Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 Critical Legal Studies Conference

While law school has narrowed my thinking about legal issues in many ways, I have also had the opportunity to look through the telescope of the law and envision the wider universe of possibilities in simply thinking about the law from another perspective. The person's perspective.

I. Am. The Crit.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Still alive, just going to school

I remember there used to be this blogger named V, like a million years ago, over on the blog Left In the West. Then V got into law school in Missoula, and he just disappeared. Now I know why.

It has been an eventful year, but in some ways, it seems easier to update you all in reverse.

There is this Critical Legal Journal at the University of Idaho. Critical Legal Studies, or the movement, emerged in America in the 70s and thrived for a while, then basically died out in law schools across the country. A good friend of mine got a new Journal started again at the University of Idaho. And I submitted to 'write on' to the crit, and made it. That's right, I will be working on a law journal, which is a big deal in law school, and not such a big deal to normal folk. So check in from time to time and see what we are up to.

I also have been working quite a bit on LGBT issues. I am presently the Co-President of the Sexual Orientation Diversity Alliance (SODA), and Vice President of the ACLU chapter at the UofI. One of the really stellar projects that we have worked on is a "Wills Clinic". The idea came from an unfortunate occurrence up here in Moscow.

A woman died unexpectedly. And while during her life her family had been accepting and supportive of the fact that she was a lesbian, and with her partner, when she died, her family completely shut the woman's partner out of the funeral and all decisions. Not ok.

So what we do, is we meet with people, answer some questions, ask some hard ones, then provide an opportunity for them to get wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives drafted all in one day. While it won't solve the funeral problem, it will allow people in committed relationships to get some of the rights that they should have already, without question. We did one of these clinics up in Moscow this January, and just got back from doing one in Boise in the middle of August.

I also helped form the UofI's first Native American Law Student Association, and we did lots of cool things. One of the best things was having tribe elders and judges come up to the school, and give talks about the differences between tribal court and state or federal courts. The Nez Perce and the Coeur d'Alene tribes have gone out of their way, and invited us to learn about native issues in the law. And asked us for help on things like a voter's rights pamphlet (guess who put that together?).

I also managed to get Idaho residency, which means I now pay in-state tuition. I feel a little traitor like about not being a Montana resident anymore, but then I realized that Montana is something you carry in your heart, and I wear my heart on my sleeve.

In not so legal like news, I met a boy. I am in love. I will bring him to MT for Thanksgiving, if not sooner so that he can fall in love with the place I call my home. Which would be a good thing, because he will be living there with me for a long time.... once I finish school.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted!

One of my favorite things about election day:

did you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Get your HATRED out of my LAWS.

In the past few weeks in the Moscow, ID/Pullman, WA area, 6 crimes of hate have occurred.

* On September 29, at the University of Idaho, there was anti-gay vandalism on a student's door in a residence hall.

* On October 12, at Washington State University (WSU), there was anti-gay vandalism on a student's door in a residence hall.

* On October 15, a student was physically assaulted by another individual while walking near the Scott-Coman soccer fields in Pullman. He was punched in the face and lost consciousness.

* On October 18, a transgender student was physically assaulted outside a Pullman business. He was attacked by three individuals wearing Halloween masks. They knocked him to the ground and kicked him. He was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a collapsed lung.

* On October 20, a transgender student was physically assaulted by an individual in a parking garage at WSU. He was knocked to the ground and kicked. He suffered bruises and a bloody lip.

* After the WSU Senate passed a resolution condemning such activities, one of the Senators was followed home and harassed by a handful of men, and a threatening note was posted on the door to the WSU Senate offices.

What rational person on this planet thinks it is acceptable behavior to hit another person because they are different from you? Seriously people.

AND IN THE LAW SCHOOL, THE LAW SCHOOL certain clubs have had the audacity to post signs supporting a Constitutional Amendment in California which would ban gay marriage. Proposition 8's title is "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment". And people have the chutzpah to say it is not an initiative about HATE. Are you kidding me?

What possible reason is there for posting a "Vote Yes on 8" sign in Moscow, ID? At most there are about 5 people here who might be casting absentee ballots in California who are attending this law school. There are 444 people in this building everyday, with only 5 who might vote in CA, the only reason to post such a sign is because people HATE people who are different than them. It is the only possible reason.

AND in South Dakota, people are trying to put HATE into their Constitution. Initiative 11 is called the Abortion Ban Initiative. A change to the Constitution of South Dakota which if enacted, will not only make it virtually impossible for a woman to get an abortion, but will certainly end up in the Supreme Court for failing to protect people's rights.

I am tired of the hatred. If you don't like something, fine; just do it behind closed doors. I won't put my judgments into your laws, if you keep your hatred out of mine.

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality
and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense
of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the
beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse
the true with the false and the false with the true.
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.
Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NOW Sarah Palin Poll

Well I got to law school today, and in my inbox was this email from the firecracker, who has been taking on Sarah Palin facts via email with a veracity I didn't see from her in the primaries. The best part about the poll, is you can vote however you choose, the scary part about the poll is as of my voting, 50% of Americans think Sarah is qualified to run. Seriously. Which is better than 54% yes, but participating in a poll like this does matter. Take a minute and click in your vote!

- Cece
Please help control the Sarah Palin momentum by participating in this PBS poll.
Vote and share widely.

PBS poll: Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as Vice President of the USA?

Voting started at about 66% No, 30% Yes. It's now 'yes' at 54% and 'no' at 44%.
The right wing has an email campaign going to turn the results around.

Please vote.
This sort of thing can actually matter, unfortunately.
It's only a matter of clicking a radio button Yes, No, or Don't know.

After you vote, please send to others.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Because Freedom Can't Protect Itself"

I just might stop waxing on about law school sometime soon . . . no promises. Last night, at the "Welcome Back Picnic" I met my mentor, who just happens to be related to Murphy Fox, and anyone who went to Carroll College or grew up in Helena, probably knows Murphy. He is also a big supporter of S.A.V.E., one of the first organizations I got involved with when I moved back to Helena. S.A.V.E. is of course chaired by Matt Elsaesser, who is a good friend, and now a City Commissioner thanks in (very small) part to me freezing and waiving at people on my lunch hour. Matt just happens to be the son of an adjunct professor here at U of I, ahhh . . . it is a small world.

Anyway, we were signing up for clubs here at the school. And I wanted to talk about one in particular, the ACLU. I happen to be a card carrying member, and have been for the past two years, it seemed natural to sign up to be a member here at the law school. I was talking the other day about why it is I decided to take the next step and become a lawyer. Guess what swag I scored last night at their table?

A blue rubber bracelet, which states "ACLU: Because Freedom Can't Protect Itself"
Sounds to me like a pretty great summation of why I am here.