Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quote of the day: A U.S. district judge in Washington catches the Bush administration doing what it likes doing best: flouting the law

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"It is unfortunate, if not incredible, that FEMA and its counsel could not devise a sufficient notice system to spare these beleaguered evacuees the added burden of federal litigation to vindicate their constitutional rights. . . . Free these evacuees from the 'Kafkaesque' application process they have had to endure."
--U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon, who ruled yesterday that, in the words of the Washington Post's Spencer S. Hsu, "the Bush administration unconstitutionally denied aid to tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and must resume payments immediately"

This, it appears, is among the gentler portions of Judge Leon's 19-page ruling. Given the Bush administration's unvarying attitude toward the law--"we are above the law," or perhaps "we are the law"--the only surprise is that it doesn't have judges assaulting it nonstop all through the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

These people are other things as well, some of them more serious, but what they almost always are is lawbreakers. Isn't it time they began to be held to account for it?