Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Monday Medley

What we read while the Supreme Court forced us to get gay married…

Monday Medley

What we read while Katie Holmes left Tom for Pacey…

Monday Medley

What we read while demanding Indonesia refund our concert tickets…

Monday Medley

What we read while Mega Millions disproved rational choice theory…

Monday Medley

What we read while narrowly avoiding an NPI shutdown…

Monday Medley

What we read while appreciating the human element…


  • Two games that are, indeed, all about corners — Monopoly and The Wiretogether at last.

Monday Medley

What we read while updating our “Favorite Movies” on Facebook…

Monday Medley

What we read while wondering where Mo Williams will play next year…


  • Nate Silver computes a simple but cool “Value Over Replacement Justice” statistic to show by one measure that Elena Kagan was the right pick over Diane Wood. We’re not totally convinced Kagan is an “Organization Kid” but David Brooks writes an excellent column arguing that she is.

Ranking the Bill of Rights, Number 3: The Fifth Amendment

This is where the men are separated the boys; the women from the girls; the toddlers from the infants. We have reached the top three. Without further ado, I present the Fifth Amendment:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

There’s quite a bit going on in the Fifth. What puts the Fifth in the top three is its guiding philosophy, which attempts to protect the individual against unjust and arbitrary uses of government power. Much of this is done through procedural constraints on the government. Prosecution wasn’t satisfied with the jury’s decision and wants to try the case before another jury? Too bad: No double jeopardy. Want to transfer a private homeowner’s property to a private company? Not happening.* The D.A who prefers mild to moderate public opinion about crimes is angry about the extent of a crime’s infamy and wants to punish the individual without a Grand Jury?** Well, he can’t.
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Ranking The Bill of Rights, Number 8: The Eighth Amendment

I am not a supporter of cruel and unusual punishment. In fact, I prefer my punishments humane and usual. While I had negative views on the Second Amendment and neutral views (well, assuming you interpret pointlessness as a neutral description) on the Tenth, at this point, my views on the 8th amendment are generally positive. Nonetheless, it has some negative characteristics that cause its eighth place finish.

The Eighth Amendment reads: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

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