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Constitution

The American and Egyptian Revolutions: Not So Different After All

Alex Reichert | Posted 11.18.2013 | World
Alex Reichert

There was no specific day in American history when the U.S. sprouted from scattered dysfunction into a cohesive beacon of freedom and democracy. Let's not be so quick to judge Egypt.

Constitutional Failure

Howard Schweber | Posted 11.18.2013 | Politics
Howard Schweber

I cannot think of a time when the institution of Congress itself has been so directly threatened by the actions of its members.

Elizabeth Warren Is Right

Doug Kendall | Posted 11.17.2013 | Politics
Doug Kendall

It's no surprise that Warren's speech has drawn fire from the right. What is surprising is the weakness of the conservative response, which, in turn, demonstrates the air-tight case Warren has made about the pro-corporate trend at the Supreme Court.

An America As Good As Its Promise

Sen. Amy Klobuchar | Posted 11.17.2013 | Politics
Sen. Amy Klobuchar

We can fix the Voting Rights Act, we can pass the Same-Day Registration Act and other important election reforms, and we can finish the march that Congressman Lewis and so many other brave men and women started in Selma all those years ago.

Rebalancing War Powers: President Obama's Momentous Decision

Peter M. Shane | Posted 11.02.2013 | Politics
Peter M. Shane

President Obama's pursuit of congressional authority for a Syrian strike operation is, to date, his single most important decision in reshaping the post-9/11 presidency.

'We the People': Celebrating Constitution Day and Registering New Voters

Elisabeth MacNamara | Posted 11.10.2013 | Politics
Elisabeth MacNamara

In framing the U.S. Constitution, the Founding Fathers underscored the importance of America's voting system, which they believed to be critical to a strong democracy. Today, we still have work to do to make the most out of our nation's voting system.

Twelve Years After 9/11: Let's End the Politics of Fear

Robin Koerner | Posted 11.11.2013 | Politics
Robin Koerner

Since 9/11, it seems that the American Left and the American Right have agreed on something of profound importance: We're scared. The politics of the last 12 years have been the politics of fear.

Ginsburg: Gay Marriage Shows The Constitution's 'Genius'

AP | MARYCLAIRE DALE | Posted 09.07.2013 | Politics

PHILADELPHIA -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who recently officiated at a friend's same-sex wedding, told a Philadelphia audience Friday...

Beyond Left and Right on Syria

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.04.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee just voted to approve a resolution to attack Syria on a vote of 10-7. But the breakdown of the voting reveals that this was in no way a party-line vote.

Is Authority Permission?

Jim Moore | Posted 11.02.2013 | Politics
Jim Moore

By a limited definition of Article II, the president can act on the spot in an emergency to protect American interests. That authority is still not, in my opinion, a blanket permission to act unilaterally in Syria.

President Obama: Don't Strike Syria Without Congressional Approval

Robert Naiman | Posted 10.27.2013 | World
Robert Naiman

If President Obama can get us into war in Syria without prior Congressional approval, it will set a terrible precedent: A future president could get us more easily into war in Iran without prior Congressional approval.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 10.23.2013 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

As the nation celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, many are discussing what Dr. King would say to the nation and world today and tell us to do. But his message to us today is as clear as it was fifty years ago if only we could hear, heed, and follow his warnings about what we need to do to make America America.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame and the First and Fourteenth Amendments

David Abbitt | Posted 10.22.2013 | Media
David Abbitt

At some point we have to ask ourselves: What are the costs for our increasing proclivity towards escapism in our social and news media?

Why I Don't Care If the NSA Reads My Emails

Lauren Cahn | Posted 08.22.2013 | Technology
Lauren Cahn

Next time you go to a convenience store, you might notice that a video surveillance camera. Now, if you're there to rob the place, you might be annoyed. But most likely, you won't give it a second thought. The way I see it, the same rules apply to governmental Internet surveillance.

Natural Born Presidents

Chris Weigant | Posted 08.21.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

What it all boils down to is that Ted Cruz is free to run for president, as is just about anyone. Whether he can convince the country that he is eligible or not will likely be a matter of politics. It's open to anyone's interpretation who can and who cannot be president.

The Wisconsin Uprising Is Coming Back

Carl Gibson | Posted 10.20.2013 | Politics
Carl Gibson

Wisconsin State Capitol Police Chief David Erwin's policing is working just about as well as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's job creation policies. Esse...

Freedom From Fear, Redux

Jim Moore | Posted 10.19.2013 | Politics
Jim Moore

There is almost nothing to which a person aspires that can be gained without compromise. The American people do not need to be made afraid of contrariness, or impassioned dissent, or of cooperation. That is a fear that will surely scuttle our democracy from within.

Isn't a Humanist Military Chaplain an Oxymoron?

Tom Carpenter | Posted 10.19.2013 | Politics
Tom Carpenter

Must a military chaplain believe in God? We shall soon find out the answer to that question and it will inform us if the Chaplain Corps truly understands what the Constitution and the Supreme Court say about religious liberty.

Detroit And Wall Street: The Moral Conflict Between Pensioners and Bankers

Richard Brodsky | Posted 10.16.2013 | Politics
Richard Brodsky

As the dust settles after the initial Detroit bankruptcy filing, all sorts of unanswered questions and economic choices are getting clearer.

1000 Dead Fish Found In Pond On National Mall

Posted 08.16.2013 | Green

It's been a mixed week for Washington fauna. On the one hand, a brand new species of mammal was discovered to be living at the National Zoo! Bu...

EXCLUSIVE: Owner of Snowden's Email Service on Why He Closed Lavabit Rather Than Comply With Gov't

Democracy Now! | Posted 10.13.2013 | Media
Democracy Now!

"My biggest fear when I shutdown the service was that no good would come of it," says Ladar Levison, the owner of Lavabit, an encrypted email service ...

Pardon Edward Snowden

Robert Scheer | Posted 10.12.2013 | Politics
Robert Scheer

How do you justify criminally charging a government contractor for revealing an alarming truth that the public has every right to know?

Stop-and-Frisk: Why We Have Courts

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 10.12.2013 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

The American judiciary exists, first and foremost, to protect the constitutional rights of those who are not in the majority. It exists to ensure that our government treats all of us with respect.

Constitutional Changes Are for Myanmar's Own Good

Nehginpao Kipgen | Posted 10.02.2013 | World
Nehginpao Kipgen

As long as Myanmar has a constitution that is directly or indirectly controlled by the military, or by any elite pact, the country will remain in the category of a "defective" or "incomplete" democracy.

Liberty, Security, and Fear

David Bromwich | Posted 10.02.2013 | Politics
David Bromwich

"Thoughtless people," wrote Emerson, "contradict as readily the statement of perceptions as of opinions, or rather much more readily." The leaders and functionaries who in the past twelve years have imposed on the United States a massive system of secret surveillance are best looked on not as betrayers but as thoughtless people. They have forgotten the moral perceptions that were once felt to make the United States a country exemplary for its freedom. The work of this moment is to compel them to see again what people who understand liberty have never failed to see.