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Michigan Supreme Court Adopts Rule Barring Veils on Testifying Witnesses:

That's how I read the proposed amendment to Michigan Rule of Evidence 611 that was apparently adopted today:

The court shall exercise reasonable control over the appearance of parties and witnesses so as to (1) ensure that the demeanor of such persons may be observed and assessed by the fact-finder, and (2) to ensure the accurate identification of such persons.

Note, though, that the Detroit News reports that "The Michigan Supreme Court today adopted a court rule that allows judges to prohibit witnesses from wearing veils in court." Perhaps the adopted rule was different from the proposed rule I quoted. But if it's the same as the proposed rule, then it sounds like judges must prohibit veils for testifying witnesses, since the rule says "[t]he court shall exercise reasonable control ... so as to ... ensure that the demeanor of such persons may be observed and assessed" (emphasis added).

I should note that there's a lot of controversy among experts about whether observing a person's demeanor really does help laymen assess the person's credibility. I have seen claims (I haven't researched this closely myself) that in fact observation is completely useless except to those who are trained in certain ways. But the importance of demeanor evidence has long been assumed by our legal system, whether rightly or wrongly, and this decision seems consistent with that assumption. It may even be necessary if that assumption is accepted, unless letting the witness testify veiled but discounting the testimony is somehow made to work as an option (and it's not clear to me that it can be).

Thanks to Rob McEachern for the pointer.

Soronel Haetir (mail):
I would expect allowing veiled testimony to run into the same sorts of confrontation problems that putting a screen between the witness and defendant does. I know that procedure has been accepted in some cases but I still have trouble with it.
6.17.2009 1:28pm
The Unbeliever:
I should note that there's a lot of controversy among experts about whether observing a person's demeanor really does help laymen assess the person's credibility. I have seen claims (I haven't researched this closely myself) that in fact observation is completely useless except to those who are trained in certain ways.
So experts say only experts can judge witness behavior? Hmm, I wonder why they would say that...
6.17.2009 1:45pm
ShelbyC:
How does this affect testimony by telephone, which I've seen in some cases? I've never understood why it's OK to testify by phone, but not while wearing a veil.
6.17.2009 1:47pm
geokstr (mail):
Given that Dearborn MI (also fondly known as Dearbornistan) has the highest concentration of Muslims in the US, this ruling is quite surprising. Not surprising that the News would try to treat it as optional.
6.17.2009 1:48pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
ShelbyC,

The only times I've seen telephone testimony allowed the judge was going to make the ruling, not jury as fact finder. I know judges are allowed to be somewhat looser about such things when there isn't a jury involved, under the presumption that a judge is less prone to being taken in by distraction.
6.17.2009 1:50pm
rosetta's stones:
geokstr, fyi, when the the mayor of Dearborn suddenly died a couple years ago, they held a special election to replace him, and the winner took over with something like 90% of the vote as I recall. His name is John B. O'Reilly, Jr.

Best to stay clear of the disinformation, I recommend.
6.17.2009 2:00pm
Dennis Nolan (mail):
@The Unbeliever: A very impressive presentation at one professional meeting I attended indicated the evidence very strongly suggests that only people with certain training could determine through observation whether a witness was telling the truth. The special groups, though, weren't the scholars but rather people like secret service agents. There weren't very many such successful groups. The rest of us, including judges and arbitrators who have to resolve credibility issues all the time, were hopeless.

That doesn't mean that decision makers can't find the truth; it just means that other indicia (e.g., consistency, weight of the testimony, support or contradiction from documents and other evidence) were more useful than observation of demeanor.
6.17.2009 2:06pm
Paul McKaskle (mail):
While the ability of a layperson to judge truthfulness from demeanor may well be open to serious question, it is a major justification for an appellate court's limited review of factual determinations by a trial jury (or even a trial judge). So, if there is conflicting evidence, the appellate court upholds the jury's determination of fact even if it was (either implicitly or explicitly) based on the jury's determination of the truthfulness of a key witness.

On the other hand, a trial judge can grant a new trial if he or she disagrees with the jury's implicit assessment of a key witnesses veracity (if there is conflicting evidence) on the grounds that the verdict is not supported by the weight of the evidence. Presumably the trial judge who has also seen the witness can make the judgment based on his or her own observation of the demeanor of the witness.

