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August 1, 2010

Interesting reads at the NY Times Opinionator blog

There are these two new lengthy pieces over at the New York Times' Opinionator blog that criminal justice fans will surely want to check out:

The second piece is by Linda Greenhouse, and it spotlights that it has now been "nearly three months since the [Supreme Court] “invited” — that is to say, ordered — Solicitor General Elena Kagan to 'express the views of the United States' on whether laws that take away the right to vote from people in prison or on parole can be challenged under the Voting Rights Act as racially discriminatory."  She also concludes an effective discussion of this potent issue with these important insights:

But while the justices have handed the administration a burden, they have also provided an opportunity, as the court’s agenda-setting process occasionally does by prompting other government institutions to confront issues that might more easily go unaddressed.  It is an opportunity for public education, for engagement with a painful issue, for leadership.

Given what we have seen from the Obama administration on the very toughest and most politically fraught criminal justice issues, I am not holding my breath for leadership on the issue of felon disenfranchisement.  Nevertheless, Linda Greenhouse's astute commentary reminds us all of an issue worth watching closely as the fall SCOTUS season draws slowly nearer.  (I believe the Justices start Two-A-Days in a few weeks after they all get back from Europe, and I suspect that Justice Sotomayor is already looking forward to having a new rookie in SCOTUS training camp to carry the pads and helmets of all the veterans after practices.)

August 1, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

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