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By Sharon Waxman

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Tag: Constitution

Palin Fears for (Her) Free Speech

Someone better give Sarah Palin a copy of the U.S. Constitution—or better yet, read it to her slowly. The up-and-coming legal scholar/vice presidential candidate is scared for her own First Amendment rights because of “attacks” from reporters who claim she is engaging in negative campaign tactics.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / edited for effect

Populism Arising—but Will It Be the Killer Kind?

The old assumptions and paradigms about capitalism and free markets are dead. A new, virulent populism, still inchoate, is slowly and painfully rising to take their place. This populism will determine the future of the country. It is as likely to be right-wing as left-wing.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE


Logic Lessons With Sarah Palin: Gay Marriage Edition

Just to go out on a limb here, doesn’t supporting a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage on the federal level represent a very real form of “judgment” about the people and relationships that are granted the official stamp of legitimacy and those that aren’t?

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America’s Political Cannibalism

It is no longer our economy but our democracy that is in peril. Financial collapses lead to political extremism. The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE

This Is No Time for Specifics

Each campaign has given voters ample notice about the inclinations, temperaments, habits, philosophical leanings and advisers they would bring to the White House. That’s enough.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Susan Walsh

Palin vs. Palin

Would the Republican VP nominee vote for herself? During her debate with Joe Biden, Sarah Palin said “we have to fight for” and “protect” our freedom, but her party and the policies she seems to support have crippled American liberty.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


White House Angered by Guantanamo Ruling

The Bush administration is reportedly angry at a decision by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina, who ruled the detention of 17 Chinese Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was unfounded, citing a seemingly archaic document that prohibits indefinite detention without cause—the U.S. Constitution.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE

With Palin, McCain Is Gambling With the Country

The key to understanding how John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate was provided by The New York Times last weekend when it described an episode in which he “tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table.”

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE

Saying ‘No Deal’ to This New Deal

The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair—stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout this week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE

Debate Preview: Biden and Palin Answer ‘Vice Presidential Questions’

CBS asked the two VP candidates (roughly) the same questions about Roe v. Wade and the separation of church and state. As you might imagine, their answers differ, both in content and coherence. Palin’s apparent unfamiliarity with the Supreme Court had the rumor mill buzzing for days prior to the release of this interview.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE

Google Comes Out for Gay Marriage

Co-founder Sergey Brin explains on Google’s blog why the tech giant officially opposes California’s Prop. 8, a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in the state: “While there are many objections to this proposition ... it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8.”

Posted on Sep 27, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

They Claim the Bailout Is Necessary, but Is It Constitutional?

Wall Street will not trouble its collective consciousness with worry over the Constitution. But this bailout bill is virtually unprecedented in its assumptions and its reach for unchecked power.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE

book cover

Jane Ciabattari on Emily Dickinson’s Friendship With Abolitionist

A new book by Brenda Wineapple sheds light on the little-known relationship of the reclusive genius poet with one of America’s most fervent radicals.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE

Remembering 9/11 and Moving Forward

America must move from the errant, retributive justice of 9/11 to a healing, restorative process of truth and reconciliation.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE

book cover

Jonathan Shapiro on the Hamdan Case

In Jonathan Mahler’s new book, George W. Bush emerges as the most lawless president in American history, the first to usurp the law as a matter of policy.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE

A Parting Gift to the Religious Right

From the people who brought you the Terri Schiavo spectacle, the stem-cell research stalemate and the atrocious waste of tax money on abstinence-only sex education that has been shown not to work, comes a sequel: a proposal to redefine abortion to include some of the most common forms of birth control.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE

Republican Song billboard

Enterprising GOP Troubadour Blends Poetry, Politics in ‘Republican Song’

With all the subtlety of a jackhammer, an enterprising right-wing artiste by the name of Mike Meehan has recorded an election-year anthem, “Please Don’t Vote for a Democrat,” and has launched a corresponding PR campaign via the Internet and billboard ads—like this one in noted liberal stronghold Orange County, Florida—in hopes of striking fear and indignation into the hearts of undecided voters.


Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

Constitutional Compromise

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE

book cover

Doug Henwood on the Global Power Elite

Are we now ruled by an international “superclass” that hollows out traditional notions of national sovereignty, and whose loyalties are only to the bottom line and its own members?

