Today's Blogs

Resolution in the House

Bloggers discuss the House debate on a GOP proposal to stay the course in Iraq. The Supreme Court rules that cops don’t necessarily have to knock if they’re armed with a search warrant. And Britney boo-hoos in a heart-to-heart with Matt Lauer.

Resolution in the House: Following closely on the heels of President Bush’s Iraq visit and the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the House will debate a GOP-drafted Iraq war resolution that includes vows to move ahead with the war, work toward a sovereign and secure Iraq, and fight the global war on terror. The resolution is roundly thought to be an effort to shore up support for Republicans, while putting antiwar Democrats on the defensive.

Eileen Smith at group blog In the Pink Texas calls the resolution symbolic hooey. “If the Democrats vote against the resolution, they look like spineless eunuchs. If the Democrats vote for the resolution, they just look dumb. Capitalizing on Bush’s Iraqi photo-op, the Republicans feel that it’s time to strike. Not to support our troops, but to boost their re-election efforts. Classy,” she writes. Creature at anti-Bush blog State of the Day sighs, “Here’s to hoping the partisan, dishonest, despicable, disingenuous, disrespectful Iraq debate backfires on the GOP” and quotes GOP leaders who are denouncing the resolution.

“Crybabies!” cries Nanman at The Influence Peddler, excoriating Democrats who complain that the Republicans have barred amendments to the resolution, turning the measure into a partisan issue. “When you win the majority, you can write the resolution. Until then, you can have your say—5 hours worth of debate time—and then vote ‘aye’ or ‘nay.’ ” On the other hand, DC Democrat Native Son is sick of both sides. “We went to war, both parties approved the President’s agenda, even those who opposed going to war voted for in favor of it because they didn’t want to [be] black balled as unpatriotic. There is another word that comes to my mind. … COWARDS!!! You voted for this administration to go to war now deal with it, like the rest of the American citizens have to.”

Bush administration critic John Aravosis at Americablog sees the strategy working against the GOP. “What moron came up with the brilliant idea of debating Iraq as a way of helping Republicans in the fall elections?” he asks. “Yeah, Republicans get to stand up before the country and profess their undying admiration for Bush as commander in chief and for how ‘great’ they think the war is going. Brilliant strategy. If you want a Democratically-controlled House come the fall.” Profmarcus at And Yes I Do Take It Personally sees distinctive fingerprints all over the partisan resolution. “[I] would bet my last nickel that it’s straight out of the karl rove playbook … some things just have a certain smell about them,” Profmarcus writes.

Here’s more on the resolution debate.

Who’s there? The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing use of evidence seized when police fail to knock before entering a residence—provided that there’s a search warrant.

Lyle Denniston at the Scotus blog gives a detailed breakdown of Hudson v. Michigan and contends that the “case raises significant new questions about how sturdy the ‘exclusionary rule’ is as a remedy for constitutional violations by police—especially, but not solely, Fourth Amendment violations. It also suggests—perhaps more strongly—new doubt about the continuing validity of the ‘knock-and-announce’ rule.” Justice Anthony Kennedy took pains to point out in his concurring opinion that the ruling does not void the “knock-and-announce” rule. But Cato Institute policy analyst Radley Balko calls foul at The Agitator. “[B]y eliminating the only real penalty for violating knock-and-announce, the court had in fact violations of the rule both ‘trivial’ and ‘beyond the Court’s concern.’ If you establish that a rule is grounded in the Fourth Amendment, then 11 years later remove the only real way to enforce that rule, you have rendered the rule meaningless.” Balko wrote about  the case for Slate.

Other law wonks think the decision falls in line with precedent. “As every practicing criminal lawyer knows, when the police have a warrant the evidence is probably coming in even if the defense can find some technical violation along the way,” writes Princeton law prof Orin Kerr. “So if the question is which rule fits most naturally into the preexisting framework of Fourth Amendment law, it seems pretty clear that it’s the majority’s rule, not the dissent’s. Put another way, Scalia’s opinion essentially restores the constitutional status quo.”

Pete Guither at Drug War Rant thinks the decision will lead to shady search and seizure practices by law enforcement. “A really bad decision. What’s the incentive for the cops to follow the law, if failure to do so allows them to use anything they found?” And law blogger Anne Althouse points out that, replacing a skeptical Sandra Day O’Connor, newbie Justice Samuel Alito was the deciding vote.

Here’s more on Hudson v. Michigan.

Perils of fame: In an interview with the Today Show’s Matt Lauer scheduled to air Thursday evening, pop singer Britney Spears admits she is “an emotional wreck” and asks the paparazzi to give her family some respect.

“Yep, we all pretty much knew the emotional wreck thing after the 55 hour marriage to whatshisname,” writes Xine at Celebrity Hijinx. And Gawker can’t wait for the spectacle. “We could really use a good cry, and all the better to share it with Brit. But the real star is Lauer, who keeps a straight face throughout the entire affair, even when Spears tries to explain why it was OK to drive with her baby on her lap (’ma bayby,’ she calls him).”

Here’s more on Britney Spears.