insider trading is illegal when a person trades a security while in possession of material nonpublic information in violation of a duty to withhold the information or refrain from trading.

The Investment Company Act of 1940 regulates the organization of companies, including mutual funds, that engage primarily in investing, reinvesting, and trading in securities, and whose own securities are offered to the investing public. This was designed to minimize conflicts of interest that arise in these complex operations by requiring these companies to disclose their financial condition and investment policies to investors when stock is initially sold and periodically afterwards.

The Act focuses on the disclosure of information to the investing public about the funds and its investment objectives as well as the investment companies structure and operations. The law that regulated investment advisors is the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This Act requires that firms or sole practitioners compensated for advising others about securities investments must register with the SEC and conform to regulations designed to protect investors.

When the Act was amended in 1996, only advisors with at least $25 million in assets under management or who advise a registered investment company must register with the commission. ) The SEC is comprised of five presidentially appointed Commissioners, four divisions and 18 offices. There is approximately 2,900 staff in the Washington DC headquarters. The SEC has 11 regional district offices throughout the country. The Commissioners are appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate. Their terms are five years in length and are staggered so the Commission remains non-partisan.

No more than three commissioners can belong to a single political party. There is also one designated commissioner who is the Chairman, which is the top executive office. The Commissioners job is to interpret federal securities laws, amend existing rules, propose new rules to address changing market conditions and enforce the existing rules and laws. The SEC is organized in a hierarchy. Beneath the Commissioners are the eighteen divisions and offices. A key division of the SEC is the Division of Enforcement. This division enables the SEC to enforce the laws.

The division investigates possible violations of securities laws and recommends Commission action when necessary, either in a federal court or before an administrative law judge, and negotiates settlements. This is the division which gives the SEC its authority. There are six common violations of the laws in which the SEC will investigate: insider trading, inaccurate or incomplete trading information, manipulation of prices, stealing funds or securities, unfair treatment of the customer and sale of securities without proper registration.

If found guilty the SEC has the authority to disallow any further buying or selling of securities, and confiscate existing securities if there is just cause to this. The primary mission of the SEC has been to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the market. This has been accomplished through the combined efforts of the divisions of the SEC and its Commissioners. The economy and economic welfare of the U. S. has depended upon the effectiveness of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the success of the Commission has been seen in that there has not been any repeat of the Crash of 1929 nor the Depression that followed.

The Vagueness of the Emancipation Act of 1834

The Emancipation Act of 1834 changed the course of history and the lives of many people in Great Britain and her colonies. However, despite its careful preparation by the British Parliament there were several flaws in the Act. The Act of Emancipation addressed many issues in order to bring about the much-desired abolition of slavery as smoothly as possible.

The Act consisted of three main clauses: from August 1st 1834 slavery would be abolished and pronounced illegal in every British colony; a transitional apprenticeship period would come into effect for the emancipated slaves; and a grant of a substantial amount of money would be paid to the planters of the British Caribbean colonies to compensate for their losses.

In addition to these clauses there were several minor ones: the period of apprenticeship and the interaction between the planter and the apprentice would be supervised by Stipendiary Magistrates hired by the British Government; the apprentice had to work submissively for the entire period and all attempts at escape were strictly forbidden; apprentices had to work for three-quarters of the week and overtime was to be rewarded with wages or provisions; the planter had to continue supplying his apprentices with the standard allowance they had during slavery; all slave children under the age of six and those born to slave mothers would be free; children who were destitute might be apprenticed until the age of twenty-one; the apprentice was allowed to buy his freedom before his contract was over and the planter had to accept his due payment whether he wanted to or not; in the case of voluntary discharge the master was still responsible for the care of aged or infirm slaves during Apprenticeship; and field slaves would serve their masters until 1st August 1840, and the domestics until 1st August 1838, when their contracts came to an end.

These proposed conditions were all considered to be excellent ideas. However many situations and conditions were not addressed. When the idea of a transitional period came about the parliamentarians and the abolitionists looked at its benefits from their perspectives and not from that of the slaves. They still considered the Africans’ way of life to be primitive and one of the accepted arguments for Apprenticeship, made by Edward Stanley, was that if the slaves were immediately released they would quickly revert to their ‘savage’ way of life.

They also justified the necessity of this gradualism by pointing out that an immediate release of the slaves would cause havoc in the colonies and ruin the planters. They did not seem to realise that in the eyes of the slave, Apprenticeship was just another name for the bondage they were forced to live in before their ‘freedom’ was declared. Also the partiality of this freedom would not satisfy the temperaments of the slaves who after so many years of persecution would want their freedom in its entirety. The aforementioned compensation to the planters of the British Caribbean, which amounted to 20,000,000 pounds, was the subject of much debate in the British Parliament.

The abolitionists believed that the sum was too great but in the end James Stephens’ suggestion received approval. The fault with this part of the Act was that the method of division of the compensation, amongst the British islands was not specified. The differing territories and population sizes would cause distinct variables and the power sustained by the planter on the colony could be abused in the workings of the system in an effort to gain as much of the compensatory money as could be gotten. Each planter was to receive benefits according to the valuation of his slaves and the extent of his losses but the process of this valuation was imprecise therefore allowing planters the capacity to take advantage of the British Government’s generosity.

The clause which said that the planters had to give the apprentices whatever allowances he or she had during slavery could also work in the planters favour because the slave may have gotten next to nothing before, in terms of medical care, provisional grounds, sufficient clothing or adequate lodging. The section of the Act pertaining to the fates of the children of slaves was entirely insufficient and it lay them open to exploitation by their masters. The Act stated that a child under the age of six would be free but in the care of its mother. This would mean that the child would have to remain on the plantation with its apprenticed mother, so in other words the child would still remain under the power of the planter even if it were free.

Even worse are the disadvantages placed on the children of destitute mothers who could be apprenticed out at the will of the planter. The planter through the ambiguity of the Act could control the living conditions of his slaves. Therefore the children could be easily proclaimed destitute and be used for the planter’s personal gain. The conditions of work on the plantation, the allotment of punishment and the extent of the jurisdiction of the Stipendiary Magistrates are also among the unmentioned factors of the Emancipation Act. The Act left the overtime wages up to the decision of the planters; it only spoke of the insubordination and disobedience of the apprentice to his master but it did not speak of the cruelty and the unfairness of the planter to the apprentice.

Therefore this left the master open to deal out punishments to the ‘freemen’ as he did during slavery because it did not address the rampant issue of workhouses or the use of the whip. The planter could also maintain a power hold over the Stipendiary Magistrates since they were unused to the conditions of colonial life and the functioning of its systems. They also had no large amount of control over the planters’ actions. When taken into careful consideration a salary of 300 pounds per annum, in an unsatisfactory working environment, is not enough to secure the loyalty or honesty of the average person when more can be gained through deception. Therefore corruption could be expected from some of the magistrates whose over-ambition may have led them to accept bribes from those willing to give them.

In conclusion one can therefore form the opinion that the Act of Emancipation was imprecise in its methods for the workings of the systems it proposed. The Act was very unclear when it came to how the apprentices should be treated and what real freedoms they were to be granted. It seems that the British Parliament assumed that the relationship between the planters and the apprentices would eventually work itself out under the scrutiny of the Stipendiary Magistrates. Also the preparations made to benefit the newly ‘released’ slaves paid more attention to the economical profit that could be made during the transitional period of apprenticeship than on the overall welfare of the slaves.

In other words when the Act of Emancipation was put into effect in 1834, the slaves would not have had many reasons to celebrate since for a further four to six years, they would be tied to the plantation that represented all the things that they wanted to get away from when their freedom was obtained. The proposals of the Emancipation Act of 1834 were also quite indistinct in defining the actual authority of the planter in the workings of the apprenticeship system. One can formulate the assumption that the vagueness of the Act itself can be attributed to the fact that the interests of the apprentices after their release was not of the utmost importance to the majority of the British Government. Therefore the end result appeared to hold no real freedom for the ‘emancipated’ slaves.

Jim Crow Laws

Jim Crow laws are about power. Power of one race over another. These laws really highlight the flaws and weakness of human nature. One group of people asserting power over another for the pride and vanity of a system of politics that had been defeated at the cost of thousands of American lives during the civil war. The term “Jim Crow” has its origins of interest also. The interpretation was intended to ridicule the African American by white American’s in the position of power.

The Jim Crow laws were initiated after the civil war during the deconstruction of the new south and they help to create a racial caste system in the American South. These laws were protected by the constitution and were a form of constitutional racism. When the Supreme Court ruled on Plessy v. Ferguson the Federal Government legalized racism but under the guise of a doctrine referred to as “separate but equal”. The Jim Crow laws were in place until the Supreme Court of 1954 threw them out with it’s ruling on Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka. This court had a different opinion of equality.

Soon after the Reconstruction, African Americans and whites Americans ate in the same restaurants, often rode together in the same railway cars, used the same public facilities, but did not often interact as equals. The development of large black communities in urban areas and the significant black labor force in factories presented a new challenge to white Southerners. They could not control these new communities in the same informal ways they had been able to control rural black Americans, which were more directly dependent on white landowners and merchants (sharecropping system) than their urban counterparts.

In the city, blacks and whites were in more direct competition than they had been in the countryside. There was more danger of social mixing. The city, therefore, required different, and more rigidly institutionalized, systems of control, henceforth Jim Crow laws. The Jim Crow laws were a response to the new reality that required the white supremacy to move to where it would have a more rigid legal and institutional basis to retain control over the black population.

The question of Constitutional interpretation still has yet to be resolved

Should only the explicit commands of our nations Founding Fathers be referenced in courts of law, or can it be justified that an outside body should extrapolate from the specific text of the Constitution to define and defend additional fundamental rights? Further, if this body, namely the Supreme Court, bases its decisions of constitutional relevance not wholly on exact interpretation, then regardless of reason, are they wholly illegitimate? The non-interpretive model allows the Court to interpret beyond the exact wording of the Constitution to define and protect the values of a society.

The question of how the non-interpretative model can be justified must be answered. Despite much remaining confusion between the two models, it is clear that history has chosen the non-interpretative model without which many of the defining points in our nations history would be unjustified. The overwhelming strength of the non-interpretive model is that it has allowed for many fundamental decisions that have served to protect the natural rights of the members of this society. If on the other hand the interpretive model is to be accepted, a significant number of decisions must be revoked.

Briefly, the majority of the due process clause is no longer justified. Fair criminal and civil procedures must be dismantled since they have no specific textual reference in the Constitution. Freedom of speech, religion, and property rights are all called in question. Also affected is the legitimacy of franchise and legislative apportionment bodies of doctrine. The equal protection clause of the Constitution when read literally outlines the defense of some forms of racial discrimination. However, it does not immediately guarantee the right to vote, eligibility for office, or he right to serve on a jury.

Additionally, the clause does not suggest that equal-facility segregation is not to be allowed. Finally, the freedom from cruel and unusual punishments as outlined in the eighth amendment loses its flexibility. In this manner, a prima facie argument against the interpretive model is evident. Without the ability to move beyond the specific wording, the Court loses its authority to protect what society values as basic human rights. A fundamental question relevant to this debate is whether or not values within our society are time-enduring or changing.

When the Supreme Court makes a controversial decision, does it use the text of the Constitution to legitimize principles of natural law, social norms and arrangements? Or, is it acting as an interpreter of slowly changing values and imposing its views on society through its decisions? The Constitution is not a stagnant document; it is very much alive and changing with the times. Critics argue that the amendment process was created to allow change and that the role of the Judiciary does not include the power to change stated commands in addition to that of enforcing them.

However, n many cases, the amendment process is inadequate for clarification of issues of human rights. A great virtue of the non-interpretive model is that the Court has the power to strike down unconstitutional legislation that allows for the Court to preserve the rights of the people. Non-interpretation then requires the application of understood codes, yet the decision-making process is far from mechanical. Critics contest that the Court should not have the ability to interpret societal values in a given period of time. However, as has been shown, history has upheld this tradition. A number of questions now arise.

Is it practically wise to place the responsibility to define and protect human rights in the hands of Supreme Court Justices? The answer lies in ones interpretation of history. While it is true that the Court has made decisions that reflect its own biases and interests, it can be shown that the Court has also consistently acted to secure the rights of citizens and to limit federal and state powers. Following, is the definition and enforcement of human rights a judicial task? The adjudication of the Supreme Court over issues of human rights s opposed to this power residing in other branches of government must be answered.

While there is no direct statement regarding judicial review in the Constitution, Marbury v. Madison is referenced here as the greatest of all cases justifying this judicial power. Thus arises the penultimate question of the authority of the Supreme Court. Constitutional adjudication was allowed for implicitly by the Founding Fathers. Only some of the principles of higher law were written down in the original document; however, the distinction between those laws protecting natural rights and positive law was a well-understood one.

The ninth amendment allowing for due and proper legislation is the expression of the existence of further principles of higher law not specifically written into the Constitution. The Marshall Court is a prime example of the manner by which the Supreme Court would act as the enforcer of both written and unwritten natural rights. Through the mid-nineteenth century unwritten constitutional law was referenced during many controversial debates, notably allowing for the protection of contracts, the institution of labor regulation, and the restraining of taxation.

Continuing through the twentieth century, unwritten rights were upheld allowing for the advancement of laissez-faire capitalism and restraining the powers of state governments against impinging on the natural rights of its citizens. Finally, through the most recent decades, the non-interpretive model has allowed for the right to privacy, freedom of expression, womens suffrage, de-segregation of schools, and general equality for all citizens under law. Hence, the Constitution itself is inadequate if read in the interpretative model, for it says nothing of many of the rights American ociety values as indispensable.

There exists a long-standing tradition of belief in natural rights within American civilization. The Constitution textually defined only a portion of these and left the outline of those remaining to be defined and protected by an undeclared institution. The court filled this role through the function of judicial review and the power vested by the 14th amendment. The Founding Fathers had no intention of declaring every human right; rather, they created a system by which future generations could modify existing legislation in the context of contemporary codes. Since that time, a vast number of crucial cases in U. S. istory have required extrapolation beyond the exact written words of the Constitution.

Without which the rights of the citizens of this society would be far less secure and well defined. Hence, one recognizes the superiority of the non-interpretive model. There are several weaknesses to the non-interpretative model of Constitutional review. One such weakness deals not with the content of declared rights but with the manner by which they come about. Despite that the equal protection doctrine, the right to rivacy, and freedom of association are good and may be based on reason, they do not stem from interpretation of the written Constitution.

Therefore, critics argue that they are wholly illegitimate. The Court now becomes an arbiter of fundamental value choices, and if these are defined by the Constitution, the Court need not intervene. Yet, it matters less how these rights come about if the majority of society recognizes them as fundamental to a functioning democracy. Additionally, one must return to the recognition that values change ithin a society and the Constitution cannot fully allow for all rights needed in contemporary society. Secondly, critics argue that Marbury v. Madison is a weak grounds for the non-interpretive model.

It is said that this decision revolved around a highly technical provision of the Constitution. Indeed, there is merit to this criticism, for the logic used by Marshall does not wholly justify the use of this case as the deciding factor in the outcome of Supreme Court cases involving constitutional interpretation. However, the 14th amendment and the due process clause further allow for such interpretation. Thirdly and most importantly, advocates of the interpretive model argue that the Supreme Court is not an unbiased institution and should not have the power to define the present values of American society.

The outcomes of many Supreme Court cases have exhibited the biases of the judges deciding the case. Critics then ask the question, if the Court is also vulnerable to opinions and biases, why ought the Court to have the power to declare the limits of natural rights and set down national ideals? They argue that there is little reason why the legislative body should have this power. This is perhaps the most difficult of criticisms to the non-interpretive model.

Because the Court contends with this difficulty in justification of many decisions, it has used poor legal history and unclear use of constitutional language to support cases that could be justified just as well with current moral and political notions. While this tendency of the Court is deplorable, the truth is inescapable that the cases allowing for many of our most basic rights cannot be justified simply by reference to the Constitution. Hence, the Court has invoked the generality of the Constitution to define and efend vested rights and general principles of democratic society.

