November 30, 2008

IF HE CARED ABOUT TYRANNY AND JUSTICE...:

Saluting a shout-out for justice (Danny Westneat, 11/30/08, Seattle Times)

[Richard] Sanders is the state Supreme Court justice who couldn't take it any more. About a week ago, he was back in Washington, D.C., listening to a speech by President Bush's attorney general, Michael Mukasey, when he snapped.

"Tyrant! You are a tyrant!" Sanders yelled at Mukasey, then walked out.

The outburst made national news. Supreme Court justices don't typically trash-talk at the top of their lungs. Mukasey also collapsed later (in an apparently unrelated fainting spell).

So now there's talk around Olympia about whether Sanders is losing it or should be censured in some way. The chief justice of the high court, Gerry L. Alexander, weighed in, saying Sanders damaged his reputation.

Hardly. I bet we look back at this moment as a harbinger of a great debate. One where the rude guy was in the right.

What was Mukasey saying when Sanders corked off? He was defending America's biggest disgrace of the past eight years: our use of torture.

That word wasn't in the speech, of course. It never is. But Mukasey was saying legally it was OK to jail foreigners indefinitely without charging them. And to set aside the Geneva Conventions when questioning them.


...he'd go to Damascus or Cairo to do his shouting, not somewhere that's safe to yell such things precisely because they're nonsense.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at November 30, 2008 10:35 AM
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