Although he adamantly insists that he is not a journalist and only a comedian, John Oliver continues to be a force for change. After scoring an interview with Edward Snowden, eliciting responses from disgraced FIFA officials and inspiring an IRS investigation of shady televangelists, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Last Week Tonight host is starting to wield more power than he anticipated.
Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon seems to think so. She recently presided over Paeste vs. Guam, which was a class action lawsuit against Guam over a tax refund program. In her decision, Berzon included a footnote that references Oliver’s segment about “insular cases,” 20th century cases that can preclude U.S. territories from constitutional rights.
“We do note, however, that the so-called “Insular Cases,” which established a less-than-complete application of the Constitution in some U.S. territories, has been the subject of extensive judicial, academic, and popular criticism. See, e.g., Juan Torruella, The Insular Cases: The Establishment of a Regime of Political Apartheid, 77 Rev. Jur. U.P.R. 1 (2008); Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. Territories, Youtube (Mar. 8, 2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CesHr99ezWE”
So, on top of keeping us all entertained in the television wasteland of late August, John Oliver is speaking truth to power, and they’re listening.
(Via Above the Law)