Posted on Jun 27, 2008 READ MORE

A Court of Radicals

In knocking down the District of Columbia’s 32-year ban on handgun possession, the conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court have shown again their willingness to abandon precedent in order to do whatever is necessary to further the agenda of the contemporary political right.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE

When Common Sense Is Unconstitutional

As much as I abhor the possible real-word impact of the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment ruling, I fear that it’s probably right.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE

San Francsico marriage
AP photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez

Notes on a California Sea Change

Watching the couples in line for licenses in Beverly Hills on the first day of gay marriage in California, I was struck by how the scene was so commonplace, even boring—just a bunch of men and women waiting their turn at a nondescript government office.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Charles Dharapak, file

The Hedonists of Power

Washington has become Versailles. We are ruled, entertained and informed by courtiers.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Brennan Linsley

A Government of Law, Not Fear

John McCain and Barack Obama’s differences over the Supreme Court’s recent Guantanamo decision speak volumes about the two candidates and their competing visions for America.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE

Impatient Justice

The forceful language of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s decision in the case granting detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp the right to contest their confinement in federal court is the voice of a Supreme Court majority that is fed up.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE

McCain and Obama
AP photo / Dennis Cook

The Vice Presidency: Hype and Flourishes

For two centuries, selecting vice presidential candidates was at best a mere afterthought. Hardly anyone knew of the process, if indeed one existed aside from a brief huddle by the presidential candidate with a few advisers and friends. The presidential nominees usually settled on lesser-known figures, deserved obscurities in American history.

Posted on Jun 15, 2008 READ MORE

One for the Constitution

It shouldn’t be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can’t have individuals taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they’ve been unjustly imprisoned—not even on grounds of mistaken identity.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Supreme Court Deals a Body Blow to Guantanamo

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled Thursday that detainees at Guantanamo Bay have a right to trial in civilian courts. As Justice Anthony Kennedy of the majority wrote, “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.” It has been widely speculated that such a ruling would ultimately force the closure of the detention facility.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Stephan Savoia

Gore Vidal’s Article of Impeachment

On June 9, 2008, a counterrevolution began on the floor of the House of Representatives against the gas and oil crooks who had seized control of the federal government. This counterrevolution began in the exact place which had slumbered during the all-out assault on our liberties and the Constitution itself.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE

Obama’s Florida Co-Chair Says Yes to Impeachment

Rep. Dennis Kucinich filed articles of impeachment against President Bush this week, and he already has a taker: Barack Obama’s Florida campaign co-chair, Rep. Robert Wexler. According to Wexler: “A decision by Congress to pursue impeachment is not an option, it is a sworn duty. It is time for Congress to stand up and defend the Constitution against the blatant violations and illegalities of this Administration.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2008 READ MORE

DoD / R.D. Ward

Investigate This

As a critic of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, especially when unsubstantiated allegations of weapons of mass destruction are used to sell a war, I am no stranger to the concept of questioning authority. It’s too bad more journalists can’t say the same thing.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE

McCain Knows All

Adviser: McCain Backs Bush’s Wiretaps

As if 100 years in Iraq wasn’t enough, a top adviser to John McCain claims that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee supports and believes lawful Bush’s infamous warrantless wiretapping program.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE

The Gay Marriage Paradox

Imagine what it would be like not to be able to marry the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. Then imagine how tens of thousands of gays and lesbians in California must have felt last week when the California Supreme Court declared that homosexuals have a right to marriage under the state’s constitution.

Posted on May 18, 2008 READ MORE

klansmen over hollywood
Flickr / and PredatorsHockey

Could L.A. Accidentally Elect a White Separatist?

Not many people pay attention to judicial elections, especially one held in June, and it’s for that reason that some Angelenos are worried about the campaign of William Johnson. A white separatist, Johnson is apparently counting on a lack of attention and the support of Ron Paul’s local organization to help him to victory.

Posted on May 18, 2008 READ MORE

book cover

Chalmers Johnson on Our ‘Managed Democracy’

Sheldon Wolin’s new book offers a controversial but ultimately convincing diagnosis of how America’s democracy has succumbed to an unacknowledged totalitarian temptation.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / bobster1985

California Court Ends Gay Marriage Ban

The California Supreme Court has ruled that gays and lesbians have a right to marry. Chief Justice Ronald M. George aptly explained the landmark 4-3 decision: “Even the most familiar ... traditions often mask an unfairness and inequality that frequently is not recognized or appreciated by those not directly harmed.”

