Sandra Day O’Connor Case Journal #3

As I prepare for this court case, I am beginning to look back at previous court cases that I have been apart of.

As I have stated in the past, I like to look at each of my cases individually and compare them to the constitution and uphold the law of the land. With this being said, I have tended to vote on the conservative side of the law.

I have been the deciding vote on many of my cases, and have definitely been known to cast a definitive swing vote.

Here are some of them.

Grutter v Bollinger involved affirmative action in colleges. I was the vote that affirmed the right of these colleges to continue to implement this policy.

In Hunt v Cromartie, I voted to allow states to use race to influence how state district lines are drawn.

Stenberg v Carhart allowed the overturning of a state-wide abortion ban.

While looking at the ramifications of the case I have been dealt, I have to look at the key issues at hand. They consist of national security and personal privacy. These two rights almost have to exist in equilibrium. By limiting national security, we put our country at risk. By limiting persona freedom, we violate basic concepts of the constitution.

We will have to see how this plays out in the courtroom.

EC2: Real and fake information on the internet

As discussed in class, not everything posted on the internet is completely true. This is certainly not shocking to anyone who has ever surfed the web, even for a brief time. Some articles posted just seem outright laughable. However, not all are as blatantly false as others are.

The Huffington Post was tricked by a source on twitter, claiming to be at the scene of a shooting. In reality, the man entitled “Jesus Christo” was not at the scene. The reporter on this article tweeted an apology for his mistake.

In another incident, and ESPN host was fooled when he heard that Kei Nishikori, a tennis player, was the highest paid player who makes $46 million a year. Other claims were made pertaining to all the things Nishikori owns, such as a soccer team and restaurant chain. All of these claims have been proven false. The statements made were gathered from satire site Media Mass and a fake magazine titled People with Money. ESPN host Chris Fowler tweeted out that he apologized for his error and was laughing at the mistake he had made by taking the information he received at face value.

In these situations, it is easy to state what you would do when looking back on what has already happened. If I were in either of these situations, I would make sure to thoroughly fact check each case to make sure there is some sense of reliability. In the first case, the name the man had should in and of itself be a key to lead to further investigation. It also shows that sometimes you should not interview the first eager person who wishes to speak to you. In the second case, the claim of the salary made is a bit absurd, at least to me. Considering it is rather common knowledge that Roger Federer is the highest paying tennis player in the world, due to his long term success and presence in the sport. Also, the salary claimed seemed extremely high to begin with. On top of it all, all the things the player allegedly owned seemed a bit extensive.

Bottom line- I would have fact checked a lot more than these two reporters did.

I would do this for the simple reason that it a basic duty of journalists. You are meant to inform the public of the truth, not some faulty lies that have been carelessly posted on the internet. Fact checking is not that difficult, and in the second case, even a quick Google search would have shown that the claims made were blatantly false.

We are meant to report the truth and make sure that what we write is as true as it can be.

Sandra Day O’Connor- Case Journal #2

Currently, I have been looking over the case I will soon rule on. It is Associated Press v. United States. As I look into more detail, it seems that the prevalent struggle is between privacy and national security. Our main character here is Edward Snowden. Snowden was a former CIA employee who leaked information pertaining to the new government surveillance program entitled PRISM. Ironically enough, there was another information leak prior to the one brought on by Snowden. The Washington Post also received leaked information that contained various records from people at The Associated Press. It seems to me as thought this type of action is going to repeat itself.

This is a very big case. The ideas of privacy and nation security are quite lofty. It is up to me and my fellow eight supreme court justices to decide if the government’s claim of defense of national security is enough to punish Snowden and the others who leaked secretive government information.

It is my goal to scrutinize this case very carefully. However, I have a very lofty bar set– the U.S. Constitution. I like to hold each of my cases to this standard, to ensure that the supreme law of the land is being upheld. It is typically claimed that I like to stick to republican party lines, but I would never let this identity overshadow my duty of upholding the Constitution. I see the importance in this case of promoting the first amendment right of freedom of speech and the press, yet this will not damper my need to uphold the letter of the law.