I suppose if the proceeding were video-taped, then an appellate court might be somewhat more willing to second-guess a jury determination. It has been proposed (as I recall by Paul Carrington, among others) that all trials be videotaped and that juries view the videotape rather than the live proceedings. Thus, an appellate court would see precisely the same demeanor as a jury saw. (It would also save a lot of jury service time because haggles over admissibility or other time consuming court procedures would be eliminated from the "final" trial tape. It might make jury service more palatable.)
6.17.2009 2:17pm
krs:
While the word "shall" is mandatory, the language seems to allow some discretion.


reasonable control over the appearance of parties and witnesses so as to (1) ensure that the demeanor of such persons may be observed and assessed by the fact-finder, and (2) to ensure the accurate identification of such persons.


Demeanor includes but is not limited to facial expression. Tone of voice, posture, diction, and other things seem to me to be included and observable whether or not the witness is wearing a veil.

For any particular witness--particularly less-important ones who testify to less important or less disputed facts--it seems to me that a judge could determine that "reasonable control" doesn't extend quite as far as asking the witness to remove a veil.

And, of course, accurate identification need not always require the absence of a veil when the witness is on the witness stand.
6.17.2009 2:28pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
I like that idea of having jurors watch a video of the testimony. Cut out anything that was successfully objected to so that it isn't even in the juror's minds.
6.17.2009 2:45pm
rosetta's stones:
I once sat on a criminal trial where the only corroborating witness was the victim herself (and the cops who responded). I sat in the corner of the box closest to her, and sized her up thoroughly, and judged her as truthful, and raised up her testimony in deliberations to the degree that one panel member scoffed that I was reading too much into it. Screw that, I trust what I see... all the evidence. We went guilty on almost everything, and with scant physical evidence. I think it was the right verdict, then and now.

No videotapes, either. Best if we're all in the courtroom together, where we can see and experience what's going on. That's a jury of your peers, in my mind.

And while it might be offensive to some, I think the judge should be allowed to ensure that everybody in that room gets a full experience of the proceedings, including the ability to sculpt the attire of the participants, as necessary and appropriate.
6.17.2009 2:54pm
CJColucci:
The Cornell Law Review had an article on the subject, entitled, as best I recall, "Demeanor," about a dozen or so years back.
6.17.2009 2:56pm
geokstr (mail):

rosetta's stones:
geokstr, fyi, when the the mayor of Dearborn suddenly died a couple years ago, they held a special election to replace him, and the winner took over with something like 90% of the vote as I recall. His name is John B. O'Reilly, Jr.

Best to stay clear of the disinformation, I recommend.

Rosetta:

I agree with much of what you say on this site, however, on this issue you are not correct. I would ask that you google "us muslim population dearborn" and examine the 14,000+ sites that the search returns. The four below are from varied but all apparently solid sources, taken pretty much at random from the first couple pages. Note that my comment states the "highest concentration" not the "highest number" which would be LA/Orange County and NY City.

And I do my best to stay away from disinformation already, thank you very much. That's why I never read the NYT, LAT, WaPo, or watch NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, PBS, CNN or listen to NPR. And I can generally back up whatever I say here, too.

In the 2000 census, Arab Americans comprised 30% of Dearborn's population. More Iraqi immigrants have been arriving since the continued war in their country. The majority of more recent Arab immigrants are Muslims...The city is also the location of the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in North America,[6] and the Dearborn Mosque.
Dearborn, Michigan



Dearborn is a microcosm of the Middle East planted in the Midwestern United States.
Dearborn, Michigan: America's Muslim Capital



Dearborn, Michigan now has the largest single concentration of Arab Muslims in North America. There are 32,000 Arab Muslims from Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq living in East Dearborn, making up almost 1/3 of the population.
Islam in Dearborn, Michigan


The only town in the country with a substantial concentration of Muslim immigrants is Dearborn, Mich., where they make up perhaps 30 percent of the population; and one part of Dearborn, called Southend, is about 97 percent Muslim.
Muslim Immigrants in the United States, August 2002
6.17.2009 3:13pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I've seen veiled testimony before, but it was thinly veiled.
6.17.2009 3:19pm
Careless:

Given that Dearborn MI (also fondly known as Dearbornistan) has the highest concentration of Muslims in the US, this ruling is quite surprising.

