But cultural change is in the air in this South American capital. On Saturday, President-elect Michelle Bachelet will officially take office, becoming the first female head of state in what historically has been regarded as South America’s most socially conservative country. A single mother, socialist and agnostic, she’s the antithesis of the traditional Chilean middle-class housewife.
Read the rest, as they say. I view this as a very positive development.
POLICE OFFICERS across the country may soon have to add a new question to the list of constitutionally required Miranda rights. In addition to the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, officers soon may be required to ask every arrestee whether he is a foreign national who wishes to contact his consular officials. If the officers fail to ask this question, any defendant who is a foreign national may then have a right to suppress evidence against him or to seek a new trial.
The sole basis for creating this sweeping new right for millions of criminal defendants is a single provision in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a treaty ratified by the United States in 1969. In two upcoming cases, Sanchez-Llamas vs. Oregon and Bustillo vs. Virginia, the Supreme Court is being asked to adopt a treaty interpretation that has been rejected by every U.S. administration, the lower appellate courts and every foreign court that has interpreted the treaty, as well as the high court’s own prior decisions.
Such an aggressive interpretation would threaten the constitutionally protected right of the states to manage their own criminal justice systems. It also would give anti-internationalists in the Senate a powerful argument against joining new international human rights treaties, rightly claiming that activist judges could adopt radical interpretations far beyond the text or intentions of the treaty makers.
. . .
In two recent decisions, that court [the International Court of Justice in The Hague] found that the treaty creates an individual right for foreign nationals and also requires host countries to allow review and reconsideration of treaty violations in cases where foreign nationals have been sentenced to death.
Even if these decisions support the petitioners’ interpretation (which they may not), the Supreme Court has no legal obligation to follow or give deference to International Court of Justice rulings — especially when the interpretation would threaten U.S. constitutional precedents
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee began debate on a proposal by Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., that would create a “Gold Card” program for illegal aliens who broke the law to get into the United States before Jan. 4, 2004. Applicants for the Gold Card would supposedly undergo a background check by the Department of Homeland Security, then be eligible for two-year work visas that could be renewed indefinitely.
Vatican Radio employees gave Pope Benedict XVI a new iPod nano loaded with special Vatican Radio programming and classical music to honor his first visit to broadcasting headquarters
Now I wonder what the Pope’s downloading.
From the blogs
CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS #35: THE “HOW FAR THEY’VE FALLEN” EDITION.
Today’s articles from Maria
Find the cheapest gas stations in your zip code
Movie legend Sir Anthony Hopkins has criticised film bosses for making “condescending” films. I agree with AH, but also wish he’d not take parts in gross movies.
‘Angry’ Hillary Clinton Plays Gender Victim. Give her the World’s Smallest Violin.
Instead of trying to prevent an impending clash of cultures, the establishment politicians are totally absorbed in efforts to circumvent the rejection of their constitutional project. The assassinations of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, the bombings in Madrid and London, the French riots, the Danish cartoon case, should have been so many warnings to even the blindest establishment, but all Europe’s politicians care about is that when Europe goes down it goes down with a constitution.
And the right brand of beer, too.
‘Hate’ storm looms as Norman Finkelstein, a professor who has drawn widespread criticism for declaring that some Jews use the memory of the Holocaust an “extortion racket” has ignited an outcry at Columbia University, where he was invited to speak by several student groups.
Joseph Farrah takes a look at Ruth Bader Snoozeburg.