27 Feb 2013

Clapper v Amnesty: Courts and Congress v Our Constitution

This article was originally published on the People’s Blog for the Constitution. Tuesday’s decision by the Supreme Court in Clapper vs Amnesty Int’l reflects judicial formalism at its worst. The decision abandons fundamental rights and the courts’ constitutional mandate, while placing government agencies above the law, so long as they

09 Nov 2012

Will Obama’s second term finally fulfill his 2008 promises? (Part I)

This article was originally published on the People’s Blog for the Constitution and is the first in a forthcoming series articulating specific civil liberties recommendations for the second Obama administration. President Obama’s reelection has sparked an onslaught of analysis attempting to define the agenda for his second term. Will it reflect

12 Sep 2012

Uncle Sam is watching you

This week, Congress prepares to abuse the Constitution again, by extending its 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). With the House of Representatives poised to vote today on a premature five year extension, will members remember what they heard when theatrically reading the Constitution on the House

17 Aug 2012

Fazaga v. FBI: Eroding democracy, in two dimensions at once

On Tuesday, August 14, a federal judge issued a disturbing ruling allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to evade public accountability for infiltrating faith institutions, monitoring law-abiding people, recording sexual encounters, and then lying about all of it. Carney’s decision erodes democracy in two dimensions at once, enabling ongoing

18 Jul 2012

America’s one-party state

Both 2012 presidential campaigns advance the legacy of Dick Cheney Among the most tragic casualties of the war on terror is the separation of powers that our Founders envisioned to help keep America free. Not only has executive power expanded to disturbing – and profoundly dangerous – proportions in the

05 Jul 2012

What Do We Celebrate this July Fourth?

When the United States championed democracy, freedom, and opportunity, it made sense to celebrate the Fourth of July.  But are we still promoting those values? If we are paragons of neither opportunity nor freedom, what exactly do we celebrate today? Our Statue of Liberty bears an inscription welcoming the world’s

03 Jan 2012

What Comes Next? The Future of the NDAA

This is the final part of a 3-part FAQ about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that began with Another Assault in the Dead of Night and continued with Torture Enabling Expanded Detention. The first installment explained how the NDAA could be used as a tool for political repression, especially

27 Dec 2011

Torture Enabling Expanded Detention: the NDAA in context

This is the second part of a 3-part series about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that began with “Another Assault in the Dead of Night“.  As I concluded there: [B]elieve the hype: the NDAA’s detention provisions represent a frontal assault on the Bill of Rights. They are noxious now.

23 Dec 2011

The NDAA: Another Assault in the Dead of Night

Ten years ago, Congress enacted a draconian law with no transparency, regard for process, or even awareness of the profound erosion of constitutional rights the PATRIOT Act would entail. Congress did it again this holiday season, repeating its abdication of its constitutional role by authorizing, in the National Defense Authorization Act,

11 Nov 2011

Washington dishonors our veterans

This Veterans Day, it’s worth noting how, while paying lip service to honoring our veterans, our leaders systematically abuse their legacy, expose current servicemembers to potential human rights violations, and degrade the nation they have risked their lives to defend. The day before the PATRIOT Act’s 10 year anniversary last month,