Justiceline: October 21, 2011

Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice’s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice.

  • A federal judge tossed out a lawsuit brought by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and nine of his colleagues claiming that the military action in Libya is illegal.
  • Justice Stephen Breyer’s brother Charles, who serves as a federal district judge in California, announced that he is taking senior status, a form of semi-retirement for older judges.
  • Jack Balkin argues that Occupy Wall Street should adopt the Tea Party’s tactic of grounding its rhetoric in the Constitution:

    In fact, Occupy Wall Street is pretty easily characterized as a constitutional movement. seeking to take back the Constitution from “the malefactors of great wealth,” to borrow a phrase from a century ago.

    To begin with, many OWS advocates are critical of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. They believe that the Supreme Court does not properly understand the democratic function of the First Amendment’s guarantees of speech and press. They believe that the Supreme Court has twisted and distorted the true meaning of the First Amendment. And they are exercising their First Amendment rights to petition and to assemble in the streets and parks of the United States.

    Yet considered most charitably, and in their best light, the Occupy Wall Street protests offer a still deeper vision of the Constitution than simply a rejection of Citizens United.

  • Pat Buchanan is very upset that Democratic presidents appointed “one African American, one Puerto Rican, and five Jews” to the Supreme Court.
  • A group of 30 people who were arrested protesting Guantanamo Bay in front of the Supreme Court will petition the Court to eliminate the law banning protests on the Supreme Court’s grounds.