The Case Against the Supreme Court – Book Salon Preview

By: Sunday September 28, 2014 11:00 am

Most Americans share the perception that the Supreme Court is objective, but Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers, shows that this is nonsense and always has been. The Court is made up of fallible individuals who base decisions on their own biases. Today, the Roberts Court is promoting a conservative agenda under the guise of following a neutral methodology, but notorious decisions, such as Bush vs. Gore and United Citizens, are hardly recent exceptions. This devastating book details, case by case, how the Court has largely failed throughout American history at its most important tasks and at the most important times.

 

Marriage Equality Moves Ahead, Thanks to Virginia Federal Judge Wright Allen

By: Saturday February 15, 2014 9:05 am

The push toward full marriage equality took another big step forward in Virginia on Thursday evening, just in time to make Valentine’s Day that much more happy for LGBTs and their allies. In a very readable, very well-written 41 page opinion, US District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen (Eastern District of Virginia) struck down Virginia’s prohibition on same sex couples getting married in Virginia and those who were married elsewhere having their marriages recognized within the state.

The whole thing is great, but the very best parts of her opinion were in the footnotes . . .

Snowden, Merkel, Obama, and King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

By: Monday January 20, 2014 3:21 pm

President Obama has said that Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a favorite of his, but again and again, he seems not to understand what King was saying.

Edward Snowden and Angela Merkel are giving him an opportunity to reread it and try once more to get the point.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Thomas J. Healy, The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

By: Sunday August 25, 2013 1:59 pm

No right seems more fundamental to American public life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century, that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States.

Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Tom Zoellner, A Safeway in Arizona: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America

By: Saturday February 11, 2012 1:59 pm

It has been a year and a month since the day the shots pierced the heart of Arizona on January 8, 2011. In all, 19 victims were shot. Six lives were taken and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords gravely wounded. Friends, families, a state and a nation were torn at their emotional seams.

The news crews came for their live shots, talking heads talked, pundits opined, quick clues to a deeper cause and meaning sought and catharsis stated to have been reached in a stirring memorial led by an eloquent President. Over time, the initial raw wounds seemed to merge into the amazing evolving story of strength, resilience and recovery of Gabby Giffords. And, to be sure, there are few parallels in public life to the resilience and recovery of Gabby, it has been stunning, heartwarming and inspirational.

Late Night: Pouting Baby Asks Why Crazy Allen Won’t Answer Questions

By: Thursday April 28, 2011 8:00 pm

Why won’t Crazy Allen answer Ms. Nicole’s question? Why won’t he invite everyone he represents to ask him a question? It’s not like they are going to pretend to kill him just to get him to answer. They wouldn’t do that, they want him to tell the truth, not make up a lie just to get them to stop.

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