Archive for the ‘Constitutionality’ Category

“Rights activists”

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Those of us who defend and extol the free market (and even dare to call it "capitalism" sometimes) know all too well how derisive and disdainful the left can be toward the term "free market" and all that it entails. If we ever invoke the "free market" as a proposal ...

Thirteen miscellaneous thoughts on the Hobby Lobby case and the reactions to it

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." —Thomas Jefferson Other than the absurd necessity (and apparent futility) of explaining that a government's failure to mandate something doesn't equate to outlawing it, nor does it enable other people or ...

The contraceptive mandate is wrong for the same reasons the rest of Obamacare is wrong

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Later this month, the Supreme Court will begin hearing Sibelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. regarding Hobby Lobby's objection to Obamacare's "contraception mandate" on the grounds that it violates the owners' religious freedom to abstain from paying for anyone's contraception. Obamacare requires Hobby Lobby to provide its employees only certain ...

Hobby Lobby, religious freedom, and contraceptive mandates

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

In my sporadic research on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case (and a basically identical case brought by Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania company owned by Mennonites), in which the companies argue that they should not be forced to pay for employee health insurance that covers contraceptives and thus violates ...

Student protests, free assocation, and free market

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Aditya Chakrabortty writes a chilling column on the efforts by British universities and local police departments to crack down on student protests and other demonstrations. It's hard to imagine there's an advanced, Western society in which human beings' freedom to assemble and demonstrate—peacefully, by the way—is so readily and blatantly ...

Charles Pierce puts Dianne Feinstein in her place

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

In response to the Senate Judiciary Committee's bill that purports to define what a journalist is, journalist Charles P. Pierce responds with the appropriate amount of fury: Hey, Dianne, here's the thing on that First Amendment business. I get to define what you do for a living. And if I decide ...

NSA apologists are proven wrong over and over and over again

Friday, August 9th, 2013

The people who have excused, defended, rationalized, and given the benefit of the doubt to the U.S. government and the NSA since Glenn Greenwald began publishing Edward Snowden's leaks are looking more and more pathetic with every new revelation. If nothing else, this shows that you can rarely go wrong ...

Whose rights, specifically, have been violated by NSA?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

That is a question I've encountered more often than I expected in the social-mediasphere and in the comments to articles written by Glenn Greenwald and others. These skeptics say: Is the National Security Agency's surveillance really excessive or over-reaching if it hasn't actually been used to violate anyone's rights or ...

In 2011, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court secretly ruled that some of NSA’s spying programs were unconstitutional

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Michael Isikoff reports that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will not object to the de-classification of a 2011 ruling in which it declared some of the National Security Agency's spying programs unconstitutional. It sure would be great if I ever heard about or commented on revelations like these shortly after ...

The strange case of Barrett Brown

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

This is a fascinating but chilling account of journalist Barrett Brown's cooperation with hacktivists, his investigations into the questionable activities of intelligence/security companies, his discovery of the collusion between them and the Department of Justice, and his harassment and arrest by the FBI. Writing in The Nation, Peter Ludlow chronicles ...

Michael Hastings isn’t surprised by the Democrats, and you shouldn’t be, either

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

On June 7, Michael Hastings tore into the Democrats in Washington for being as terrible on civil liberties as they have revealed themselves to be and for apparently being nothing more than opportunistic Bush bashers when they used his awful civil liberties record to win big in 2006 and 2008. ...

The Obama administration’s selective prosecution of leakers

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

In his excellent column Edward Snowden and the selective targeting of leaks, Jack Shafer details several leaks of formerly classified information by the Bush and Obama administrations and points out that these administrations—indeed, all administrations—are hypocritical because they want to prosecute lower-level, less influential, less powerful people when they leak ...