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / openDemocracy

Putin Sticks Around

A day after giving up Russia’s presidency (as required by that pesky constitution), Vladimir Putin assumed the role of prime minister. Anyone want to bet that doesn’t suddenly become the most powerful job in Russia?

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE

DoD / U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

The Pentagon vs. America

Former Marine and U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter has spoken out vehemently against the war, so it surprises some that he still embraces military service. In this article, Ritter explains why opposition to a war doesn’t mean lack of patriotism or a failure to “support the troops” and the services in which they serve.

Posted on May 5, 2008 READ MORE

Lethal Injection Gurney
Arizona Department of Corrections

Thou Shalt Kill

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that lethal injection cannot be included under the constitutional amendment barring cruel and unusual punishment, clearing the way for the lifting of state moratoriums on executions that were installed last September.

Posted on Apr 16, 2008 READ MORE

Staff Sgt D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Air Force

Petraeus: ‘There Are Risks Beyond Iraq’

Gen. David Petraeus tells NBC‘s Brian Williams that if ordered by the president to get out of Iraq, he could: “Absolutely. ... I firmly believe whoever it is that is elected in the fall will sit down and look at the various interests, try to figure out the competing risks, because there are risks beyond Iraq.”

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Paul Saneya

Kevorkian Sets Sights on Congress

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, whose controversial work as a euthanasia advocate earned him both the nickname “Dr. Death” and time in the slammer, has a new crusade: to win a seat in Congress. Stranger things have been known to happen in American politics.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 READ MORE

supreme court
Flickr / dbking

Supreme Court Considers Second Amendment

The Supreme Court examined the District of Columbia’s handgun ban Tuesday, a case that could at last yield a conclusive ruling on the Second Amendment. So far, it doesn’t look good for gun control advocates.

Posted on Mar 18, 2008 READ MORE

Hillary’s Baggage

When you Google the phrase “unconstitutional third term,” you get references to a rogue’s gallery of strongman leaders—Vladimir Putin, Alberto Fujimori, Olusegun Obasanjo, Islam Karimov, Hugo Chavez—who in recent years at least have flirted with the idea of holding on to power beyond statutory limits. Now the name Bill Clinton pops up, too.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE

The End of Privacy

It’s not enough for George W. Bush’s government to eavesdrop on phone calls, monitor financial transactions and sneak a peek at other people’s e-mails. Now the administration says it needs to monitor all Internet activity in the United States. That means you and everything you do online.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Alex Brandon

Huckabee on the Slippery Slope of Gay Marriage

Here’s further evidence that Mike Huckabee isn’t exactly worried about currying favor with Log Cabin Republicans: In an interview with, the conservative presidential candidate made the woefully familiar argument that condoning gay marriage is akin to condoning bestiality.

Posted on Jan 17, 2008 READ MORE

Nepalese Monarchy Ousted in Vote

Nepal’s long-standing monarchy is about to become obsolete, after more than two-thirds of the country’s provisional parliament voted to amend the constitution and give the government the power to abolish the monarchy and establish a “federal democratic republican state” instead.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE

The Path to a National Popular Vote

Now, a handful of states have disproportionate power to determine our national path in presidential elections. But a remedy is available.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE

ron paul

Ron Paul Doesn’t Accept Evolution

The one and only anti-war Republican presidential candidate didn’t raise his hand when asked who doesn’t believe in evolution, but it turns out he may have wanted to. In this clip, Paul responds to a question about the incident by saying that it was an “inappropriate question,” but that “I think it’s a theory—theory of evolution—and I don’t accept it.”

Posted on Dec 22, 2007 READ MORE

AP photo / Fernando Llano

Chavez:  ‘There Is No Dictatorship Here’

Hugo Chavez sounded an optimistic note Monday after ending up on the losing end of a vote—by a slim 51 to 49 percent margin—that would have expanded his constitutional powers as Venezuela’s president and instituted changes in federal fund allocation and labor policy, among other proposed developments. 

Posted on Dec 3, 2007 READ MORE

Bush and Musharraf
White House photo by Eric Draper

Bush Says Musharraf ‘Hasn’t Crossed the Line’

Just weeks after publicly fretting about Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorial power grab, George W. Bush has decided that the Pakistani president “hasn’t crossed the line” and “truly is somebody who believes in democracy.” It’s an assessment that would be comical if it didn’t have to do with the freedom of millions of people and the security of dozens of nuclear weapons.

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE

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