After the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case of a former West Point cadet who wants to sue the federal government for her alleged rape on the campus, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion. Thomas, who faced past allegations of sexual assault himself, called out his colleagues on the Court Monday.
Thomas said that if the Court had taken up the case Jane Doe v. United States, they would have had the chance to “clarify the scope of the immunity we have created.”
First came the Feres v. United States case in 1950, which set a precedent that members of the military could not sue the government. It went against the Federal Torts Claim Act, which means that the government can be sued in place of individuals, especially military members, that act in the name of the United States. Because this act protects Jane Doe, by not hearing her case, the Court sets the precedent that she cannot also use it to her advantage.
But Thomas pointed out that the 1950 ruling came from a suit that happened in a time of war. He believes the precedent cannot be applied to time spent at a military academy.
“Under our precedent, if two Pentagon employees— one civilian and one a servicemember—are hit by a bus in the Pentagon parking lot and sue, it may be that only the civilian would have a chance to litigate his claim on the merits,” Thomas wrote. “Nothing in the text of the Act requires this disparate treatment.”
The longest-serving justice challenged his colleagues in his dissent. “Perhaps the Court is hesitant to take up this issue at all because it would require fiddling with a 70-year-old precedent that is demonstrably wrong,” Thomas wrote. “But if the Feres doctrine is so wrong that we cannot figure out how to rein it in, then the better answer is to bid it farewell.”
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Border officials find ‘sophisticated’ drug tunnel with rail system, electricity, from Tijuana to San Diego
Earlier this week U.S. authorities announced the discovery of a “fully operational” and “sophisticated” tunnel under the U.S.-Mexico border, reaching from Tijuana to San Diego.
Authorities confirmed 1,700-foot tunnel that ends in a San Diego warehouse near the U.S. Border Protection Otay Mesa Port of Entry was used to traffic drugs.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman said the 61-foot deep and four feet across at the widest part was complete with “reinforced walls, a rail system, and electricity for ventilation.”
A 1,744 foot drug smuggling tunnel 61 feet underneath Trump’s border wall is discovered between Tijuana Mexico and Otay Mesa, south of San Diego. It has reinforced walls, a rail system, electricity, and a ventilation system. pic.twitter.com/O2KXREUJh6
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) May 17, 2022
Authorities stated a whopping $25 million worth of drugs were seized form within the tunnel over the weekend. Fox News reports that among the drugs were “1,762 pounds of cocaine, 165 pounds of meth, and 3.5 pounds of heroin.”
Authorities found the tunnel after surveilling a truck that was going to and from the warehouse with large boxes. “In a span of a few hours, agents watched five vehicles come and go from the stash house and this warehouse, we allege that the defendants were driving into the garage and loading or dropping off cardboard boxes full of drugs to further the movement or distribution of drugs throughout the United States, the federal agents were watching the whole time,” Grossman said.
After raiding the warehouse, authorities found no other drugs, but did spot the tunnel opening carved onto the floor.
“There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel,” Grossman said. “We will take down every subterranean smuggling route we find to keep illicit drugs from reaching our streets and destroying our families and communities.”
Fox News reports six California residents, aged 21 to 55, were arrested and charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine, meth, and heroin. “Together with the Mexican government, we have been collaborating in trying to eradicate these tunnels, which should not exist because that is where a lot of crime happens, and a lot of the suffering that we see,” U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar told the news outlet Zeta. “This needs to stop.”
Fox News adds “authorities said that drug-smuggling tunnels are not uncommon. They are usually used by drug smugglers to evade authorities and transport a large quantity of drugs. More than 15 tunnels have been found since 2006, officials said.”
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