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Constitution

Same-Sex Marriage and the Dangers of Dawdling

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 12.07.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

In light of the Court's five-to-four decision a little over a year ago in Windsor v United States, in which the Court held the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, it is virtually certain that the five justices in the majority in Windsor (Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan) would take the next obvious step and hold state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional as well. Indeed, that is why lower federal court judges have been almost unanimous since Windsor in reaching that result. With that understanding, it is obvious why none of the four dissenters in Windsor (John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito) voted to hear this round of cases. But why did the justices who were in the majority in Windsor also vote not to hear these cases?

Bring the Vote to the People

David Vognar | Posted 12.06.2014 | Politics
David Vognar

I propose America engage in an experiment by amending the Constitution in order to replace the House of Representatives with a chamber whose votes are based on direct voting by the people.

Presidents and the War Power

Ivan Eland | Posted 12.06.2014 | Politics
Ivan Eland

President Barack Obama's claim that he doesn't need congressional authorization for his current war in Iraq and Syria is troubling. However, Obama is not the first president to believe that he has the rather imperial authority for war by executive fiat.

Profiles In Cowardice

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.29.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The United States Congress is currently abdicating one of its most solemn duties: declaring when America is at war, and with whom. This is nothing short of disgraceful, and every member of Congress who didn't actively push their leadership to hold a vote should be ashamed of themselves right now.

7 Things Cracked Got Wrong About Free Speech

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 11.26.2014 | College
Greg Lukianoff

1. Free speech and the First Amendment are not the same thing. In fact, free speech is a much bigger, older, bolder cultural idea.

E.O. 12333: End-Running the Fourth Amendment

Peter Van Buren | Posted 11.23.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

In Post-Constitutional America (2001-Present), the government has taken a bloody box cutter to the original copy of the Constitution and thrown the Fourth Amendment in the garbage.

Progressives Decry Obama as a Lawbreaker

Kevin Price | Posted 11.18.2014 | Politics
Kevin Price

Before Barack Obama was even elected he was called a "law breaker" by many Americans who didn't believe the Senator had met the basic requirement of ...

Save Our Juries, Save Our Constitution

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson | Posted 11.17.2014 | Politics
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

When jurors receive that summons in the mail, they believe the court commanded them to attend, not the Constitution. Such a reality inverts role that juries were expected to play. Citizens have lost the sense that jury duty is constitution duty, and that "we the people" are responsible for our government.

Checks and Balances Ensure Transparency on Torture

Curt Goering | Posted 11.16.2014 | Politics
Curt Goering

On Constitution Day, let us remember that our American government was designed to put checks on the power of individuals in government who might slip out of control and begin making their own rules. The use of torture and cruelty was authorized by a handful of officials who believed they were exempt from oversight or review.

An Unbearable and Choking Hell: The Loss of Our Freedoms in the Wake of 9/11

John W. Whitehead | Posted 11.16.2014 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

Ironically, just a short week after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we find ourselves commemorating the 227th anniversary of the ratification of our Constitution. Yet while there is much to mourn about the loss of our freedoms in the years since 9/11, there has been little to celebrate.

The Public and Proposed Constitutional Amendments: We Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

Paul Herrnson | Posted 11.15.2014 | Politics
Paul Herrnson

Despite the public's overall belief in the Constitution as an enduring document, the data indicate that Americans are quite willing to use the amendment process to make policy changes.

Friday Talking Points -- Slouching Off to War

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.12.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Congress needs to vote on this war. They need to vote not just on a budget item to move some money to some rebels, they need to vote on a clear Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution.

The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

Laura W. Murphy | Posted 11.11.2014 | Politics
Laura W. Murphy

This is a tough issue, but the desire to do something should not lead us to abandon core free speech values that have served us so well for more than two centuries.

Today's Air Force Would Have Rejected Pat Tillman and Jesus?

Michael L. (Mikey) Weinstein, Esq. | Posted 11.11.2014 | Politics
Michael L. (Mikey) Weinstein, Esq.

Why should our brave service members be asked to sacrifice and destroy their pride, integrity, honor and character and waive their basic Constitutional freedom to choose their god or not?

A Constitutional Book Drive

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson | Posted 11.10.2014 | Education
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Why do we have so few good options to educate ourselves about America's foundational text? And, what are the costs of this constitutional ignorance?

The Rift in the ACLU Over Free Speech

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 11.08.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the views of the super-rich, this state of affairs is an unmitigated disaster for American democracy. Not only does it distort our electoral process, but it corrupts our elected officials and disillusions our citizens.

Can the People's Climate March on September 21 Ignite a Political Revolution?

Pearl Korn | Posted 11.03.2014 | Politics
Pearl Korn

I hope that all of this suggests that we are arriving at a tipping point and are ready to do the hard work necessary to take back our democracy and our government.

A Tyrant? Not Exactly...

Inimai Chettiar | Posted 10.29.2014 | Politics
Inimai Chettiar

Any ambitious path of executive action must be conducted in a manner consistent with the law and the appropriate role of coordinate branches. But should we snap to attention when we hear hyperventilating about his supposed abuse of power? At least so far, hardly.

The Myth of a Post-Racial America

Tré Easton | Posted 10.28.2014 | Black Voices
Tré Easton

The election of Barack Obama was the Lexington and Concord in the latest great battle of race in America. We are a nation at war with itself. For all of our desire to move beyond the narrow confines of many of the events of our tragic history, we cannot. The president's election gave new life to what had been lying dangerously dormant for the better part of 50 years.

The Impending Battle on Presidential Reelection in Honduras

Marco Cáceres | Posted 10.27.2014 | World
Marco Cáceres

It is widely believed in Honduras that President Juan Orlando Hernández will call for a public referendum within the next two years (probably before the primary elections in late-2016) to reform Article 374, which prohibits the reelection of a president.

Boehner's Constitution Of Convenience

Duncan Hosie | Posted 10.26.2014 | Politics
Duncan Hosie

Ironically, Speaker Boehner resorted to the American justice system to sue President Obama, the very system he has worked relentlessly to underfund for indigents. Instead of suing Obama, he should start fixing the system he and his colleagues broke.

Sunset an Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq

Robert Naiman | Posted 10.23.2014 | Politics
Robert Naiman

Whatever one thinks of the President's actions so far, it does not seem likely that there will be a majority in Congress in the near future to force the withdrawal of U.S. military forces. But there might well be a majority in the near future to insist that a military campaign that goes on for months needs explicit Congressional authorization.

Would You Pass the US Citizenship Test? Take This Quiz!

Michael Shammas | Posted 10.22.2014 | College
Michael Shammas

The following questions were taken from the list of 100 civics questions. Admittedly, these are some of the harder ones. Could you pass?

Let's Stop Whistling Dixie: Missouri's Toxic Political Culture Must Change

Charles J. Reid, Jr. | Posted 10.20.2014 | Politics
Charles J. Reid, Jr.

It's time for Missouri's right-wingers to leave the nineteenth century behind. It is time for all Missourians -- indeed, time for all Americans -- to start building a more just and equitable world, one free of institutional racism and yawning racial disparities.

No, The Founders Were Not Tea Partiers

New York Magazine | Posted 08.18.2014 | Politics

A longstanding conceit of conservative thought, which has returned with new force during the Obama years, is that conservatism is the authentic heir t...