Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Biggest Threat to the U.S. in 2015 Was to Its Civil Liberties

Americans' champions for justice? Not just now.

"The terrorists have already won" rings true if you view American life through the lens of civil liberties. This is especially true if you think the Constitution doesn't only apply when you like it. We don't especially like the Constitution much anymore if you think the 1st, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments are not etched in stone the way the 2nd Amendment is.

Reliable Slate legal analysts Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern take a eyes-wide-open look at our civil liberties and come up with some pretty grim examples of where we went wrong in 2015.
Perhaps it’s almost understood in America that police brutality, the incarceration crisis, vote suppression, and other civil liberties sins are simply business as usual. Maybe that’s why it’s sometimes difficult to muster any real outrage as a year rolls to a close and we still face absurd breaches of our most basic freedoms. Still, what’s been bad in the past is still rather terrible in 2015, and we’ve invented some great new ways to ensure that U.S. citizens are neither very safe nor free. These problems go beyond idle election-year chatter about closing our borders to certain religious groups or creating national databases of Muslim Americans. We’re talking about actual betrayals of our liberties that happen every day, often without notice. Happy New Year!
Not the best year ever in my view, as well. The worst injustice I observed turns out to be the one Lithwick and Stern also choose to front their list. In the Supreme Court case Glossip v. Gross majority-opinion author Joseph Alito essentially ruled that while the use of the sedative midazolam in the lethal-injection cocktail Oklahoma wanted to employ might lead to some pretty horrifying and painful moments for the plaintiffs in the case, it's just too bad for them because they couldn't come up with a safer technique to get themselves killed, so screw them. That's some plum powerful adjudicatin', Joe!

At this point you might think I'm kidding, right? Sadly no. Read the article. Happy New Year indeed.

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