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Tag: Law


Coptic Icon / Wikimedia Commons

Catholic Bishops Put Sex Obsession Ahead of the Sick and the Poor

First they threatened to take down health care reform over abortion coverage. Now they’re threatening services to the sick and poor of Washington, D.C., over same-sex marriage.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Matti Mattila

Senate Liberals to Majority Leader: No More Compromise

Sherrod Brown and other progressive senators held a meeting Monday night with Harry Reid to let the majority leader know they don’t intend to give up any more of an already weakened public option. (continued)

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 READ MORE


We Are What We Trade and How We Trade It

The rules governing what we buy and sell are now playing such a decisive role in almost every major policy that we ignore them at our peril.

Posted on Nov 5, 2009 READ MORE


The Tortured Logic Continues

“Extraordinary rendition” is White House-speak for kidnapping. Just ask Maher Arar. He’s a Canadian citizen who was “rendered” by the U.S. to Syria, where he was tortured for almost a year.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / J. Scott Applewhite

The Best Justice That Money Can Buy

It is somewhat late in the day to lament the politicization of the judiciary, a condition that has always existed, but extravagant campaign contributions have now perilously altered the landscape.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

A Record You Can Believe In

It’s been a year since a healthy majority of American voters elected Barack Obama to change the world. Which is precisely what he’s doing.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Opium, Rape and the American Way

The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

TARP on Steroids

The former financial executives inside the Obama administration have labeled their bill the “Financial Stability Improvement Act,” but it’s more like the 9/11 of bailouts.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP

Racist Judge Inadvertently Makes the Case for Gay Marriage

The marriage equality movement has been severely damaged by the argument that those opposed to same-sex marriage would be forced to perform weddings against their will.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Wall Street ‘Crimes’ Need Better Policing

Slashing bonuses at bailed-out companies is like arresting jaywalkers while ignoring the bank robbery that’s happening in broad daylight down the block.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE


A Tale of Two Supermen—and Their Drugs

We can look to two superjocks—Lance Armstrong and Michael Phelps—for the key lesson about our absurd drug policy.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

White House Lawyer in Trouble for Doing His Job

The gossipy schoolchildren who make up Washington’s power elite have sunk their claws into White House counsel Greg Craig. The president’s top lawyer has had one of the toughest jobs in the building—reversing George W. Bush’s torture policies, finding a Supreme Court justice and vetting some of the nation’s most complex legislation—and he has the scars to prove it.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ThisParticularGreg

A Cruel and Unusual Waste of Money

Executing people is expensive. A new report by the Death Penalty Information Center says California is spending more than 10 times as much on capital punishment—$137 million a year—as it would on an alternative life-without-parole system. New York and New Jersey repealed ...

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE



DEA

Boom Times for Pot Growers

The lousy economy has driven some Californians into the marijuana industry, which is doing a lot better than, say, construction. According to this Miller-McCune profile, California will grow an estimated $15 billion worth of weed in 2009, a good portion of it in the backyards and basements of amateurs and newcomers.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / TheTruthAbout

High Times for States’ Rights

The Justice Department is officially going to quit harshing the mellow of the 13 states that have medical marijuana laws on the books. Dispensaries and patients will no longer have to worry about federal raids—unless they’re “drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law.”

Posted on Oct 19, 2009 READ MORE



Obama campaign / Boston.com

Louisiana Official Refuses to License Interracial Marriage

Keith Bardwell, a Louisiana justice of the peace, may be in hot water for refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. “I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell says, because he thinks it’s cruel to the children produced by such unions.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bribe, Vote, Repeat

The votes of lawmakers are so routinely purchased by corporations that it takes a scandal of unusual proportions to generate news coverage.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


The Gay Divorce Fandango

I suppose there is something charming about watching conservative politicians in Texas trying so ardently to preserve a same-sex marriage.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

‘Viva Berlusconi’? Not So Much

Italy’s colorful prime minister is in a heap of legal trouble now that the country’s high court has stripped him of immunity. Despite facing charges of corruption, bribery, tax evasion and fraud, Silvio Berlusconi stayed in character, saying, “The trials against me are a farce. Viva Italia and Viva Berlusconi!”

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / G20Voice

Watch What You Tweet

A social worker from New York City was arrested last week while in Pittsburgh to participate in the G-20 protests, then subjected to an FBI raid this week at his home—all for using Twitter.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / laverrue

D.C. Expected to Legalize Gay Marriage

The nation’s capital is likely to approve a law legalizing gay marriage, much to the chagrin of the less tolerant politicians who work there. The city’s congressional overlords have the power to overturn the measure, but even opponents of gay marriage don’t expect that to happen.