To conclude, without the ability to move beyond the explicit text of the Constitution, a great number of crucial decisions in U. S. history must be overturned. The simple fact is that the interpretive model cannot allow for the justification of many of our most sacred rights. While criticisms as to the justification of the power of the Court to discern the values of contemporary society are legitimate, history as well as the citizens of this society have long declared the non-interpretive model superior.

Loving v. Virginia

On July 11, 1958 a couple of hours after midnight, Richard Loving a white man and Mildred Loving an African American woman were awakened to the presence of three officers in their bedroom. One of the three officers demanded from Richard to identify the woman next to him. Mildred, full of fear, told the officers that she was his wife, while Richard pointed to the marriage license on the wall. The couple was then charged and later found guilty in violation of the state’s anti-miscegenation statute.

Mr. and Mrs. Loving were residents of the small town of Central point, Virginia. They were family friends who had dated each other since he was seventeen and she a teenager. When they learned that marriage was illegal for them in Virginia, they simply drove over the Washington, D. C. for the ceremony. They returned to Virginia and were arrested the following month for violating the anti-miscegenation statute, which was declared in the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. Commonwealth’s Attorney Bernard Mahon obtained the warrant for Richard Loving and “Mildred Jeter”.

Mildred’s maiden name was on the warrant because in Virginia a marriage between a white and black was considered void. In October 1958, the indictments of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter were bought before the court and on January 6, 1959, Richard and Mildred pled not guilty to the charges. Changing their pleas to guilty and waiving their right to a jury trial due to fear and optimism for a favorable punishment, the Lovings took the plea bargain. The Circuit Court judge that was presiding over the case, Judge Leon M. Bazile, did not see favor on them and sentenced them to one year in jail.

Yet, at the same time in agreement with the plea bargain, Judge Bazile suspended the sentence for 25 years provided that the Lovings would leave the state of Virginia immediately and not return together for the whole period. There was a catch, for when the 25 year period ends they would still face the prosecution of the court if they ever returned. He concluded his decision with this quote: Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no case for such marriages.

The fact that he separated the races shows that he did intend for the races to mix. Later, in a plea to the supreme court of appeals in Virginia as to the constitutionality of these provisions in the decision, the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia referred to The Equal Protection Clause stating that: The definition of the offense must apply equally to whites and Negroes … to the same degree.

Thus, … because its miscegenation statutes punish equally both the white and the Negro participants in an interracial marriage, these statutes, … not constitute an invidious discrimination based upon race. The court also referred to its 1955 decision in “Naim v. Naim” as stating the reasons supporting the validity of the anti-miscegenation laws. In Naim, the state court concluded that the State’s legitimate purposes were “to preserve the racial integrity of its citizens,” and to prevent “the corruption of blood,” “a mongrel breed of citizens,” and “the obliteration of racial pride,” obviously an endorsement of the doctrine of White Supremacy.

The court also reasoned that marriage has traditionally been subject to state regulation without federal intervention, and consequently, the regulation of marriage should be left to exclusive state control by the Tenth Amendment. The statements related to the courts attempt to “preserve the racial integrity of its citizens” would have been ludicrous any place but was especially laughable in Caroline County, and in the Lovings’ hometown of Central Point, which had been an epicenter of race mixing for at least 200 years.

White families and their fair-skinned black relatives lived so close together that they bumped into each other on the street. Mixed-race people were initially treated as a “new people” who existed in the space between white and black and deserved a status which was in general higher then blacks but was not as high as whites. This special status began to dry up just before the Civil War and evaporated when slavery ended and free blacks competed with whites for jobs and political power. The struggle for acceptance for interracial couples was fought in both courts and public opinion.

In 1948 in the California Supreme Court in the case of Perez v. Lippold (AKA Perez v. Sharp) became the first state court in the nation to strike down laws prohibiting interracial marriage nearly 20 years before the U. S. Supreme Court did so. The Supreme Court of California ruled that that state’s ban on interracial marriage violated the federal constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. During the 1960s, the civil rights movement helped reverse many of the legal barriers against miscegenation. The Warren Court, through its 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, was actively striving to end discrimination against blacks.

The court continued to strike down legal segregation throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In a series of short opinions, the court outlawed segregation in buses, parks, public golf courses, and other places. In each case, the court cited the Brown opinion. So when the case of McLaughlin v. Florida appeared on the table in 1964, the Court was again ready to deal with the question of racial classification. In McLaughlin, the Court ruled as invalid a Florida statute that allowed more severe penalties for cohabitation and adultery by interracial couples than same-race pairs.

Justice Potter Stewart in a concurring opinion concluded, “It is simply not possible for a state law to be valid under our Constitution which makes the criminality of an act depend upon the race of the actor”. Yet it seems that to the public these monumental Supreme Court decisions served no purpose, for in a 1958 Gallup poll it was discovered that 94 percent of Americans disapproved of interracial marriage. It’s only the courts decisions that truly mattered to Mildred, which is why in 1963 (four years in their exile) Mildred wrote the U. S. Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, for help and advice.

She had heard about a bill that was being proposed in Congress (Civil Rights Act of 1964) and wanted to see if that bill would assist them in anyway. Mr. Kennedy responded back informing Mrs. loving that the federal government could not do anything for them; however, he suggested that they contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for assistance. Jumping to the opportunity, Mildred contacted the ACLU and informed them of their situation.

One of the ACLU members who happened to be a lawyer, Bernard S. Cohen, was very intrigued with the Lovings situation and was quite eager to take it on. As Cohen as their lawyer, the Lovings decided to test their luck again with the court. Mr. Cohen decided to name the case Loving v Virginia in connection to the special meaning associated with Richard’s strong love for his wife. Frustrated and upset with the previous outcomes of the Virginia courts, Richard and Mildred Loving decided to challenge the courts one more time in their pursuit of that “normal marriage life. ”

Bernard Cohen and Philip Hirschkop perfected an appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court and on December 12, 1966, the court agreed to hear the case, Loving v. Virginia was born. There was just one glitch with Lovings’ argument: the integrating of the Brown decision into the unconstitutionality of miscegenation. Since this tactic did not work with the Virginia Supreme Court, Cohen and Hirschkop did not want to chance it with the U. S. Supreme Court and so, they decided to just stick with their main argument: violation of the due process and equal protection of the 14th amendment.

Along the way, the Lovings’ have received a lot of support from various organizations such as the Japanese Americans Citizens League, the NAACP, and assorted Catholic organizations; these organizations proved to be useful in their assistance throughout the trial. For instance the Japanese Americans Citizens League was allowed to file amicus curiae (brief in support of the Loving) they provided information that stated that many states prohibited marriage between other races not just black and white. On April 10, 1967, the court began hearing arguments; the Chief Justice that presided was Justice Earl Warren.

Chief Justice Earl Warren was also the chief justice that presided over the Brown v Board of Education in 1954. On June 12, 1967 the case was decided by a vote of 9 to 0. Chief justice Earl Warren invalidated the law as an impossible racial classification prohibited by the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment. Warren held that: Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival… To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications… surely to deprive all… of liberty without due process of law.

The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State. The legacy this Supreme Court decision left behind lie in two separate but equal parts. A part of its legacy lies in the legal precedence it set with its many applications in cases that followed it. as in the case of Dick v. Reaves (1967) in Oklahoma where Loving was used in the decision to grant the stepchild of an interracial marriage, the inheritance property of her father.

In other cases it gave states no reason to remove children from the homes of interracial couples; stepparents in interracial unions acquired the right to legally adopt their children from their spouses; employers could no longer deny employment based on the race of the person’s spouse, and it might again be relevant today in its possible use towards the support for the acceptance of same-sex marriages.

Another equally important legacy lies in the driving force for the case itself, which appropriately shares its name with the name of the case. Loving v. Virginia showed the length to which people in love would go in order to prove their love to each other. It showed the public that love has no color, no race, and as we are beginning to realize today no gender as well. The immediate impact of Loving On civil liberties was significant partly due to the fact that it finally removed the last Jim Crow law on the books.

However, an even stronger impact was felt in its display of the complicated ideas of race and segregation that were developed over the centuries. The light that had traced the development of the racist attitudes from Biblical passages to “scientific” research would now serve as much needed insight to those in search of equality. A significant force for Civil Liberties in Supreme Court cases is the setting of precedence’s for hope. Today, Loving v.

Virginia serves as just that to a new group best illustrated in this paragraph from an article written by Randall Kennedy a Professor at Harvard Law At a time when many observers question whether America has made any real progress, on the racial front, it is worth recalling that as late as 1967, sixteen states prohibited people from marrying across racial frontiers. Now no such prohibitions exist… Just as many people once found trans-racial marriage to be a loathsome potentiality well-worth prohibiting, so, too, do many people find same-sex marriage to be an abomination.

Article 2B (Law of Licensing)

A new law will probably be introduced into state legislatures which will govern all contracts for the development, sale, licensing, and support of computer software. This law, which has been in development for about ten years, will be an amendment to the Uniform Commercial Code. The amendment is called Article 2B (Law of Licensing) and is loosely based on UCC Article 2 (Law of Sales), which governs sales of goods in all 50 states. A joint committee of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and the American Law Institute is drafting the changes to the UCC.

The UCC was drafted in the 1950s and currently governs the sales of goods but not products like software, which are licensed, not sold. Basically, when you purchase software, you are purchasing the information and rights to use the software. Article 2B creates standards for licensing these information products, including rules for interpreting warranties, legal remedies, liability and risk. This project began to give consideration to instituting a separate article of the UCC for software and related contracts.

Article 2B is designed to bring uniformity across states and across the goods vs. rvices issue. It is intended to make software contract laws more consistent and clear among states. If laws are consistent from state to state it makes it easier for buyers and sellers to understand how to do business with each other. There is a great benefit in creating a uniform system for software products and services, however, this proposal for Article 2B does have major flaws. Article 2B employs a contracting model that excludes negotiation and that doesnt reveal terms of the contract to the customer until after the sale is complete.

It also adopts a licensing model that says when you buy software, you are really only buying the right to use it. Consumers also have little or no opportunity to read warranties and disclaimers before purchasing the product. The draft of Article 2B eliminates some of the legal protections that software buyers currently take benefit from. For example, it reduces vendor liability for software defects and viruses and allows vendors to charge separately for software licenses, maintenance and support. Critics say that Article 2B is biased in favor of software vendors.

While this is the dominant issue for this paper, there are some positive ideas proposed in the amendment. It creates balance and structure, reduces uncertainty and non-uniformity of licensing law, sets performance standards, and innovates the concept of mass-market transactions. The Mass-Market License is a standard-form, non-negotiable, license. Companies use standard-form contracts instead of trying to negotiate a separate contract for each buyer, or licensee. The lengthy legal forms that most dont read when installing software are shrink-wrap licenses.

These mass-market licenses restrict rights of users. Licenses involve restrictions on the use of intellectual property. They can have nondisclosure provisions, restrictions on how the product is used and who can use it, and restrictions on transfer of the licensed product. Software companies solely benefit from this where they can not only dictate the terms of the agreement, but they can also avoid consumer defect and privacy protections laws that apply to a sale of goods. An example of a typical shrink-wrap license on-line is as follows:

Attention, Please Read: Installing this software constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions of the license agreement. Other rules and regulations of installing this software are: 1. The product cannot be rented, loaned or leased. 2. The customer shall not disclose the results of any benchmark test to any third party without Network Associates prior written approval. 3. The customer will not publish reviews of the product without prior written consent from Network Associates. By loading any software, you may be inadvertently entering into a contract.

Software publishers claim that these one-sided contracts are legally binding, but American courts disagree. Article 2B says that the publisher doesnt have to show software customers the terms until after the sale, when its too late to do comparison shopping. By then, the consumer has already started installing the software. The customer is deemed to have accepted the terms of the contract if he/she uses the product instead of returning it. All of the terms of the agreement are now fully enforceable as if the consumer had reviewed, discussed, and signed a paper contract before the sale.

Many of the shrink-wrap software licenses say that once you break the seal and use the software, youre releasing the vendor from all warranties. Basically, the software has been sold as is and youve given up your legal recourse if it doesnt perform as claimed, damages your computer, or has bugs that lead to errors. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act customers are entitled to see the warranty of any goods sold for $15 or more. It is not unreasonable to assume that software purchased for home usage would be covered by the Act.

But software customers rarely get to see the warranties provided with software until after the sale. Article 2B characterizes mass-market software sales as licenses, which may not be covered by the Magnuson-Moss Act. Products normally come with an implied warranty of merchantability, which states that the product will be fit for ordinary use, it will conform to the claims on the packaging and in the manual, and it will pass without objection in the trade. An implied warranty comes with a product at the time of sale unless it is conspicuously disclaimed.

Implied warranties are so easy to disclaim as long as they are conspicuous in the sense that you know the terms. For instance, you buy a software program from a store, take it home and install it and a License Agreement is displayed. It says that there are no warranties, express or implied, and that incidental and consequential damages are excluded. You have a chance to click on I accept these terms or I want a refund. If you choose the latter, you take the product back to the store and get a full refund. Express warranties cannot be disclaimed.

An express warranty is any statement of fact by the seller to the buyer about the product that becomes part of the basis of the bargain. This phrase generally means that if a reasonable customer would interpret the sellers statements as factual descriptions of the product that the customer has bought, and would be even slightly influenced by the statements in deciding whether to buy or keep the product, then they are considered basis of the bargain statements. Article 2B allows the seller to exclude incidental damages and consequential damages.

These exclusions do not have to be conspicuous. Publishers are allowed to put damage limitation clauses in the license that excludes these expenses. Incidental expenses can include all costs of reporting a defect and returning the product. Software support is increasingly being done on a fee-basis where you pay for a support contract, you pay per call, or you pay per minute. A customer who spends money on support calls to report defects that were known to the publisher at the time it shipped the product, isnt entitled to a refund of these charges.

The unethical publisher basically gets to profit from its own defects. So not only dont you get reimbursed for incidental damages, but the cost of contacting the Customer Service Rep to report a legitimate problem becomes the profit of the software publisher. The public does not benefit from a law that cuts off their right to know before the sale what guarantees the product comes with. Article 2B will help publishers reduce their customer support costs in ways that dont improve the quality of their products.

A company spends money on prevention of problems, appraisal (looking for problems), internal failure costs such as cost of bug fixes or lost time due to bugs found before the product is shipped, and external failure costs which include tech support costs, lost customer goodwill, and warranty costs. This analysis encourages employees to think about their companies costs as opposed to their customers costs. The Article will substantially reduce a sellers legal and competitive exposure for shipping bad software.

Companies should and will spend less than they do now to prevent, find, and fix bugs because it will now cost them less when they ship defective products to consumers. Article 2B allows software publishers to sell software with serious know defects without fear of any significant consequences. Software is routinely released with many serious, known defects because companies seek short-term profits, while sacrificing long-term customer satisfaction, to meet ship dates.

Companies fear being exploited by the competition if knowledge of the defects was released. A software defect is a material breach of the contract for sale or license of the software if it is so serious that the customer can justifiably demand a fix, cancel the contract, return the software, and demand a refund. If the defect is not material, then the customer is probably stuck with the program, and entitled to at most, a partial refund. Article 2B will make it easier for software publishers to refuse a refund.

If you buy software that is not mass-market, then you no longer have the right to reject the product due to non-material defects that you discover during inspection. Also, the publisher is only required to give a refund if the product is so defective that it has materially breached the contract. But even for a significant bug, the company can force a customer to prove in court that the bug is so serious that the customer is entitled to a full refund instead of a partial refund.

If the contract is for a mass-market license, then a breach is only material if the software fails to perform in conformance with the end user documentation, or if the softwares performance is unreasonable and as a result, it deprives the consumer of a significant benefit of the product or it results in costs to the consumer that exceed the price paid for the software. Article 2B requires the customer to maintain backup systems just in case the software publisher breaches the contract. The customer cannot recover compensation for losses that could have been avoided with regular backups.

The customer should not have to spend time, effort and money on preventive steps, before a breach, to minimize the damages that will be incurred if the publisher should happen to breach. Sellers rely on contracts and laws that make it harder for customers to sue them. In mass-market agreements, we already see clauses that avoid all warranties and that eliminate liability even for significant losses caused by a defect that the publisher knew about when it shipped the product. The seller isnt required to deliver a perfect program, just one that substantially does what was promised.

