Law

Why Should Speech Be Free?

Timothy Garton Ash— The fact that most states in the world have signed international treaties guaranteeing freedom of expression, and make such promises in their constitutions, does not answer the question: why should speech be free? As soon as we start trying to hold governments to their word, or debate

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Closing the Courthouse Doors to Challenges to the Trump Presidency

Erwin Chemerinsky— The first weeks of the Trump presidency demonstrate that the federal judiciary must be available as an essential check to enforce the Constitution. Already many lawsuits have been filed against President Trump and his administration, such as for violating the “emoluments clauses” of the Constitution, for the travel

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The Substance of the Constitution: Rights, Structures, Conventions

Mark Tushnet— Donald Trump’s election and the first weeks of his presidency show us some of the ways in which the Constitution matters. When trying to understand how our constitutional system works, I like to identify three “parts” of the Constitution: rights, structures, and conventions. It’s easiest to focus our

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Criminal Politicians on the World Stage

Milan Vaishnav— On February 11, voters in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) began the process of selecting the 403 men and women who will represent them in their state legislature. In India, where elections are about as frequent as a new Bollywood blockbuster, the news of yet another

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The Women Who Pioneered Media Privacy Laws

Jessica Lake— What would you do if you came across a video featuring your naked body on Facebook? On March 7th this year, Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews won a claim for “invasion of privacy” against both a stalker and the Nashville Marriott hotel after the stalker, Michael David Barrett, secretly

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Arthur Johnson’s Life in Solitary Confinement

Keramet Reiter— Arthur Johnson, sixty-four, has spent thirty-seven years in solitary confinement, locked in a cell no bigger than a wheelchair-accessible bathroom stall. He is living his fourth decade without once having shared a meal—or even a handshake—with another human being. Astonishingly, Johnson has committed only three extraordinarily minor disciplinary violations

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Duwamish Federal Recognition: Making Family Reunions Sovereign as Well as Sweet

Katrina Jagodinsky— For many Americans, summer is a season marked by patriotic holidays and family gatherings. Memorial Day kicks off our appreciation for military service and three-day weekends, Fourth of July announces independence through pyrotechnics, and Labor Day offers the last, official, summer day of rest whether we choose to

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The Legality of Transgender Bathrooms

Kimberly A. Yuracko— Recently, and quite suddenly, bathroom access for transgender individuals has become the newest civil rights battleground. The Department of Justice (DOJ), The Department of Education (DOE) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have interpreted the sex discrimination prohibitions of Title IX and Title VII as requiring

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The New Reality of Gun Laws in America

Firmin DeBrabander— It is no surprise that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sought the endorsement of the National Rifle Association last week, though he is only a recent fan of the gun lobby’s uncompromising positions. Not long ago, Trump voiced approval for many gun safety measures. Trump is nothing

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Rethinking America’s Harsh Criminal Justice System

James Q. Whitman— Over the past few years there has been a growing sense of crisis in American criminal justice–a sense on both the right and the left that our punishment practices have spun out of control.  The Koch brothers have been collaborating with the Obama administration in the effort

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