Are you the Ultimate Red Sox Fan? Enter your photo in our contest and you could win fan-tastic prizes.
Go check it out now. It’s got a new taste. It’s a definite wow!
What new flavor will you try today?
View our commenting policy and standards | Commenting FAQ | Report a problem
Here is one for all the gun control crowd. Too bad we need some “governing” to get done what parents should be doing. Take a hint Chicago.
Or maybe a kids personal freedom to roam the streets at 3AM need not be infringed.
I don’t know if this story is going to be a big partisan issue in the liberal circles. It may not even make it to conservative circles at all. But I think it worth highlighting. It concerns comments Justice Scalia made regarding the 98-0 passage of the Voting Rights Act.
There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyers’ lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.
The comment came as part of a larger riff on a comment Scalia made the last time the landmark voting law was before the justices. Noting the fact that the Voting Rights Act reauthorization passed 98-0 when it was before the Senate in 2006, Scalia claimed four years ago that this unopposed vote actually undermines the law: “The Israeli supreme court, the Sanhedrin, used to have a rule that if the death penalty was pronounced unanimously, it was invalid, because there must be something wrong there.”…….
Don’t or haven’t conservatives gotten up in arms when those justices they perceive as liberal cite foreign courts? Oh, yes……they do.
But the part that cracks me up is this article from the NY Times.
….Two days later, at the argument in a big voting rights case, Justice Scalia seemed to violate his rule against citing foreign law. Expressing skepticism about the significance of the 98-0 vote by which the Senate reauthorized the Voting Rights Act, Justice Scalia said, “The Israeli supreme court, the Sanhedrin, used to have a rule that if the death penalty was pronounced unanimously, it was invalid, because there must be something wrong there.”
It was as an offhand reference to an ancient court, and Justice Scalia was not announcing a universal principle. Indeed, he almost certainly does not think that every unanimous legislative act is problematic.
In 1986, for instance, the Senate approved Justice Scalia’s nomination to the Supreme Court by a vote of 98 to 0.
Maybe the kids who “roam the streets at 3AM” think they are as free as gun owners. The nerve!
One thing I find very curious about the new curfew in Miami, Bubba Green, is that there is an exception if the child is homeless. There is the true food for thought. If one cannot see the issue in that then they have serious issues.
The issue people is keeping children safe. Homelessness might be a problem for another discussion but my bet is that most of the kids roaming the roads and streets at 2 AM are not homeless. Ture, they clearly have parents that could care less about them or they would not be permitted to do that. What is totally beyond understanding is how any reasonable person can really have any objection to this. And maybe the specific plan is not perfect, the rational for it is extremely strong. First it applies to “minors”. Minors cannot do a lot of things “guaranteed” in the constitution. They cannot vote. They cannot purchase booze. They cannot purchase firearms. They cannot even purchase ammunition. They cannot get married on their own. They cannot enter into an legally binding contract. In many states they cannot get a drivers license without some aspect of pre-18 qualification. They have restriction on how long they may work. I’m sure they are many other examples of “unconstitutional control” placed on minors. I have not researched it but Bubba will bet the farm on a few generalizations, mostly that a very high % of the bad things that happen to people and specifically to minors, happen in the late night and wee hours of the mornings. I recall recently a number of 15-ish year old girls being killed in auto accidents while the passanger in a vehicle driven by a 19 year old boy at 2AM. Oh, was it Saturday night? Yeah, that makes it all OK.
The “issue” is the government telling people what to do. Many of those minors are indeed without parental supervision (for many reasons) or their parents have lost “control” over them. Like seat belts and texting and smoking and a lot of other bad personal habits, thinking it is wrong and codifying it as a crime are different things and will naturally hit people differently.
This is not about what makes any activity “ok”. It is just not that simple. You see that so clearly when gun control is the issue…
Let’s punish crime and criminals. Until and unless those kids break the law, we’ve no right to incarcerate them or otherwise infringe their liberties.
does “crime” include loitering?
I think most places have lodging ordinances, yes.
9 – heh, loitering ordinances I meant.
#9,10 — I was wondering because isn’t a law against loitering similar to a curfew in some ways? I mean what good is staying out to 2 AM if you cannot “remain in a particular public place for a protracted time,” which is the definition of loitering.