The Article requires the seller to fix a nonconformity that is not material or very serious. This effort to cure is only required with products other than mass-market licenses. It is easy for the mass-market software publisher to escape liability for incidental and consequential damages. Under 2B, a nonmaterial breach does not entitle the customer to cancel the contract and get a refund, but it does entitle the aggrieved party to the appropriate remedies including incidental and consequential damages, however, 2B also allows the seller to exclude these damages.

A software developer can be sued under certain theories. Negligence is what first comes to mind in lawsuits over defective products, but proof of negligence can be very difficult. You must ask if the company had actual knowledge of the problem. How carefully did the company perform its safety analysis? How well designed is the program for error handling and how well does the company handle customer complaints? You need to look at whether or not the product design and development followed industry standards.

Failure to follow a standard is only relevant if the plaintiff can show that this failure caused the harm. Does the company have a bug tracking method and did they use a consistent methodology? Did the company make a serious effort to find errors and what test plan did it follow. Does the documentation for the software warn people of risks? Most software lawsuits are for breach of contract or fraud because the product usually doesnt cause personal injury or property damage.

Fraud would apply if the company made a statement of fact to the customer and the company knew when it made the statement that it was false. If you reasonably relied on the statement to determine buying or returning the product, it can be classified as fraud. If the company made a mistake and did not know that the statement was false when it made it, then this would be negligent misrepresentation. In a software transaction, a material breach or failure to meet specifications is grounds for a lawsuit. The law will sometimes fail to compensate buyers of products that are seriously defective.

The proposed article would let companies simply disclaim any liability for defects or lost data beyond the purchase price of the software itself. Consumers need protection from the laws, not proposals like this one that will safeguard software companies from liability. Article 2B reduces liability rather than expanding it. Software publishers are given more power to set their terms than in current law. If UCC 2B is enacted, your could potentially lose your rights to criticize or analyze the product you purchased. It allows publishers to use confidentiality clauses in their license agreements.

They can have you agree to hold the software package and not publish, communicate, or disclose to third parties any part of the package, without written consent. Publishers have the right to create trade secrets and to enter into nondisclosure contracts with people. The publisher is in essence, creating a nondisclosure agreement with the whole world, one consumer at a time. This is a law that lets publishers cut off their customers right to read detailed, critical reviews of a product they are considering buying.

Competition in the marketplace is then decreased if publishers can block negative reviews of their products. Software development companies will benefit from laws that shield sellers from the consequences of their actions which in turn strips away most of the rights of customers who purchase mass-market products. Consumers are aware that software makers need a viable market and some form of shrink-wrap licenses might be necessary. But software makers have taken advantage of these buyers. If we have to accept a unilateral license, the least the software publishers can do is provide reasonable consumer protections.

Many consumer demands may have been met, but others have not. The proposed draft is unbalanced because it favors software vendors at the expense of consumers on many issues. Software companies can avoid paying any damages beyond a refund, even for defects that they knew about when they released the software. This includes damages done to the customers computer, charges for technical assistance which sometimes exceed the cost of the software itself and time to re-enter data that was destroyed.

All the financial benefit goes to the company, and all risks that the software will not perform or actually cause serious damage are placed solely on the purchasers of the product. Software companies can disclaim all warranties, denying even that the product conforms to claims made on its packaging or in its documentation. For software bought or licensed online, software publishers can avoid all liability for viruses in their software, even if they would have found the virus with the simplest of tests.

Article 2B even makes any license term binding, even if it would cause an ordinary and reasonable person to refuse the license if that party knew that the license contained the particular term, so long as the person clicks on I Agree for that term. The proposed draft provides almost no protection to customers. It shields the worst companies from responsibility for their worst products. It will weaken the legal rights of consumers and ultimately drag down software quality across the industry. If this addition to the Uniform Commercial Code is passed, you could be giving up a lot more than you intended for with that click.

Civil Liberties: A Look Into The Future

After September 11, 2001, in the United States of America, many aspects of our daily lives have changed. One notable change has been the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Many bills are being drafted to ensure the safety of the United States. We, as Americans, are going to have to sacrifice many of our civil liberties due to this tragic event. There are many good reasons why these bills are being drafted, but there are also negative effects such as the loss of civil rights.

One particular bill being drafted is the USA PATRIOT Act. The USA PATRIOT Act puts the CIA back in the business of spying on Americans. It permits a vast array of information gathering on U. S. citizens from financial transactions, school records, Internet activity, telephone conversations, information gleaned from grand jury proceedings and criminal investigations to be shared with the CIA (and other non-law enforcement officials) even if it pertains to Americans. Most importantly, the information would be shared without a court order.

While there is a need to shut down the financial resources used to further acts of terrorism, this legislation goes beyond its stated goal of combating international terrorism and instead reaches into innocent customers personal financial transactions. If the USA PATRIOT Act becomes a law, financial institutions would monitor daily financial transactions even more closely and be required to share information with other federal agencies, including foreign intelligence agencies such as the CIA.

Section 358 requires that, in addition to law enforcement, intelligence agencies would also receive suspicious activity reports. These reports are usually about wholly domestic transactions of people in the United States, and do not relate to foreign intelligence information. In addition, Section 358 would allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies to get easy access to individual credit reports in secret. There would be no judicial review and no notice to the person to whom the records relate.

Through these provisions, the CIA would be put back in the business of spying on Americans, and law enforcement and intelligence agencies would have a range of personal financial information without ever showing good cause as to why such information is relevant to a particular investigation. Since September 11, Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials have faced few barriers in accessing student information.

According to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, about 200 colleges and universities have turned over student information to the FBI, INS, and other law enforcement officials. Investigators have accessed information about foreign exchange students, students in particular fields of study, including flight training, and students of particular ethnicities, including US citizens. However, law enforcement officials want even easier access to a broader range of student information.

Section 508 of the USA PATRIOT Act would allow law enforcement to access the student data collected for the purpose of statistical research under the National Education Statistics Act (NESA). The NESA includes a vast amount of identifiable student information and -until now- has been held to strict confidentiality requirements without exception. While the bill requires a court order, it would be issued based on a mere certification that the records are relevant to an investigation.

This standard is insufficient to protect the privacy of sensitive information contained in student records. The USA PATRIOT Act permits a wide sharing of sensitive information gathered in criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies with intelligence agencies including the CIA and the NSA. Section 203(a) of the bill would permit law enforcement agents to provide to the CIA foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information revealed to a grand jury. No court order would be required.

As a result, the foreign intelligence information about Americans that could be shared with the CIA is not necessarily information to protect against attacks, or is necessary to the national defense or security of the United States. Section 203(b) would permit law enforcement officers to share with the CIA intercepts of telephone and Internet conversations. Again, no court order would be necessary to authorize the sharing of this sensitive information. While some sharing of information may be appropriate in some limited circumstances, it should be done with strict safeguards.

These safeguards include protecting information about U. S. rsons from disclosure to the CIA, requiring a court approval for disclosure, limiting disclosure to foreign intelligence information as defined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, limiting disclosure to foreign governments, and requiring that disclosed information be marked to indicate how it was obtained and how it can and cannot be used or disseminated. The bill lacks all of these safeguards. On September 19, only eight days after the tragic terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Bush Administration unveiled its proposed Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), which includes many changes to the nations current surveillance laws.

The ACLU has five overall concerns about the surveillance provisions of the legislation being They would reduce or eliminate the role of judges in ensuring that law enforcement wiretapping is conducted legally and with proper justification. There is no reason why the requirement to get a court order for surveillance should slow down the investigation of suspects for which there is evidence of terrorist activities.

They would dangerously erode the longstanding distinction between domestic law enforcement and foreign intelligence collection, which protects Americans from being spied upon by their own intelligence agencies, as happened during the Cold War. The definition of terrorism is to broad, permitting the special surveillance powers granted in this legislation to be applied far beyond what is commonly thought of by the term. Under the definition proposed by the Administration, even acts of simple civil disobedience could lead organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to become targets of terrorist investigations.

Many of the expansions in surveillance authority being considered are not limited to even the broad definition of terrorism investigations. The Congress is moving unnecessarily and irresponsibly quickly on these measures. It takes a great deal of time to deal with complex issues such as how to apply wiretap law to the Internet, and to think through all the possible unintended consequences of legislative language. Few of the provisions being discussed are needed for the current terrorism investigations, so Congress should take the time to do it right.

Security and civil liberties do not have to be at odds. Law enforcement authorities already have great leeway under current law to investigate suspects in terrorist attacks including broad authority to monitor telephone and Internet communications. In fact, under current law, judges have rejected only three federal or state criminal wiretap requests in the last decade. This is a country that understands that people have fundamental God-given rights and liberties and our government is constituted to protect those rights.

We cannot in our efforts to bring justice diminish those liberties, said Sen. George Allen, R-Va. , in a statement responding to the terrorist attacks. Clearly this is not a simple, normal criminal case. This is an act of war, and those rules of warfare may apply. But here at home and domestically, we need to make sure that were not tempted to abrogate any civil rights such as habeas corpus, protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, the freedom of expression and peaceable assembly, or freedom of religion.

The question of Constitutional interpretation still has yet to be resolved

Justification and Weaknesses of the Non-Interpretive Model The question of Constitutional interpretation still has yet to be resolved. Should only the explicit commands of our nations Founding Fathers be referenced in courts of law, or can it be justified that an outside body should extrapolate from the specific text of the Constitution to define and defend additional fundamental rights? Further, if this body, namely the Supreme Court, bases its decisions of constitutional relevance not wholly on exact interpretation, then regardless of reason, are they wholly illegitimate?

The non-interpretive model allows the Court to interpret beyond the exact wording of the Constitution to define and protect the values of a society. The question of how the non-interpretative model can be justified must be answered. Despite much remaining confusion between the two models, it is clear that history has chosen the non-interpretative model without which many of the defining points in our nations history would be unjustified. The overwhelming strength of the non-interpretive model is that it has allowed for many fundamental decisions that have served to protect he natural rights of the members of this society.

If on the other hand the interpretive model is to be accepted, a significant number of decisions must be revoked. Briefly, the majority of the due process clause is no longer justified. Fair criminal and civil procedures must be dismantled since they have no specific textual reference in the Constitution. Freedom of speech, religion, and property rights are all called in question. Also affected is the legitimacy of franchise and legislative apportionment bodies of doctrine.

The equal protection clause of the Constitution when read literally outlines the defense of ome forms of racial discrimination. However, it does not immediately guarantee the right to vote, eligibility for office, or the right to serve on a jury. Additionally, the clause does not suggest that equal-facility segregation is not to be allowed. Finally, the freedom from cruel and unusual punishments as outlined in the eighth amendment loses its flexibility. In this manner, a prima facie argument against the interpretive model is evident.

Without the ability to move beyond the specific wording, the Court loses its authority to protect what society values as basic human rights. A fundamental question relevant to this debate is whether or not values within our society are time-enduring or changing. When the Supreme Court makes a controversial decision, does it use the text of the Constitution to legitimize principles of natural law, social norms and arrangements? Or, is it acting as an interpreter of slowly changing values and imposing its views on society through its decisions?

The Constitution is not a stagnant document; it is very much alive and changing with the times. Critics argue that the amendment process was created to allow change and that the role of he Judiciary does not include the power to change stated commands in addition to that of enforcing them. However, in many cases, the amendment process is inadequate for clarification of issues of human rights. A great virtue of the non-interpretive model is that the Court has the power to strike down unconstitutional legislation that allows for the Court to preserve the rights of the people.

Non-interpretation then requires the application of understood codes, yet the decision-making process is far from mechanical. Critics contest that the Court should not have the ability to interpret societal values in a iven period of time. However, as has been shown, history has upheld this tradition. A number of questions now arise. Is it practically wise to place the responsibility to define and protect human rights in the hands of Supreme Court Justices? The answer lies in ones interpretation of history.

While it is true that the Court has made decisions that reflect its own biases and interests, it can be shown that the Court has also consistently acted to secure the rights of citizens and to limit federal and state powers. Following, is the definition and enforcement of human rights a judicial task? The djudication of the Supreme Court over issues of human rights as opposed to this power residing in other branches of government must be answered. While there is no direct statement regarding judicial review in the Constitution, Marbury v.

Madison is referenced here as the greatest of all cases justifying this judicial power. Thus arises the penultimate question of the authority of the Supreme Court. Constitutional adjudication was allowed for implicitly by the Founding Fathers. Only some of the principles of higher law were written down in the original document; however, the distinction between those laws rotecting natural rights and positive law was a well-understood one. The ninth amendment allowing for due and proper legislation is the expression of the existence of further principles of higher law not specifically written into the Constitution.

The Marshall Court is a prime example of the manner by which the Supreme Court would act as the enforcer of both written and unwritten natural rights. Through the mid-nineteenth century unwritten constitutional law was referenced during many controversial debates, notably allowing for the protection of contracts, the institution of labor regulation, and the restraining of axation. Continuing through the twentieth century, unwritten rights were upheld allowing for the advancement of laissez-faire capitalism and restraining the powers of state governments against impinging on the natural rights of its citizens.

Finally, through the most recent decades, the non-interpretive model has allowed for the right to privacy, freedom of expression, womens suffrage, de-segregation of schools, and general equality for all citizens under law. Hence, the Constitution itself is inadequate if read in the interpretative model, for it says nothing of many of the rights American society values as ndispensable. There exists a long-standing tradition of belief in natural rights within American civilization. The Constitution textually defined only a portion of these and left the outline of those remaining to be defined and protected by an undeclared institution.

The court filled this role through the function of judicial review and the power vested by the 14th amendment. The Founding Fathers had no intention of declaring every human right; rather, they created a system by which future generations could modify existing legislation in the context of contemporary codes. Since that time, a vast number of crucial cases in U. S. history have required extrapolation beyond the exact written words of the Constitution. Without which the rights of the citizens of this society would be far less secure and well defined.

Hence, one recognizes the superiority of the non-interpretive model. There are several weaknesses to the non-interpretative model of Constitutional review. One such weakness deals not with the content of declared rights but with the manner by which they come about. Despite that the equal protection doctrine, the right to privacy, and freedom of ssociation are good and may be based on reason, they do not stem from interpretation of the written Constitution. Therefore, critics argue that they are wholly illegitimate.

The Court now becomes an arbiter of fundamental value choices, and if these are defined by the Constitution, the Court need not intervene. Yet, it matters less how these rights come about if the majority of society recognizes them as fundamental to a functioning democracy. Additionally, one must return to the recognition that values change within a society and the Constitution cannot fully allow for all rights needed in contemporary society. Secondly, critics argue that Marbury v. Madison is a weak grounds for the non-interpretive model.

It is said that this decision revolved around a highly technical provision of the Constitution. Indeed, there is merit to this criticism, for the logic used by Marshall does not wholly justify the use of this case as the deciding factor in the outcome of Supreme Court cases involving constitutional interpretation. However, the 14th amendment and the due process clause further allow for such interpretation. Thirdly and most importantly, advocates of the interpretive model argue that the Supreme Court is not an unbiased institution and should not have the power to define the present values of American society.

The outcomes of many Supreme Court cases have exhibited the biases of the judges deciding the case. Critics then ask the question, if the Court is also vulnerable to opinions and biases, why ought the Court to have the power to declare the limits of natural rights and set down national ideals? They argue that there is little reason why the legislative body should have this power. This is perhaps the most difficult of criticisms to the non-interpretive model.

Because the Court contends with this difficulty in justification of many decisions, it has used poor legal history and unclear use of constitutional language to support cases that could be justified just as well with current moral and political notions. While this tendency of the Court is deplorable, the truth is inescapable that the cases allowing for many of our most basic rights cannot be justified simply by reference to the Constitution. Hence, the Court has invoked the enerality of the Constitution to define and defend vested rights and general principles of democratic society.

To conclude, without the ability to move beyond the explicit text of the Constitution, a great number of crucial decisions in U. S. history must be overturned. The simple fact is that the interpretive model cannot allow for the justification of many of our most sacred rights. While criticisms as to the justification of the power of the Court to discern the values of contemporary society are legitimate, history as well as the citizens of this society have long declared the non-interpretive model superior.