Sandra Day O’Connor- Case Journal #1

You many very well recognize my name. I hold the honor of being the first female to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Spending time on the court allows me to have influence on some hard hitting cases and has given me the opportunity to uphold the Constitution.

I come from a humble beginning from a ranch in El Paso, Texas. I spent my childhood outside riding horses. I have faced adversity through every step I have taken in life. I attended Stanford University and received my degree and law degree in 1952. I fought to find employment, but the field was saturated with men. I got my first taste of a career when I served as a civilian lawyer in Frankfurt, Germany two years after graduation.

After coming back to America in 1957, I moved to Arizona and dabbled around in many political and judicial careers until I was appointed to the Arizona Senate in 1969 and eventually the state’s court of appeals in 1979. Finally, in 1981, I was appointed by President Ronald Reagen to serve in the U.S. Supreme court. I received across the board approval from the members of the Senate.

I can be identified as a moderate conservative. I have been faced with allegations of not adhering to party lines in terms of abortion, and the liberals are sometimes upset at my stance on several feminist issues. People were at first discontent at my lacking experience and lack of constitutional knowledge mastery. I have shocked them all though when I overcame this adversity and proved to take all of my cases thus far carefully and uphold the law and the Constitution.

The case I am now presented with is Associated Press v. United States. From what I have gathered from this case so far, it appears as though the struggle is between privacy and national security. The government claims that they acquired private communications to promote national security and to make sure that no plotting against the government was occurring when whistle blower Edward Snowden broke alleged information of the government’s surveillance programs.

Jewel v. National Security Agency definitely sets the precedent for this case. Although the case was dropped, it shows the struggle between government and personal privacy.

I am curious to see how this case is decided. I certainly am formulating my own opinions on what I am seeing and reading thus far, but in the end of the day I will uphold what is deemed right by the supreme law of this land, the Constitution.





EC1: Rolling Stone’s Rape Story

I would like to preface this response to the questions pertaining to the Rolling Stone’s coverage of an alleged rape cause on the University of Virginia’s campus. Whether this story is accurate or not, rape culture on campus is a prevalent issue throughout the nation and the subject should not be downplayed or devalued based on the statements made by one person claiming to have been abused.

Many things went wrong in the coverage of this story. The most glaring issue with this piece is the lack of fact checking and careful eye of the editors. A basic error that was made is checking the date in which Jackie claims she was assaulted. Through a quick search, it is easy to find that the alleged fraternity did not hold any social events that evening. This should have been the beginning of many red flags to the magazine.

If this story was a poor excuse for journalism, there where does the blame fall? Does it fall on the editors? The author? Or Jackie, the supposed victim? There is no single person to blame here. Unfortunately, the ultimate publication of a piece this faulty holds many people accountable. One person alone did not look at this story. Jackie could be held accountable for false accusations and providing dishonest information, if she did indeed fabricate the story at hand.The writer could be blamed for relying too much on her source and not fact checking information that was provided. This means that the editor could also be blamed, as a discerning eye was not used on the piece before publication. Personally, I feel like there are a multitude of people to blame.

The biggest journalistic errors apparent to me in this story are the fatal errors of depending too much on a source, not getting the other side, and becoming too caught up in the potential of the story. When a writer gets too involved with thinking how the story will better their career and reputation, or they are too focused on finally finding a piece that would be exactly what they are looking for, errors will usually appear. No matter how enticing a lead for a story, it is imperative to check both sides and fact check the information you are receiving, even in the delicate case of a rape accusation.

I make all of these statements and observations as a very amateur journalism student. I by no means understand the full situation, the manor in which data was collected, the true way interviews were conducted, or the all the toil that went into the production of this article. From my novice standpoint I would offer one piece of advice: This story is not fit for publication. Until the facts are confirmed, the sources checked, and the opposing viewpoint obtained, this story is much too weak to stand under the pressure of the media limelight.