Searching for Justice for Theresa Allore — And Other Candian Crime Victims

In the fall of 1978, somebody murdered my friend John Allore‘s big sister Theresa and left her body in the woods in Magog, Quebec. Police investigation at the time was shoddy, and rapidly came to a “blame-the-victim” conclusion.

Since 2001, John has been on a quest to solve his sister’s murder, often without much help from Canadian authorities.

Tomorrow he and a group of supporters will take the matter into their own hands once again, gathering to search the crime scene for traces of evidence that might remain.

Their do-it-yourself search is drawing significant attention north of the border — not just to Theresa’s murder, but to other “cold cases” and to the frustrations of Canadian crime victims and their families in their dealings with the Canadian criminal investigation bureacracy.

The National Post has a very good article about it that you can read by clicking here.

Best of luck to John and his fellow searchers tomorrow.


Issei Internment and the Turkmen Opinion: The Shoe Does Fit.

I blogged yesterday about Judge Gleeson’s decision in Turkmen v. Ashcroft, permitting the Executive to single out certain illegal aliens for prolonged and unreviewed detention on the basis of race or national origin. I suggested that Judge Gleeson framed his opinion in a way that would support the multi-year incarceration of the Issei in World War II — a racial internment for which the Congress apologized and offered reparations in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

My comparison to the internment of the Issei has led some to cry foul. The claim is that because the Turkmen ruling applies only to illegal aliens, and the Issei were legal resident aliens, the analogy to the Issei internment is inapt, even scandalous.

Not so. The Issei were legal resident aliens until December 7, 1941 — but after that date they were also enemy aliens, over whom the President, by statute, had as complete a power as is imaginable. The Alien Enemy Act (50 U.S.C. sec. 21) gave FDR the power to arrest, detain, and deport aliens of countries with which the U.S. was at war, under rules of his own making, without (or virtually without) judicial review.

Attorney General Francis Biddle decided to offer hearings to individuals arrested as enemy aliens after Pearl Harbor, even though the Alien Enemy Act did not formally require this. But in administering the system of hearings, the government engaged in stark racial discrimination. The government selectively arrested certain German and Italian aliens, and gave them hearings. (These hearings were not models of fairness, it must be noted. But they were hearings of a sort.) The government detained the Issei en masse, and offered hearings to almost none of them — just a very small subset of a couple of thousand who were arrested immediately after Pearl Harbor.

It was this racial selectivity in enforcement — even as to enemy aliens — that led the Congress to apologize and pay reparations in 1988.

And it is just this sort of racial selectivity in enforcement that Judge Gleeson’s opinion in Turkmen permits.

UPDATE: David Cole, one of the Turkmen plaintiffs’ attorneys, draws the parallel with the Issei internment in this piece, “Manzanar Redux,” in today’s Los Angeles Times.


Tinkering with taxonomy

Ian at 3L Epiphany assembled a legal blog taxonomy a while ago, which can be useful. (Sometimes you’ve just got to know where the Antitrust Law blogs are). Now Ian is fine-tuning his lists, and asking for reader assistance. So if you’re a connoisseur of legal blogs and want to help with the taxonomy, you should do so by dropping a comment over there. (I think I’m going to suggest that Co-Op be added to a new category called “Blogs by Really Cool People.” That failing, I’ll just try to get us listed as an Admiralty Law blog. Because, what could be cooler than that?)


The ACLU wants to be your estate planner

I got an unusual letter from the ACLU a little while ago. This one didn’t really focus on freedom of speech, or religion, or defendants’ rights. Instead, it was a pitch. Apparently, the ACLU would like to help me plan my estate. In fact, there is a section of the ACLU website dedicated to helping you avoid the estate tax. How? By giving your assets to the ACLU, of course!

Now I understand that these kinds of letters are a practical reality. Testamentary gifts are an important part of fund raising, and the ACLU (like many other charitable organizations) wants to encourage its members to make these kinds of gifts. Still, discussions about protecting assets and making smart investments and creating tax-advantaged gifts — well, it all sounds a little strange coming from the ACLU. After all, aren’t the Republicans the ones who are supposed to worry about me paying too much in estate taxes?


Japanese Internment Gets A New Breath of Life in the Eastern District of New York

Federal district judge John Gleeson (E.D.N.Y.) yesterday filed an opinion of potentially enormous significance (.pdf file) in Turkmen v. Ashcroft, a class action challenging the government’s prolonged confinement of Arab and Muslim aliens on immigration charges in the wake of the September 11 attacks. In a nutshell, Judge Gleeson dismissed all claims asserting that the government violated the law in singling the detainees out for arrest and prolonged detention on the basis of their race, religion, and ancestry. He declined to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims challenging the conditions of their confinement.

It is the dismissed claims that interest me, especially the claim that simply because of their nationality and their religion, the government detained these post-9/11 detainees for far longer than necessary after they had received final orders of removal or grants of voluntary departure, without affording them a hearing to determine whether the continued detention was warranted. Naturally, the plaintiffs presented this claim under the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause.

Judge Gleeson made quick and dismissive work of this claim: these plaintiffs were aliens, not U.S. citizens, and for that reason the government was free to single them out for special enforcement on account of the unadorned fact of their national origin without violating norms of equal protection.

Read More


Markets for Markets

Rob Rogers and I recently completed an article on the development of information markets. Our motivating question was to ask why information markets have covered certain subject areas, sometimes of minor importance (like the Michael Jackson trial), while neglecting other subject areas of greater social or monetary significance. We trace part of the answer to the choice of business model that information market entrepreneurs have chosen to employ, but part of it remains unexplained and is, we propose, a product of the random walk. The article is here.