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Constitution

Can Bureaucrats Rewrite Laws? Latest Obamacare Supreme Court Case Could Let Them Do Just That

Evan Bernick | Posted 03.06.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

In order to defend the rule of law, the Supreme Court must engage with the law as written. It must seek the truth concerning the political choices and tradeoffs manifested in the ACA itself. As Thomas Paine once put it, "In America, the law is king." In King, the Court must make plain where the authority lies.

Israel Palestine: A Constitutional Democracy

David Moshman | Posted 03.06.2015 | World
David Moshman

The only possible solution to the problem of Israel and Palestine, it is generally assumed, is to recognize the two peoples and divide the land between them. The only question, it appears, is where to draw the line and what happens to people who end up on the wrong side.

America Never Abolished Slavery

Angela F. Chan | Posted 03.02.2015 | Politics
Angela F. Chan

This past Black History Month, millions of students were told the story of how America abolished slavery 150 years ago with ratification of the 13th Amendment. The story draws an upward trajectory of racial equality in America. The problem is the story isn't true. We never actually abolished slavery.

I'm With Stupid: How to Make Sure You're Buying a Christian Potato

Todd Hartley | Posted 02.27.2015 | Comedy
Todd Hartley

I'm not sure what "Christian principles" the committee is referring to, but when it comes to the collected works and thoughts of Madison and Jefferson, I move that we go with the Bill of Rights over some nebulous, assumed principles. But that's just me.

Founding Fathers: We Are Not a Christian Nation

Jeff Schweitzer | Posted 02.26.2015 | Politics
Jeff Schweitzer

As we witness yet again the brutal and bloody consequences of religious intolerance in the form of ISIS, we have a majority of Republicans pining for a Christian America. Proponents of converting the United States into a theocracy do not see the terrible parallel between religious excess in the Middle East and here at home.

Dana Liebelson

Inside The Conservative Campaign To Stop Cops From Enforcing Federal Gun Laws

HuffingtonPost.com | Dana Liebelson | Posted 02.26.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Conservative lawmakers in at least 11 states are pushing legislation that would prevent state law enforcement from enforcing some or all...

'Prison Legal News' vs. the State of Florida: A Battle Against Censorship

Christopher Zoukis | Posted 03.03.2015 | Crime
Christopher Zoukis

The State of Florida wishes to suppress a long-respected voice of dissent and social justice by targeting arguably "dangerous" content in the advertisements. By prohibiting the advertisement of lawful endeavors everyone should take pause and ask: what are they afraid of?

The Achievement Gap vs. The Justice Gap: Race vs. Redemption

Kanene Holder | Posted 02.23.2015 | Education
Kanene Holder

The achievement gap will never close until we as a society, especially educators, tackle the justice gap head-on.

Six Thoughts on Guns and Freedom

Peter Schwartz | Posted 02.18.2015 | Politics
Peter Schwartz

With the NRA now publicizing its 2015 annual meeting in Nashville, it seems like a good time to revisit last year's frenzied, speaking-in-tongues tent revival, along with some of the ideas on the relationship between guns and freedom prompted by NRA nuttiness.

In Alabama, It's The 1960s All Over Again

Brian Joyce | Posted 02.17.2015 | Gay Voices
Brian Joyce

For the state of Alabama, or any other state, to deny gay couples the equal protection of its laws simply because they're gay is not only wrong and immoral, it's arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional. It's as simple as that.

Excessive Presidential War Power

Ivan Eland | Posted 02.16.2015 | World
Ivan Eland

If Congress has the courage to pass any approval of this questionable American use of force, it should at minimum take out the "associated persons and forces" language, limit the geographical scope of the fight, and be very specific about what limited ground operations are authorized.

Justice Sotomayor: Stop Bending the Constitution to Favor Cops

Evan Bernick | Posted 01.26.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Americans expect and deserve a level playing field every time they seek justice in our courts. Our nation was founded on the principle that public officials possess only delegated (and therefore limited) powers, and they must be held accountable for the responsible exercise of those powers.

