March 29, 2000 |
In a rare rebuff to police, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that an officer may not stop and frisk a pedestrian based only on an anonymous caller's tip. Instead, the justices reaffirmed the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches and stressed that officers need specific, reliable evidence of some wrongdoing before they stop a person on the street. The surprising 9-0 ruling threw out gun-wielding charges against a black youth in Miami who was frisked and arrested at a bus stop.
June 25, 1999 |
The House easily approved a constitutional amendment Thursday that would allow Congress to ban the burning or other desecration of the American flag, but the measure still appeared doomed in the Senate. The House voted, 305 to 124, to support the amendment, designed to overturn a 1989 Supreme Court decision that struck down state laws against flag desecration.
April 29, 1999 |
A constitutional amendment banning flag desecration appears to have its best chance of passage in years, thanks to a change in Senate membership and second thoughts by some lawmakers opposed in the past. Activists predict that one to three votes could determine the outcome. The proposal fell three votes short in 1995, the last time it was before the Senate. At issue is the same one-sentence proposal that got more than the two-thirds majority in the House in 1997.
February 20, 1999 |
President Clinton said Friday that the conclusion of the impeachment process against him had, in effect, "re-ratified" the Constitution and proved that if the public believes a president is working for them, they will stand by him. "I have learned, again, an enormous amount of respect for our Constitution, our framers and for the American people," Clinton said at his first news conference since the Senate acquitted him of two articles of impeachment last week.
December 19, 1998 |
True or false? Every factual claim made in the course of the impeachment debate is subject to factual review by members of the House Judiciary Committee. But that did not put a stop to the litany of charges and countercharges of questionable accuracy in Friday's debate. Some of the most contentious claims: Question. Is censure constitutional or not? Answer.
May 6, 1998 |
Gov. Fob James has told the U.S. Supreme Court that he believes government officials should defy high court decisions they consider unconstitutional. James made the comments in written arguments filed Friday asking the Supreme Court to overturn the decision of a judge who limited religious practices in DeKalb County schools. On Monday, the governor asked the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse U.S. District Judge Ira DeMent.
March 29, 1998 |
The average American family spends about 40% of its income on local, state and federal taxes, a fact that prompted two Republican congressmen to propose a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to raise federal taxes. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Rep. John B. Shadegg (R-Ariz.) back an amendment that would require a two-thirds vote of both the House and the Senate to enact any new taxes. Barton and Shadegg were responding to President Clinton's weekly radio address.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 1998 |
The House Judiciary Committee, giving religious conservatives a long-sought victory, has approved a proposal to amend the Constitution to protect "the people's right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage or traditions on public property." The amendment would also, for the first time, put the word God in the Constitution. The vote this past Wednesday followed party lines, with 16 Republicans outvoting the 11 Democrats on the committee. Reaction was similarly predictable.
June 19, 1997 |
In the 105th Congress, it seems proposals to amend the U.S. Constitution have become the solution of first resort. So far, 99 proposals to change the Constitution have been introduced this year in the House or Senate. Although most have yet to be acted upon, last week the House passed, 310 to 114, a proposed amendment that would outlaw the "desecration of the flag."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 1997 |
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking in Los Angeles on Thursday, vigorously defended his belief that the Constitution should be interpreted literally. In an address to 900 people at a packed ballroom in a downtown hotel, Scalia blasted those who seek to read new rights--such as abortion--into the Constitution. He said that such an "evolutionist" approach to constitutional interpretation strips the document of the "immovable" power it should have in a democracy.