The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 1, 2005

The New York Times The New York Times Washington Planning a trip

                                      J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

    William H. Rehnquist's year-end report yesterday was most likely his
    last as chief justice.

Rehnquist Resumes His Call for Judicial Independence

    Published: January 1, 2005

    W ASHINGTON, Dec. 31 - Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, delivering
    his 19th and most likely his last year-end report on the federal
    judiciary, returned on Friday to one of his longtime themes: a need to
    safeguard the independence of federal judges from intrusive
    Congressional oversight.

    Criticism of judges and their decisions "is as old as our Republic"
    and can be a healthy part of the balance of power between the
    branches, the chief justice said in remarks issued by the court's
    press office. But he added that criticism from Congress had "in the
    eyes of some taken a new turn in recent years" - an oblique locution
    that nonetheless left no doubt that he himself was among those
    discerning a new and disturbing twist to the attacks.

    Chief Justice Rehnquist mentioned a measure Congress passed in 2003
    requiring special scrutiny of judges who issue sentences shorter than
    those called for by the federal sentencing guidelines. In his year-end
    report last year, the chief justice said this approach "could appear
    to be an unwarranted and ill-considered effort to intimidate
    individual judges."

    This year he took account of more recent developments: "There have
    been suggestions to impeach federal judges who issue decisions
    regarded by some as out of the mainstream. And there were several
    bills introduced in the last Congress that would limit the
    jurisdiction of the federal courts to decide constitutional challenges
    to certain kinds of government action."

    There have been calls in Congress to strip the federal courts of
    jurisdiction to hear challenges to the phrase "under God" in the
    Pledge of Allegiance, to the display of the Ten Commandments on
    government property and to the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law
    that permits states to withhold recognition of same-sex marriages
    performed in other states.

    On another front, a resolution with dozens of sponsors was introduced
    in the House last spring criticizing the Supreme Court for citing
    foreign legal authority in several recent decisions. The court has
    mentioned foreign law in such rulings as those striking down capital
    punishment for the mentally retarded and invalidating the Texas
    criminal sodomy statute.

    The House measure, the Reaffirmation of American Independence
    Resolution, declared that "inappropriate judicial reliance on foreign
    judgments, laws or pronouncements threatens the sovereignty of the
    United States, the separation of powers and the president's and the
    Senate's treaty-making authority."

    Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, addressing a judicial conference in
    California six months ago, called the resolution "very worrisome" and
    said the relationship between Congress and the federal courts was
    "more tense than at any time in my lifetime."

    Representative Tom Feeney, a Florida Republican who was one of the
    resolution's main sponsors, said when he introduced it that judges who
    based decisions on foreign precedents would risk the "ultimate remedy"
    of impeachment.

    Chief Justice Rehnquist said in his report on Friday that it had been
    clear since early in the country's history that "a judge's judicial
    acts may not serve as a basis for impeachment."

    "Any other rule," he added, "would destroy judicial independence,"
    since "judges would be concerned about inflaming any group that might
    be able to muster the votes in Congress to impeach and convict them."

    In 1992, the chief justice published a book, "Grand Inquests," in
    which he recounted the politically driven effort to remove Justice
    Samuel Chase from the bench two centuries ago. Though Chase was
    impeached by the House, the Senate's decision not to convict and
    remove him "represented a judgment that impeaching should not be used
    to remove a judge for conduct in the exercise of his judicial duties,"
    Chief Justice Rehnquist said Friday.

    His 18-page year-end report made only glancing reference to his
    personal situation. Under aggressive treatment for a serious and
    usually fatal form of thyroid cancer, the 80-year-old chief justice
    has been absent from the court since late October.

    "On a personal note, I also want to thank all of those who have sent
    their good wishes for my speedy recovery," he said, without giving any
    indication of when he might return.

    He also offered "my best wishes to President Bush and Vice President
    Cheney and to the members of the 109th Congress."

    Although the chief justice has accepted an invitation from Mr. Bush to
    administer the oath of office on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, it remains
    uncertain whether he will be able to carry out the duty. He did not
    attend the court's Christmas party two weeks ago.

    The other focus of the year-end report was financial. Referring to a
    "funding crisis," the chief justice noted that the judiciary's budget
    appropriation for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 was not signed
    into law until early December. The delay created great uncertainty
    throughout the judicial system and led to steps including hiring
    freezes and furloughs in departments like probation and pretrial

    The chief justice said 20 percent of the judiciary's budget was
    consumed by rental payments to a government agency, the General
    Services Administration, for federal courthouses.

    "One way in which Congress could immediately relieve the judicial
    budget crisis facing the country," he said, "would be to reassess the

    The judiciary's appropriation, $5.42 billion, some $300 million below
    its request, accounts for less than 0.2 percent of the federal budget.

    Subscribe Today: Home Delivery of The Times from $2.90/wk.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 01:27:05 +0900
From: Todd Cameron Thacker <>
Subject: [confucius-list] Slow reading - Analects 4:25


The Master said, "Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who
practices it will have neighbors."

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2005 14:02:42 -0500
From: Al Filreis <afilreis@WRITING.UPENN.EDU>
Reply-To: UB Poetics discussion group <POETICS@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU>
Subject: PENNsound at Penn - now open!


now open for close listening

Happy New Year!