Charlie Hebdo, Islam and Religious Freedom: Study Finds Independent Courts, Civility Best Protect Liberties, Lessen Conflict

David Briggs | Posted 01.26.2015 | Religion
David Briggs

What the new research suggests is that promoting freedom is less about any belief system or form of government than a commitment for nations to follow through on their constitutional promises to uphold religious freedoms.

I'll Vote for That

Katharine Rose | Posted 01.22.2015 | Politics
Katharine Rose

The mere idea that members of Congress should be required to take annual ethics training speaks volumes about how far we have strayed from our founders' values, but may be necessary as a first step toward restoring decency and respectability in our nation's capital.

Respecting the Seventh Amendment

Joanne Doroshow | Posted 01.21.2015 | Politics
Joanne Doroshow

We are seeing more proposals to limit the right to jury trial than ever before.

Saving Our Republic From Citizens United

Rep. John Conyers | Posted 01.21.2015 | Politics
Rep. John Conyers

Today, in the face of limitless anonymous political donations and dramatically widening inequality, our government is slowly starting to look more like an oligarchy, governed according to the whims of a special few. Thankfully, there are straightforward steps Congress can take right now to reverse this deeply troubling trend.

Will the Supreme Court Honor Dr. King's Legacy?

Elizabeth B. Wydra | Posted 01.25.2015 | Politics
Elizabeth B. Wydra

The Supreme Court shouldn't dishonor Dr. King's memory by removing one of the tools we have used to build bridges from the "islands of despair" of racialized poverty and segregation he decried.

Doing the Right Thing on Marriage in the Supreme Court

Elizabeth B. Wydra | Posted 01.16.2015 | Politics
Elizabeth B. Wydra

Even if the country would eventually get to national recognition of marriage equality through the democratic process -- and that is a big "if" -- the Court is doing its duty by stepping in now.

Professor: Supreme Court Shouldn't Protect Speech I Don't Like

Evan Bernick | Posted 01.16.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Statutes that distinguish between messages about different things and treat them differently are indeed content-based restrictions on speech, and the Court must clarify this in order to ensure that all speakers receive the full protections they are due.

We Need Free Speech Because We Are Ignorant

Michael Shammas | Posted 01.14.2015 | Politics
Michael Shammas

We are all ignorant; none of us have all the answers. That fact is not only a strong argument in favor of free speech and against those who would suppress it -- it is a spur toward greater wisdom.

Federal Judge to Texas: No, You Can't Force People to Do Useless Things

Evan Bernick | Posted 01.09.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

The state of Texas told Isis Brantley that she needed to spend thousands of hours taking useless classes and thousands of dollars on useless equipment before she would be permitted to teach hairbraiding at her own school. On Wednesday Judge Sam Sparks told Texas that that was unconstitutional.

Death Penalty Becomes More Rare and More Problematic

Nancy Leong | Posted 01.05.2015 | Crime
Nancy Leong

While a majority of states have abandoned the death penalty altogether, either in law or in practice, the handful of states that continue to execute prisoners do so despite a number of troubling issues relating to its implementation.

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques--Cruel and Unusual Punishment By Any Standard

Dr. Harlan K. Ullman | Posted 02.14.2015 | Politics
Dr. Harlan K. Ullman

The issue is not whether torture works or does not. I believe it does not work. But any cruel and unusual punishment is destructive to the legitimacy and credibility of American values. The Bush 43 White House should have known better.

Three Things You (And Judges) Need to Know About the Bill of Rights

Evan Bernick | Posted 02.15.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

This Monday, the Bill of Rights turned 223. It is an occasion for celebration and reflection. Celebration, because the Bill of Rights has proven a sturdy shield for protecting individual freedom. Reflection, because the Bill of Rights is often misunderstood, even by judges.

Stop Complaining About 'Judicial Activism'

Evan Bernick | Posted 02.10.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

The SCOTUS confirmation process has been dominated by extended, fruitless discussions of the supposed scourge of "judicial activism." At a time when the government is claiming unprecedented authority over our lives, we should shift the focus to the judiciary's critical role in protecting our constitutional rights.