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Constitution

Who Will Be the First?

Judith E. Schaeffer | Posted 07.22.2014 | Gay Voices
Judith E. Schaeffer

Since December, when U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby declared that Utah's refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry is unconstitutional, similar rulings by judges in other states across the country have been coming fast and furious.

Do We Need the Supreme Court?

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 07.22.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

The existence of judicial review matters only when the courts hold a law unconstitutional. A central question in evaluating this element of our constitutional structure is whether courts have exercised this authority wisely.

Dick Cheney Accuses Obama Of 'Ignoring The Law'

The Huffington Post | Ashley Alman | Posted 05.20.2014 | Politics

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has never been shy with his criticism for President Barack Obama, and a Monday conversation with conservative radio ...

Brown v. Board of Education at 60

Joel K. Goldstein | Posted 07.19.2014 | Politics
Joel K. Goldstein

Supreme Court decisions are important not only for what they decide but for the reasoning that produces or explains the ultimate result. That is particularly important in iconic decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education, decided 60 years ago.

Treating Death Row Inmates like Disposable Guinea Pigs is Unconstitutional

Michael Shammas | Posted 07.16.2014 | Crime
Michael Shammas

When faced with cruel and unusual crimes, our natural reaction is to demand cruel and unusual punishment. The problem is that even if this sentiment were morally correct, it is legally incorrect.

What UKIP Must Learn from the American Liberty Movement

Robin Koerner | Posted 07.14.2014 | Politics
Robin Koerner

If UKIP really is a "libertarian" party (and the jury is very much still out), and wishes to benefit from the inherent popularity of liberty, then it must prove it.

The Delusional Freedom Fighter

Brandon L. Greene | Posted 07.06.2014 | Black Voices
Brandon L. Greene

This kind of total reboot doesn't come from turning jerseys inside out, nor from a massive boycott. The question is what does the change come from? How do we get there? Unlike with a computer, we can't just wipe the system clean and start over.

Smartphones and Befuddled Justices

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 07.01.2014 | Technology
Bennett L. Gershman

It's pretty clear that once the police lawfully have gained control of a smartphone, the police would be able to inspect the contents stored in the phone. The big question is whether they need a warrant to examine the contents.

'My Whole Body Is Burning': Double Execution in Oklahoma

Diann Rust-Tierney | Posted 06.29.2014 | Politics
Diann Rust-Tierney

There will be some who will say, what does it matter? People on death row deserve whatever they get. But it matters whether the state of Oklahoma follows its own laws, let alone the U.S. Constitution, when it seeks to impose the most severe punishment imaginable.

The National Review, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Affirmative Action

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 06.24.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

Of course, the National Review has every right under the First Amendment to say all of these things, and I would defend to the death, in Voltaire's words, its right to say them. But that does not make them any less offensive -- or ignorant of the law.

Politics, the Constitution and the Roberts Court

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 06.19.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

The "conservative" justices on the Roberts Court are often passionately restrained in their interpretation of the Constitution in precisely the cases in which a more muscular form of judicial review is most appropriate -- those involving discrimination against African Americans, women, Hispanics, religious dissenters, gays and lesbians, persons accused of crime, and denial of the right to vote to minorities and the poor. In these cases, our contemporary "conservative" justices often err on the side of upholding laws that even Philip Kurland would have found unconstitutional. This is, in my view, a sad state of affairs.

Are Political Lies Constitutional?

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.16.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Popular political speech needs no protection from the First Amendment -- it never has. It is unpopular political speech -- even downright lies -- which need defending by the courts. As ignoble and as impure as that may sound.

The Mt. Soledad Cross and the Religious Case for Secularization

Kent Hayden, M.Div. | Posted 06.10.2014 | Religion
Kent Hayden, M.Div.

Those who are able to encounter the sacred through those symbols should join the voices of the protesters and call for a more secular state.

'10 Angry Men' Isn't Enough: Will the Supreme Court Finally Step in to Stop States From Violating Fundamental Constitutional Rights?

Elizabeth B. Wydra | Posted 06.09.2014 | Crime
Elizabeth B. Wydra

In the film 12 Angry Men, a lone man is able to convince his fellow jurors to switch their votes from guilty to not guilty. But in some places, the movie would have been much shorter and the result different -- because in those states, 10 out of 12 jurors voting guilty is enough to send a person away to prison for the rest of his life.

How We Can Fight Back Against the Supreme Court

Cenk Uygur | Posted 06.04.2014 | Politics
Cenk Uygur

It was nice while it lasted. Democracy at the national level is dead now. We have replaced it with an open auction. This will not at some future date lead to a worst case scenario. We're already living in that scenario.

Can International Intervention Assist Domestic Reconciliation?

Dinouk Colombage | Posted 05.28.2014 | World
Dinouk Colombage

The adoption of the third U.S.-sponsored resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka will now result in an international investigation being carried out in to the conduct of the civil war in the country.

Time to Embrace a Military Chaplaincy for All the Troops

Tom Carpenter | Posted 05.25.2014 | Religion
Tom Carpenter

This inclusive outreach extends to chaplains representing the gay, lesbian and bisexual communities of faith, as well as those of minority beliefs, including Humanists. They, too, are valued members of our country's military and must be embraced fully.

The Second Amendment: A Symbol of Freedom or an Invitation to Violence?

John W. Whitehead | Posted 05.17.2014 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

You can largely determine where a person will fall in the debate over gun control and the Second Amendment based on their view of government and the role it should play in our lives.

For The First Time In 30 Years, We Could See A State Hold A Constitutional Convention

The Huffington Post | Chris Gentilviso | Posted 03.13.2014 | Politics

With a little help from its state legislators, Rhode Island has taken another step toward reconsidering its state constitution. The Providence Jou...

Veterans Celebrate the Constitution in St. Patrick's Day Parade

Jacob Devaney | Posted 05.11.2014 | Politics
Jacob Devaney

Obviously our politicians can not serve both the interests of the public and corporations simultaneously -- that would be impossible. So the question naturally arises, "Who do our politicians serve? The people or the corporations who purchased their campaign?"

Atheists Are Not Offended by a Cross, They Are Offended by Discrimination

Dan Arel | Posted 05.10.2014 | Politics
Dan Arel

When you build a skyscraper using steel beams you build it using crossbeams. When these buildings come down, there is a high chance some of those cros...

A Redress of Grievances

Michael Benson | Posted 05.10.2014 | Politics
Michael Benson

Consider the tens of millions in the world today who will NEVER have the chance to petition their government for anything. But our right as Americans to lobby has been affirmed and reaffirmed again and again.

Lights, Camera, Arrested: Americans Are Being Thrown in Jail for Filming Police

John W. Whitehead | Posted 05.10.2014 | Crime
John W. Whitehead

Once again, the U.S. government is attempting to police the world when it should be policing its own law enforcement agencies.

Celebrating Sullivan: The Central Meaning of the First Amendment

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 05.09.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, perhaps the most important First Amendment case in American history. In the words of the great First Amendment scholar Alexander Meiklejohn, the decision was "an occasion for dancing in the streets." Why was Sullivan so important?

The American Flag T-Shirt Case: It's Not About Patriotism

Dirk Hughes | Posted 05.03.2014 | Politics
Dirk Hughes

The government can, and does, legally violate our Constitutional rights when in its best interest to do so. In fact, they do it quite often. They just need the right reason.