Charles Bernstein & Al Filreis

January 1, 2005

Writing of the Third

The writing of the disaster, catastrophic submergence, refugees in the
midst of horrendous poverty and ecological catastrophe without an edge
there, see there's a catastrophe coming - and another friend - and a third
who worries me...

The catastrophic: you can even write about it. She recovered from the mine
catastrophe. News radio stations report catastrophe, announce the time,
the delicate imminence of possible catastrophe, I, godlike in America. We
are born of and around the catastrophic. The extras remain outside. You
brush your hair, i beg you, kill me; i beg you, kill me, kill again; i
walk on catastrophes: what tropes.

The face of catastrophe, beginning and ending with ground zero, the null
fold, leaping into the fold, the relationship beginning and ending with
ground zero, the null fold, leaping into the fold, the relationship
spreads, just as body-parts turn to sintered humans; chemical catastrophe
at the top down through radiations blinding accumulation. The disaster of
the _square._

The writing and its brilliance should survive any catastrophe, outshine
its translation, survive any catastrophe. Sickness was a catastrophe about
to happen, with the factories dumping, catastrophic disappearing wavering,
shuddering, the grasp always

[ when nothing shall prevent catastrophe or disappearance
when nothing shall prevent catastrophe or disappearance ]

Within the catastrophic, there is always the grasp. Towards catastrophe,
give me nothing. And I have designed the model with catastrophe in mind, a
task. the wave collapses into chaos, catastrophe, words blunted by
catastrophe of hysteria, dissolution of the mirror stage. The train in
overdrive spilled beyond capacity. You are in motion capture, motion
capture catches the catastrophic.

Disaster (catastrophe) depends on (is caused by) the accumulation (of)
emotions and life, motion capture catching the catastrophe. Speak when
nothing shall prevent catastrophe or disappearance. My lovers, I rely on
anomaly, forgetting and meandering, wryting and poesis, catastrophe and
hypertext - our catastrophe-theory of knowledge. Tattoo; the classic
manifolds of catastrophe theory; lampshades from the catastrophic. What
tropes, the face of catastrophe, beginning and ending with ground zero,
the null description and the problematic starting, the fold, you can even
write about it.

At this point, that would be disasterous. So we talk about other things,
they ignite and explode. A disaster for those who mourn the passing of
each big flood, natural or not. _Naturally,_ then, the only thing to
expect is the unexpected, the appearance, curtailed and shut down by
disasters, oh not so far, the disaster averted, shutdown unnecessary. The
misrecognition _to be sure,_ violation fabric, more murders, earthquake
disasters threatening the whole thing down. What can any of us do in the
face of the disaster that is looming

Broadcast Message Sent to all Users Currently Logged-in: Disaster

A chance we're in a pocket, potential well avoiding disaster for a few
inert mountains, scoured

Disasters, train wrecks and car wrecks. I find myself under their wheels,
Oh, such language is a disaster! One tiny fire clear-cutting them, walking
the line of disaster.

Places keep a million disasters a day from happening. Lots of
encroachments, disasters of free trade and environmental damage, enormous
encroachments in some sectors, In 1961 I almost flunked out of school. My
life was a disaster. The disaster takes care of everything. One disaster
is another person's pleasure.

Disaster brings totality. Totality brings disaster. Disaster of totality.
*****images wouldn't transfer, flashcard went dead. 'Natural disasters,'
latent hurricanes, human activities. From above - accumulation - evil has
either the one or the other, a disaster, back to modernity and disaster
(catastrophe) depends on (is caused by) the accumulation (of) famous
moanings of the bar, portents of disaster for ships leaving a harbor, a
disaster, a site disaster, as in

[ site disaster.
disasters. ]

"Lives were lost everywhere in disaster after disasters. (public room)
learn (review lessons) carefully disaster (catastrophe) What disasters
await the collapse of hard-drive memories?"

The desire for death. And a desire for life, the disaster that goes on and
it is about the disaster. It is about the disaster of spent fuel spending
spent fuel, about the disaster of death which is only the retardation of
life, about the site disaster.

Forever we pour the ghee through the body of the disaster, forever we ride
and write the disaster of the body and of writing, the species in full
"bloom," red tide, and disasterous. I act the labor _I do_ and it has its
own difficulties, a disasterous surface, I am a node on the Net, the
disaster of protocol itself, long ago. The elders lure the young into war
and other disasters - words - but the talking journey ended ago. Elders
lure young war disasters, these times are close to the final { these times
are c|ose to fina| disaster, that there is no escape from to disaster to
sme|| its ... }

And disaster and disaster, that there is no escape from scraped know|edge
and sites, kmnnpababramadisasterszzxj kmnnpatraburada
ababramatheraburadazzxj kmnnpababramadisasterszzxj kmnnpatraburada
ababramatheraburadazzxj kmnnpababramadisasterszzxj kmnnpatraburada
ababramatheraburadazzxj kmnnpababramadisasterszzxj kmnnpatraburada

And disaster averted, shutdown unnecessary.
Silence greets the disaster.


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