Teenage Curfew Laws: Beneficial or Detrimental

Sally walked out of the coffee shop downtown and wandered to her car. It was about 12:15 a. m. on one Tuesday over the summer, and her parents had set her curfew for 12:30 a. m. Sally thought she would be home right on time; unfortunately, the Roanoke City Council though otherwise. Since Sally is 16, she is breaking the teenage curfew in Roanoke City. Roanoke’s curfew, which took effect July 31, 1992, requires that teens 16 and under be off the streets by 11 p. m. from Sunday through Thursday and by 12 p. m. on Friday and Saturday (Turner, “Council” B3).

Because Sally’s arents did not set her curfew in compliance with the one Roanoke City had set for their child, Sally is now a criminal. Is that really what Roanoke wants to happen. By setting a teenage curfew, Roanoke City is undermining parental authority and turning innocent teens into criminals. Roanoke, however, is not the only locality that is issuing curfew laws. A survey from the Justice Department found that nearly three-quarters of the 200 largest cities in the united States have implemented curfew laws to lower juvenile crime rates (Gostomski 2).

Though backers of curfew laws pplaud their effectiveness in this capacity, statistics show no support for their claim that curfews reduce youth crime. As curfews are put into effect across the country, the American Civil Liberties Union and the courts are beginning to question their constitutionality. Though curfew laws are disguised as a mechanism to protect teens and reduce youth crime, they are unconstitutional, ill-advised, and ineffective. Curfew laws violate the basic constitutional guarantees in the Bill of Rights.

Though teenagers are minors, they are still citizens and not exempt from basic constitutional rights. Courts throughout the United States have thrown out local curfew laws, citing various violations of juveniles’ constitutional protections. The 9th U. S. District Court of Appeals threw out a San Diego curfew because it infringed upon youth’s first amendment right to speech (Gostomski 4). In Dallas, U. S. District Court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer said the city curfew defied minors’ right to freedom of association (Turner, “Constitutionality” B3).

The Supreme Court in Washington state has twice ruled that curfews cannot be ordered upon any citizen unless there is a state of emergency (Brown and Santana). Since curfews began to reappear in the 1980s and 1990s, the American Civil Liberties Union has been fighting their constitutionality because “they punish law-abiding teens more than true criminal” (“Survey”). Along with these infractions, challengers of curfew laws have cited their violation of freedoms of religion and assembly, rights to travel, and rights against unreasonable search and seizure (Crowell 5).

Also, opponents say curfew laws violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment (Crowell 5). Experts say that “it s trick, if not impossible, to craft a curfew law that protects the constitutional rights of minors” (“Problems”). If curfew laws do not protect the constitutional rights of minors, they violate the fundamental principles of the United States, and lawmakers should repeal them. Curfew laws, when they are implemented, lead to antagonism between law abiding teenagers and the police force, and often turn innocent teenagers into criminals.

Also, these laws create a stereotype that all teens are delinquents. Curfew laws allow police to arrest minors for offenses that are not crimes if adults commit them. When teens break the curfew law, they change from law-abiding citizens into criminals. This precedent creates tension between all teens, lawful and unlawful alike, and adults, especially law enforcement officers (Macallair and Males). To teenagers, police represent the unjust curfew laws that oppress them. To police officers, all teens that stay out past curfew hour are criminals.

A U. S. District Court threw out a curfew law in the District of Columbia on the basis that it did not differentiate between innocent teens and those who were a threat to society (Racine 233). Lumping all teenagers together tereotypes them in society. a study by Gallup Polls in 1994 shows that “the average adult believes juveniles commit 43% of violent crime, when the actual figure is just 13%” (Allen 2).

Also, most teens are not violent offenders. One survey showed that only 0. 5% of youths engage in violent acts (Allen 3). Curfew laws punish the 99. 5% of teenagers that are law abiding. y grouping all teens together, curfew laws contribute to the belief that youths are the downfall of society and lead to tension between those teens who are not a detriment to the community and law enforcement.

Along with leading to tension and antagonism, curfew laws distract police from more important and pressing matters. Spending time targeting innocent teens out past curfew and transporting them to police headquarters or to their homes is an inefficient way to deter crime (“Survey”). As Jordan Budd of the American Civil Liberties Union said, “Police already have the ability to arrest teenagers involved in real crime.

The curfew adds nothing more than the obligation to arrest the innocent as well” (qtd in Allen 4). Moreover, the curfew laws cost taxpayer money that the police departments do not have to spend. In a survey by the united States Conference of Mayors, 23% of cities with curfews reported that the paperwork, court appearances, and other aspects involved with their teenage curfew created additional costs for police departments (Cohn 88). This places excessive strain on localities that are already financially burdened and understaffed (Crowell 6).

If law enforcement is unable to properly enforce curfew laws, the value of more important laws may be degraded in the minds of youths (Bey and Smullyan-Capra 35). If they are not going to be punished for breaking curfew laws, they may not feel obligated to follow ther, more vital laws. Since statistics show that the “rates of serious crime among youths are strongly correlated with those of adults around them, both by local area and over time,” a more effective task for police would be to attempt to locate and punish adult criminals (Macallair and Males).

Instead of focusing on punishing law abiding teens, a more efficient use of police time and energy to deter crime would be to take steps to target adult criminals. Along with being unconstitutional and inefficient, curfew laws interfere with the rights of parents to set limits for their children and et the precedent that government control is a viable substitute for parental discretion. By taking away the responsibility of parents to supervise their own children, curfew laws take away their accountability for their children.

When the government sets curfews for teens, it disciplines and sets boundaries in place of parents, impeding upon their authority. On the basis that it violated parents rights to govern their children, a Court of Appeals in Washington State overturned a local curfew law (Brown and Santana). Also, in a ruling by the 9th U. S. District Court f Appeals, a San Diego curfew was repealed because it “usurped the roles of legal guardians” (Gostomski 4). By invading the home and setting curfews, government is violating the parent’s constitutional right to privacy (Crowell 5).

Teenage curfews are a family matter, which should be left to private discretion. Giving the power to set curfews to the government only dissipates parental authority and gives parents an excuse not to discipline their children. Most curfew supporters dismiss the opposition to youth curfews, citing the benefits of curfews in reducing juvenile crime. Statistical analysis, however, does not support the notion that stricter curfew enforcement reduces teenage crime in any way.

A report by the Los Angeles police department found that active curfew enforcement, including task forces, citations, and arrests, had no noticeable effect on juvenile crime (Macallair and Males). The ineffectiveness of curfews is not isolated to Los Angeles, though. An in-depth study of curfew laws throughout California by the Justice Policy Institute found “no support for the proposition that stricter curfew enforcement reduces youth crime, either absolutely or elative to adults, by location, by city, or by type of crime” (Macallair and Males).

In most cases, curfew laws had no effect on juvenile crime. When they did, though, stricter curfew enforcement was usually coupled with an increase in teenage crime rates (Macallair and males). One study suggest that curfews simply displace juvenile crime to the hours after school and before curfew (Goo 1A). Though supporters hail curfews as aiding the prevention of juvenile crime, statistical analysis of youth arrest data shows no support for their assertion, finding no correlation between curfew nforcement and a reduction in juvenile crime.

Though, on paper, curfew laws for teenagers sound like a viable option, they violate basic constitutional guarantees, punish law-abiding teenagers, are an inefficient use of police resources, usurp parental authority, and are ineffective at reducing youth crime. In actuality, teenage curfew laws are “purely cosmetic” (“More Curfew” A6). They are a way for politicians and lawmakers to claim they are doing something to reduce youth crime (“More Curfews” A6). In reality, when curfew laws do have an impact, statistics show that they are usually coupled with an ncrease in youth crime rates (Macallair and Males).

This increased crime rate probably comes from the law abiding teens that become criminals after police pick them up for curfew violations. If curfews only serve to turn innocent teens into lawbreakers, they are a waste of police time and money. Instead of robbing parents of the right to supervise their teenagers in order to reduce teenage crime, legislators should try a more effective approach. Police should continue to enforce the existing laws, and localities should present alternative activities for teenagers (“Problems”). Teenage curfew laws, though, must be opposed.

They are age discrimination in its purest form, judging a group of people based on its worst members. This discrimination not only judges but punishes innocent youths simply because they are young. This is the very situation the Constitution of the United States is designed to protect against. Somehow, though, when it comes to minors, lawmakers’ vision becomes cloudy. They find it easy to impress curfew laws upon innocent teens and helpless parents. Since curfew laws are unconstitutional, ineffective, and discriminatory, they can only be detrimental to society.

Moral Law vs. Civil Law

In the case of Antigone versus the state, she chose to follow moral law, or God’s law if you will. Ultimately she felt that His law was right, and the civil government had no right to say who does and who does not have the right to a proper burial. People make decisions everyday in accordance with God’s laws or the governments laws. They make a choice between the two, and they go with it. It’s decided upon according to what they believe is right. Antigone based her decisions solely on her beliefs that she felt within her heart. She followed through with her actions, prepared to face the consequences, knowing what hey would be.

This shows that Antigone is courageous and passionate in her beliefs. She felt that the law of the land was unjust and she couldn’t let the soul of her brother suffer because of injustice. Many citizens backer her up on her decision. Creon’s son, Haemon, even told his father what they thought. He said, “The people feel sorry for Antigone. They say it isn’t equitable that she must die. ” God spoke to her and she acted upon the support of a loved one. She did what she did knowing would smile upon her and the dead would welcome her. Creon is what the civil law is.

Polynices, the unburied, brother of Antigone, ought against Thebes, making him undeserving of a grave according to Creon. All that Polynices was doing was following his own morals. He believed in the other side, whatever that may have been, and he gave his life for it. Creon, being closed minded, lashed out before taking the time to weight the circumstances, and being so hasty in his decision suffered an even greater consequence than that of Antigone, in the end. He refused to listen even after Teiresias warned him by saying, “The sun won’t run its course for many days before you have to repay a corpse of your own… Antigone performed God’s will, and Creon tried to stand in the way, thinking of himself as more powerful.

In the end though, it showed that morality would prevail over all else, proving that’s what in your heart is what matters the most. What ever punishment Creon received, he deserved. Teiresias told him that what he was doing was wrong, “One body you have locked in a tomb. Another that rightly should be in the underworld you have forcibly retained here on earth. Because of this, the Furies have been waiting to pay you back in your own coin. ”

In 331 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the Persian empire, headed by King Darius III. Alexander found Darius’s body murdered by one of his satraps. Alexander came upon his biggest enemy, and still found it in his heart to give him a proper burial, because morally he knew it was the right thing to do. Alexander didn’t love the guy, he didn’t even like him, he just did it. The point is this, if Alexander the Great, ruler of all of Greece, and then some, is able to reach deep down and give his arch enemy the burial ceremony that he deserves. Than Creon, king of tiny little Thebes, can find it in his heart to give Polynices and honorable burial, being his nephew no less.

Censorship and the First Amendment: The American Citizen’s Right to Free Speech

In other words do individuals or groups have the right or the power to examine material and remove or prohibit anything they consider objectionable? This argument has been progressing for centuries, in fact the first notable case was against John Peter Zenger, in 1743. Zenger was an editor of a New York colonial newspaper that often published articles critical of the colonial governor. He successfully argued that publishing the truth should be a defense and thus defied the conventional wisdom and ended colonial intrusion into freedom of the press (Harer 21).

Since that case, the progression through time has expanded atters to the complicated issues we see today. The founders of the United States government tried to protect this liberty by assuring a free press, to gather and publish information without being under control or power of another, in the First Amendment to the Constitution. So why do we need to be concerned if we, as citizens, have been properly protected under the constitution?

Our concerns occur, on account of special interest groups that are fighting to change the freedom of expression, the right to freely represent individual thoughts, feelings, and views, in order to protect their families as well as thers. These groups, religious or otherwise, believe that publishing unorthodox material is an abuse of free expression under the First Amendment. As we will come to find, our Supreme Court system plays an exceedingly important role in the subject of free speech and expression. As well as, understanding that the court system is the nucleus of the construing our First Amendment rights.

First we must focus on the motivation and foundations behind these individuals attempting to challenge the right to free speech. There are various reasons given for censorship: in a classroom or library they may restrict or ban book or other learning resource because it includes social, political, or religious views believed to be inappropriate or threatening. A movie or television program may be considered violent, or obscene because of nudity or indecent behavior. A song or speech may contain language thought to be vulgar, or ideas and values that some consider objectionable.

Furthermore, a group may edit or withhold a newspaper story from publication because they may judge it as a threat to national security. All though these examples are valid motivations for censorship, initiating these steps would unveil a censorship disaster. It is my view that this action would cause a national uprise of interests groups, as well as the individual, demanding that every division of published information be censored. We must identify exactly who these individuals are that want these items censored. Looking at all levels of American citizens, some are legislators on a local, state, and even federal level.

Others are members of boards or committees, organized to review books, films, or other forms of communication on behalf of a community. Occasionally the censors are teachers, librarians, or chool administrators, who determine that a book or a classroom item may not be suitable for the students. Often censors are parents, members of religious groups, or just citizens who are concerned about the presence of indecent or improper material in their schools, libraries, theaters, book stores, television, and else where in the community. These individuals are concerned with indecent or improper material in their communities.

Shifting to the opposite view on this topic, there are those individuals that oppose the power to censor. There are members of society that believe in he freedom to speak publicly and to publish. This is a basic belief in the freedom of expression and is to be protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. On the eve of the bicentennial of the Bill of Rights, the first wave of a nationwide survey, comprising more than 1,500 citizens was conducted. Through this survey it was found that Americans rate free speech as their second most precious First Amendment right and regard a free press highly in the abstract (Wyatt 87).

This amendment states: Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there f; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances (Lowi A24). Although there are strong cases made for and against censorship, the rising trend calling for censorship can threaten our basic rights to free expression and the right to be informed. At the center of the debate is the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantee’s our right to read, speak, write, and communicate freely.

This right cannot be interfered with by the government at the state or federal level. However, the First Amendment does not rotect some forms of expression including libel and slander, false advertising, obscenity, and inciting a riot (Harer 13). In our age, there is an unlimited amount of information available through a diverse representation of media: television, radio, films, newspapers, telephones, computers, magazines, books, and so on. Opposed to other countries, within the world, we are advanced both politically and technically.

With our ability to learn and to communicate with one another, this will only make the complex issue of censorship grow. We should consider ourselves lucky by world standards, in many countries he freedom of expression is extremely limited, or sometimes not permitted at all. In these societies, the government censors views that are not in line with their policies, controlling controversial opinions on television, in newspapers, and even in public or private meetings. Many consider the First Amendment to be our most precious constitutional freedom.

These same members of society: librarians, teachers, legislators, and students believe in following the tradition of our First Amendment. This tradition allows us the freedom to read, write, speak, and therefore to learn. Our basic freedom is essential to a rogressing society. It would be impossible ever to agree upon what should and should not be censored, by whose standards should we set these rules? A thorough discussion of freedom of speech would begin with the question whether this freedom should be legally protected.

However, let us begin where the court begins, with the proposition that the freedom is constitutionally guaranteed and is fundamental to the American political system (Canavan 2). The Supreme court has heard various cases pertaining to the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, issues of libel and slander, national security and obscenity. This started in 1787, Thomas Jefferson saw the dangers of a state supported or sanctioned religion and wanted to place a wall of separation between church and state (Hentoff 345).

The chief function of the guarantee, then, in the eyes of the court, is to serve the political needs of an open and democratic society. “The core value of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” the court has said, is “the public interest in having free and unhindered debate on matters of public importance” (Canavan 3). Thus, it is our right to evaluate items that, as a citizen, we feel as a matter of importance nd speak publicly, publish, or express these feelings in any matter we deem necessary.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution and the Bill of Rights, to make sure that each citizen stays within the constitution and does not infringe upon the rights of others. Their interpretation will set the standards in which this nation must abide. I assert that everyone has a right to self opinion, but imposing your beliefs on others is not a solution, by any means. The following quotation, by John Carney Jr. , from his speech “Theoretical Value in Teaching Freedom of Speech,” sums up his ideas on where the future of free speech stands.

