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    Originally posted by prizrak View Post

    I understand the differences but you don't seem to understand our legal system. We have two well defined systems of law, criminal and civil (tort). The former deals with things like personal or property crime (robbery, hijacking, murder, etc...) and the latter deals with disputes between either individual or legal entities, that's the stuff that handles class action lawsuits for example or the infamous McDonald's coffee case. The former is not heavily reliant on precedent for punishment, however it does grant certain leeway to judges to apply the punishments based on circumstances. Precedent really gets into it when there are vagueries, is it a legal duty of a police office to protect/defend a citizen? Or when it comes to procedure, for example granting bail or how a criminal is to be handled (the well known Miranda warning). Precedent can also come into play in tort courts when it comes to deciding on punitive damages and culpability.

    Constitutional law is different, it only applies to interpretation of the Constitution itself and while precedent does matter in SCOTUS decisions it is not an absolute, which is the reason why people are worried about things like Roe v Wade being overturned.
    The only way to rewrite the Constitution is to gather a Constitutional convention, which would require 2/3rd of state's legislation to call for one.*This is why rather than rewrite the whole thing there is a mechanism for amending it as needed. This is what the Bill of Rights is as the most famous example, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

    *Interesting reading - https://www.washingtonpost.com/poste...=.a2f23899a37e

    Specifically on this:


    This the major difference between the US and rest of the world. Neither the government nor the Constitution grant any rights, the rights are "endowed by our creator" meaning that we are all born with the same rights and the government/Constitution is there to protect those rights. Some of these rights are enumerated, however the list is not exhaustive and the Constitution specifically says that.


    EDIT: Also what gaasc said.
    I understand that, however, I think we are talking past each other. We have a similar legal system of criminal law and civil law. The difference is that our civil law is mostly codified (adhering to the civil law system), which is less flexible, but making it more accessible to non-lawyers. This also limits the room for interpretation in the courts, which makes the outcome of most cases more predictable. This system severely limits our judges ability to let their political views influence the result of the case. There is room for interpretation, but it is limited by the wording of the (codified) law. Take the Roe v. Wade example, here there's a written law granting women those rights. Being a law means that law can be abolished or amended, but that would be up to the elected representatives in our Parliament (our law maker) to decide. No court can judge against a written law, that judgement would be overturned by an appellant court. Doing that could also get a judge impeached. I think having to rely on the political views of the justices (in the Supreme Court in particular) to protect fundamental rights would be a weakness, as you can't replace that judge, if he/she is in his/her 50s you could be stuck with him/her for potentially around 30 years.

    Saying that changing the constitution is so dangerous, and risks throwing the whole country out into uncertainty comes across as rather alarmist to me. Plenty of countries have changed the constitution or updated it's language over the years, and have come out better. We did this in 2014, what we got in the other end was almost the same constitution in terms of content, except it's now in a language that is understandable to most people, rather than the 19th-century gobbledygook it used to be.

    Our constitution says something similar about human rights: It's the state's duty to uphold and protect human right x, y, and z. But some are mentioned specifically. An English translation of our constitution can be found here. (Storting = Parliament, our congress)
    Last edited by marcos_eirik; July 10th, 2018, 8:25 PM.

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      You still seem to misunderstand something fundamental here, US judges don't have the power to judge against a law but the law itself can be up for review by the SCOTUS. That review is there to make sure that laws do not run afoul of the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. In case of Roe v Wade the question was simply "are restrictions to abortion Constitutional" and the answer was no they are not. It has nothing to do with codifying laws but rather making sure that current laws are in line with the Constitution. Had there not been a SCOTUS that reviews laws then there would be a number of states where women would have an extremely difficult time getting abortions if possible at all.
      Saying that changing the constitution is so dangerous, and risks throwing the whole country out into uncertainty comes across as rather alarmist to me. Plenty of countries have changed the constitution or updated it's language over the years, and have come out better. We did this in 2014, what we got in the other end was almost the same constitution in terms of content, except it's now in a language that is understandable to most people, rather than the 19th-century gobbledygook it used to be.
      You are not taking into account the differences between all those countries and the US. Again we are a lot more like the EU than say France, in that it is not very homogeneous and has a lot of semi autonomous states. In the most basic sense the coastal more populous states tend to be a lot more liberal while "internal" states tend to lean more conservative. Just look at the gun debate on legislative level, the ones rooting for more control are almost inevitably the coastal states, while the interior states are more against control
      ScarFace88 - "So you're a dildo?"

