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9 Policy and Constitutional Objections to Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act

Edited by Daniel McCool Indiana University Press ePub

This chapter discusses Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act.1 Section 203 requires some jurisdictions to print ballots and offer election-related materials in foreign languages. As a constitutional matter, this provision raises serious federalism concerns and equally serious concerns about Congress exceeding its authority to enforce the right to vote regardless of race. Its constitutionality aside, this provision is also objectionable on a variety of policy grounds.

In August 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law Congress’s amended reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, which, among other things, extended Section 2032 of the Voting Rights Act for another twenty-five years. Though it and other provisions did not expire for another year, their reauthorization was a priority for the 109th Congress. Congress appeared to recognize the need for a strong documentary record justifying the reauthorization of these provisions. But the hearings in the House stand out for their one-sidedness, with few witnesses suggesting any policy or legal doubt for reauthorization. The hearings in the Senate included more witnesses expressing these policy and legal doubts. Ultimately, however, Congress chose to adopt without revision the bill as reported by the House Judiciary Committee.3 The refusal to adopt even modest changes to the structure of the reauthorization and the desire to secure a reauthorization one year prior to expiration suggest that while Congress went through the motions of fulfilling the doctrinal requirement of demonstrating an ongoing pattern of discrimination to justify reauthorization, substantively its deliberative process and constitutional obligations gave way to political expediency.

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Medium 9781626562080

CHAPTER 2 From Kósmos to Machine

Capra, Fritjof Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The historical and conceptual links between science and jurisprudence begin in Greek antiquity. From the beginning of Greek philosophy in the sixth century B.C.E., philosophers viewed the world as a Kósmos, an ordered and harmonious structure, more a living organism rather than a mechanical system. All of nature’s parts had an innate purpose and contributed to the harmonious functioning of the whole, and objects moved naturally toward their proper places in the universe. Such an explanation of natural phenomena in terms of their goals or purposes is known as teleology, from the Greek télos (purpose), and this explanation permeated virtually all of Greek philosophy and science.

The view of the cosmos as an organism implies that its general properties are reflected in each of its parts. This analogy between macrocosm and microcosm, and in particular between the Earth and the human body, was articulated most eloquently by Plato (ca. 428–348 B.C.E.) in his Timaeus, but it can also be found in the teachings of the Pythagoreans and other, earlier schools. Over time, this idea acquired the authority of common knowledge, which continued throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.

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2 Edward Snowden and the NSA: Law, Policy, and Politics

David P Fidler Indiana University Press ePub


The disclosures by Edward Snowden have revealed a great deal about the National Security Agency, its surveillance activities, and the oversight provided by the president, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and Congress. Snowden’s disclosures, and subsequent responses (or lack thereof) by government officials, focus attention on five significant sets of issues that confront the American people and their government: the scope of the NSA’s legal authority, problems with the honesty of U.S. officials, the hypocrisy of the U.S. government concerning cyber espionage, the undermining of cyber security by U.S. actions, and the impact of U.S. surveillance activities on personal privacy.

The first set of issues concerns the authority under which the NSA has conducted the sweeping surveillance programs Snowden disclosed. Thanks to the documents Snowden leaked, we have learned about more and more NSA practices, including how it undertakes surveillance activities, introduces security vulnerabilities into products and services, or compels the private sector to cooperate in these activities. In each case, we want to know under what legal authority is the NSA acting. To date, the only surveillance activities we know about in legal detail are the ones the Obama administration has addressed publicly—compelling phone companies to disclose metadata about all telephone calls under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and the PRISM program operated under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is addressed elsewhere in this book.

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9 The Peace Room

Schenwar, Maya Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

When we think about the prison abolitionist movement ... it’s not “Tear down all prison walls tomorrow,” it’s “crowd out prisons” with other things that work effectively and bring communities together rather than destroying them.

—Andrea Smith, INCITE!: Women of Color Against Violence 1

As spring exhales its way into summer, I pay a visit to Manley High School in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. In 2007, Manley logged the most “violent incidents” of any high school in the city—though of course such rankings will always be subjective, depending on which incidents are reported, which are dubbed violent, and who’s counting.2 Largely attended by black and Latino students, it’s prime ground for the school-to-prison pipeline, in which school-based arrests pave a quick path to early incarceration. Research by Project NIA found that about one out of five juvenile arrests in Chicago in 2010 took place at a school. Seventy-five percent of those arrested were black youth, even though black kids make up only 42 percent of the Chicago school system.3

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Appendix G Parole Officials

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix G

Parole Officials

There are two distinct entities that concern themselves with parole in

Texas—the Parole Division of the TDCJ and the Board of Pardons and

Paroles. The first agency actually oversees inmates who have been released. Ex-cons report to them, and it is their staffers who visit homes and ensure that the provisions of parole (set by the Board) are actually met. The second is an independent agency whose primary role is the discretionary release of inmates from prison, along with revocation of released prisoners.

You may reach the Parole Division at:

TDCJ-ID Parole Division

8610 Shoal Creek Blvd.

P.O. Box 13401, Capitol Station

Austin, TX 78711

(512) 406-5200

FAX (512) 406-5858

The members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles are appointed by the governor to six-year terms, which are staggered so all do not expire at the same time. You may write or call the Board members, or the chairman, at the following addresses:

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

209 W. 14th Street, Suite 500

Austin, TX 78701

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