U.S. Foreign Policy: “Might is Right” Doctrine Potentially at Play in Iran; States that Administer it Are Playing with Fire

Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a 32-year-old nuclear scientist in Iran, was assassinated with a bomb that was magnetically attached to his car by a motorcyclist. The whole event seems to be a professionally targeted hit. (How many common criminals use a magnetic bomb?) The United States condemned the Roshan’s killing. Regardless, the assassination was quite unwise as the nuclear knowledge already present in Iran will not be gone because Roshan is not there.

States using with terroristic methods ultimately play with fire. If it were a Western scientist assassinated under nebulous circumstances would be soundly condemned as terrorism against Western ideals (for example, academic freedom) with fiery calls for vengeance. How, then, can today’s assassination of a young scientist be even thought of as a success?

The United States continues to grieve the attacks of September 11; it should avoid provoking (in any way) backlash-inducing catastrophes.

Note: Nuclear weapon states.

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U.S. Judiciary: Chief Justice John Roberts Issues 2011 Year-End Report

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States, issued a 2011 year-end report on the judiciary.

Overall, the Chief Justice explained that the Judicial Conference’s Code of Conduct for United States Judges is an general reference tool for addressing ethics questions. However, the Chief Justice noted that other reference sources are available for judges with ethics questions-judicial opinions, treatises, scholarly articles, and disciplinary decisions. Moreover, the Chief Justice explained that judges can consult the Supreme Court’s Legal Office, the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Codes of Conduct, and other judges.

Additionally, the Chief Justice states that the Supreme Court has not addressed the issue of whether the Congress could require the judiciary to comply with financial disclosure and gift regulations and with recusal rules. I think that it is institutionally easier for the judiciary to continue to follow those rules. If the Supreme Court were to rule that there is a separation of powers issue, the citizenry of the United States would reasonably expect the judicial branch to provide the same level of information regarding financial disclosure and gift rules as well as rules on recusal that is provided presently.

Judges work ultimately for the taxpayer-citizen of the United States. Given the power of the judges to make rules without being elected and with lifetime tenure, the taxpayer-citizen has to be assured that all judges are faithfully executing the judge’s oath in all of their professional responsibilities. Transparency in finances and gifts as well as proper recusal is just one step to preventing improper use of judicial authority.

[Note 1: Judicial pay is the same as for 2010. See Executive Order 13594, schedule 6 (http://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2011/2012PAY_Attach1.pdf).]

In the appendix to the report, the Chief Justice provides and explanation of the workload of the judiciary. I will focus on the Supreme Court’s workload.

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Filings

8521

8857

8241

7738

8159

7857

In forma pauperis

6846

7132

6627

6142

6576

6299

Paid docket

1671

1723

1614

1596

1583

1558

Cases:

argued

87

78

75

87

82

86

disposed

82

74

72

83

77

83

signed opinions

69

67

67

74

73

75

WordPress Stats: 2011 in review for ADCObserver

This blog is mainly a hobby, and a way for me to keep up with my writing. Most of the visits to the blog occur through search engine searches. I wish all of my readers a wonderful 2012!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.