For most of the Supreme Court’s history, the job of Supreme Court clerk has been both prized and private. There has long been suspicion that the clerks — who are among the most promising recent graduates from the top law schools around the country — wield enormous power, sifting the cert pile to advance one […]
As I listen to the debate on the Ground Zero mosque, engage friends and neighbors on the subject, and read editorials in what I hoped would be a more enlightened press, it is disturbing to see so much ignorance of, or indifference to, the Constitution and constitutional values. Let’s begin with the argument that the […]
A lesser document might prescribe precisely how this dilemma should be resolved. Instead, our Constitution – here, our First Amendment – carries with it the most tantalizing of contradictions. Not right against wrong, but right against right.
“They always say that I must abide by laws and constitutions…I know what is in laws and in constitutions, but what we have here in Egypt is neither laws nor constitution.” Mohammed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate, on the political situation in his homeland where 82 year old President Hosni Mubarak, who has been president since […]
The Court’s new term has much that could renew the divisions, on a wide range of issues with social and cultural impact.
Margo Pierce, Jennings Fellow 2009, recently published a piece addressing an interesting question:, do the homeless deserve constitutional protection as a special class? That is, should we consider the homeless in the same manner that we consider other minority populations, such as African-Americans or homosexuals? Pierce’s work has appeared in several “street papers” – newspapers […]
As a writer and reporter on the subject of educational reform, I am struck by the number of new constitutional issues arising these days in the public schools. My introduction to this came at the PJP conference this past February when I participated in the workshop run by Vic Walczak on a case involving the […]
Allowing the Presses to Roll: How the Second Circuit Expanded First Amendment Protections Despite Resistance from the Estate of J.D. SalingerAs most journalists probably know, Courts interpreting the First Amendment have always strongly resisted any “prior restraints” on speech because they suppress expression before a court can determine that the speech should indeed be denied […]
I am in Toulouse, France, for a few days of vacation and watching from afar as the Supreme Court decisions come rolling out in a flurry as they do every year at this time. It is an interesting place from which to view the unique role that history plays in these two very different cultures.
“If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military…If I allowed him to defy the civil authorities in this manner, I myself would be violating my oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.” President Harry Truman on the decision to fire GEN Douglas MacArthur as commander of UN […]