Posted on Oct 6, 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



White House photo

The Torture Memos

Georgetown University law professor David Cole’s new book, “The Torture Memos,” investigates how key members of the U.S. Office of Legal Counsel rewrote the law to make torture legal.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Polanski Brings Out the Worst in Hollywood

Could it be that the conservative culture warriors who portray Hollywood as a cesspool of moral bankruptcy have been right all along? Not really. But in the case of Roman Polanski, the Puritan scolds definitely have a point.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


A Question of Health—and Equality

My favorite moment so far in the health care debate was when Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl argued against mandating maternity benefits as part of a basic insurance coverage. “I don’t need maternity care,” he blurted out. At which point, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow quipped, “I think your mom probably did.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Scanning the Horizon of Books and Libraries

A battle is raging over the future of books in the digital age that could grant a practical monopoly on recorded human knowledge to global Internet search giant Google.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Lynne Sladky

Washington Plays the Idiot With Guantanamo

With the arrest of Najbullah Zazi, the man allegedly behind the biggest terror plot since 9/11, the truth is clearer than ever: Law enforcement stops terrorism. Not secret island prisons.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Michael Vick
AP / Matt Rourke

Michael Vick’s Long, Strange Detour

After doing prison time for dog fighting, he played Sunday in his first regular-season game in almost three years. But his re-emergence in the NFL has revived questions that arose when the scandal broke. And for one journalist, the issue was personal.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE


Irving Kristol
AP / The Weekly Standard

Reflections on the ‘Godfather’ of Neoconservatism

It is puzzling that obituary notices of Irving Kristol obviously intended to be positive designate him the “Godfather” of neoconservatism. Likening this group of thinkers and writers to a gang of Mafiosi may or may not be accurate; it is certainly not flattering.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE



CIA / JFK Presidential Library

Justice to Tackle Federal Secrecy Abuses

How about that Eric Holder? The Justice Department plans to make it harder for the government to hide behind “national security” in legal cases—a process that has been abused since a highly flawed Supreme Court decision first allowed wide latitude in such matters.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / brewbook

FCC Backs Net Neutrality

Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski proposed two rules Monday that would preserve the Internet’s status quo of openness and equality. If the rules are adopted, Internet service providers—including mobile carriers—would be barred from restricting or blocking access to “lawful” content.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

Massachusetts Close to Replacing Kennedy With a Temp

Democrats would like an interim senator to fill Ted Kennedy’s shoes until a January election provides a more permanent solution, and the Massachusetts House of Representatives on Thursday agreed to give Gov. Deval Patrick the power to appoint just such a person.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Why We Fight the Tire War With China

We are warned it is dangerously protectionist to enforce existing trade laws against China’s cheap tire surge, but Obama is obligated to do so—and for good reason.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ISM Palestine

U.N. Finds Israel War Crimes in Gaza

A U.N. fact-finding mission has concluded “there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.” (Full release after the jump.)

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Rep. Joe Wilson
AP / Harry Hamburg

Wilson and Our National Character

If you saw a woman struck by a car, would you call an ambulance right away? Or would you first ask for her papers to make sure she was not an illegal immigrant?

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Roger@elaws ?

Nothing Has Changed on Wall Street

A year after Lehman Brothers went under—taking a big chunk of the economy with it—the deregulation and lax oversight that enabled the crisis are still a problem. According to this New York Times report, things might even be worse.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE


We’ve Seen This Trigger Before

The “trigger mechanism” is gaining momentum after President Obama’s speech to Congress. Once again, lawmakers turn to legislative subterfuge to kill popular common-sense reform.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


Full Text of the President’s Speech to Congress

The president’s speech to Congress on Wednesday was not without surprises, including a Ted Kennedy-inspired appeal to the “character of our nation” and a rowdy (and democratically elected) heckler. Here is the full text.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / David Boyle

Sudanese Women Whipped for Wearing ‘Indecent’ Pants

Lubna Ahmed Hussein went to jail on principle. The Sudanese journalist didn’t feel she should have to pay a fine for wearing pants that a court ruled indecent. She was lucky. Twelve other women were lashed for the same offense.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE


Corporate Flag
Illustration courtesy of Adbusters

It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It

Radical is too small a word to describe the extent to which the Supreme Court will turn our political system upside down if it decides to let corporations directly fund campaigns.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


From ‘Do No Harm’ to Torture

A new report by Physicians for Human Rights reaches a sickening but inescapable conclusion: “Health professionals played central roles in developing, implementing and providing justification for torture.”

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Don’t Be Fooled by the Public Option

The fight over the public option has occupied much of the media coverage, but left unsaid is the fact that weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations have weakened the public option proposal to the point that it is hardly an option at all.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



ABC

‘Death With Dignity’ for the Public Option?

The White House is about to relaunch its health reform campaign and some, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are hopeful that the president will “more aggressively fight for a strong health reform bill with a strong public option.” Behind the scenes, however, his staff may be looking for the best way to kill it.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


D
AP / Jack Dempsey

Go to Pittsburgh, Young Man, and Defy Your Empire

Voices of change, who speak in powerful and yet unfamiliar words, are on their way to Pittsburgh. They will cry out to defy the heads of state, bankers and finance ministers meeting there for the G-20.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Law, Not Torture, Protects National Security

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his supporters love America so much they would transform it into Stalinist Russia.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


His Own Man

The obituaries say that Kennedy never achieved the dream of becoming president. But there is a difference between a family destiny and a man’s dream.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


The Eternal Flame

Ten summers ago, I asked Ted Kennedy’s office to provide an account of key legislation he had sponsored in what already was a long and distinguished career. I received a very humble 32-page fax.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


Only One U.S. Official Has Taken an Honorable Stand on Torture

Thus far in the torture debate that has gone on in the United States since 2001, I can think of only one high American government figure currently in office taking a stand on torture in terms of justice, honor and national integrity.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

We Need to Know What Was Done in Our Name

History’s demands can seem inconvenient, unfair or unreasonable. But they can’t be ignored. Especially when it comes to torture.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Bob Child

This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery

The proposed health reform plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


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