In the Durham News, columnist Rob Waters made a passionate case for what appears to be a call to change federal civil rights law to prevent lawsuits against municipalities that abridge defendants’ civil rights. Wrote he, “The lacrosse players were never convicted, never did time. And they’re somehow entitled to millions? Silly me, just trying to be logical.”
This has been the most wide-open presidential contest in recent memory, with almost no major issue not finding support from at least one of the major candidates. Yet, to my knowledge, no candidate has embraced Waters’ apparent “logic” and called for this radical reform of federal civil rights law. Waters’ column today didn’t go into detail why he wants the law changed (I’m assuming that he wasn’t arguing that while the lacrosse players weren’t entitled to sue under the law, more “politically correct” victims of municipalities’ misconduct should be entitled to such lawsuits; such a position, of course, would be writing discrimination into federal civil rights statutes). But I hope Durham News readers will be watching for Waters’ forthcoming work on this topic. Perhaps he’ll launch a lobbying campaign asking Durham’s congressman, David Price, to lead the charge in reforming federal civil rights law along the lines that Waters’ “logic” demands.
For DIW readers in southern Maine, I’m back in the US briefly for our intersession period, and will be speaking on the book next Sunday at 2pm, at the Scarborough Public Library.
Finally, a reminder on comments policy: I try to be as tolerant as possible in clearing comments, including those with which I disagree. Yet it’s not my policy to clear comments that are demonstrably false. In the last two days, one anonymous commenter penned a remark citing an alleged quote by AG Roy Cooper that Tara Levicy’s rape kit exam cleared the lacrosse players. There was, however, no such quote by Cooper; and, indeed, the AG report’s only comment on Levicy dismissed her findings as “subjective.” A second anonymous commenter penned a remark stating that Levicy had testified under oath and been exonerated. Again, this statement was untrue.
Since both comments were demonstrably untrue, neither was cleared.