Yes, our Attorney General just said this. Out loud.

Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by MASTERBAKER, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. MASTERBAKER

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator



    Chris Nelson Had he said "the heritage of Anglo-American law", he would be right. But he said "Anglo-American heritage", which is probably a statement he frequently says when he thinks he's only surrounded by his fellow racists, and as such it is built into his brain circuitry.
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    Shawn Lewis
    Then lawyers should be smart enough to refrain from using "shop language" that has another meaning in common usage. I'm an engineer, but I don't go around talking about the "right hand screw rule" (since regular people might misunderstand). Valiant effort, but you still fall flat.
     
  2. muckraker10021

    muckraker10021 Superstar ***** BGOL Investor

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    Jeff Sessions and Anglo-Americanism

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    Sessions is the Attorney General, and when he speaks it is to the public generally; he is supposed to make our system of justice more transparent, not less so.

    by Amy Davidson Sorkin |Feb. 13th 2018 | https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/jeff-sessions-and-anglo-americanism

    On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared before a gathering of the National Sheriffs’ Association and thanked the participants for their service. It was, he told them, of a special kind. “Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process,” Sessions said. He continued, “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office.”

    Since then, there has been a small storm about what he meant by that phrase. It didn’t help that, in Sessions’s prepared remarks, the line was “The sheriff is a critical part of our legal heritage.” A Justice Department spokesman argued that it should be obvious that Sessions was not using “Anglo-American” as a synonym for white people but for a legal tradition, noting that the term, followed by words like “law” or “legal doctrine,” was one that most law students learn “in the first week of their first year.” He urged Googling, which, indeed, turns up the use of the term by everyone from Justice Anthony Kennedy to President Barack Obama. And the general point is correct: there is such a thing called Anglo-American jurisprudence, which dates from the period when the Founders drew on British common law to write the Constitution and has been enriched by deliberations and fights in and out of the courts ever since—previously, the term has come up in Supreme Court arguments about prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay. It encompasses such basic ideas as habeas corpus. In that sense, “Anglo-American” is not a racial or an ethnic modifier, it is a deliberately national one—or, at least, it should be.

    Not everyone has had a week in law school, though, and Sessions’s remarks, which stung many who heard them (the N.A.A.C.P. called them “racially tinged”), were clearly clumsy. He is the Attorney General, and when he speaks it is to the public generally; he is supposed to make our system of justice more transparent, not less so. He has an obligation not to speak as if he were in a courtroom, where everyone would know the background of legal terms—let alone, say, as if he were addressing a jury in his native Alabama, circa 1953, or deputies serving under Bull Connor, in Birmingham. As Sessions had ample opportunity during his Senate confirmation hearings to revisit racially charged remarks that he had made as a prosecutor in Alabama, one wishes that he were more aware of how he sounds. That is particularly so given the remarks of the President he serves, especially those about, say, denying basic rights, such as the freedom to worship, to people whose families’ ancestries extend to every part of the globe. And there is an added obligation to communicate the accessibility of the law because the national legal heritage has not always been fairly shared in this country; the battle to extend it to all Americans has taken place not only in legal settings but on the battlefield and, during the civil-rights era, in the streets.

    That legal heritage has also been cited in cases involving more ordinary crimes and everyday protections. For example, at 3:45 a.m. on March 25, 1955, police officers in Washington, D.C., looking for a heroin dealer, knocked on an apartment door, saying, “Police.” William Miller opened his door a crack, leaving a security chain on, and started to ask what they wanted. Instead of answering, they broke the security chain and forced their way in. They did not have a warrant. Miller was convicted on narcotics charges, and appealed. Eventually, the case reached the Supreme Court, and Miller won, in a 7–2 ruling. “From earliest days, the common law drastically limited the authority of law officers to break the door of a house to effect an arrest,” Justice William Brennan wrote for the majority. Brennan cited holdings in the thirteenth-century yearbook of Edward IV on when “it was unlawful for the sheriff to break the doors of a man’s house to arrest him” and added, “Congress, codifying a tradition embedded in Anglo-American law, has declared in § 3109 the reverence of the law for the individual’s right of privacy in his house.” Perhaps Sessions would consider that a move to “erode” the office of sheriff. But, with that ruling, Miller v. United States became part of the Anglo-American legal heritage.

    There are other Supreme Court cases using the term—hundreds of them, in fact—even if not all of them are as edifying. But, even if Sessions had omitted the modifier “Anglo-American,” by referring to “the heritage of law enforcement” rather than to “our legal heritage,” he seemed to narrow the circle of beneficiaries of that legacy. Sessions may have diminished his prepared text, above all, by omitting the word “our.” The Anglo-American legal heritage belongs to the enforced upon more than to the enforcers. It is all of ours, and it comes in handy.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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