You've identified a reason for this to be expected, not surprising.
6.17.2009 3:32pm
New World Dan (www):
The statute also includes the word "reasonable". Not that I've ever known courts to be reasonable. And I would argue that reasonable should mean that it isn't a preemtive strike, but only an action taken if someone objects to a veil.

If it can be shown that any of the parties involved (plaintiff, defendant, judge and jury) are better able to asses the credibility of a witness without a veil, however marginal that improvement may be, I would think this rule is entirely, well, reasonable.
6.17.2009 3:44pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
Would it be reasonable or unreasonable to insist that witnesses expose their nipples?
6.17.2009 3:53pm
geokstr (mail):

Careless:

Given that Dearborn MI (also fondly known as Dearbornistan) has the highest concentration of Muslims in the US, this ruling is quite surprising.

You've identified a reason for this to be expected, not surprising.

Not true. From what I've been able to glean after following the impact of worldwide Islam for several years, Detroit and Michigan governments have been doing their share of pandering to the Muslim population in their state for years. Thus, I find it surprising that the SCOMI would have ruled that judges should probably disallow veils. I would have expected them instead to have backed the unqualified use of veils under the principles of freedom of religion and multiculti relativism.
6.17.2009 4:01pm
Kirk:
Duffy,

Good grief, that depends on whether the witness belongs to Code Pink, doesn't it?
6.17.2009 4:10pm
DennisN (mail):
Duffy Pratt:
Would it be reasonable or unreasonable to insist that witnesses expose their nipples?


[Taking off shirt]

[Watching courtroom clear in a cloud of dust and a thunder of feet (No hearty Heigh-O-Silver).]
6.17.2009 4:29pm
Ben S. (mail):

I would expect allowing veiled testimony to run into the same sorts of confrontation problems that putting a screen between the witness and defendant does. I know that procedure has been accepted in some cases but I still have trouble with it.


Exactly. There are several heads to this monster. On one hand, allowing (or forcing) a witness to wear a veil may unacceptably infringe on the accused's confrontation rights. Similarly, allowing an accused to wear a veil may also unacceptably infringe the state's right to a fair trial by preventing the jury from observing the demeanor of the accused.

What is being ignored, however, is the possible pactice of forcing the accused to wear a veil, which would almost certainly violate his or her due process rights by being inherently and prejudicially suggestive about his or her guilt, particularly if done to prevent a witness from having to face the accused.

In my view the rule's text suggests that it is only meant to address the first two scenarios, but the third---prejudice---seems to be far more important and far less open to debate.
6.17.2009 4:30pm
karrde (mail) (www):
rosetta said:

geokstr, fyi, when the the mayor of Dearborn suddenly died a couple years ago, they held a special election to replace him, and the winner took over with something like 90% of the vote as I recall. His name is John B. O'Reilly, Jr.

Best to stay clear of the disinformation, I recommend.


This appears to be a logical non-sequitur. The fact that Arab-Muslims form a very visible racial/cultural group in Dearborn may or may not affect the racial makeup of the elected officials there.

(There's a large Jewish minority in certain Northern suburbs...Bloomfield and West Bloomfield come to mind. This affects the way special-interest groups work, but doesn't heavily influence the makeup of local government bodies.)
6.17.2009 4:58pm
guestagain (mail):
"Detroit and Michigan governments have been doing their share of pandering to the Muslim population in their state for years."

I think that is a bit unfair. The Muslim and Arab populations in Southeast Michigan are not treated by politicians any differently than any other ethnic population. A trip down Warren Avenue is as interesting as a trip through Chinatown and the pols look at them pretty much the same way.
6.17.2009 5:09pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
If Muslim women want the right to testify in court wearing a veil they can go back to their home countries where they would be able....wait, women don't even have the right to testify at "trials" in their native countries!!

I once clerked for a judge who told me about a time when she was a state court judge and a Muslim man refused to accept her authority because she was a woman. She put him in jail for contempt.

The next day, his lawyer told the judge, "My client has a new understanding and appreciation for the American justice system."

