Hey Sandra, not now. I'm busy.

Call me selfish, but I really don't understand why Sandra Day O' Connor had to resign from the Supreme Court today. Obviously, I would have preferred her to wait until 2008 when we had a slim hope of having a President who had just a smidgen of respect for the rule of law. But waiting at least until after Chief Justice Rehnquist is gone would have been polite. And, if even that was just too much for her, how about waiting until fall, when my daughter starts pre-school and I can put some more energy into a nomination battle? I understand, sometimes "personal reasons" can't wait. But really, why can't they? Is she a secret science-fiction novelist? Is she having a hot affair with someone who lives in Tahiti and she's moving there so they can be together? My point is she better have a damn good reason for ruining my Friday and if everybody but me knows it would someone please enlighten me?

People for the American Way and Salon do a lovely job of reminding us of about twenty key decisions (for civil rights, for reproductive rights, for privacy, etc.) where O'Connor was the swing vote. Rehnquist, when he does finally leave, will likely be replaced by someone equally conservative. O'Connor will, no doubt, be replaced by someone far worse. This is bad, folks. Not fundraising-inspired hysteria bad. But honestly horrible enough to mess up what would otherwise have been a busy but endurable afternoon.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has urged Bush to identify a nominee who is "in the broad constitutional mainstream and who will make all Americans proud." "With this nomination," he said, "the President should choose to unite the country, not divide it."

Fat chance. Bush seems to take extra delight in sneering at these pleas to "unite" the country. Looks like I'm going to have to put aside my lunch plans, find a babysitter, and gear up for a serious fight.


ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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