Sunday, July 7, 2013

13-07-07 US: Only lawyers can now argue before the Supreme Court...

At first, the change may seem amazing, but in hindsight - perhaps not surprising. Clamping down on dissent.  Lawyers are easier to intimidate.  Let's permit access only to those we can easily control. jz

Jul 1, 10:33 AM EDT


WASHINGTON (AP) -- You must be a lawyer to argue before the Supreme Court.
Thought that already was the case? It wasn't until Monday, when the Supreme Court revised its 80-page rule book for the first time since 2010.
The update covers items such as filing deadlines but also adds Rule 28.8, which requires anyone arguing before the court to be a lawyer. The high court says the new rule simply codifies a "long-standing practice of the court."
A non-lawyer hasn't argued before the justices in more than three decades, though not for a lack of trying. A magazine publisher, entrepreneur and paralegal-in-training asked but were turned down, the paralegal-in-training in the past year.

13-07-07 US - a passive nation...

The Guardian (UK)

America, Passive Nation -- Why Can't We Stand Up for Ourselves When Our Rights Are Stolen?

America's founders would be horrified at our United States of Surveillance.
I'm a longtime subscriber to an  Internet mail list that features items from smart, thoughtful people. The list editor forwards items he personally finds interesting, often related to technology and/or civil liberties. Not long after the Guardian and Washington Post first started publishing the leaks describing the  National Security Agency's vast surveillancedragnet, an item appeared about a  White House petition urging President Obama to pardon  Edward Snowden. The post brought this reply, among others:
"Once upon a time I would have signed a White House petition to this administration with no qualms. Now, however, a chilling thought occurs: what 'watch lists' will signing a petition like this put me on? NSA? IRS? It's not a paranoid question anymore, in the  United States of Surveillance."