No special rules for anyone in our courts, and that's the way it should be.
6.17.2009 5:09pm
rosetta's stones:
karrde,

I believe the thrust of geokstr's post was that a huge, monolithic bloc of arab Muslims influences events in Michigan, and in particular "Dearbornistan". I almost sorta thought there might be something to that as well, until that O'Reilly election, when he blew away the opposition. I live and work and have been educated amongst these people, so I tend to disagree with geokstr here.

There may be 30% arab Muslim in Dearborn, as geokstr mentions, but it's certainly not monolithic. It's not even all Muslim, really, as many Christians and other sects are a part of it.

A little personal story. On the day Sadaam's statue fell, I was meeting in Dearborn, and left mid afternoon and drove down to the corner of Greenfield and Warren, ME on the Rouge as you may know, just to check out the scene. You couldn't move in that intersection, the crowds were so packed in and delirious with joy. I got out and high-fived so many people my hand was bruised. It's the closest thing I've ever experienced to the Berlin Wall falling. I wasn't a big fan of the Iraq invasion, but I'm a real big fan of brutal totalitarians going down, and so were these people.

Nothing's monolithic (unless it's brutal totalitarians).
6.17.2009 5:21pm
KWC (mail):
I think it would depend on what you mean by "veil." If you are talking about the most common "veil," or "hijab" in Arabic, then the entire face is exposed. There should be no problem assessing credibility there.

If you are talking about "burqa", or maybe even "niqab", then maybe.

See this article for descriptions of the different styles with pictures:

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/505-muslim-veils-hijab-burqa
6.17.2009 5:30pm
Oren:
I'm confused by the juxtaposition of "shall" and "reasonable control" -- the former is mandatory, the latter cannot be read to be mandatory because it requires only reasonableness.

An odd construction.
6.17.2009 5:46pm
DennisN (mail):
Brian G:
If Muslim women want the right to testify in court wearing a veil they can go back to their home countries where they would be able....wait, women don't even have the right to testify at "trials" in their native countries!!


What about the rights of the principles in the case, and the State to have that witness's testimony? The witness has a duty rather than a right, here.
6.17.2009 5:47pm
John A (mail):
As a couple of others have pointed out, "shall exercise reasonable control" seems nearly meaningless.

1. shall = must? Well, yes...
2. reasonable - but by whose lights? My neighbor may believe it quite reasonable to park his auto on my lawn, at least when the City threatens him with a ticket if he parks on the street on days designated for street-cleaning. I do not find it reasonable.
3. control - is it not under the control of the judge whether or no to request removing a veil, or to accept an attorney's request for same, or whether or not to punish non-compliance with a lecture or contempt-of-court finding?

In short, it is [still] completely up to the judge: where is the change?
6.17.2009 6:07pm
Bdan:
The change is in appellate review. If the appellate court finds it reasonable, and not harmless error, it requires reversal. If it was totally discretionary, this would not be the case.
6.17.2009 7:05pm
ReaderY:
I take it affidavits and depositions are illegal in Michigan?
6.17.2009 8:11pm
ReaderY:
I think the basic claim

Suppose a Western Christian women went to a country where the judges require women to testify naked because they believe the appearance of the hair on their genitals gives important clues as to their credibility.

Wouldn't one at least suspect that the shame and embarassment the woman being subjected to such an ordeal experience would impede the quality of her testimony -- her ability to listen to the questioner, recall the circumstances, attend to the court business as distinct to the men staring at her body?

Even if it were true that this testifying naked was helpful with regard to women steeped in the culture, it would not follow that it would make a Western woman's testimony any clearer or of any higher quality.

Is there reason to believe that the quality of a Muslim woman's testimony would be any different if her body were similarly forcibly subjected to exposure way outside the bounds of decency as she sees it? How could anyone possibly think that such an ordeal could do anything other than damage the quality of her testimony?

People need a certain amount of personal security to recall or think clearly. Personal security requires respecting boundaries. Disrespecting boundaries inevitably renders them less productive and functional. Further, the emotions and discomfort they express as a result of feeling violated could easily be misinterpreted as being about the testimony itself.
6.17.2009 9:15pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
ReaderY,

Your hypothetical assumes that the degree of discomfort felt by a Muslim woman required to testify with her face uncovered is comparable to that felt by a Western Christian woman required to testify in the nude with her genital region exposed. I find this highly implausible. Even in the most conservative Muslim societies, women do not cover their faces among family or when no men are present. In contrast, most Western Christian women would feel quite uncomfortable nude even among their own family, and even when no men are present many would not feel comfortable being nude among women they do not know well or for any length of time.
6.17.2009 9:38pm
krs:

As a couple of others have pointed out, "shall exercise reasonable control" seems nearly meaningless.

