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Tag: Constitution

Don’t Ask, Don’t Judge?

No one would question an African-American judge’s capacity to preside over a race discrimination lawsuit or a female jurist’s handling of a sexual harassment case. Does it matter if the judge hearing the lawsuit challenging California’s ban on same-sex marriage is gay?

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 READ MORE


Thank You, Justice Alito

Justice Samuel Alito’s inability to restrain himself during the State of the Union address brought to wide attention a truth that too many have tried to ignore: The Supreme Court is now dominated by a highly politicized conservative majority intent on working its will.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Gail Borden Public Library

Don’t Count on Me

Some conservative opponents of President Barack Obama are trying to stir up a movement against the 2010 census, arguing that the census form asks too many personal questions and is one more example of the erosion of privacy.

Posted on Jan 29, 2010 READ MORE


If the Constitution Were Written Today

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Posted on Jan 26, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Hadi Mizban

Biden Promises to Appeal Blackwater Dismissals

Vice President Joe Biden expressed his personal regrets to Iraqi leaders and promised that the U.S. will appeal the dismissal of manslaughter charges against five Blackwater security contractors over a bloody Baghdad shooting in 2007 that killed 17 people.

Posted on Jan 24, 2010 READ MORE


I Don’t Have the Constitution for It

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Posted on Jan 7, 2010 READ MORE    


Like It or Not, Health Care Mandate Is Constitutional

Law students may debate whether Congress has the right to mandate health insurance, but in the real world, it’s not a big worry.

Posted on Nov 24, 2009 READ MORE


A Slippery Slope on Guns

If it wins an upcoming battle in the Supreme Court, the gun lobby is prepared to challenge every gun control law enacted at any level of government.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE


Manuel Zelaya
ABR / Ricardo Stuckert

Ousted Honduran President Makes His Return

After nearly three months in exile, ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has reportedly returned to his home turf, although his exact whereabouts were unclear Monday. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is still putting pressure on current leader Roberto Micheletti and his camp to restore Zelaya to power.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Won’t Buckle Under on Torture Inquiry

Seven former heads of the CIA formally requested that President Obama halt an ongoing inquiry into suspect abuse (aka torture) by the agency, arguing that important CIA work would be hampered by such an investigation. Obama didn’t bite, claiming that “nobody’s above the law.” Except George W. Bush, it seems.

Posted on Sep 20, 2009 READ MORE


Ashcroft
AP / John Russell

Legal Troubles Might Lie in Wait for Ashcroft

Did then-Attorney General John Ashcroft violate the Constitution in his handling of certain national security investigations shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks? According to the Los Angeles Times, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reason to believe that he did, and thus Ashcroft can be sued for prosecutorial abuses even this long after the fact, the paper reported Saturday.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


Freedom From Fear—and the Second Amendment

The gun nuts showing up at rallies and town hall meetings should check the order of their amendments: The First guarantees people—whatever their politics—a fundamental right to participate in their democracy without concern for physical retribution.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Wisconsin domestic partners

Wis. Same-Sex Couples Make Domestic Partnership Official

Given that the Wisconsin Constitution explicitly bars same-sex couples from marrying, the state’s newly instituted domestic partnership registry may seem cold comfort, but it does offer some rights, like hospital visitation and property-related benefits. Some couples are ready to sign up although bigger battles remain to be won.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE


The Nightmare

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Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE    



Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

Supreme Court Surprises With Civil Rights Decision

The Supreme Court has spared the 1965 Voting Rights Act, agreeing by an 8-1 margin to leave a ruling on its more controversial parts for another day—and perhaps another court. The near-unanimous narrow decision came as a surprise, with justices apparently retreating from earlier divisions that led some court watchers to predict the legislation’s demise.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE


Souter Painting
np.edu.sg

Souter Is Outer

U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter is reportedly planning to retire from the bench at the end of the court’s current term. Souter’s decision to leave will likely not affect the political balance of the court, as his replacement by President Obama will likely be another liberal-minded justice.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 READ MORE


When Fascism Came to America

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here” to influence the 1936 presidential election. He was off by about 66 years.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Tony Platt on Wall Street Terror Attack

Beverly Gage’s new book exhumes a nearly forgotten tale of class warfare—call it 9/16.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE


Why Did So Few Americans Give a Damn?