He brings out the concept of societies control over the fate of free speech. Carney opens our eyes to the thought of actually losing our right to free speech. He helps us understand 5 that the loss of our right to free speech and expression would be devastating. I don’t think freedom of speech is being destroyed or has been destroyed, by any well planned conspiracy by any particular segment of our society; political, governmental, economical, educational, or what have you. I think freedom of speech is rotting to death. And t has been for a long time…

A lot of people, including many who should know better, don’t really even begin to understand the concept as it relates to our form of government, and therefore, have no commitment to it… Any attempt is impossible without free speech. It’s tough enough with it, but impossible without it… Perhaps the overriding need for teaching freedom of speech is because the people don’t believe it any more (Carney). In looking back at this issue, we realize that the level of complexity has escalated since the first case encountered in 1743, to todays unbelievable level.

Consider the special interest groups, that challenge the right to free expression, with those that secure this right to their everyday beliefs as free citizens in America. Every item that is censored, or even not censored, affects all citizens within the collective community. Each group holds a strong conviction to their purpose, but they do not take into account the basic issue of interpretation of the First Amendment, in order to protect their position. Taking into consideration those countries that essentially have no say in their rights, we can imagine how trivial this argument might be.

We must also realize hat as our forefathers intended, our countries basic principles derive from this amendment. Therefore, we must settle for the judgement of the Supreme Court on this concern. Accepting the Supreme Court interpretations as our own, thus achieving a balanced society. Our countries founding documents, specifically the First Amendment, were drafted to protect the rights of all American citizens, to both question and criticize our government, if they desired to. I believe our founding fathers theorized that with so many people speaking out, the truth would always emerge, and our country would grow to be fair and free.

Reasons For Limitations On Free Speech

The Constitution of the United States states in its First Amendment that “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” (Funk & Wagnalls 162). This Amendment guarantees each person of free speech. Does this mean that a person can stand in the middle of the street and yell anything he wants? No, society, even though it cherishes freedom of speech, does give this freedom certain restrictions.

Why does society find it necessary to restrict freedom of speech? Does this ensure a more controlled society? Let us imagine a society that has no restrictions of speech. For example, anyone can publish a false story of another person, just for revenge perhaps, and the offended person would not be able to defend himself because there is no restriction of speech. A neighbor in a residential area decides to use a loud microphone to announce his beliefs in the middle of the night, and wakes everybody up. Because that person has every right to speak, nobody can do anything.

Even though this is “freedom of speech” it is not allowed in a civilized society. Free speech is a very controversial issue because who is really the one to decide what can or cannot be expressed. The freedoms stated in the First Amendment have been controlled for the protection of the people. As in the examples mentioned above a person does not have the right to disturb the peace of others just because he has the “right” to express himself. The case Chaplinsky vs. New Hampshire stated that there are some classes of speech that are limited. They are the lewd, the obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting words.

When spoken they encourage fighting and so is a disturbance of peace (Stone, Seidman). Therefore, the courts have created laws that will protect a person against libel and slander. Freedom of speech is limited in almost every area of a person’s life. For instance, a tennis player will be fined heavily during a tennis tournament if he expresses himself with foul language on the tennis court. This obviously curtails the right of the tennis player to express himself freely, but it protects the decency of the spectators because certain forms of language are not proper for some situations.

If a person goes to the movies and begins to carry on a conversation it is most probable that security will ask him to leave the theater. By restricting his freedom of speech, the movie theater has protected the right of the person who went to enjoy a movie. The American courts have stated that the freedom of speech would not protect a man from falsely yelling “fire” in a theater and so creating a clear and present danger (Stone, Seidman). Therefore, the freedom of speech cannot be abused. There are times when the government must guarantee the safety of the people, especially in times of war.

For example, “the Congress has abridged the freedom of speech in 1798, when the Congress enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts. These acts made it a criminal offense to entice people to overthrow an established government” (Microsoft “Speech, Freedom of”). Once again, one can see how the freedom of speech is not completely absolute. The government can also interfere in the freedom of speech by enforcing censorship. Censorship is evident in the movies, music and books. Some states have eliminated certain books from their libraries.

The famous book, Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain was eliminated because it contained the word “nigger”, and, therefore, offended the black community. Many believe that this is taking the issue too far because the intention of Mark Twain was not to offend any reader. This is when the situation of freedom of speech becomes controversial. Any government must take special care when curtailing freedom of speech. The communist regimes are only a good reminder on how a society is affected by freedom of speech. In the case of Cuba, for example, no one can make a negative remark against the government.

In other words the government of Cuba has total control over the people. This is not a true society because man will always cherish his freedom of speech. Although freedom of speech is very valuable for a democratic society, it is important to give society certain limits. A person cannot expect to use foul language in public without a reaction. People must not use freedom of speech to attack a person without evidence. Freedom of speech must not be used to cause a fight or rebellion. The government has taken steps to avoid an abuse of freedom of speech.

Idaho Legislature 2000 Project

The Idaho Legislature held its first session in 1890. At that time the legislature was composed of 18 senators and 36 representatives. The state constitution was amended so each county had at least one Senator and one Representative. Currently reapportionment that occurs every 10 years determines the size of the Idaho Legislature. Until 1968 the Legislature was only in session every two years. In 1968 the Legislature shifted to annual sessions to meet more frequently to pass needed legislation and to prepare budgets that more closely suited the changing needs of state agencies.

According to Idaho state law, each legislative session is to begin on the Monday closest to the ninth of January, and to continue for 60 to 90 days, however much deemed necessary, until late March or early April. The Governor may call a special legislative session, but they are uncommon, and rarely exceed a few days in length. According to tradition, Republican House members sit to the right of the podium facing the front and Democrats sit to the left. In the Senate the majority party sits to the left and the minority party members sit to the right.

The most senior legislators are given first choice of seats on their party’s designated side. Another unique tradition of the Idaho Legislature is that of the black cloth crow. If the House defeats a bill by an overwhelming margin the legislative sponsor is awarded the crow as a symbol of their legislative ineptness. The crow must be tied to the microphone until it can be passed to another unsuccessful legislator. This years session was unexpectedly delayed a week because President Pro Tem Jerry Twiggs died on the opening day, thus creating a absence of leadership.

The Senate elected Robert T. Geddes, a Republican from Soda Springs, as the new President Pro Tem. The confusion because of the uncertain course of action for the legislature to follow resulted in a bill signed into law this session that would put in place a clear procedure for an interim succession if the President Pro Tem dies, resigns, or becomes incapacitated.

Governor Dirk Kempthorne kicked off the legislative session with the governor’s annual budget request, followed shortly thereafter by the State of the State address. Governor Kempthorne began his budget plans with a provision for an increase of $14. illion over last year’s higher education budget. His budget also included $2. 5 million for the Idaho Public Broadcasting System to begin the conversion from analog to digital broadcasting; to meet the new federally mandated technological requirements.

Governor Kempthorne’s most daring budget move was his recommendation to set aside $54 million of Idaho’s share of the tobacco lawsuit settlement into a “rainy day fund”- now called the “millennium fund. ” In his State of the State address he also called for legislation that would ban weapons on school grounds and for the death penalty for cop killers.

The Governor voiced his support for exiting standards, plans to share fiscal responsibility of maintaining schools with school districts, an increase in fish and game license fees, added assistance to PERSI members, and for the parental consent law for teen abortions. Many of the legislation introduced this session is fueled by recent current events. “Cassie’s Law” passed as an extension of the domestic abuse law to include dating relationships. This legislation was pushed after the death of a 17-year-old Soda Springs girl because the court found no legal grounds to issue a protective order against her boyfriend.

New laws were passed dealing with issues facing Idaho in the area of crime and punishment of those offenses. One new law, allows crime victims one year to sue their offender after they are released from incarceration. This law supports a popular national trend to give rights back to the victim. After the recent shooting death of Idaho police officer Linda Huff, a new law ensures that anyone convicted of killing a cop faces the possibility of the death penalty. Changes in courtroom procedure allow jury trials to be waived if both sides consent.

Another law allows domestic violence orders to be sent through certified mail if the party waives personal service before the court. Other laws dealing with crime issues have passed both Houses during this session and at present only await the Governor’s signature to become law. Some of these include; the addition of sex under duress to the definition of rape, a doubled maximum sentencing penalty for aggravated drunken driving, a requirement for convicted drug traffickers to register with the Department of Law Enforcement, and the elevation of battery against a household member to a felony offense.

Always a hot topic for our legislature, education proved to be a very touchy and pressing subject in the face of the lawsuit brought against the state. Three facilities bills should pass through at the very tail end of the session as a last minute attempt to appease the judge. The solutions include a bill that would allow school districts to extend payment on levees up to 20 years, the Uniform Safety Building Code, and a $20 million low interest revolving loan, afforded to school districts to fix unsafe buildings.

Another bill sent to the Governor creates the Idaho Promise Scholarship awards for up to 5,000 eligible students for a maximum of $1,000 per year for two years, which was created to encourage top Idaho students to stay in the state and attend Idaho schools. In an unprecedented move, the Superintendent of Public schools, Marilyn Howard, has been given sole discretion of $873 million of general tax support for education. As the issue of school safety is a growing concern for the entire country, a bill to make it unlawful to possess a firearm or other deadly or dangerous weapon on school property awaits the Governor’s signature.

Tax cuts have been a major issue during this session because of the budget surplus. The tax cut originally proposed in the House called for a $41 million tax cut but the Senate defeated it. The Senate then sent it’s own package of $29 million in cuts to the House who subsequently passed it to the Governor. Another bill sent to the Governor readjusts the formula for splitting tax proceeds because the old formula dates back to 1965.

An issue that became very controversial was the state’s settlement with the American Trucking Associations. For eight years Idaho charged out of state truckers higher mileage rates than in-state truckers. The courts found this to be unconstitutional so Idaho has agreed to pay $27 million to settle the suit instead of risking an even costlier battle in court. At first the proposed solution to find the funds to cover the suit involved charging truckers increased rates but this drew a lot of angry responses.

The bill currently headed through the legislature will take $17 million from the “rainy day” fund and $10 million from the pollution fund. Another transportation bill passed by the legislature creates supervised driving permits beyond regular training programs for young drivers. This bill aims to increase safety on the roads and to ensure the training of young drivers is more extensive. A new law passed will re-evaluate the way forest lands are valued and give immediate tax relief to timber owner’s despite claims that this will threaten funding for schools.

The legislature also endorsed a bill to take the authority over endangered species from the Fish and Game Department and place it with the governor’s office. Other legislation approved fee hikes for fishing and hunting licenses and $4. 4 million budget increase for the Fish and Game Department. Lawmaker’s also approved a measure to elevate the Division of Environmental Quality department status. Governor Kempthorne began the session strongly supporting legislation that would require parental consent for a minor to have an abortion.

The Christian Coalition, Idaho Family Forum, and anti-abortion activists backed the bill. The bill passed both Houses and was signed into law despite misgivings about the actual target of the bill and safety concerns for the few girls that would be affected by the bill. Another law passed that is drawing harsh criticism is the so-called freedom of religion bill. The bill requires proof that a “compelling government interest” exists before any laws are enacted that would “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion. ”

The legislature has passed a bill to Governor Kempthorne to have all public school students recite the pledge of allegiance daily. There is a provision that will allow students not to participate if they object to it. In an attempt to not appear hypocritical, the House has adopted a measure that requires legislators to also recite the pledge of allegiance daily. With a strong backing from Attorney General Al Lance, a few new laws will help to protect consumers. One such bill requires callers for a “persuasive poll” to clearly identify themselves.

Another bill headed to the governor’s desk would create a registry of people in the state who do not want to be contacted by telephone solicitors and then hold companies that use these techniques accountable for unwanted calls. On the electronic mail front, anyone sending unsolicited email messages with out a return address becomes illegal. The Attorney General’s office would enforce the law. Lastly, a new law passed this session prohibits the release of personal information from motor vehicle registration and drivers licensing with out that persons written consent.

A few key decisions regarding PERSI, or state employment retirement, were made this session. New legislation will back the retirement plan against poor economic times and increase the pay by 4. 3%. Another bill amended existing law to authorize the PERSI board to establish and administer the unused sick leave pool for voluntary employee participation. PERSI members now may also purchase up to 48 months membership service. JFAC went along with most of Governor Kempthorne’s budget plans.

The legislature had to appropriate $3. 6 million to Idaho Public Broadcasting System instead of the $2. illion governor Kempthorne included because it needed $2 million alone to even notify the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that it is committed to converting to digital transmission. The legislature did set aside some of the money in the “millennium fund” but not the full $54 million. Some went to cover the trucking industry lawsuit and a little went to public schools. His call for legislation that would ban weapons on school grounds and harsher penalties for cop killers was answered with two bills that passed through and he signed them in as law.

Exiting standards did pass through but the Joint Finance Committee has been holding out the necessary funding so they will not be in effect very soon. To sidestep the lawsuit a few plans passed to share the fiscal responsibility of maintaining schools with school districts and ease any state burden with a negative ruling. Fish and game license fees were increased as he wished to cover extra funding for that agency. PERSI members received additional benefits and protections and the parental consent law for teen abortions passed by his desk and he was able to sign his bill into law.

Clean Air Act

1990, the federal Clean Air Act was passed to improve air quality in the United States. President Bush’s proposed amendments to the Clean Air Act initially would have led to the introduction of alternative, non-petroleum fuels. The petroleum and oxygenate industries responded by offering a reformulated gasoline program as a substitute for most of the alternate fuel proposals. As a result, the amendments to the federal Clean Air Act adopted in 1990 required steps to achieve lower vehicle emissions, including programs to oxygenate and reformulate gasoline.

Oxygenated gasoline is designed to increase the combustion efficiency of gasoline, thereby reducing carbon monoxide emissions. Since January 1995, the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments require areas that have the most severe ozone pollution to use reformulated gasoline containing fuel oxygenates to improve air quality. Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether is one of the most commonly used fuel oxygenates because it is produced in very large amounts from isobutylene, a waste product in the refining process. MTBE can be easily produced at the refinery, at a low cost, and can be transferred through existing pipelines once it has been blended with gasoline.

In contrast to other gasoline additives used in the past, MTBE is a member of a class of chemical compounds, ethers, whose unique properties are enhanced solubility in water and chemical attraction to water molecules. These properties, along with widespread use of MTBE, have resulted in frequent detection of MTBE in samples of shallow groundwater from urban areas throughout the United States. MTBE moves quickly to shallow groundwater because it is not attached to soil particles, and is chemically attracted to water molecules.

MTBE the potential to impact regional groundwater sources and may present a cumulative contamination hazard due to its mobility and apparent recalcitrance. The United States Geological Survey, in a paper presented to the American Chemical Society in San Francisco in April 1997, noted that MTBE can move from shallow to deeper aquifers with time. MTBE enters the environment, and eventually the groundwater, mainly from leaking underground fuel tanks and associated piping, but also from incomplete combustion in internal combustion engines, spilling and evaporation during transportation and refueling, and watercraft exhaust.

Atmospheric precipitation may be another potential source of MTBE in groundwater, because MTBE percolates easily through soil due to its small molecular size and solubility in water, allowing it to move rapidly into groundwater. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified MTBE as a possible human carcinogen, but no drinking-water regulation has been established for the compound. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a drinking water advisory of 20- 40 micrograms per liter, based upon odor and taste thresholds, and to provide a large margin of safety from carcinogenic effects.

Since February 1997, the California Department of Health Services has required public water suppliers to monitor their drinking water sources for MTBE. As of December 1997, about 23%of drinking water sources in California had been sampled for MTBE contamination. Of those sites tested, 33 or 1. 3%, had detectable levels of MTBE. Of the contaminated sites tested, 36% had MTBE levels above the state’s proposed drinking water standard. Some water systems only test every three years for volatile organic compounds, such as MTBE, so it will be the end of 2000 before all systems will have been tested.