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        There is also that to be considered, yes. Perhaps not so much the liberal/conservative split, but just the sheer volume of people and the amount of differing opinions that stem from it. This is also why compromise seem so difficult to achieve in the US. No matter what you argue, you're screwing somebody over.
        To align it with the constitution conversation required a bit of work. Bear with me. Suppose, for example, that a referendum is made to change the constitution and nuke the 2nd amendment and bring UK-style gun control in the US. First up you have to make a massively huge and expensive referendum. This referendum doesn't include protections against mob rule, mostly because there are not any legal precedents (which is where I see marcos_eirik 's point about codified law) and partly because it could be argued it is less representative if it does (see: Trump and the EC). Now you have sheer populism deciding a very controversial, extensively divisive topic which arguments for and against vary from region to region. All you need is NY, CA, and PA to be organized enough to decide the future of cattle ranchers in Texas who may need weapons to shoot varmint(or cattle robbers), people in Georgia who need them for self defense against people who want to make them squeal like a piggy, and people in Florida battling the sheer amount of crazy from that state.

        It's not like they have massive media and P.R machines in NY and CA that could sway the votes of the less informed or the uninterested-in-researching, have they?

        This is a very simplified example, of course, but I believe it presents my argument (and prizrak 's ) to an extent. The constitution would most likely lose power if changed. And although codified law does have its (undeniable) advantages, especially in objectivity, it could be rather difficult to frame them without large amounts of interpretation and referrals from older case law. An example of this is the classic "Is a lemonade stand done by kids legal?" example. Codified health, permit, and labor laws say no. Interpretation says (more often than not) yes.

        <Ice> Oh, you're the kiddy anime guy.
        "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were."
        — John F. Kennedy

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          There are states that still try to make laws to make it harder to get abortions. A few years ago Texas passed laws that an abortion clinic had to be associated with a hospital and have hallways that were wider than normal, as an example. This was of course struck down, but it had the results the people that made it wanted, several abortion clinics closed as a direct result.
          "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" -Boss Tweed

          "No man's life, liberty or happiness are safe while Congress is in session,"- Mark Twain

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            Someone watches John Oliver Though it's somewhat tangential to this discussion albeit a good example of why SCOTUS actually exists.
            ScarFace88 - "So you're a dildo?"

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              I knew about this before it was on Last Week Tonight. That is also just one example, there are several others states that have done similar things.
              "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" -Boss Tweed

              "No man's life, liberty or happiness are safe while Congress is in session,"- Mark Twain

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                I am well aware of all the chicanery that goes on at state and local level but again that is tangential to the discussion about case vs civil law and constitutional rewrites.
                ScarFace88 - "So you're a dildo?"

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                  Originally posted by prizrak View Post
                  You still seem to misunderstand something fundamental here, US judges don't have the power to judge against a law but the law itself can be up for review by the SCOTUS. That review is there to make sure that laws do not run afoul of the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. In case of Roe v Wade the question was simply "are restrictions to abortion Constitutional" and the answer was no they are not. It has nothing to do with codifying laws but rather making sure that current laws are in line with the Constitution. Had there not been a SCOTUS that reviews laws then there would be a number of states where women would have an extremely difficult time getting abortions if possible at all.
                  No, I wasn't implying that a judge in the US would judge against a law. I just find the law to be rather fragile when the SCOTUS can flip on earlier precedent simply because one or more of it's members retire and gets replaced by someone with a different interpretation of the very same words in the Constitution. The consequences here is that it may mean that about 50 % of the US' population are in danger of loosing the right to decide over their own body. I Know, it won't happen tomorrow, it will take a lot of time to have a case that implies Roe v. Wade is overturned, and then have individual states pass legislation to ban abortion, but it's certainly a terrible prospect.

