Changing Hearts and Minds
July 11, 2002
From Justice Scalia, a Chilling Vision of Religion's Authority in America By SEAN WILENTZ New York Times
Earlier this year Antonin Scalia decided to share some aspects of his worldview with the public. His inspiration seems to have been the death penalty: recent debates with his colleagues on the Supreme Court and his general reflections on the legitimacy of the state taking to itself the power to kill a citizen. Justice Scalia spoke on these matters at the University of Chicago Divinity School in January, beginning with the ritual disclaimer that "my views on the subject have nothing to do with how I vote in capital cases"; his remarks appeared in the May issue of First Things: The Journal of Religion and Public Life. They are supplemented by his dissent to the court's decision on June 20 that mentally retarded people should not be executed. Justice Scalia's remarks show bitterness against democracy, strong dislike for the Constitution's approach to religion and eager advocacy for the submission of the individual to the state. It is a chilling mixture for an American.
Because Mr. Scalia is on the Supreme Court, and because President Bush has held him up as an example of judicial greatness, his writings deserve careful attention.
Peltier Denied Parole As New FBI Documents Released
By CONNIE PARISH, Times Staff Writer
Despite another failed attempt to persuade a hearing officer to recommend parole for Indian activist Leonard Peltier, a lead attorney thinks he will be released before 2008.
Ramsey Clark, U.S. attorney general in the Johnson administration, discussed the case after Tuesday's hearing with a parole examiner. Clark and Washington, D.C., attorney Carl Nadler argued in Peltier's behalf at the U.S. Penitentiary, where he is serving the 27th year of two life sentences for the murder of two FBI agents.
Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams were killed during a fire fight at the Pine Ridge, S.D., reservation on June 26, 1975.
"I'm Not a Terrorist"
DETAINEES FIGHT BACK
BY TRAM NGUYEN
"Sometimes, they only give you two slices of bread. I'm hungry every day," says Ahman Raza, a Pakistani migrant worker who has been detained in Passaic County Jail in New Jersey for more than five months.
"I'm not bad people. I'm not a terrorist. I'm not criminal," he says.
The Department of Justice recently claimed that the total number of people still detained as a result of Sept. 11 is down to 327. But Monami Maulik, director of Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), disagrees. Based on DRUM's personal contacts with detainees and their families, she estimates: "There are at least 1,000 still being held in just New Jersey."
Health in Vieques: A Crisis and its Causes
By Cruz Maria Nazario, John Lindsay-Poland, and Déborah Santana
Media coverage of the controversy in Vieques frequently states that opponents of the US Navy's bombing "allege health and environmental damage from military practices" and that "the Navy denies those claims." Yet the critical health situation in Vieques is at the heart of why more than two- thirds of the island's residents voted for an immediate cessation of naval bombing and a full environmental cleanup.
This Issue Brief explores health conditions in Vieques and what is known about the possible causes of health problems there. It concludes by calling for the immediate cessation of military activities in the island, full environmental decontamination, thorough evaluation of the health situation and improvement of the health care services in Vieques.