Sessions invokes 'Anglo American heritage' of sheriff's office

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by ericgtr12, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

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    #1
    Well, we know how the White House is celebrating Black History Month.

     
  2. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    #2
    Accidental outburst of a racist's inner monologue or purposeful call out to his racist supporters?
     
  3. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #3
    Well, there were sheriffs in England. I'm not sure they'd be viewed as the protectors of the people though...
     
  4. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    Well, sorta.

    The ancient British term of Sheriff predates the Norman conquest. The Sheriff was responsible for collecting taxes and maintaining law and order in each Shire on behalf of the King.

    The Sheriff of Nottingham (from the Robin Hood legend) wasn't so much a lawman as he was a tax collector. He certainly wasn't pulling over hay wagons for expired license plates or investigating suspicious grain thefts. Today's (British) High Sheriffs are purely ceremonial offices, although they do have pretty fancy outfits.

    The US role as an elected (British High Sheriffs are appointed by the Crown) law enforcement officer is purely an American invention.

    Does the US legal system owe a lot to its British predecessors? Sure. Much of US law, at both the State and Federal level, has its roots in English common law.

    But referring to it as an anglo-american tradition? That's a bit of a stretch, and frankly disrespectful to the multitude of nationalities, ethnicities, and races that make up present-day America.
     
  5. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    And, really, modern sheriffs like Joe Arpaio and David Clarke prove this model false.

    There's clear evidence that Arpaio violated the law and the civil rights of hundreds of people, and yet kept winning elections. He ran an unaccountable police department for decades, and lawsuits involving Arpaio and his lieutenants cost Maricopa County up to $52 million, including the latest $1 million settlement.

    Meanwhile, at Clarke's department, a mentally ill man died of thirst in a jail cell, one of four suspicious deaths at the jail in 2016. At least seven department officials were accused of abuse, neglect or ill-treatment of inmates, and just today, three officials were charged, including a former commander.

    (Clarke himself abandoned his post in an attempt to either garner a job in the Trump administration, or find some lucrative work as a rabid spokesman.)

    And, Sessions' comment could be read as a sneer at the law enforcement traditions of Latin America, which are largely paramilitary forces. Of course, no one wants to acknowledge that these paramilitary forces are U.S. trained and created in part because the U.S. preferred military juntas as a bulwark against communists.
     
  6. JayMysterio macrumors 6502a

    JayMysterio

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    #6
  7. samcraig macrumors P6

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    All is white with the world, right, Mr. Sessions?
     
  8. webbuzz, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    webbuzz macrumors 68000

    webbuzz

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    #8
    Sounds like he was referring to Common law and Sheriffs enforcing the law.

    "The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement."

    From Encyclopædia Britannica


    Common law, also called Anglo-American law, the body of customary law, based upon judicial decisions and embodied in reports of decided cases, that has been administered by the common-law courts of England since the Middle Ages. From it has evolved the type of legal system now found also in the United States and in most of the member states of the Commonwealth (formerly the British Commonwealth of Nations).


    First, as we all know, discretion is at the heart of the judicial role, at all levels of the court system. I hardly need to remind a room full of lawyers that the common law traditions of the Anglo-American system stand on the exercise of judicial discretion. Our common law is an accretion over generations of individual exercises of judgment and discretion, focused and refined through due deference to precedent. It is the architecture of judge-made law we live with to this day. As a result of this heritage, our legal system bears the imprint of the experience and wisdom of generations of judges. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse


    Calling it "the foundation of Anglo-American law," he said the principle "says very simply: If the government grabs you, then you have the right to at least ask, 'Why was I grabbed?' And say, 'Maybe you've got the wrong person.'" Senator Barack Obama


    The world is watching what we do today in America. They will know what we do here today, and they will treat all of us accordingly in the future—our soldiers, our diplomats, our journalists, anybody who travels beyond these borders. I hope we remember this as we go forward. I sincerely hope we can protect what has been called the "great writ"—a writ that has been in place in the Anglo-American legal system for over 700 years.