1. shall = must? Well, yes...
2. reasonable - but by whose lights?


"reasonable" waters down the force of "shall," but I don't think it's meaningless.

Shall = The judge has an obligation to control the appearance of parties and witnesses so as to ensure that the factfinder can observe demeanor and to permit accurate identification.

Reasonable = The judge has some discretion and leeway in carrying out that obligation.

That's why I think the newspaper is probably accurately reporting the substance of the rule.
6.17.2009 11:04pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Missing in all this is the advantage to a witness of having her/his face hidden.

However inept most of us may be at discerning the honesty of witnesses, it must be a great comfort to the witness to not have to worry about how one's facial expressions might appear to a jury.
6.18.2009 12:50am
Ricardo (mail):
There is no equivalence between exposing the female breasts or genitals and exposing the face. Some (not all -- not even close to all) Muslim women cover their faces in public. This may be fine in some cultures when women just want to anonymously ride the bus or buy vegetables in the market, typically accompanied by the male spouse or another male relative. It is not fine when a woman needs to communicate in a way so that others can assess her credibility.

The studies cited on how well laymen can assess facial expressions are interesting but not decisive at this point. Nearly all members of homo sapiens, from New York City to remote tribal communities cut off from contact to the outside world, use the same facial expressions to non-verbally communicate. Evolution also appears to have equipped us with the ability to read facial expressions and form impressions of people based on them, just as it has equipped us with the ability to understand spoken language. We use our faces -- not just our voice boxes and tongues -- to communicate as that is the way nature equipped us and when communication is important, the face needs to be uncovered.
6.18.2009 1:12am
ReaderY:

There is no equivalence between exposing the female breasts or genitals and exposing the face.


There is a basic problem with rationalism when dealing with human beings. Or for that matter the physical universe. Much of the world around us defies that sense of order and proportion by which we get our bearings in the world and which we often call "reason". It's irrational for people to grow old and weak, or to be killed young for no apparent reason. But they do. It's irrational for the earth to go around the sun rather than the sun to go around the earth. But it does. It's irrational for the universe to be billions of years old. But it is.

Just as with the physical universe, many aspects of human psychology and behavior seem totally senseless to us. The way people think and feel and behave may be wrong. It may be irrational. But human beings think and feel and behave that way, and telling them their feelings are wrong doesn't change it.

There are plenty of other permutations of modesty boudaries besides these. There are a number of cultures where women have no problem exposing their breasts, but would feel terribly embarrassed exposing their thighs. Saying they're all wrong doesn't change anything. There's no reason to assume that their mores are inherently worse than ours.

All tyrants are reasonable in their own eyes. Rationalizing -- coming up with self-convincing arguments as to why ones own idiosyncracies are the only possible way things can be -- lies at the trailhead of every path to tyranny.

I'm perfectly willing for legislatures accountable to the people to impose the majority's standards on matters of mores, although I generally think courts should not do this themeselves when acting in a constitutional capacity (a common-law capacity is a somewhat different matter.) Mores have been part of human cultures everywhere since human beings have existed in organized societies, and I don't think it's for courts to make being human, whether as individuals or as a society, illegal. But there are some limits the constitution imposes on the state's power to impose mores. One of the limits the Religion Clauses impose is that the state can't inhibit a religious practice simply by arguing that it's wrong or unreasonable or bad or senseless. Such arguments are out of place. The Religion Causes protect wrong, unreasonable, bad, and senseless religious practices with the same degree of protection that they give to right-minded, reasonable, good, and sensible ones.
6.18.2009 2:14am
ReaderY:
Bill,

I acknowledge the analogy is a strong one for illustrative purposes. But nonetheless there are strong feelings involved in both cases.
6.18.2009 2:21am
Ricardo (mail):
There are a number of cultures where women have no problem exposing their breasts, but would feel terribly embarrassed exposing their thighs. Saying they're all wrong doesn't change anything. There's no reason to assume that their mores are inherently worse than ours.