I don’t think so, NW, unless the assumption is that the only excuse for a minor to be out at night is to loiter. I don’t think we can make that assumption because a) there are too many possible exceptions that would make such a broad brush impracticle; and b) it smacks of profiling, which is illegal. Also might cconstitute denial of due process.
Now the cop on the beat obviously has to investigate suspicious activity, and if he sees a bunch of kids on a corner or in a schoolyard, he is obligated to make sure they aren’t up to no good. And obviously if there trespassing on private property, there are other issues.
But it’s an interesting question. I wonder if there have been first or fourth amendment challenges to loitering ordinances.
#12, I guess the point I made in #11 was unclear. My bad. Let’s try again.
Suppose there was no ordinance against loitering and we were discussing whether to have one. Wouldn’t you be arguing that “remaining in a public place for a protracted time” is a perfectly acceptable thing to do as long as those doing the “remaining” aren’t committing any “crimes”? And if so, then why should we have a law against loitering?
I was surprised you mentioned profiling and then went on to say that a bunch of kids hanging around in a schoolyard have to be investigated. *That* smacks of profiling to me.
I don’t really know, but maybe the rationale for the curfew is that the city doesn’t have the resources to provide round-the-clock protection-and-service to minors who are not under the care of their parents or guardians. The loophole for homeless people is to prevent a person who has no parent or guardian or home to go to from being criminalized.
Sorry for using the word “loophole” just now. I realize there’s really no such thing. I meant “perfectly legal activity”.
Well according to the gun carrying folks, if there is no sign where you entered, you are not breaking any laws to carry a gun into Valley View Mall, so I suppose if a business, or city owned area has no sign posted about loitering, it is not a crime. Ergo the signs saying a public park “closes” at 10PM (or whatever time). Does the park have anything to actually “close”? No, but if you are caught there after that time, you would be considered loitering.
13 – without getting into circular reasoning, NW, if there were no law against “remaining in a public place for a protracted time” (i.e., loitering) then, yes, we would have to accept it as perfectly fine. Doesn’t mean the cops don’t monitor the situation, and from my perspective, if I saw a group of scruffy sorts (kids, adults, whatever), I would like take the precaution of avoiding the area if I could. But again, in the absence of a law specifically prohibiting it, then it must be legal.
I believe schoolyards carry No Trespassing signs, much like private property. To your bigger point, yes, there are a lot of grey areas with profiling, and allowing police the latitude to do their jobs. I don’t think it’s profiling for a cop to pull up to a bunch of kids on a street corner, and ask them what’s going on, and being on the alert for suspicious behavior (or the small of weed, or alcohol, etc.). Community policing, with regular cops with regular beats, etc., used to do just that. It IS a grey area, and I’m not sure I’m qualified to make a legal distinction.
And I understand the rationale re limited resources, and the homeless person “exception” (although I assume the police would take such a homeless person to a shelter or something to get him off the street). And as a husband and parent, I would rather see those kids off the streets and somewhere that makes it safer for them and my family. But I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the idea of a broad-based curfew. Again, I’m no lawyer.
That’s a good point, Sandi. The sign posting a closing time serves essentially as notice (probably says it explicitly, in fact) that anyone there after it closes is trespassing, so someone there WOULD be loitering.
#15 89Hoo, what you describe as “community policing” (being on the alert for suspicious behavior based on someone looking “scruffy”) is how we end up with people getting pulled over for DWB (driving while black). Profiling is a complex issue that is not entirely a matter of settled law, so sensitivity and prudence are called for.
There doesn’t need to be a “park closed” sign to be loitering. Loitering is just being in one public place for a while. It’s pretty vague although probably there is sufficient case law to draw some boundaries. There is probably a separate local ordinance against being in a park after its posted time of closure. There is no sign warning people of trespassing at our local elementary school, we take our kids there to use the playground on weekends quite frequently and have never been approached by the police. But maybe that’s just because we’re not “scruffy sorts” who would attract their interest.
17 – no, by community policing I meant having a visible and consistent presence, preferably with the same officers, so the residents and businesses on the beat get to know on a relatively personal basis. That way, they are more familiar with the families and business owners and are better positioned to judge whether someone merits further attention, can intervene on a more friendly and less antagonistic basis.
Name is required
A valid email is required (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Comment is required
Your email address will not be published.All fields are required to comment.
Mon, 20 May 2013 05:22:51 +0000