For MTBE, this frequency of impact to public drinking wells may not be a reliable indicator of future trends because it reflects a history of releases, including those involving gasoline formulations containing no or only low volumes of MTBE. It also appears that dissolved benzene plumes were of larger regulatory concern than MTBE in previous studies. Most studies have indicated that MTBE does not biodegrade easily under various environmental conditions. If a research investigation determines that a compound does not degrade, a half-life is not reported and the compound is classified as recalcitrant.

MTBE is generally reported as recalcitrant, and there are no widely accepted estimates of the half-life. Investigators have reported that MTBE is recalcitrant in anaerobic laboratory studies including denitrifying conditions, sulfate-reducing conditions, methanogenic-reducing conditions, and anaerobic conditions in landfill-affected aquifer material, soils, and sludges. One 1995 result indicated there was no degradation of MTBE in an aerobic laboratory study after more than 100 days of incubation.

Degradation of MTBE has been reported on occasion and this indicates that some microorganisms are able to degrade MTBE. Resent research has demonstrated that bacterial populations and certain pure bacterial strains, when isolated from biotreated sludges and other sources, have the ability to use MTBE as a sole carbon source. Engineers in the laboratory of Marc Deshusses, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at University of California at Riverside, are studying how microorganisms with an affinity for MTBE degrade the additive under various conditions.

They found the biodegradation rate of MTBE in both laboratory flasks and bioreactors was greatly improved by adding trace amounts of peat humic substances, large organic molecules that can be extracted from peat. The substances seem to stimulate the microbes, but scientists do not yet know how. There are no studies of effects on humans of long term exposure to MTBE. Studies used to determine the hazards have been done with laboratory animals, which creates many limitations and uncertainty.

Animal tests performed in 1997 were not conducted by exposing animals to MTBE in drinking water, but rather by introducing oil containing MTBE directly into their stomachs several times a week. The Environmental Protection Agency determined, although useful for identifying potential hazards, limitations of the reported studies do not allow confident estimates of the degree of risk MTBE may pose to humans from low-level drinking water contamination. In 1997, the California Legislature addressed several issues surrounding MTBE.

Four bills passed the Legislature and were signed by Governor Wilson. These bills included SB 521, which paid University of California to determine the risks and benefits of MTBE to human health and the environment, and required the governor to take appropriate action once these determinations were made about the safety of MTBE. SB 1189 required the Department of Health Services to set primary and secondary standards for drinking water, and require public notification if contamination occurs.

AB 592 required several actions related to the contamination and clean up of groundwater by MTBE, and the funds to reimburse owners of contaminated drinking sources. AB 1491 prohibited delivery of gasoline to any underground fuel storage tank not in compliance with state and federal standards after January 1, 1999. As a result, Governor Gray Davis ordered MTBE to be banned in California by December 2002. Many water suppliers now want to blame the oil industry for the contamination of their drinking water.

On June 20, 2000, the city of Santa Monica, Ca filed a lawsuit against 18 oil companies for 200 million dollars for the estimated costs of cleanup of the cities polluted drinking water wells. In November 1997, Mr. Bordvick of the Tosco Corporation testified at a public hearing of the Assembly of Natural Resources Committee that Tosco’s position was in support of the ban of MTBE because of concern of the potential liability the company would face if MTBE contaminated drinking water.

Several months earlier, a U. S. District Court in Wilmington, North Carolina, awarded 9. 5 million dollars to the 178 residents of a mobile home park because MTBE had contaminated their drinking well. Although it was known that MTBE was a menace in the 1980’s, the petroleum and oxygenate industries knew that MTBE was the only hope of achieving the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Non-petroleum fuels are the future of this planet, yet these companies are stubbornly resisting to accept the fate of our future.

Constitution Comparison Essay

I compared the U. S. A. constitution and the Australian constitution. Their differences are as abundant as their similarities. The Australian constitution is extremely long and drawn out, where as the United States constitution sticks right to the point. All in all, the two constitutions have the same goal in that they wish to bestow the same basic rights to each person. The two constitutions both have a preamble, however the Australian constitution is many more times greater in length. They both state how the power is bestowed on the federal government, but the power from each comes from different places.

Australian takes it from the Queen, where USA takes it from the people, displaying how the separation from the British Empire by the Australians was more peace oriented than the rebellion of the United States. The Australian preamble doesnt deal with legitimacy to USA standards because it doesnt state the reasons for its creation where USA simply states, in order to form a more perfect union. The Australian preamble sis redundant in that it states things in it that are restated later in the body of the constitution.

Both constitutions are segmented into powers bestowed upon branches or states and other important agendas. The US calls their segments articles, and the Australians call theirs chapters. The basic framework of the two is basically the same in that universally the first three deal with the Federal Government in the same order: Parliament (Australia)/Legislature (US), the Executive Government (Aust. )/Executive Branch (US), and the Judicature (Aust. )/Judicial Branch (US). Again both the US constitution and the Aust. Constitution have segments dedicated to state powers and alteration; however the Aust.

Constitution goes further by dealing specifically with Finance quel Tracle and Miscellaneous. Under the US Constitution our legislature is a bicameral containing a House of Representatives and a Senate. The Australian constitution has a parliamentary system, which is not bicameral, although their system has a house of representatives and a senate; these two houses have to share power with the Queen. The Prime Minister leads the legislature. In the Australian constitution the Queen holds the executive power and also has legislative power.

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen and is also the commander-in-chief. Another difference between the two countries is the Australian judicature. The High Court of Australia does not have the power of judicial review. Ultimately, in Australia the parliament and the prime minister have the complete power. I dont believe that the Australian constitution stacks up against the US constitution. It is extremely wordy and not as well planned out in my opinion, but its working and theyre arent too many complaints as far as I know about it so more power to them.

Explanation of The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most masterfully written document of Western civilization. This essay seeks to illuminate that artistry by probing the discourse microscopically at the level of the sentence, phrase, word, and syllable. By approaching the Declaration in this way, we can shed light both on its literary qualities and on its rhetorical power as a work designed to convince the American colonies they were justified in seeking to establish them as an independent nation. The introduction consists of the first paragraph a single, lengthy, periodic sentence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Taken out of context, this sentence is general it could be used as the introduction to a declaration by anyone.

Seen within its original context, however, it is a model of refinement, and suggestion that worked on several levels of meaning and allusion. This orients readers toward a favorable view of America and prepares them for the rest of the Declaration. It dignifies the Revolution as a challenge of principle. The introduction identifies the purpose of the Declaration as simply to “declare” to announce publicly in explicit terms the “causes” impelling America to leave the British Empire.

Rather than presenting one side in a public controversy on which good and decent people could differ, the Declaration claims to do no more than a natural philosopher would do in reporting the causes of any physical event. The issue, it implies, is not one of interpretation, but one of observation. The most important word in the introduction is “necessary. ” To say an act was necessary implied that it was impelled by fate or determined by the operation of foolproof natural laws. The Revolution was not merely preferable, defensible, or justifiable.

It was as inescapable, as inevitable, and as unavoidable within the course of human events as the motions of the tides or the changing of the seasons within the course of natural events. The Revolution, with connotations of necessity, was particularly important because, according to the law of nations, recourse to war was lawful only when it became “necessary. ” The notion of necessity was important that, in addition to appearing in the introduction of the Declaration, it was invoked twice more at crucial junctures in the rest of the text.

Labeling the Americans “one people” and the British “another” was also laden with implication and performed several important strategic functions within the Declaration. First, because two alien peoples cannot be made one, it reinforced the notion that breaking the “political bands” with England was a necessary step in the course of human events. America and England were already separated by the basic fact that they had become two different peoples.

The gap between them was much more than political; it was intellectual, social, moral, cultural, and, according to the principles of nature, was irreparable. Defining the Americans as a separate people in the introduction eased the task of invoking the right of revolution in the preamble. That right, according to eighteenth-century revolutionary principles, could be invoked only in the most dire of circumstances. “Resistance was absolutely necessary in order to preserve the nation from slavery, misery, and ruin.

If America and Great Britain were seen as one people, Congress could not justify revolution against the British government for the simple reason that the body of the people did not support the American cause. For America to move against the government in such circumstances would not be a justifiable act of resistance. By defining the Americans as a separate people, Congress could more readily satisfy the requirement for invoking the right of revolution. Like the introduction, the next section of the Declaration usually referred to as the preamble–is universal in tone and scope.

It contains no explicit reference to the British- American conflict, but outlines a general philosophy of government that makes revolution justifiable, even meritorious. Like the rest of the Declaration, the preamble is brief, clear, and concise. Each word is chosen and placed to achieve maximum impact. Each clause is indispensable to the progression of thought. Each sentence is carefully constructed internally and in relation to what precedes and follows. One word follows another with complete inevitability of sound and meaning.

Not one word can be moved or replaced without disrupting the balance and harmony of the entire preamble. The sentences are composed of several thoughts linked together, and hanging upon one another, so that the sense of the whole is not brought out until the closing. None of the sentences of the preamble end on a single-syllable word. Only one, the second, ends on a two-syllable word. Of the other four, one ends with a four-syllable word “security”, while three end with three-syllable words.

Moreover, in each of the three-syllable words, the closing syllable is at least a medium- length four-letter syllable, which helps bring the sentences to a full and harmonious close. The preamble also has a powerful sense of structural unity. This unity is achieved partly by the chronological progression of thought in which the reader is moved from the creation of mankind, to the institution of government, to the throwing off of government when it fails to protect the people’s unalienable rights.

The creation of new government better secured the people’s safety and happiness. It gave a typical quality to the ideas of the preamble and continued the notion, mentioned in the introduction, that the American Revolution was a major development in “the course of human events. ” The final sentence completed a crucial metamorphosis in the text. Although the Declaration began in an impersonal, even philosophical voice, it gradually became a kind of drama, with its tensions expressed more and more in personal terms.

This transformation began with the appearance of the villain, “the King of Great Britain,” who dominated the stage through the first nine grievances, all of which noted what “He has” done without identifying the victim of his evil deeds. The word “our” is used twenty-six times from its first appearance in grievance ten times through the last sentence of the Declaration, while “us” occurs eleven times from its first appearance in grievance eleven times throughout the rest of the grievances.

By the conclusion, only the colonists remain on stage to pronounce their dramatic closing lines: “We . . . solemnly publish and declare . . . ” And to support this declaration, “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. ” The persistent use of “he” and “them,” “us” and “our,” “we” and “they” personalized the British-American conflict. This transfigured it from a complex struggle of diverse origins and assorted motives, to a simple moral drama in which suffering people courageously defend their liberty against a cruel and vicious tyrant.

It reduced the detachment between the reader and the text, and coaxed the reader into seeing the dispute with Great Britain through the eyes of the revolutionaries. As the drama of the Declaration unfolded, the reader increasingly identified with Congress. In this respect, as in others, the Declaration is a work of consummate artistry. From its eloquent introduction, to its relentless accumulation of charges against George III, to its nostalgic denunciation of the British people, to its heroic closing sentence, it sustained an almost perfect synthesis of style, form, and content.

Its solemn and dignified tone, its graceful and unhurried cadence, its symmetry, energy, and confidence, its logical structure and dramatic appeal, its skillful use of its fine distinction and implication all contribute to its rhetorical power. This process explains why the “Declaration of Independence” remains one of the handful of American political documents that, in addition to meeting the immediate needs of the moment, continues to enjoy a radiant literary reputation.

Clean Air Act

Air pollution may cause enflamed eyes and nose and an itchy, irritated throat, as well as problems in respiration. A number of chemicals found in polluted air cause cancer, birth defects, brain and nerve damage and long- term injury to the lungs and breathing passages. Some air pollutants are so hazardous that accidental releases can cause severe injury or even death. Air pollution might damage the environment like trees, lakes and animals have been harmed by air pollution.

Air pollutants have thinned the protective ozone layer over the Earth; this thrashing of the ozone might ause changes in the environment as well as more skin cancer and cataracts in people. Air pollution may damage property. It is capable of dirtying buildings and other structures. Some common pollutants eat away stone, damaging buildings, monuments and statues. Air pollution can cause haze, reducing visibility in national parks and sometime can interfere with aviation. The Clean Air Act will better air quality in the United States, a good thing for your health, your property and the environment.

The 1990 Act could change the way you work or do business, and it could, in some ways, hange the way you live. The 1990 Clean Air Act is lengthy about 800 pages because it tackles many difficult and complicated air pollution problems. Clean Air Act, federal legislation planned to standardize and decrease air pollution in the United States. The original Clean Air Act was approved by the Congress of the United States and signed into law in 1963, but not much of that original legislation remains in effect in the present day. The Clean Air Act has two main objectives: #1.

To recover the nation’s air quality and, #2. To decrease or abolish certain air pollutants that has een linked to problems for human health or the environment. The Clean Air Act designates maximum allowable levels of pollutants from automotive and industrial emissions and sets general standards for acceptable levels of pollution in the air. The Clean Air Act also includes a permit program. The permit program requires businesses to register the type and quantity of air pollution they will be releasing into the air and to make commitments to reduce future harmful emissions.

The Clean Air Act has done much to improve the nation’s air uality since its implementation. EPA statistics indicate that from 1985 to 1995, the average number of days that U. S. metropolitan areas failed to meet federal air-quality standards was reduced by half. The EPA estimates that from 1970 to 1996, carbon monoxide emissions were cut by 31 percent, particulate matter emissions fell by 79 percent, and lead emissions declined by 98 percent. Clean Water Act Clean Water Act, federal legislation expected to reduce water contamination in the United States.

The Clean Water Act (CWA) sets the basic organization for regulating ater pollution nationwide, including the discharge of pollutants from large industrial plants and sewage treatment facilities. Under the act, the release of all such pollutants, called point- source discharge, requires a federal permit, and the pollutants released must meet federally mandated sewage treatment standards. The CWA also establishes guidelines for reducing nonpoint pollution, the runoff of toxic matter such as fertilizer, animal waste, motor oil, and pesticides from farms, streets, and lawns into bodies of water.

The Clean Water Act remains one of the most successful pieces of nvironmental legislation in the history of the United States. According to the EPA, the number of U. S. rivers and lakes that are safe for fishing and swimming has risen by more than 70 percent since the early 1970s. The Proposed Clean Air Act President Bush wants to let industrial plants upgrade their facilities without improving air pollution controls. The new rules would give companies more flexibility to modernize or expand without having to install expensive new pollution controls, even though more emissions may result.

Plants with modern pollution controls would not have to upgrade the equipment for 10 years, and a new way of calculating pollution could reduce the chance that new pollution controls would be required. Under the new rule, older plants could avoid installing pollution- control equipment when they replace items such as a turbine or boiler, provided the cost does not exceed 20 percent of the replacement value of the entire unit . The effects of the act can cause respiratory disease in people and animals and can damage trees, lakes, and soil as well as human-made structures.

The Proposed Clean Water Act The Bush administration issued an immediate policy guidance that would remove protections from many of our small streams, ponds and wetlands that appear to be disconnected from major rivers and lakes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the guidance alone places at risk 20% of the United States’ remaining wetlands, some 20 million acres. EPA’s most recent data show that the nation’s waters are getting dirtier and nearly half of the rivers, streams, lakes and coastal estuaries are not safe for fishing, swimming, or boating.

Place sources of community drinking water at risk, and increase treatment costs to remove pollutants. Threaten public health from contact with bacteria, pathogens, toxics, and other pollutants in waters that would no longer be protected from all types of industrial discharges. Reduce and potentially destroy endangered or threatened wildlife species. Allow destruction of many seasonal wetlands that serve as nurseries for juvenile frogs, toads, salamanders and other species, and small streams that are essential to sustain healthy populations of fish, amphibians and other aquatic species.

Brehon Laws Essay

Passed down for centuries, the Brehon Laws have made it to the present day. Although no longer in practice, the Brehon Laws give us a glimpse of what things were like in Ireland centuries and centuries ago. The actual technical term for the law tracts is Fenechas, which basically means the law of the Freemen. These laws are probably the oldest European laws that we know of. They were originally composed in poetic verse and were memorized by the Filid. Years later they were written down and preserved in several books of law, such as the Senchus Mor, the Book of Acaill, and the Uraiccecht Becc.

