Do the Homeless Deserve Protection as a Minority Class? In a Recenlty Published Piece, 2009 PJP Fellow Margo Pierce Says Yes

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 […]

The Vexing Issues of Texting and "Sexting" in Public Schools

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 […]

Featured Guest Blogger Sarah Hinchliff Pearson

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 […]

Letter from Toulouse

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.

The Constitution in “Quotes”

“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 […]

The Constitution v. "Oklahoma’s Values"

Pity poor Brad Henry. An Oklahoma Democrat and the panhandle state’s 26th governor, he has become the unlikely center of the abortion argument nationwide. Like many state legislatures — eleven and counting says The New York Times in an article published today — Oklahoma’s has sought to put pressure on abortion rights by making it […]

What Drives Americans’ Shifting Opinions on Abortion Rights?

A new Gallup Poll, issued yesterday, showed a plurality of Americans identifying themselves as “pro-life.” You can see the results of the poll here, but the essential statistic that Gallup found is that 47 percent of those asked identified with the “pro-life” position while 45 percent of those responding said they were “pro-choice.” When compared […]

Former PJP Board Member Nominated to the High Court

Former Peter Jennings Project Board of Advisors member Elena Kagan was nominated today by President Barack Obama to take Justice John Paul Stevens seat on the Supreme Court. 2008 PJP fellows will remember Kagan as part of our panel on Women in the Law. But Kagan was more than a PJP participant. Until she resigned […]

Featured Guest Blogger: Lyle Denniston

Of “Standing” and “Injury” and Something Called “Ashwander Doctrine”Peering Through the Looking-glass at the Constitutional Challenges to “Obama-care” When Americans join in a hearty fight over a major public policy, they usually prove that Alexis de Toqueville was right. The shrewd French observer of life in America wrote in 1831: “Scarcely any political question arises […]

Arguing Before the High Court

You’re case has been granted certiorari and you are preparing for your first oral argument in front of the nine justices of the highest court in the land. How do you prepare? Do you aim to convince the whole bench or the two or three justices you feel are most likely on the fence? Are […]