Justice Department documents that demonstrate the Bush administration’s view of the president’s constitutional power in a “state of war” tell us things we suspected but didn’t want to know.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chris Greenberg

Secret Bush Memos Gave President Even More Power

President Bush’s memo fetish is well documented, but the Obama administration has just made public a series of memos that said the executive had extraordinary powers far beyond those traditionally considered legal. According to the crack legal minds of the Bush administration, the president could overrule the other branches of government.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nikolas Giakoumidis

It’s Not Going to Be OK

The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. Our empire is dying. How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations?

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Johannes Roith

Bolivia’s Indigenous Majority Catches a Break

Bolivian President Evo Morales, himself an Aymara Indian, has won a referendum on a new constitution granting special privileges to Bolivia’s indigenous people. The electorate split along racial lines, with the country’s elite white and mixed-race minorities largely opposing the measure.

Posted on Jan 25, 2009 READ MORE


book covers

Brenda Wineapple on Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

Two recent books show how a man of reason and conservative temperament and a man of passion and radical disposition joined together, even before either knew it, to end slavery.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Defining ‘Bipartisan’ in a New Era

When Obama delivered his stunningly eloquent and inspiring address at midday on Jan. 20, he provided a powerful hint of what bipartisan, a term hollowed out by habitual and insincere misuse, means to him now.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE



YouTube / WhiteHouse

Obama Takes Oath Again, Just to Be Safe

The second time was the charm for Chief Justice John Roberts, who flawlessly administered the oath of office to Barack Obama a day after botching the pledge. The White House counsel explained that they opted for a repeat “out of an abundance of caution.” Obama actually legally became the president even before taking the oath the first time.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Charles Dharapak

The President of the United States

At noon Eastern Time, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States. His inauguration speech celebrated America’s history of progress, called for a new era of responsibility and rebuked the Bush administration’s abuse of the Constitution.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Blagojevich vs. the Senate

Some have argued that the Senate does not have the right to reject embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick to replace Barack Obama. However, history clearly disagrees.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


What Nixon Admitted (and Cheney Won’t)

To understand the philosophy of government that Dick Cheney brought to Washington over the past seven years, it is most instructive to see “Frost/Nixon,” with Frank Langella’s remarkable reanimation of Tricky Dick for a generation that never knew him.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

From ‘Mission Accomplished’ to ‘So What?’

The history-be-my-judge interviews that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been giving recently help me understand their choices—but also reinforce my confident belief, and my fervent hope, that history will throw the book at them.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



Truthdig / Peter Scheer

Redrawing the Political Map

A little-noticed California proposition could limit the kind of partisan gerrymandering that Republicans and Democrats have used to influence elections around America for decades. But is that a good thing?

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Al Franken
USAF / Staff Sgt. Maria L. Taylor

Franken to Take Senate Fight to ... the Senate

Still locked in a bitter recount battle for the right to represent Minnesota in the upper house, Al Franken’s lawyer says he might take the matter directly to the U.S. Senate, which the Constitution allows to be the “Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members.”

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


bush at podium
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bush Speaks of Legacy

Still-President Bush has discussed his legacy with his sister Dorothy Bush Koch as part of a national oral-history project, suggesting the future should remember him for his “liberation” of 50 million people and reluctance to ”sell his soul ... to accommodate the political process”—likely referring to that which is outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE



courtinfo.ca.gov

California’s High Court to Rule on Marriage Ban

The California Supreme Court has agreed to examine the state’s recently adopted marriage ban, scheduling a hearing for March. The court will decide whether Prop. 8 was a sweeping revision or a simple amendment to the state’s constitution, and whether legally married same-sex couples should suffer a blanket divorce.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE


Schwarzenegger
California Resources Agency

Schwarzenegger: Prop. 8 Outcome ‘Unfortunate’

During the Proposition 8 campaign and amid the fallout since California voters approved the banning of same-sex marriage, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proved that, although he once was teased for grunting and mugging his way through dialogue-challenged movies, he can now mince words with the best of the political crowd.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE


Day One

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Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE


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


Palin

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


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
telegraph.co.uk

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


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