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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Week Ahead

We anticipate another busy week this week. Congress is holding a number of votes and hearings heading into the July 4th recess, and the Supreme Court is wrapping up its 2007/08 term.

These are some of the highlights:

Supreme Court: Justice Watch will be keeping a close eye on the outstanding cases to be decided before the end of the term. After today’s session, we are still awaiting the release of seven decisions. The Court has already added an extra decision day, scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m., and many anticipate another on Thursday.

Of the seven remaining cases, the most significant might be D.C. v. Heller, better known as the D.C. handgun case. While the case certainly bears some weight for residents of the District, Heller also carries with it implications on future interpretations of the Second Amendment, and could profoundly affect other big cities around the U.S. There is a lot of speculation that the majority opinion will be authored by Justice Scalia; he is the only member of the Court who has not written a majority opinion for a case from the March sitting.

Also on the docket will be Exxon v. Baker, a case regarding the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Exxon objects to the $2.5 billion in punitive damages awarded by the Ninth Circuit, and further claims that punitive damages are not legal in maritime cases. Respondents argue that, despite payment of compensatory damages and other fines, many people lost life savings, oil still remains in the water, and fish stocks and marine habitats have been impaired. Finally, Davis v. FEC represents a potentially important case in the realm of campaign finance, and may have an impact on the interpretation of the First Amendment.

Congress: Both the Senate and House Senate Judiciary Committees are set for action on Thursday. While the Senate committee is voting on four New York District Court nominees, the House committee will be holding another hearing on interrogation in Guantanamo Bay, dovetailing with last Tuesday’s “origins of aggressive interrogation” hearing in the Senate.

Meanwhile, the full Senate will vote on two Michigan nominees--Helene White and Raymond Kethledge--to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, perhaps as early as tomorrow. The Senate is also expected to vote on legislation updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which, after several amendments and compromises, has already been approved by the House.

It will be a busy week for us here at Justice Watch, so make sure to check back here for updates and commentary on what’s going on in the courts and on the Hill.

1 comment:

msavage12 said...

Are these the Actions of Our US Lady Justice?

Tipping Scales?
Peeking for Corporate Interest?
Accepting Bribes?
Knee Deep in Exxon Oil?
Allowing Human Life as Exxon's Collateral Damage?

To view Lady Justice:

An investigative study needs to be conducted into the thousands of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) workers' health issues, and acknowledged as Exxon's negligence; not as Exxon's Collateral Damage.

This letter is released in the hope of informing the media, public and anyone who is concerned about human interest stories relating to the present oil and gas issues. Exxon has been fighting an Alaska jury's verdict for 14 years, contending that the $3.5 billion it already has spent, following the worst oil spill in U.S. history is enough. The Alaska jury initially awarded $5 billion to 33,000 commercial fishermen, Native Alaskans, landowners, businesses and local governments.

After 19 years, and only four months of deliberating, on June 25, 2008, the US Supreme Court Justices announced their decision. They cut the punitive damages yet again. When that amount is divided by Alaska's plaintiff's lives that were destroyed by the oil spill; is $15,000 the Supreme Court's price for life? Exxon has still not accepted full responsibility for the tragic EVOS alleged cleanup of 1989. Yet, Exxon continues to boast of profits each year, and along with other oil companies raise prices at the gasoline pumps.

Here is the rest of the story: In 1989, while media and public attention focused on the thousands of oil-coated dead seabirds, otters, and other wildlife, little attention was given to the harm done to the EVOS cleanup workers.
As workers blasted oiled beaches, with hot seawater from high pressure hoses, they were engulfed in toxic fumes containing aerosolized crude oil—benzene and other volatile compounds, oil mist, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. View photos at: www.silenceinthesound.com/gallery.shtml
It is a major concern that the cleanup workers from the 1989 EVOS are suffering from long-term health problems resulting from toxic chemical exposures. A significant number of the workers have died. Some of the illnesses include neurological impairment, chronic respiratory disease, leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, liver damage, and blood diseases. View stories at: www.silenceinthesound.com/stories.shtml

Dr. Riki Ott has written two books; Sound Truth & Corporate Myth$ and Not One Drop. www.soundtruth.info
Dr. Riki Ott has investigated, studied the oil spill spraying, and quotes numerous reports in her books, on the toxic chemicals that were used during the 1989 Prince William Sound oily beach cleanup.
For more information or to issue a letter of concern to originations about these issues, please contact:
Riki Ott, PhD, phone: 907-424-3915;
email: info@soundtruth.info
Pamela Miller, phone 907-222-7714;
email: pkmiller@akaction.net
View the letter at: http://www.usmwf.org/bills/Alaskarequest%20.pdf

Submitted by: Merle (Bailey) Savage, General Foreman during the (EVOS) cleanup attempt of 1989. Phone: 702-367-2224; www.silenceinthesound.com
email: msavage12@cox.net