The Brehon Laws are believed to have existed as early as the common Celtic Period (c. 1000 BCE). According Alix Morgan MacAnTsaoir, author of Introduction to the Brehon Law, “The Brehon Law was ordered codified in 438CE by Laighaire, High King of Ireland. This work was done by three kings, three Brehons and three Christian missionaries, and is contained in the Senchus Mor. The texts originate in the 7th and 8th centuries CE and are found in manuscripts written in the 14th-16th centuries. Ireland is well known for their legends and myths and their laws seem to have mingled within them as well.

Legends have become intermingled with almost every aspect of Irish living. Perhaps that is why they are called a “superstitious lot”. It stands to reason then that because of Christianity coming into practice, there are many inconsistencies and later additions that make room for new ideas. In spite of all these discrepancies, the collection of laws that have come to our eyes are astonishing. Finding information on the history of English Laws was not so simple. England’s country stayed in uproar for much of its beginning years and was held by many different conquerors. Some of the earliest people were the Celtic people.

It is not really fair to clump them all together but too difficult to separate all of them in this paper. So, due to the amount of space I am limited to and for better understanding, I will simply refer to the early settlers of England and Ireland as Celts. Unfortunately not a great deal is known about the Celts and their history. We do know, however, that they were a warrior society and their wealth was measured in land and livestock. The Romans, better known as Julius Caesar, saw the southern Celts as a threat. He invaded twice but neither really represented a conquer.

Britain was virtually left alone by the Romans from 54BC through 43CE because the Romans had far more to deal with than the Celts. There were major uprisings and Civil Wars to deal with that took up most of the Romans time and left little time to invade the Celts. The Romans eventually did take England though but they never made it to Ireland. Changing rulers, or conquerors, makes it difficult to lay down some existing rule. The victors had their own set of rules and the English were left always trying to figure out what their rules were since they were taking some of the traditions from many different conquerors.

It was not until the High Middle Ages that any real solid laws or traditions were set. Feudalism was the beginning of a way of life for the English. Feudalism grew out of conditions that went with the collapse of the Roman Empire. There was an urban decline and reduction of trade to luxuries. Small farmers could not sustain themselves with their own production. The system of feudalism brought about a revival of the urban life. It is through this new system that many traditions and hence, laws were made.

The aristocracy became very important as did the social status of a person. Class consciousness became most apparent during this age and the idealization of women came into play. Before feudalism there was much chaos and problems were solved in a barbaric manner. Although punishment or acquittal was not exactly pleasant during the feudal days, it was a step up. It was a step towards the tranquil, peaceful and subdued way of life that the English are known for. Ireland’s Brehon Laws are unique in that they are some of the most liberal laws I have ever seen for that time period.

The laws texts were usually generalized into family obligations rather than in individual obligations so that contracts made were between families. The society depended on the family or tribe rather than the individual. It was a must for an individual to be a part of their tribe. The laws set down class distinction and made it quite clear that there were no rights to those that had been exiled from their family or tribe. Although there are class distinctions, the laws are fair and humane. The Brehon Laws clearly state the rights of innocent dependents of guilty parties.

There are even such guarantees as barring a witness during presentation that will gain from the out come. Provisions for protection of the weak members of the community are included as well as protection for clients from violent or dishonest lords. People that are criminals, non observers of the law, etc…are not given the nice treatment as others. In other words, if you are innocent then you are well provided for but if you are guilty or otherwise not part of the community then you have no rights and will not be treated in an easy fashion. The English were not quite as forgiving in their codes as were the Irish, however.

The Roman Law which was in effect for some time during the Roman period was by far more severe than the Brehon Laws. The book, An Illustrated History of Ireland From AD 400 to 1800 makes a statement comparing the Roman law to the Brehon law, saying that, “the cruel severity of the law for insolvent debtors, forms a marked contrast to the milder and more equitable arrangements of the Brehon code. ” The Roman Law rested on the Twelve Decemviral Tables, and therefore on a basis of written law. The Twelve Tables were not the first set of laws but they are some of the earliest recorded.

I’m using the Roman Law because that was the main influence on laws during the times of the Brehon Laws. We know much of our information, if it can be called such, not by historical writings but by literature such as the Greek Homeric poems. An essay by Henry Maine on Ancient Laws states, “When a king decided a dispute by a sentence, the judgment was assumed to be the result of direct inspiration. ” Customary Law, or an era of codes, was the period of ancient laws such as the Twelve Tables. The aristocracy during the time of Customary Law found it very easy to monopolize their legal knowledge.

It is easy to imagine then that the lower classes were not given as many rights as those of the aristocracy. That would not be common of any law during that time. One thing that I found to be exceptionally interesting when studying the Brehon Laws was who enforced the Brehon Laws. The job was done by a specialized group of well trained Druids, a religious group of Celts, called the Brithem or Brehon. The training of the Brehons was a long and tiring process and the memorization of long tracts of law was essential. Learning the intricacies of such complex law tracts was mandatory.

Alix Morgan MacAnTsaoir says, “Brehons were reciters of the law and Brehons were held personally responsible for damages if they gave false interpretation or recited the law incorrectly. Only after the law was recited by the Brehon could the King or Queen make the judgment. Then as now Truth and Justice were the code of the Celtic people. The difference I found in this to the English laws was that there was that the King or Queen was the one to make the decision and they did not have to wait for somebody to recite them the law. It seemed to me that the Irish had a very formal and good system.

The issues of personal matters were handled very differently by the Irish and the English. The Brehon Laws gave many more rights to women than most any other law written in that time age. During a time of suppression to women, Ireland gave women rights to do things unimaginable for other countries. Richard O’Connor’s book, The Irish, defines the rights of women as such: “Foreign invaders may have slaughtered the menfolk and placed the survivors in captivity, but they also ended what must have been one of the historic heydays of feminine independence.

Under the Brehon laws of the eighth and ninth centuries, the Irish female possessed rights which even a modern feminist might hesitate to demand. The Brehon laws provided that a woman could get a divorce if she considered her husband sexually unsatisfactory, if he did not promptly make her regnant, if he embarrassed her in front of visitors, if he struck or abused her physically or verbally, or if he was unfaithful. ” All of which could hardly be demanded in England.

In fact, in England it was not even socially acceptable to get a divorce and definitely not tolerated for the woman to demand the divorce. Women were looked on upon as chattel to the English. They were the father’s property while young and the husband’s property as an adult. She was expected to provide an heir for the husband and to raise the children but otherwise have nothing to do with her husband’s affairs at all. The loss of Brehon laws was a terrible thing in certain ways such as providing women’s rights.

I think that with that as an example, there may have been headway in the women’s rights. However, the class distinctions are discarded with them and that is a good change. The loss of the Feudal society and laws is also a good thing in my opinion, since it was also based on class distinction. The similarities between the two sets of laws are almost hard to find since England was changing hands so often in the beginning but once you start to dig then you do find some similarities.

I found many more difference however, and obviously that is what I decided to emphasize in this paper. The Brehon Laws basically were more humane and liberal. The different societies that they were formed in though, account for the differences. The Romans had a great affect on the Laws, even if they had little effect on anything else. The fact that they were both preserved says something for both of the laws and that is that they are worth reading and learning from. We can learn from the mistakes made in each set of laws but also in the good things about each.

The Constitution of the United States of America

The Constitution of the United States of America contains the basic rights of citizens of this country. There is, perhaps, no right more controversial than the First Amendment in the Constitution, first introduced on December 15, 1791. The First Amendment 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(1st Amendment, Internet).

Due to the indecisiveness of this Amendment, arguments over the interpretation of the words written by the founding fathers have flourished for years. One of the main arguments that has arisen over the years is over the interpretation of what is meant by free speech and free press. While this argument has stemmed off in many directions, one of the most recent and heated debates is over the governments ability to censor material to the public. Some of the major forms of censorship occur in television, music, literature, and most recently, the Internet.

Censorship has taken place in various forms since the earliest rulers existed. These earliest forms of censorship existed through a leader of some sort trying to keep his people from saying bad things about him. This censorship, while fairly undocumented, has taken place in various governments throughout time in most areas of the world. While censorship today has taken a different form in the United States, the same basic principles have remained the same. Censorship is basically an attempt by the government to limit what the public sees, hears, or absorbs.

I believe that all forms of censorship are basically a violation of the basic First Amendment right that so many people take for granted. Some limit must be put on the ability of the government to censor any kind of communication in the United States, or the basic rights of the people will be infringed upon. One of the biggest forms of censorship that takes place in the United States today exists in one of the largest mediums of communication we know of. This medium is known as the television.

In 1999, it was reported that over 99% of all American households have at least one television, with a majority of the households having more then one set available(Chafee, 173). This startling statistic is accompanied by another fact that shows the average American watches 30 hours of television weekly(Chafee, 173). With this kind of participation from the American public in any kind of medium of communication, it is no wonder why some people consider the idea of censorship with so much enthusiasm.

However, adults have the right to view material they please, and therefore, their rights should remain intact. The problem that most people have with violence, sex, and profanity on television comes into play when considering the number of children that watch television without a parent or any sort of controls on their viewing. It has been reported that 10,000 acts of media violence are witnessed in one year by the average American child(Zeinert, 88).

One must keep in mind that this statistic does not include any sexual content or profanity children may view. The American public has expressed some concern over the material their children view each day, and that has been the beginning and the continued push behind the need for some sort of censorship of television. It wasnt until the dramatic increase in violent crimes committed by children, however, that there was a strong public demand to censor the material children have access too.

While the claim that something needs to be done to at least reduce the amount of violence, sexual material, or profanity that American children view has began to pick up support among the American public, the means by which to accomplish such a task have yet to be resolved. Some argue that censorship is the only way to accomplish such a large scale problem, but others argue that the problem starts at home. A survey conducted by the Roper Center concluded that over 50% of parents do not monitor what their children watch at home.

This figure shows me that parents are not taking the responsibility to watch their children, and instead are just relying on television to show programs intended for younger viewers. With the help of some electronic blocking devices, such as the V-chip, parents can monitor what their children are able to watch, without getting the government involved. The V-chip can help parents watch their children even when theyre not home. This new safeguard is the best alternative to censorship.

Since many programs are beginning to contain a rating system displayed at the beginning of each show, parents can get a basic idea of the content of the show without having to sit through each program their child wants to watch. Instead of censorship of the whole community, it would merely become an issue of parents dealing with their children(Zeinert, 89). I believe this issue is much less controversial and should help relieve the push for censorship in America.

So why do we need censorship of television when the parents, assisted by technology, can monitor what their children watch while still being able to watch programs they would like to see themselves? The simple answer is, we dont. A second area in which censorship has started to interfere with is music. Music was originally censored much the way free speech was. In the 1700s, New Yorks Governor Crosby attempted to keep a group of citizens from singing songs that went against the King of England(Chafee, 182). More recently, however, censorship of music has taken place due to explicit lyrics.

Similar to the worry of violence, sex, and profanity being shown to children on television, the worry of children listening to explicit lyrics in music has caused concern. The first real case of this occurrence occurred when a rap group known as 2 Live Crew was banned from areas of Florida because of their songs lyrics(Zeinert, 82). 2 Live Crew was arrested for public obscenity, but they won their case in the appellate courts based on the idea that it was illegal to ban entertainment groups from performing or selling their act(Zeinert, 83).

In 1985, the Parents Music Resource Center was the first company to put stickers on compact discs and cassettes giving a warning of Explicit Lyrics, and giving Parental Advisory (Chafee, 195). I feel this is the first step in the right direction. Instead of trying to censor music lyrics, the Parents Music Resource Center is trying to inform parents what their children are listening to. They leave the decision of what children can listen to up to the parents, instead of trying to censor the entire nation. Again, censorship seems unnecessary, and an infringement upon the rights of citizens of the United States of America.

A third area in which censorship has taken place is in literature. Censorship in literature has increased dramatically in recent years. In fact, from 1991 to 1994, there has been more than a 50% increase in the number of demands that books be banned in schools libraries as well as public libraries(Zeinert, 109). Some of the books being demanded to be removed from libraries nationwide include, Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, Forever, by Judy Blume, and The Bridge to Terabithia, written by Katherine Paterson.

These American classics have been removed from shelves due to various reasons. Mark Twains novel, for example, has been attacked for its use of the term nigger, as well as its portrayal of African American slaves. The state office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued a statement, Feb. 3, 1998, claiming that Mark Twain’s classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is offensive to black students and should be banned from classrooms across the state (Meyer, Internet).

This kind of censorship, whether it be from public or school libraries, not only denies the author freedom expression, but denies the reader the ability to judge for themselves the contents of a book. Many children learn about racism, sex, abuse, or drugs through books that some libraries have banned. Without these books, some children will not come to conclusions about these subjects until they are encountered in the real world, and some important lessons such as trusting yourself, knowing what you believe in, and having tolerance will not be learned until the children are adults(Chafee, 199).

It is not right to deny people important lessons in life by denying them the right to choose which materials they read, just because some might find it offensive. Once again, rating can be placed on books that give parents the idea of what they are reading before even opening the book, and so censorship is not needed, but only information. The final, and probably most controversial, issue on the topic of censorship concerns the Internet. In the past ten years, the Internet has become one of the hottest areas of debate dealing with censorship.

Once again, the majority of concern comes in with the nations youth. The Internet, a tool by which great amounts of information can be found, also holds profanity, violence, and especially sexual material. With over 60% of American households owning a personal computer, and over 90% of children in the United States having access to the Internet in some way, there needs to be a way to safeguard these children from harmful material(Meyer, Internet). Once again, censorship is not the way.

It is unconstitutional to censor, ban, or control any Internet sites containing sexually explicit material(Meyer, Internet). However, due to the fact that a large percentage of the nations youth has access to the Internet, it is not unreasonable to expect some sort of control on sexually explicit material. After all, it is illegal for a minor to purchase pornography. In the same way, children should not be allowed to view sexually explicit material on the Internet.

By the same reasoning, sexually explicit material cannot be banned from the Internet, because adults have the right to purchase, and therefore view this material. Instead, Internet sites have been forced to at least advertise that their site contains sexually explicit material, and that you must be at least of legal age to enter(Meyer, Internet). This is not enough protection for the youth. New technology, such as the E-chip, much like what can be used to help parents limit what their children can watch on television is now available for the Internet.

This technology allows parents to control the type of material their children can view on the Internet without censoring material for all people. So once again, the parents are in control of the process of censoring, and not the government. This leaves the legal issues of the First Amendment and the freedom to speech out of the picture while still helping limit what children see. In 1997, President Clinton has voiced his support of such material and parent involvement, as well as stricter enforcement of laws prosecuting those Internet users who intentionally break pornography laws(Meyer, Internet).

Clinton has also pushed popular Internet providers such as Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator to provide free programs with their products to allow parents to control what their children can access(Meyer, Internet). Once again, this steps back from censorship and violating the rights of American citizens, and steps towards giving parents the tools they need to protect their children. People should be able to express ideas in any type of medium without government regulations. All the areas that currently concern censorship have created a lot of controversy in the United States courts.

Due to the nature of the Constitution, these controversies may never be fully solved. However, it is clear that censorship is not the best answer to many of the issues it directly deals with. Instead, giving the ability for parents to control what their children have access to in everyday life is a much better alternative. Not only does this method refrain from infringing on the rights of citizens, but it also allows parents to individually choose what they see fit for their children. The government needs to continue to support such ideas as the V-chip and E-chip, that give parents control.

Abortion Should Be Kept Out of The Criminal Code

Abortion, termination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of independent life. When the expulsion from the womb occurs after the fetus becomes viable (capable of independent life), usually at the end of six months of pregnancy, it is technically a premature birth. The practice of abortion was widespread in ancient times as a method of birth control. Later it was restricted or forbidden by most world religions, but it was not considered an offense in secular law until the 19th century.

During that century, first the English Parliament and then American state legislatures rohibited induced abortion to protect women from surgical procedures that were at the time unsafe, commonly stipulating a threat to the woman’s life as the sole (therapeutic) exception to the prohibition. Occasionally the exception was enlarged to include danger to the mother’s health as well. Legislative action in the 20th century has been aimed at permitting the termination of unwanted pregnancies for medical, social, or private reasons.

