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Douglas Kmiec
Douglas Kmiec is U.S. Ambassador (ret.) and Caruso Family Chair in Constitutional Law & Human Rights, Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California; author, Lift Up Your Hearts (Embassy International 2012, available in select bookstores and on Amazon) detailing the rescue of Embassy-Tripoli by Embassy-Malta during the Libyan uprising and arguing for an ethic of radical kindness in modern political discourse.

Entries by Douglas Kmiec

Foreign Film Blockbuster? 'Simshar' Asks: Are We All Migrants In Need of Rescue?

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 9:54 AM

Pope Francis in the first months of his papacy came to Lampedusa, a provincial island of Sicily not far from the Republic of Malta, to address the needs of thousands of African and increasingly middle eastern migrants who lose their lives in the Mediterranean sea pursuing freedom from starvation and...

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Stop Pouting and Get to Work! The President's Immigration Order Is Constitutional

(370) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 11:22 AM

This is the day for presidential headline and legal assessment of his claimed discretion not to deport on a case by case basis.

Whether the envisioned scope of the President's discretion extends to suspending (until the end of his term at least) the deportation of millions does not really...

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Breaking News: Well, OK, Just More Damn Confusion Over Voting Rights

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 1:41 PM

A few hours ago, I noted the persistent partisan attack on voting rights. As noted in that slightly earlier article, the attack has not proceeded in a straight line.

The Supreme Court started the mess, by second-guessing Congress' reaffirmation of the so-called coverage formula of the Voting Rights...

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Supreme Confusion or Fraudulent Collusion Over Voting Rights -- Ready for and in Need of Clinton-Warren

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 7:05 AM

When the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, it was with the explanation that "Congress could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not do so. Its failure to act," said the 5-4 majority, left "us today with no choice but to...

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The Indispensability of President Hillary Clinton to Marriage, Gender Equality and Religious Freedom

(22) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 10:22 AM

Last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaking at the University Minnesota indicated that there might not be a same-sex marriage case on the Supreme Court docket being announced in the next few days. It seems this once inflammatory issue is being capably heard in the federal appellate courts to unanimous...

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Fixing Our Dysfunctional Government (Part II): A President Too Strong and Not Strong Enough

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 6:56 PM

This is the second in a series of articles on our dysfunctional government. In case you didn't notice, Congress has returned from vacation. Having done virtually nothing for the bulk of the 113th Congress, not much is expected to transpire prior to the 2014 midterm election. There is an interdependence...

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Does Law Hold Life to Be an Incommensurate Value?

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 12:35 PM

When not in government service, I have been turning out new lawyers for close to four decades.


More than a few people have asked me to explain myself.

In all seriousness, as I have been thinking about what to say to a...

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Legal Scholar Edward M. Gaffney Jr. Rises to the Defense of Human Rights and Hedy Epstein

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 8:42 AM

Every teacher has heard the snide comment, "those who can, do; those who can't, teach." Whatever the origin of that ungenerous comment (probably the sour grapes of a nonperforming student), there is no teacher more capable of refuting that specious proposition than Professor Edward M. Gaffney of the Valparaiso University...

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Fixing Our Dysfunctional Government (Pt. I): Separation of Powers or Partisan Division?

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 8:06 AM

The Congress is in recess, but as one wag said, making oblique reference to the reputation of the current Congress for its do-nothing nature, "How would you know?"

Chicken and egg: do-nothing Congress? Under-performing executive?

Given the multiple challenges facing our nation, abroad and at home, the indictment of...

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Congress: For Sale and Nonperforming -- No People (Of Modest Means) Allowed

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 10:11 AM

It is well known that I have been a recent candidate for Congress. Well okay, it is actually only well-known to a small percentage of voters who in a recent primary cast their ballots for me as a means of reaffirming the first three words of the United...

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The Threat of Terror Will Not Pass If Libya Fails -- The Need to Resume Diplomacy With Libya

(2) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 11:57 AM

The recent closure of the U.S. embassy in Libya is said to be attributable to a "significant deterioration" of the security of embassy personnel. The evacuation has prompted other nations to follow suit. In light of the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in September 2012, the evacuation was surely understandable....

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Boehner Law Suit Dismissed; Fix Constitutional Dysfunction

(223) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 8:33 AM

Dismiss the Boehner lawsuit. Address actual government dysfunction.

Ahh Summer. It used to be thought that in August with Congress adjourned and the Supreme Court out of town extolling high jurisprudence in exchange for European junket, and the president seeking his own hideaway, that the liberty and property of one's...

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Hobby Lobby -- Church and State Both Win; Court Refuses Notion That Public Corporation Is a Person With Religious Rights

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 10:53 AM

Court rules against broad faith-based exemptions from general laws; Hobby Lobby does not result in a newly-minted personal right for for-profit, publicly-traded corporations.

The Hobby Lobby decision -- being modest and narrow in scope -- saved the Church and the State from what could have been the ill...

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On Memorial Day Don't Politicize Benghazi; Save it -- That's What Chris Stevens Would Do

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 11:45 AM

On this past Memorial Day, I know there were many recalling J. Christopher Stevens as a valued diplomat, dearly missed son and brother, friend.


Remembering Chris in this way reminds us that his beautiful life and heroic death transcends the unfortunate...

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Here Comes the Independents: Little Money, But Ascending Influence

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 2:47 AM

Here come the independents.

Across the nation, voters --- like the patriot in the nearby illustration -- are expressing total exasperation with both political parties and looking independent. I wrote earlier of my own decision to run as an independent candidate for Congress in the 26th District of California....

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An Independent Candidate for Congress - Not for Sale!

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 2:10 AM

I am a candidate for Congress from the 26th District of California. There is little more than a month between now and the June 3 primary.

Until this moment, my campaign which is animated by a love for the Constitution that I have been privileged to teach all of...

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Corporations Are Not Persons -- Never Were and Never Can Be

(3) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 4:17 PM

Here's a newsflash for the Roberts Court: Corporations are not persons.

Confusing a corporation as a person is an inexcusable legal error that, as discussed below, undermines representative democracy and subverts the genuine freedoms of speech and religious exercise that our founding generation provided for us in the Constitution. It...

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Hobby Lobby Loses, But Can the Roberts Court Be Saved?

(395) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 8:19 AM

John Roberts has consistently placed the integrity of the Supreme Court over his conservative ideology. Exhibit A is how it is that the chief justice found a way to sustain the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act even against right wing conservative claims, which Roberts himself shared, that Congress lacked...

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Hobby Lobby Will Lose! But Can the Roberts Court Be Saved?

(1) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 10:12 PM

John Roberts has consistently placed the integrity of the Supreme Court over his conservative ideology. Exhibit A is how it is that the Chief Justice found a way to sustain the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, even against right wing conservative claims, which Roberts himself shared, that Congress lacked...

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Of Overstated Claims of Religious Freedom and Judicial Integrity: Chief Justice John Roberts

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 3:48 AM

The Roberts Court has been characterized as pro-business. It is, but this is not surprising in a country where 99 percent of the wealth is held by a tiny fraction of the people and where the Supreme Court of the United States has consistently mistaken corporations for people and awarded...

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