Within minutes of the start of the hearing in the case against the five alleged masterminds of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Walid bin Attash, who's accused of helping to train the 9/11 hijackers, announced he doesn't trust his appointed lawyers and wants to communicate with the judge directly instead.
At what point does the adversarial process that is central to our legal system cease to be truly adversarial? In a case involving an indigent prisoner who sued prison administrators and staff for deliberate indifference to his medical needs, a divided Seventh Circuit panel reversed a summary judgment in favor of the defendants, sending the prisoner's suit back down for further fact-finding.
Artful advocates advise this about addressing the court: if the facts are on your side, pound the facts; if the law is on your side, pound the law; if neither is on your side, pound the table. Adding to that adage, pusillanimous politicians propose undressing the court: if you fear its decision, strip it of jurisdiction.
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear arguments on whether the Labor Department has the authority to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to workers who provide home care assistance to elders and people with disabilities. This federal court case affects all of us.
It's time for the U.S. government to put an end to this fiasco. The legitimacy of such important terrorism cases as the September 11 attacks is not something to be disregarded, nor is the impact on the victims' families, who have yet to see justice done. All the military commission cases could be reliably tried in the seasoned and successful U.S. federal court system.