All posts filed under: Democracy’s Constitution

#Things Could Be Better

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Book/film List / Democracy's Constitution / Repairing the System

 Laurentiu Ginghina  works as a mid-level official in a local government housing office in Vaslui, Romania.  But to me, Laurentiu is much more than a bureaucrat– he’s  a prophet who shows us a new way to see the world. He is also the subject of the  clever new documentary  Infinite Football http://grasshopperfilm.com/film/infinite-football/ . Ginghina had played amateur soccer as a boy, but then a serious injury forced him to give up the game.  But rather than  […]

Constitutional Math

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

ADDENDUM 12/11/18 — Several readers responded to this post by saying they thought it would be best if Chief Justice changed his votes, but didn’t speak publicly about his reason for doing so.  It appears that he is doing just that — aided by, of all people, Brett Kavanaugh.  See this NYT story. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/us/politics/planned-parenthood-supreme-court.html In a recent post I called for Chief Justice John Roberts to act.  I felt that the politicization of the Supreme […]

Saving the Supremes

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Democracy's Constitution / The Supremes

I was recently complaining to a friend about the Republican party’s successful efforts to politicize the Supreme Court, efforts culminating in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.  The “Federalist Five”– Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh– are expected to provide  a right wing majority for the foreseeable future. My friend surprised me by noting  that my criticisms sounded like  “sour grapes;” he wondered if I would be equally outraged if the Democrats had been clever enough […]

How a Court Stops Being Supreme

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

The short answer is that the Supreme Court stops being  supreme when it allows a political party to dictate the substance of its judges’ decisions. Let me explain. A good place to begin might be 1990  when George Bush Senior appointed David Souter to the Court. Souter, a New Hampshire Republican, had served as a New Hampshire  supreme court justice before being appointed. Although he had a long judicial record, Souter had ruled on few […]

China Has Big Plans for Your Future

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Democracy's Constitution / lawyers without borders

When I first visited China in the 1980’s, the tallest building in Shanghai was the fourteen story Peace Hotel; when I returned a few years later, there were over fifty skyscrapers over fifty stories. So China’s economic miracle is no  surprise to me.  But up till now, it has consisted mostly of  supplying low price goods to Western consumers at very competitive prices.  Now  China is planning to provide over a trillion dollars of  capital […]

Time for Donald to Take a Big Fall

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Democracy's Constitution / Repairing the System

The title to Tim Wu’s op-ed in the NYT sounds the alarm– “How Twitter Killed the First Amendment.”  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/opinion/twitter-first-amendment.html?_r=0. . Professor Wu  points out that there has been a dramatic change in how speech operates in American politics.  Formerly, the First Amendment worked to protect speakers from government prosecution, thereby creating a workable national political discourse. But now censors in Russia and China have invented new techniques geared to the internet age that permit them […]

Trump’s Constitution

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Democracy's Constitution / Repairing The Systen

In a year of shocking images, those from Charlottesville still  chill me the most. Certainly those of “alt-right”  marchers chanting “Jews will not replace us”, but even more so those of armed thugs attacking peaceful  #BlackLivesMatter demonstrators in full view of  quiescent police officers,  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/us/charlottesville-protest-police.html?ref=oembed   Eerily similar images from Germany in the 1930’s quickly come to  mind. While there is still a controversy over whether the police were ordered to “stand down” by their superiors, […]

To Err is Human

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Democracy's Constitution / Repairing The Systen

I really think you should take time to view the PBS documentary The Confessions. It tells the shocking story of the grave injustice done to four sailors in Norfolk, Virginia in  1997. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-confessions/) A young  navy wife, Michelle Bosko, had been found raped and murdered in her apartment. Based on the “hunch” of one of her friends,  the police  started investigating a Navy enlisted man, Daniel Williams, for the crime. Williams at first denied any involvement, […]

Is Mitch McConnell Too Smart for His Own Good?

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

Last Spring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell embarked on a risky plan to deprive President Obama of the chance to appoint a Supreme Court Justice during his last year in office.   McConnell  won that bet; now it’s time to consider what the final consequences of that victory will be. Some say it gives the Republicans  control of the Supreme Court for  the foreseeable future. But turning the   Supreme Court  into an overtly partisan […]