                  When it comes to the US legal system I was under the impression that besides the Constitution, and each state's penal code, there wasn't much written civil law, just precedent from previous case law. This makes determining the legal status very difficult for someone who isn't a lawyer. This is my general criticism of the common law system. Well, I guess, my bad.

                  To get the thread back on track. What do people think of Trump's nominee for SCOTUS, Brett Kavanaugh?
                  Last edited by marcos_eirik; July 11th, 2018, 5:35 PM.

                  Comment


                    No, I wasn't implying that a judge in the US would judge against a law. I just find the law to be rather fragile when the SCOTUS can flip on earlier precedent simply because one or more of it's members retire and gets replaced by someone with a different interpretation of the very same words in the Constitution
                    There is too much FUD going on here (I mean in the US). Roe v Wade (or any other major SCOTUS decision) being overturned just because one of the justices may lean a certain way is a very remote possibility. Historically SCOTUS has been relatively consistent in upholding it's previous decisions, this is where precedent comes into play as well. Also just because SCOTUS exists doesn't mean it's decisions cannot be codified into laws or amendments, which would be more or less immune from decision reversals. I suspect the reason some of them don't get made into actual laws is because it's a bargaining chip for administration.

                    To get the thread back on track. What do people think of Trump's nominee for SCOTUS, Brett Kavanaugh?
                    From everything I have seen he is not some crazy right wing lunatic, while certainly conservative it doesn't seem like he would be interested in pushing a specific agenda, which really is the best thing about a judge.
                    ScarFace88 - "So you're a dildo?"

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                      Originally posted by prizrak View Post

                      Doesn't look like a bad pick if you ask me. Following precedent means he is not likely to overturn current rulings and does seem to not blindly follow an agenda. The quote about criminal investigations of the POTUS is a bit worrying but then SCOTUS has no power to stop any so it might not be relevant.

                      On a personal note if Chucky Schumer doesn't like him, I already do.
                      Except Trump specifically stated in the campaign that he would appoint judges to overturn Roe v Wade. On the surface this guy looks alright, but Trump outsourced his picks to the The Federalist Society, a group of very conservative lawyers with significant financial backing from conservative donors. This society works to cultivate and groom lawyers starting in law school and sets them on a track to be in positions of influence ranging from corporate law firms, to clerks, DOJ appointments, and as judges at every level of the court system.

                      NPR did a very good in depth story on The Federalist Society.

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                      but a stupendous number of photons and electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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                        Originally posted by Blind_Io View Post

                        Except Trump specifically stated in the campaign that he would appoint judges to overturn Roe v Wade. On the surface this guy looks alright, but Trump outsourced his picks to the The Federalist Society, a group of very conservative lawyers with significant financial backing from conservative donors. This society works to cultivate and groom lawyers starting in law school and sets them on a track to be in positions of influence ranging from corporate law firms, to clerks, DOJ appointments, and as judges at every level of the court system.

                        NPR did a very good in depth story on The Federalist Society.
                        He also promised a border wall that Mexico will pay for, to bring back coal jobs and thinks that a trade war with our own allies is somehow beneficial to the US. Do you honestly think that he had any idea what he was actually talking about or that he even meant what he said rather than just saying anything to get elected?

                        Originally posted by NPR
                        the Federalist Society, as I just said, it's a group of conservative lawyers who want judges to interpret the law as it was written
                        I fail to understand how this is a bad thing.
                        Last edited by prizrak; July 11th, 2018, 6:28 PM.
                        ScarFace88 - "So you're a dildo?"

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                          If you listen to the entire recording (less than 5 minutes) you will see that isn't what they want, that's how they describe themselves. They are also opposed to workers having recourse through the courts, they are anti-choice for women's rights, they believe in the absolute power of money, are against any kind of regulation (labor, environmental, etc.). On the surface it sounds alright, but when you dive into what they actually represent (and who they represent) it isn't nearly as clean or neat.

