Tag: Law

Conservatives’ Disingenuous Attacks on Democratic Reforms

If their presidential candidates are any indication, Democrats may finally be getting serious about structural reforms to American democracy. Some proposals, such as packing the court with additional liberal judges, are premature and unpersuasive, as I argued last week. But others are common sense, such as statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. The Electoral College […]

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Devin Nunes’s Ridiculous Lawsuit Is a Masterpiece of Republican Grievance

It’s no easy feat to be the most thin-skinned man in American politics these days, especially given that the country is run by a short-fingered vulgarian who compulsively tweets about every real and perceived slight against him. But Devin Nunes has done the impossible and surpassed even Donald Trump in hypersensitivity. Nunes, a Republican representative […]

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Would the Green New Deal Survive the Supreme Court?

How the United States confronts climate change will be decided whenever the Democratic Party regains control of the White House and Congress. But it may ultimately be Chief Justice John Roberts who decides whether they succeed. Every major Democratic policy would need to survive scrutiny by the justices. So how would the Green New Deal fare […]

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Court-Packing Is Not a Threat to American Democracy. It’s Constitutional.

America’s founders probably would not have been surprised by former Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement last week that if he were president—though he’s not running—and the Democrats controlled Congress, he would “seriously consider adding two seats to the Supreme Court” to counteract Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “power-grabbing antics.” The same goes for a competing […]

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The Weak Case for Packing the Supreme Court

The Trump era is giving Democrats a bruising lesson in the distribution of American political power. Thanks to the Electoral College, the Senate, and gerrymandering, Republicans have enjoyed outsized influence over the course of national events over the past few years. Democratic candidates and liberal thinkers thus have rallied around proposals that would rebalance the […]

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The Trudeau Scandal Happens All the Time in America

The most acute political scandal in North America—the one with the greatest chance of toppling a head of state anytime soon—is occurring not in the United States, but Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is barely hanging on to power after being accused last month of pressuring his attorney general to abandon the criminal prosecution of […]

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Conservatives’ Coming War on the Warren Court

Two years after Clarence Thomas’s bruising confirmation hearing in 1991, The New York Times reported that the Supreme Court justice told two of his law checks that he planned to serve until 2034. That would give him a record tenure of 43 years on the nation’s highest tribunal. But superlatives were not the reason for […]

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The Art of the Deal You Can’t Refuse

Donald Trump’s former personal attorney had a simple message for Congress on Wednesday: The president is a crook. “I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is,” Michael Cohen, a fixer for Trump for more than a decade, testified to the House Oversight Committee. “He is a racist. He is a conman. He is […]

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What This Massive Cross Really Stands For

What exactly does the cross stand for, and who gets to decide? The Supreme Court will wrestle with the question on Wednesday morning when it hears oral arguments in American Legion v. American Humanity Association. The case is ostensibly about a World War I monument in suburban Maryland that’s shaped like a four-story crucifix. What […]

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Did Trump Win His War on the Russia Investigation?

The Russia investigation may be drawing to a close. According to multiple news organizations, special counsel Robert Mueller is preparing to report his findings to Attorney General Bill Barr in the coming weeks. It’s unclear what the report will say—and how much of it Barr will make public—but it’s entirely possible, even likely, that Mueller […]

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American Democracy Is on the Supreme Court Docket

The Supreme Court’s current term may have started with a whimper, but it will end with a bang. In recent weeks, the justices added three cases related to electoral power and influence in the United States. One involves the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census; the other two will […]

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Alas, a Bipartisan Argument Against the Death Penalty

When the Wyoming Senate rejected a bill last week that would abolish the state’s death penalty, most of the national attention focused on comments by a single lawmaker. “The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and for me,” Lynn Hutchings, a Republican state senator, reportedly said. “Governments were instituted to execute justice. […]

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At Last, a Bipartisan Argument Against the Death Penalty

When the Wyoming Senate rejected a bill last week that would abolish the state’s death penalty, most of the national attention focused on comments by a single lawmaker. “The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and for me,” Lynn Hutchings, a Republican state senator, reportedly said. “Governments were instituted […]

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The Republican Party Is the Real National Emergency

President Donald Trump has announced that he will sign the compromise spending bill struck between Democrats and Republicans this week, which will avert another government shutdown and provide $1.375 billion for new barriers along the southern border. Unhappy with that amount—he had requested $5.7 billion from Congress—Trump said on Friday that he will sign a […]

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Trump Is the Real National Emergency

President Donald Trump has announced that he will sign the compromise spending bill struck between Democrats and Republicans this week, which will avert another government shutdown and provide $1.375 billion for new barriers along the southern border. Unhappy with that amount—he had requested $5.7 billion from Congress—Trump said on Friday that he will sign a […]

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The Destructive Nihilism of Trump and the GOP

It’s long been clear that President Donald Trump won’t get anything resembling the border wall that he promised his supporters on the campaign trail. The government-funding deal struck between Democratic and Republican lawmakers earlier this week only confirms it. Congress will set aside less than $1.4 billion for bollard fencing—a type of physical barrier that’s […]

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Domineque Ray Died So the Death Penalty Could Live

The Supreme Court can’t make everyone happy, but it rarely makes everyone mad. Chief Justice John Roberts and his four conservative colleagues did just that last week when they let the state of Alabama execute Domineque Ray, a Muslim prisoner, without honoring his request to have an imam present at his death. Justice Elena Kagan, […]

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Trump’s Perfect Foot Soldier Sent Democrats a Clear Message

President Donald Trump makes no secret of his disrespect for the other two branches of government. He has taken to describing routine congressional oversight of his administration as “presidential harassment” and often harangues federal judges who rule against him in legal proceedings. Matt Whitaker, Trump’s hand-picked acting attorney general, seems to share that disdain for […]

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Government Workers Are Still Waiting on Payouts from the 2013 Shutdown

This most recent government shutdown left many federal employees working without pay for 34 days, leading to multiple lawsuits filed on behalf of workers trying to get damages. In a recent piece for VICE, journalist Will Greenberg explains that the lawyers in these cases expect smooth sailing. That’s because the exact same lawyers brought the […]

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