To say that the judiciary is duty-bound to say "what the law is" and should not simply rubber-stamp the actions of the other branches is not to say that the other branches have a duty to obey its decisions. But holding the contrary position would make the judiciary an inferior branch and risk creating an uncertain and dangerous state of affairs.
During his 10-and-a-half hour filibuster in opposition to the Patriot Act, Senator Paul boldly asserted that the Constitution protects individual rights not expressly listed in its text, including the "right to privacy." As Senator Paul put it, "Few and limited [are] the powers given to the government. But it's the opposite with your rights. Your rights are many and infinite."
I was in Philadelphia all day on Saturday. I went to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in the morning, the Italian Markets, Reading Terminal, the Barnes Foundation, and Chinatown in the afternoon, and saw The Lion King at the Academy of Music in the evening. It was, in short, an absolutely incredible day.
If you live in Baltimore, or anywhere in the United States, you shouldn't be surprised by the anger, the poverty, the police violence, and the hopelessness. All you have to do is sing the national anthem, written after witnessing the bombardment of Baltimore Harbor by the British during the War of 1812.
The United States has done much, since its founding, to earn the decent respect of mankind that the founders felt the country needed. But in directly asking foreign countries to mistrust us, Republicans are, it seems, intentionally trying to throw away what remains of this respect. It is hard to see how this could be good for the country.
We hear political pundits saying it is a mistake to compromise. It is important to hold firm on principles, but in most instances, it is possible to reach consensus. There are multiple examples, starting with our founding fathers, of people in government that held very firm views on various issues, but made compromises to reach consensus.
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.