    Mr. President, this should not be a difficult vote. I hope we pass this amendment because I think it is the only way to make sure this underlying bill preserves all the great traditions of our legal system and our way of life.

    I yield the floor.
    Senator Barack Obama
     
  9. RichardMZhlubb Contributor

    RichardMZhlubb

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    #9
    It’s not that unusual a term when referring to common law. The sad thing is that we have an AG who has such a record of racism that people assume that he’s saying something racist when he probably is not.
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #10
    Yep, I banged on LexisNexus earlier, and this phrase came up quite often. It's a non-issue.
     
  11. ericgtr12 thread starter macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

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    #11
    I think it's just so embedded that he doesn't think twice about whether or not it's appropriate.
     
  12. hulugu, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #12
    Sessions is a weird little dude, whose cadence and delivery has always made him sound like he's about to star in the sequel to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, or he's a bad southern-fried Bond villain, or the evil judge busily sentencing the Cool Hand Luke to a lifetime of backbreaking work.

    There's something sneering and bitchy about him, and he's such a little dweeb in person—the man's pants are too high and he looks like a little kid in a baseball cap—that's it hard to take him seriously, until you realize, holy hell, he's the Attorney General.

    (And, I say this realizing that I'm basically cosplaying as Gimli, if he happened to wake up bare-ass naked in an REI, and that when I'm listening, I often scowl as if I've discovered that I'm rabid and thinking about who I should bite first.)
     
  13. Admiral, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018

    Admiral macrumors regular

    Admiral

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    #13
    I'm guessing you're neither a legal historian nor a comparative lawyer. I am, and we have referred to it as the Anglo-American legal tradition literally every day without incident until yesterday.

    As long as we're being frank here, it's disrespectful of the multitude of nationalities, ethnicities, and races that make up present-day America to demand that we jettison all our history as they feign outrage over each and every little innocuous thing. If causing offense is such a bad thing, how come nobody cares about causing offense to me? The Anglo-American legal tradition is the very reason for the existence of the vibrant and prosperous open societies these people now infest. How's about a little respect?
     
  14. Mac'nCheese Suspended

    Mac'nCheese

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    #14
    You really used the words Anglo-American every day?
     
  15. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Well, our legal system is based on English (hence Anglo) common law. I guess facts are racist.
     
  16. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    #16
    Yeah, those of us who screamed racist were obviously wrong about that.

    But with Mr. "I thought the KKK were OK until I found out they smoked pot” involved, you can see why we jumped to conclusions.
     
  17. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

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    Yes, it’s always easy to assume that everyone and everything is racist that way failure is never your fault.
     
  18. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #18
    It may be Common law, but it is not common usage.

    The dotards in DC need to get hip and speak hillbilly, like Trump is so eloquent with. :p :D
     
  19. webbuzz, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018

    webbuzz macrumors 68000

    webbuzz

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    #19
  20. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    That's just a strawman. Sessions is a racist. He said that he thought the KKK "were OK until I found out they smoked pot”. He was denied a federal judgeship by a Republican Senate under Reagan because of his racist views. Coretta Scott King sent the famous letter to the Senate to protest his racism.

    He definitely used "Anglo-American" in a perfectly reasonable and non-racist way in this speech. I was wrong.

    But he is a racist. No assumption needed.
     
  21. JayMysterio macrumors 6502a

    JayMysterio

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    Y'know I've noticed recently that it's been easier for some to assume some aren't racist, despite historical evidence to the contrary.
     
  22. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #22
    In honour of Mr. Sessions I'll be watching this tonight.

    Or in case you don't have the time here's 12 mins of clips from the movie.
     
  23. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    #23
    While the left is all aghast at Sessions reference to Anglo-American, perhaps someone should do a bit of research into how many times candidate/President Obama used the term. Hint: It is several bordering on many.
     
  24. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #24
    You know my reply was snarky. But But but Obama.
     
  25. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    #25
    I admitted that I was wrong to call the remark racist in the context of law, but I don't really feel embarrassed to have assumed that when a racist refers to "Anglo-American heritage" that he's probably being racist.
     

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