                          No trees were killed in the transmission of this message;
                          but a stupendous number of photons and electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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                            I am not up on my civics as well as I should be but I'm fairly certain that there are many obstacles to achieving any of those.
                            ScarFace88 - "So you're a dildo?"

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                              Originally posted by Blind_Io View Post
                              If you listen to the entire recording (less than 5 minutes) you will see that isn't what they want, that's how they describe themselves. They are also opposed to workers having recourse through the courts, they are anti-choice for women's rights, they believe in the absolute power of money, are against any kind of regulation (labor, environmental, etc.). On the surface it sounds alright, but when you dive into what they actually represent (and who they represent) it isn't nearly as clean or neat.
                              In other words, very bad news for the average american.

                              Also, The Donald is in Brussels now and seems to continue with the same doctrine from the G7 summit, being an elephant in a china shop insulting and alienating the US' allies. Bets are that he will go from there to Helsinki to praise Putin, like he went from G7 raging at Canada to go and cozy up with Kim Jung Un.

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                                He already praised Putin. Trump stated to the press that Putin was "easier " to deal with than any of the NATO allies or the UK.

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                                but a stupendous number of photons and electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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                                  Senate Confirms New Boss For Justice Department Criminal Division
                                  https://www.npr.org/2018/07/11/62804...minal-division
                                  Team Black Jack

                                  __________________________

                                  So, that's all good.

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                                    For fuck's sake...

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                                      Originally posted by marcos_eirik View Post
                                      [...] Also, The Donald is in Brussels now and seems to continue with the same doctrine from the G7 summit, being an elephant in a china shop insulting and alienating the US' allies. Bets are that he will go from there to Helsinki to praise Putin, like he went from G7 raging at Canada to go and cozy up with Kim Jung Un.
                                      He also got a lot of laughs here for his playground style argument "No, I'm not a russian puppet, YOU are a russian puppet".

                                      So sad he doesn't get to meet the Queen. I bet I would have been laughing all week ...

                                      beautiful language - milk&water - baseball vs. football - best god in show

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                                        Mueller probe indicts 12 Russians for hacking the Democrats in 2016.

                                        A dozen Russian intelligence officers have been charged with conspiring to hack Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new indictment in the probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

                                        The 12 were members of a Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU and are accused of engaging in a sustained effort to hack the computer networks of Democratic organizations and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

                                        Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein detailed the new charges at a midday news conference. Mueller, as has been his practice, did not attend the announcement. Court records show that a grand jury Mueller has been using returned an indictment Friday morning.

                                        The announcement comes days before President Trump is due to meet with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin in Finland. Rosenstein said he briefed Trump earlier this week on the charges.
                                        I wonder how The Donald will glaze over this for his meeting with Putin... This means the so called "witch hunt" is now up to over 30 indictments.

                                        Comment


                                          From the article below.

                                          WASHINGTON — It was one of the more outlandish statements in a campaign replete with them: In a news conference in July 2016, Donald J. Trump made a direct appeal to Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and make them public.
                                          “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, referring to emails Mrs. Clinton had deleted from the private account she had used when she was secretary of state. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
                                          As it turns out, that same day, the Russians — whether they had tuned in or not — made their first effort to break into the servers used by Mrs. Clinton’s personal office, according to a sweeping 29-page indictment unsealed Friday by the special counsel’s office that charged 12 Russians with election hacking.
                                          The indictment did not address the question of whether the Russians’ actions were actually in response to Mr. Trump. It said nothing at all about Mr. Trump’s request for help from Russia — a remark that had unnerved American intelligence and law enforcement officials who were closely monitoring Russia’s efforts to influence the election.
                                          The same day that Donald J. Trump asked Russians for help in hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails, Russia began efforts to target her personal servers.
                                          "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" -Boss Tweed

                                          "No man's life, liberty or happiness are safe while Congress is in session,"- Mark Twain

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