Monday, May 17, 2010


"The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal officials can indefinitely hold inmates considered "sexually dangerous" after their prison terms are complete.

The high court reversed a lower court decision that said Congress overstepped its authority in allowing indefinite detentions of considered "sexually dangerous."

"The statute is a 'necessary and proper' means of exercising the federal authority that permits Congress to create federal criminal laws, to punish their violation, to imprison violators, to provide appropriately for those imprisoned and to maintain the security of those who are not imprisoned by who may be affected by the federal imprisonment of others," said Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the majority opinion.

...Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, saying Congress can only pass laws that deal with the federal powers listed in the Constitution.

Nothing in the Constitution "expressly delegates to Congress the power to enact a civil commitment regime for sexually dangerous persons, nor does any other provision in the Constitution vest Congress or the other branches of the federal government with such a power," Thomas said.

Thomas was joined in part on his dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia."
Washington Post

Now I'm going to have to find the ruling on this case ( U.S. v. Comstock, 08-1224 ) and read the opinions. I agree with Thomas and I'm wondering where I'm wrong.

Beyond the Constitutional question I have to ask why there should be any sort of civil commitment for those that have served their time, period. If society determines through it's representatives that any crime, sexual abuse in particular, should carry a life sentence then enact laws that state this and allow a jury and judge to decide each case individually. Don't try to sidestep the issue with this civil commitment crap.

"Civil commitment is a process in which a judge decides whether a person who is alleged to be mentally ill should be required to go to a psychiatric hospital or accept other mental health treatment. A person in the process of a commitment sometimes is called an Alleged Mentally Ill Person (AMIP). A civil commitment is not a criminal conviction and will not go on a criminal record.

When a civil commitment petition has been filed, an investigator from the community mental health program (CMHP) will investigate the need for the commitment. Depending on the investigator’s decision, the case may be dismissed without a hearing, the person may go into a diversion program or a hearing may be held. If a hearing is held, the person has a lawyer and witnesses testify. The judge then makes a decision whether the person should be committed. If the person is committed, the person may be hospitalized or may be required to undergo treatment in some other setting."
Oregon Counseling

So we've decided to treat sexual predators as mentally ill people instead of the evil bastards they are. That's fine. From now on then let's not even bother with a trial; just send them right to the psychiatrist and let him make the decision. That's what would be done in a normal civil commitment. After he makes his decision a judge would rule on whether the commitment can move forward. No jury, no additional expense. The abuser is not a criminal, just a patient with a disease. Everything all hushed up and secret; under the table away from those prying eyes of the press.

This is kind of the same way the Church has treated abusive priests over the last fifty years. How's that worked out so far?

So, is sexual abuse a crime or a sickness?

If it's to be treated as a sickness, what if you are accused by someone that has a reason to want you out of the way; you know, an enemy, a competitor, THE GOVERNMENT! No trial for you. A quick trip to the doctor to be certified as ill, shoot on over to the judge for a quick sentence and bing, bang, boom, off to the re-educati... er, I mean hospital you go.

This is the reason that Thomas is right. The government has slowly assumed powers it was never intended to have and it will use these new powers to control us. The federal government absolutely must be restrained by the Constitution as our Founders intended. Because if it's not, no power on earth will hold it back.

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