Abortions at the woman’s request were first allowed by the Soviet Union in 1920, followed by Japan and several East European nations after World War II. In the ate 1960s liberalized abortion regulations became widespread. The impetus for the change was threefold: (1) infanticide and the high maternal death rate associated with illegal abortions, (2) a rapidly expanding world population, (3) the growing feminist movement. By 1980, countries where abortions were permitted only to save a woman’s life contained about 20 percent of the world’s population.

Countries with moderately restrictive lawsabortions permitted to protect a woman’s health, to end pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, to avoid genetic or congenital defects, or in response to social problems such as nmarried status or inadequate incomecontained some 40 percent of the world’s population. Abortions at the woman’s request, usually with limits based on physical conditions such as duration of pregnancy, were allowed in countries with nearly 40 percent of the world’s population.

Under the Criminal Code. R. S. C. !970, c. C-34, abortion constitutes a criminal offense. Section 159(2)(c) makes it an offense to offer or have for sale or disposal, to publish or advertise means, instructions or medicine intended or represented to cause abortion or miscarriage. Section 221(1) makes he act of causing death to a child who has not become a human being, in the act of birth, equivalent to murder. Abortion constitutes an indictable offense under s. 251 of the Code whenever a person uses any means to carry out the intent to procure a miscarriage of female person, whether she is pregnant or not.

Section 251(2) makes any female attempting to procure a miscarriage by any means guilty of an indictable offense. Section 251(4) allows permission for a therapeutic abortion to be obtained from a competent committee, fulfilling strict regulations, with the operation performed by a qualified physician. However, the common-law defense of necessity is theoretically available for a surgical operation performed for the patient’s benefit. 2 Until 1988, under the Canadian Criminal Code, an attempt to induce an abortion by any means was a crime. The maximum penalty was life imprisonment , or two years if the woman herself was convicted.

The law was liberalized in 1969 with an amendment to the Criminal Code allowing that abortions are legal if performed by a doctor in an accredited hospital after a committee certified that the continuation of the pregnancy would likely endanger the mother’s life r heath. In 1989, 70 779 abortions were reported in Canada, or 18. 0 abortions per 100 live births. 3 Henry Morgentaler is a major abortion supporter. Dr. Morgentaler was one of the first Canadian doctors to perform vasectomies, insert IUDs and provide contraceptive pills to the unmarried.

As president of the Montreal Humanist Fellowship he urged the Commons Health and Welfare Committee in 1967 to repeal the law against abortion. To draw attention to the safety and efficacy of clinical abortions, Morgentaler in 1973 publicized the fact that he had successfully carried out over 5000 abortions. When a Jury found him not guilty of violating article 251 of the Criminal Code the Quebec Court of Appeal (in Feb 1974), in an unprecedented action, Quashed the jury finding and ordered Morgentaler imprisoned.

Though this ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court a second jury acquittal led Ron Basford, minister of justice, to have a Criminal Code amendment passed, taking away the power of appellate judges to strike down acquittals and order imprisonment’s. After a third jury trial led to yet another acquittal all further charges were dropped. In Nov 1984 Morgentaler and associates were acquitted of conspiring to procure a miscarriage at their Toronto clinic.

The Ontario government appealed the acquittal; the accused appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which struck down the law in early 1988 on the basis that it conflicted with rights guaranteed in the Charter. 4 The Charter guaranteed a woman’s right to the security of her person. The Court also found that this right was breached by the delays resulting from the therapeutic abortion committee procedures. In May 1990 the House of Commons approved (140-131) a new law that would put abortion back into the Criminal Code, allowing abortions only if a doctor determined that a woman’s health was threatened by her pregnancy.

The bill died in the Senate in Jan 1991. 5 In the case of Campbell v. Attorney-General of Ontario (1987) the allegations in the statement of claim that the effect of the stay was to deny s. 7 and s,15 rights to unborn children aborted or about to be aborted support a reasonable cause of action. The law does not regard unborn children as independent legal entities prior to birth, so that it is only at birth that independent legal rights attach. Unborn children therefore do not enjoy any Charter rights. 6 The problem with s. 251 is that it takes the decision away from the woman at all stages of her pregnancy.

Balancing the state’s interest in a protection of the fetus as potential life under s. 1 against the rights of the pregnant woman under this section requires that greater weight be given to the state’s interest only in the later stages of pregnancy. 7 Abortion is a divisive social issue, condemned by some groups and supported by others as a moral issue to be decided by individuals, not the state. 8 It is complicated for the government to balance both sides of the issue. Not veryone can be unconditionally content. The government has to decide on what is fair and what is morally right.

The Charter guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. A woman, pregnant or not, has the right to control her own life and destiny. She also has the right to make her own choices about what affects her. A woman has the right to feel secure in having an abortion, and feel secure about her own health. A woman’s body is her own. What she does with it is her own business. An nborn child does not have the ability to think for itself, so the mother must think for it.

It may show life signs but it is not conscious and has no reasoning. It is not up to someone else to decide what is right and what is wrong for another individual. Who are we to tell someone else what to do or think. For an example, if a teenage girl is pregnant, what kind of a life could she offer the child? Teenagers can barely take care of themselves, not to mention a baby. It would benefit everyone involved if the abortion option is openly present. It is hard enough to be a teenager without others judging your pinions and choices.

It is understandable that people do not agree that abortion should be a choice for a woman. They may not understand what the woman may be struggling with mentally and or physically. The government should have little control over this issue. They should monitor people to make certain that abortion is not used as a contraception, for this may be endangering the health of a woman. With world overpopulation, keeping the abortion law out of the Criminal Code may benefit the entire planet. It’s a sad way of looking at it but people have to face reality.

Reasons For Limitations On Free Speech

The Constitution of the United States states in its First Amendment that “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” (Funk & Wagnalls 162). This Amendment guarantees each person of free speech. Does this mean that a person can stand in the middle of the street and yell anything he wants? No, society, even though it cherishes freedom of speech, does give this freedom certain restrictions.

Why does society find it necessary to restrict freedom of speech? Does this ensure a more controlled society? Let us imagine a society that has no restrictions of speech. For example, anyone can publish a false story of another person, just for revenge perhaps, and the offended person would not be able to defend himself because there is no restriction of speech. A neighbor in a residential area decides to use a loud microphone to announce his beliefs in the middle of the night, and wakes everybody up. Because that person has every right to speak, nobody can do anything.

Even though this is “freedom of speech” it is not allowed in a civilized society. Free speech is a very controversial issue because who is really the one to decide what can or cannot be expressed. The freedoms stated in the First Amendment have been controlled for the protection of the people. As in the examples mentioned above a person does not have the right to disturb the peace of others just because he has the “right” to express himself. The case Chaplinsky vs. New Hampshire stated that there are some classes of speech that are limited. They are the lewd, the obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting words.

When spoken they encourage fighting and so is a disturbance of peace (Stone, Seidman). Therefore, the courts have created laws that will protect a person against libel and slander. Freedom of speech is limited in almost every area of a person’s life. For instance, a tennis player will be fined heavily during a tennis tournament if he expresses himself with foul language on the tennis court. This obviously curtails the right of the tennis player to express himself freely, but it protects the decency of the spectators because certain forms of language are not proper for some situations.

If a person goes to the movies and begins to carry on a conversation it is most probable that security will ask him to leave the theater. By restricting his freedom of speech, the movie theater has protected the right of the person who went to enjoy a movie. The American courts have stated that the freedom of speech would not protect a man from falsely yelling “fire” in a theater and so creating a clear and present danger (Stone, Seidman). Therefore, the freedom of speech cannot be abused. There are times when the government must guarantee the safety of the people, especially in times of war.

For example, “the Congress has abridged the freedom of speech in 1798, when the Congress enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts. These acts made it a criminal offense to entice people to overthrow an established government” (Microsoft “Speech, Freedom of”). Once again, one can see how the freedom of speech is not completely absolute. The government can also interfere in the freedom of speech by enforcing censorship. Censorship is evident in the movies, music and books. Some states have eliminated certain books from their libraries.

The famous book, Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain was eliminated because it contained the word “nigger”, and, therefore, offended the black community. Many believe that this is taking the issue too far because the intention of Mark Twain was not to offend any reader. This is when the situation of freedom of speech becomes controversial. Any government must take special care when curtailing freedom of speech. The communist regimes are only a good reminder on how a society is affected by freedom of speech. In the case of Cuba, for example, no one can make a negative remark against the government.

In other words the government of Cuba has total control over the people. This is not a true society because man will always cherish his freedom of speech. Although freedom of speech is very valuable for a democratic society, it is important to give society certain limits. A person cannot expect to use foul language in public without a reaction. People must not use freedom of speech to attack a person without evidence. Freedom of speech must not be used to cause a fight or rebellion. The government has taken steps to avoid an abuse of freedom of speech.

Copyright Laws And Regulations

With the new millennium now here, what are some of the changes headed towards us? Now that we have Y2K out of the picture, we unfortunately have something new to fear, well at least for some of us. The stealing of intellectual property is on the rise and there are very few copyright laws and regulations out there to prevent these things from happening. Since we are now living in the digital age it is very easy for anyone to get a hold on intellectual property and spread it around to whoever is online. The hard thing is to track down who these people are. More government regulations are needed on the Internet to protect intellectual property.

Without more laws and regulations, there will be more Napster imitators in the future. The Internet is a relatively new thing and very unpredictable at this point. New things are being discovered everyday, both for good and not-so-good reasons. Of course there are also laws and regulations that apply to the Internet. Very few of them protect against intellectual property, but they do exist. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) passed in 1998, is a law that tried very hard in protecting all sorts of copyrighted digital material such as movies, songs, and books.

The trouble is that all forms of commercial digital copy protection have been broken quickly and efficiently, and will continue to be hacked” (Scheschuk 60). The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) accuses Napster of contributory infringement and vicarious infringement, not of direct copyright violation. Because of this, The Staple Article Of Commerce Doctrine defends Napster of contributory infringement because Napster provides other non-infringing uses such as sampling, space shifting, and the authorized distribution of music.

The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (AHRA) is another regulation that helps protect Napster users because it allows audio music swapping for noncommercial use (Mercer 1). The term “Napster” is now well known amongst the people who are doing a lot of online music trading. This is a program that makes trading music online easier. It all started in 1999 when a Northeastern University dropout decided to make a program that will make it easier for people to trade MP3 files online (Kaminer 48). Shawn Fanning has now become a well-known name around the music industry.

This is because people from the music business are accusing him of stealing their copyrighted music. Although this is somehow true, Fanning has a few tricks up his sleeve in his defense. Since there are very few laws and regulations for the Internet there isn’t much that the courts can say about it. There are a lot of people who are in support of Napster. Even some music artists are supporting Napster, especially the unknown bands; they want to get their music out there. Whether or not their music is copyrighted or not, Napster will do them a favor to distribute their music.

Once someone hears their music and likes it, they will tell their friends about it and so on. This is sort of like free advertising for their music. It seems as though nothing can stop this music-swapping phenomenon. People have been downloading copyrighted music for a couple of years now for free, so they think they have the right to do it. But it isn’t right, it’s a privilege” (Ulrich 54). Since more and more people are using the Internet, file sharing is more widespread. Napster is a free program to use and this is why so many people are registered to use it.

When Napster was brought to court, it lost the first of many cases. So, why did they lose their first case? Section 1008 of the AHRA, which regulates home taping, was not written with online technology in mind, giving the complainants’ lawyers respectable arguments. Section 1008 governs noncommercial home taping by consumers; Napster users, they argue, are engaged in public distribution. These lawyers also argue that Napster has tried to profit from what it knows are illegal copying activities (Mercer 1). Although Napster lost this case, the fight is still going strong till this very day.

The reason? There are many different views on what the definition of property is and what makes it ownable. The RIAA has had good success in its legal crusade to shut down Napster’s music-swapping service. So far, the RIAA has argued that they’re trying to restrain not a technology but a business, Napster, which is stealing their industry’s property (Caulfield 69). Most of the people from the music business are accusing Napster of these infringements. Since their hard work is being put up on the Internet and is free to the taking, they have a right to feel this way.

They all feel that Napster is robbing them of their hard work, their very lives. This is why they are making a big effort to shut it down. We now live in world that relies on the Internet in many ways. When our internet-centric generation has an urge for something entertaining; they know that they can find something to keep them busy in cyberspace, most likely for free. They now know that they don’t have to go to Blockbuster to rent movies or Tower Records to buy CD’s anymore. They can just sit comfortably in their own homes and download if from the Internet.

This is why Napster is so popular nowadays because this gives them what they all want. Right now it’s only music but as the year goes on, they will have movies and even books ready to be downloaded (Mendham 26). Napster is just a small part of the theft of intellectual property because they are just songs. When it comes to worldwide publications and big hit movies, it becomes a bigger deal. There are already Napster-like services for videos and full-length feature films. Books, blueprints, vintage comics and stock photos may be next in line. Even newspapers and magazines are worried.

This is the time when everyone will jump into the fight (Ulrich 54). For good reason, major film companies are taking action because of what they found out. Since there are many Napster-like services out there that you can download full-length feature films that are only out in the theaters on to your computer screen for free, they have every right to take some action. This is what they need because they can join forces with major record labels to try and stop these programs from spreading, for good. Whether we like it or not, the stealing of intellectual property happens everyday.

Besides the whole Napster case, people can actually steal ideas, even if they haven’t had it written down yet. When this happens, the question is, what can you do? Companies that have been reported of the theft of intellectual property usually called in the feds or local law. But does this mean that they will do anything about it? Most of the time they cannot do much. Many of the cases usually go civil or simply go away (Albiniak 70). Nobody knows the true numbers, but probably about 90% or more of cases involving trade secrets or intellectual property thefts never see the light of day.

They’re quietly settled out of court or resolved in civil proceedings that are seldom made public. But every once in a while, companies decide to file criminal charges (Littman 1). Generally, it’s a good idea to involve the law or report it to some kind of high authority. Luckily there are options to choose from, the FBI, the Secret Service, increasingly sophisticated regional high-tech task forces, and even local police can be responsive. But the best way is to pick your cyber cop carefully because you need to know if they are knowledgeable about these kinds of cases (Littman 1).

Napster will always be looked at as the master of intellectual property theft. Currently the case between Napster and the RIAA is still going strong but it seems as though Napster will be forced to turn into a multi-million dollar business with the help of other big businesses. “In roughly a year, Napster has become the vortex of legal technological issues. Copying and stealing the work of others is not in the public interest, but all computer technology is fundamentally built on fast, perfect copying” (Dugan 2).

The reason why Napster is considered to be breaking the rules of the game is because it does more than just sharing files. People go on the website and register their computers to get a username, now they are ready to search for their favorite songs at no charge to them (Dukart 1). Napster wasn’t even planned to be a business. This reason alone isn’t enough to stop people from filing charges against Napster. Even if Napster ended up being wiped off the Internet, there are many other Napster wannabes out there that will someday create problems again.

Other programs like Gnutella and Freenet are also growing to be very popular in the substitution of Napster. Both were built to demonstrate and expand on the Internet’s potential to facilitate the free flow of information and also will be much more difficult for a judge, or anyone else, to shut down (Caulfield 69). Also since these programs are developed by AOL software and act more as a business type program, it’s more likely to stay. Currently, since there aren’t enough laws and regulations that protect intellectual property, programs like Napster will seem to never disappear.

Even if Napster loses the battle in court, it will have the option of turning into a business and being partners with big budget record companies. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how many laws are out there that is protecting against intellectual property. It matters on how detailed the laws are. The laws and regulations need to be more specific and apply to what these programs are actually doing. Programs like Napster will most likely show up sooner or later. It seems like Napster is a nightmare that won’t go away to the record companies.

On the other hand, society will forever appreciate what it has done for us in the two years it’s been in existence and hopefully will continue to do so in the future. By the end of the year, the courts will likely rule one way or the other, and many predict that the Napster case itself will make it all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court (Alsop 83). Napster’s future looks pretty bright from recent news. It has been offered many deals from huge entertainment companies, but still has not decided it’s next move. It looks like the laws that currently exist didn’t do much to protect what they call intellectual property.