I didn't say anything about better or worse although I certainly have my own opinion. Instead, I simply pointed out the purpose of the justice system is for each side to call witnesses to communicate what they witnessed to the judge or jury. Communication is both verbal and non-verbal. Discerning non-verbal communication requires looking at the face. People in every society in the world communicate non-verbally through facial expressions. Hence, a judge or jury has to see the face of the person testifying as well as hear the words being spoken to form an opinion about what really happened. Someone speaking behind a veil frustrates this purpose.

One of the limits the Religion Clauses impose is that the state can't inhibit a religious practice simply by arguing that it's wrong or unreasonable or bad or senseless.

That's not the issue. Governments must make some reasonable accommodation to religious practices but this requirement is not unlimited in scope. Religion may not infringe on others' constitutional or legal rights, for instance. To the extent that the veil infringes on someone else's right to due process (which may not be at issue in this case but could well be) it cannot be allowed.

Suppose we take this a step further: suppose a religious woman's strict interpretation of her religion requires her not to speak to men who are not blood relatives or her spouse? Can she insist her case by heard only by a female judge and that the opposing counsel who cross-examines her be a woman? Religion may not interfere with the mechanisms of law to such an extent.
6.18.2009 3:32am
C Miller (mail) (www):
Here are my initial thoughts on the subject:
What Not to Wear, Religious Edition.
6.18.2009 9:19am
Floridan:
Geokstr: "Thus, I find it surprising that the SCOMI would have ruled that judges should probably disallow veils. I would have expected them instead to have backed the unqualified use of veils under the principles of freedom of religion and multiculti relativism."

And, no doubt, delivered their ruling via black helicopters.
6.18.2009 9:26am
EAnderson:
Shall-Reasonable is bounded by the enumerated purposes — demeanor and identification. A glance at the variety of headscarves/veils (provided at the URL above) suggests many styles (e.g. hijab) pose only minor problems for D & I, while other styles (e.g. Burqa) would be problematic in at least some situations. Thus the need for "reasonable."

Overarching suggestion: don't confuse covering the hair with covering the face.
6.18.2009 12:59pm
Arnostocles:

The only town in the country with a substantial concentration of Muslim immigrants is Dearborn, Mich.,


Twin Cities, Minnesota. There are about 75,000 Somalis [100% Muslim], and many other Muslim Arabs, Africans, and Desis.
6.18.2009 2:04pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Why worry about this when it's been proven that witnesses are some of the poorest sources of evidence around (even when they aren't trying to be deceitful)? Let's just get rid of eyewitness testimony....

Cheers,
6.18.2009 5:58pm
ReaderY:

Suppose we take this a step further: suppose a religious woman's strict interpretation of her religion requires her not to speak to men who are not blood relatives or her spouse? Can she insist her case by heard only by a female judge and that the opposing counsel who cross-examines her be a woman? Religion may not interfere with the mechanisms of law to such an extent.


Society has long recognized the distinction between practices which require other people to change their conduct, and practice which require only that other people not interfere with the practitioner's conduct. The rule imposes a huge burden on Moslem women: if a Moslem women were robbed or raped or falsely accused of a crime, it would render her unable to testify in court and hence unable either to seek the protection of the law or to protect herself from the law's intrusions.

Doubtless in a state where white people are not used to interacting with black people, they might find white people's facial expressions easier to understand than black people's. It would thus undoubtedly be rational to limit testimony to white people so that society could ensure that jury would be best able to discern the witness' credibility and character. But we wouldn't consider that price to be worth it.

There are differences, but I also think there's a big similarity: as with black people in the days of segregation, most people don't have much experience with Moslem women and don't feel comfortable with their cultural cues and the way they do body language. So it's easy to pretend they don't have any and to want the government to act as if they don't have any, much the way some people think that non-English speakers aren't actually able to talk.

It's a very serious thing to not be able to legally testify in a court in this country. One cannot possibly be an equal citizen. One can't enforce ones rights, so de facto, one doesn't have any. This rule de facto strips Moslem women of their citizenship and subjects them to being abused and stepped on by anyone who cares to. They can even be raped and there's nothing they can do about it: courts aren't open to them and judges won't want to hear them. It's not a small thing.
6.19.2009 12:36am

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