doughr at ACAD.UDALLAS.EDU
Mon Apr 24 15:11:37 PDT 2000
Could those familiar with this case, and perhaps other cases dealing with the INS or child protective agencies, address the question of how common a practice it is for the government to take actions such as were taken over the weekend in this case? The question is not rhetorical, for I really do not know. Was it the case that the Justice Department had ordered the Miami family to turn over Elian, and set a time, date, and place for doing so? (Is it typical of such cases that the hand-over would occur in a home, or in a courtroom or other governmental office?) If the accounts we have are accurate, is it normal for the government to cut off discussion (or "negotiations") with a party involved and then act immediately to compel compliance? Was Elian ever outside the home where it would have been easier for government officials to seize him, or to execute the warrant?
Can the Miami family legally be charged with kidnapping? Or with any other crime? (Whether they would be, of course, is a separate question.) If not, why not? (I note that Sandy does not refer to them as kidnappers, but as "no better than kidnappers" and as "resisters to lawful governmental authority"; I also note that Mark Scarberry didn't mention Tom Delay as the source for his query about a warrant; others made the same charge, one apparently now disproven.)
Further, does anyone know whether there were weapons in the house? That there was any evidence that there were weapons in the house? Does that make any difference in connection with the warrant? (Is there anything in the warrant about the matter? Or is the conduct of the "raid" -- for lack of a better term -- governed by independent factors, including federal procedural regulations?)
Sandy Levinson wrote:
> Joe Hall writes:
> In fact the family's position was clear: they would _not_ resist efforts to
> take the child.
> With respect, I find this sentence Orwellian. A group of people who had no legal right whatsoever to retain possession of Elian made it clear that they would keep him until the United States accepted their unjustifiable set of conditions. Furthermore, as the Department of Justice tape makes clear, a full 30 seconds elapsed after knocking on the door and announcing that it was the INS. Further, Elian was placed in a closet where he had to be sought out (thus triggering the no-doubt Pulitzer Prize winning photography). It is, I believe, Orwellian to describe them as anything other than resisters to lawful governmental authority. I am happy to enter into a quite different discussion about the conditions under which it is morally legitimate to resist lawful governmental authority. I am quite respectful of resisters, at least on some occasions. But one should be clear. One could have more respect for the Miami family if they were less Clintonian, hiding behind lawyers whose!
> arguments are no more cogent than, say, David Kendall's, and more politically principled.
> Sandy Levinson
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