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Despite the GOP front-runner's reputation for speaking his mind and "telling it like it is," he is an enemy of freedom of speech, suing anyone who says something he doesn't like. But it gets worse: As president, he promises, he would dismantle safeguards that foster robust discussion of public issues.

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The 14th Amendment is a mighty sword, and U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker used it Wednesday to flay and shred all the specious arguments -- and I mean all of them -- that are used to deny full marriage rights to gay and lesbian Americans. Bigotry has suffered a grievous blow.

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Rather than shout, I'll just ask the question in a civil way: Dear Republicans, do you really want to endanger your party's greatest political legacy by turning the 14th Amendment to our Constitution into an excuse for election-year ugliness?

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On Dec. 2 Kenneth Boyd was executed by the state of North Carolina, becoming the 1,000th person to be executed since the 1976 Supreme Court ruling Gregg v. Georgia reinstated capital punishment in the United States.

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