CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 1991 |
The Bush Administration may have grabbed a tiger by the tail in nominating Judge Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. Thomas earned the reputation as a "conservative black Republican" during his much-maligned tenure as chairman of Ronald Reagan's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. His adamant opposition to affirmative action and race-based remedies for past discrimination brought the wrath of the civil-rights community down on his head.
March 8, 2013
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) waged a 13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor this week in a futile effort to set clear limits on the administration's use of covert military force. Specifically, Paul wanted the administration to concede that it couldn't legally assassinate Americans on U.S. soil. The idea that a president would approve a drone strike on a citizen sitting at a cafe in Boston or San Francisco or Wichita seems far-fetched, but even the least paranoid among us can't help but be troubled by the administration's less-than-definitive assurances.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 6, 1996 |
Amid the election-year push to get tough on crime and appoint judges who will "put criminals away," it has become unfashionable to speak of the rights of the accused. From O.J. Simpson to Timothy McVeigh to the Unabomber, the cry is for vengeance. Indeed, in a country where the constitutional protections of the rights of the accused have advanced beyond those of any other nation, the public views these rights skeptically, even cynically. The complaint is not new.
July 4, 1991 |
"Classifications and distinctions based on race or color have no moral or legal validity in our society," Thurgood Marshall wrote in a 1948 brief to the Supreme Court. Nearly 40 years later, Clarence Thomas declared: "I firmly insist that the Constitution be interpreted in a colorblind fashion." Over the last decade, Supreme Court nominee Thomas has espoused an old-fashioned legal view of individual rights and equality--one that is today considered conservative.
December 27, 1992 |
A few days after achieving independence from Brussels in the summer of 1960, the Belgian Congo fell apart. Plagued by a series of army mutinies and local rebellions and, finally, the secession of its mineral-rich Katanga province, the Congo's young government appealed for international help. The United Nations responded by dispatching a force of 20,000 troops from 26 member states to the large central African nation, now known as Zaire.
March 27, 1991 |
One of the nation's leading experts on the Bill of Rights proposed Tuesday that the U.S. Constitution be amended in order to preserve privacy and other individual rights threatened by the spread of computer technology. In a speech punctuated with references from John Locke, Lily Tomlin, Albert Einstein and Darth Vader, Harvard law professor Laurence H. Tribe called for a 27th Amendment at the First Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy.
August 10, 2010
Ever since the attempted Christmas Day airliner bombing, a debate has raged over whether the U.S. criminal justice system is equal to the challenges posed by international terrorism. This page has long believed that it is, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D- Burbank) has a different view, reflected in a bill known as the Questioning of Terrorism Suspects Act of 2010. As we see it, the legislation gives needlessly short shrift to individual rights. The bill would do two things. It would express a nonbinding "sense of Congress" about how the Miranda rule should be applied to terrorist cases, and it would provide a terrorism exception to current practices that exist to ensure that suspects are brought before a magistrate without "unnecessary delay.
April 28, 2013
Re "Going for a spin of Cal State," April 24 Cal State University Chancellor Timothy P. White should augment his visits to all 23 campuses with a review and revision of their unconstitutional discrimination and harassment policies that violate the rights of students and faculty members. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 14 Cal State campuses have harassment policies that ban substantial amounts of speech that do not constitute true harassment and are in fact protected by the 1st Amendment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2013 |
A conservative organization has joined with a group of California teachers in an effort to overturn laws that allow teacher unions to collect fees from those who don't want to be members. The lawsuit , filed Tuesday in federal court in Santa Ana, targets "agency-shop" rules that apply in about half the states in the country. Under the law, unions can collect from teachers a base fee for services they provide, whether the teachers choose to join the union or not. The law also includes a process by which a union reduces the fees to exclude the cost of political activities from those such as negotiating for wages and benefits.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 2001
Two letters published May 30 assert that the 2nd Amendment is a collective right and not an individual right. This is a curious approach and interpretation that, if applied to the rest of the Constitution, would mean that individuals do not have any rights, only state governments. The Supreme Court has asserted that "the people," as used in the Constitution, describes individual rights. The 2nd Amendment assigns rights to the people, which means individual citizens. You can't have it both ways, assigning individual rights in all cases except the 2nd Amendment.