October 15, 2012
In the latest chapter of a long-running controversy over anti-Israel protests at UC Berkeley, the U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into whether Jewish students at the university are the victims of a "pervasive hostile environment" in violation of federal civil rights laws. Given the importance of free speech, especially in a university setting, the department needs to tread carefully. The department responded to a request from lawyers for two recent Berkeley graduates who earlier had sued the university complaining about a "dangerous anti-Semitic climate" at Berkeley.
April 18, 2012 |
The judge in the George Zimmerman case recused herself on Wednesday after the defense sought to have her disqualified because her husband worked with a CNN legal affairs analyst who was approached by the defendant to represent him. Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, the Florida judge assigned to the highly publicized case, announced that she had decided to leave because “the cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the...
February 9, 2012 |
In 1953, the novelist Thomas Mann appealed to an audience of students in Hamburg to strive for "not a German Europe but a European Germany. " This stirring call was endlessly repeated at the time of German unification. Today, we have a variation that few foresaw: a European Germany in a German Europe. Angela Merkel's Berlin republic is a European Germany, in the rich, positive sense in which the great novelist had come to use the term. It is free, civilized, democratic, law-bound, socially and environmentally conscious.
November 15, 2011
— Catholic Charities announced Monday that it was ending its legal battle over Illinois' civil unions law and no longer was providing state-funded services. The move ends the group's long history in Illinois of providing foster care and adoptions. Catholic Charities held foster care contracts with the state for about four decades. The group had wished to continue its state contracts, while also referring unmarried couples who want to be adoptive or foster parents to other agencies, citing principles of religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
March 10, 2011
The Supreme Court this week had good news for a Texas death row inmate: He can sue a district attorney who won't give him access to DNA evidence that might clear him. The 6-3 decision, which opens a new avenue of appeal for condemned prisoners, is welcome. But it falls short of what the court should do to make DNA evidence available to every prisoner who requests it. Henry Skinner was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and her two sons in 1993. He says he was in an alcoholic haze during the killings and that his girlfriend's uncle was probably the killer.
August 13, 2010
As California and the United States struggle with the issue of same-sex marriage at the polls and in courtrooms, Latin America is moving more broadly toward acceptance of this basic human right. Last month, Argentina became the first nation in the region to legalize such marriages, granting wedded gay and lesbian couples the same legal rights, responsibilities and protections as heterosexuals. Following suit, senators from the opposition Socialist Party in Chile introduced a bill proposing to remove the "man and woman" clause from the marriage law there.