Monday, February 28, 2005

Obscenity cases to get quick action, Gonzales says Associated Press

"WASHINGTON — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said today he would move aggressively to prosecute obscenity cases, and he laid out a broader agenda much like that of his predecessor, John Ashcroft.

In his first lengthy address since becoming attorney general in early February, Gonzales said people who distribute obscene materials do not enjoy constitutional guarantees of free speech.

'I am committed to prosecuting these crimes aggressively,' he said to a Washington meeting of the California-based Hoover Institution.

The Justice Department is appealing the dismissal of an obscenity case in Pittsburgh in which a federal judge said prosecutors went too far in trying to block the sale of pornographic movies over the Internet and through the mail. The case initially was prosecuted under Ashcroft.
Among other priorities Gonzales noted:

— Ending Senate blocking of judicial nominees, a 'broken process that must be fixed' before there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

— Renewing provisions of the USA Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the year, saying the law has been an important tool in preventing terror attacks in the United States.

— Amending the Constitution to give crime victims the right to participate in prosecutions and sentencings. "

Mr. Bluememe already commented on some other obscenity cases to which Mr. Gonzales might turn his attention (hint:


I was just wondering why, during his confirmation hearing, AG didn't bother to preview his ideas about what sort of control, exactly, the DOJ should have over Senate rules and procedures.

I'm also wondering why his proposed constitutional amendment limits the participation of victims to prosecution and sentencing. Why is he denying them their god-given right to pull the switch during executions?


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