In an election year when it appears no incumbent is safe, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) is on cruise control. He even pooh-poohs the latest poll showing him 4 points behind his newcomer challenger, Rob Steele. Dingell is the longest serving member of the House and, at age 84, sports a Freedom Index rating of just 5 out of 100.
"There cannot be the slightest doubt that the First Amendment reflects the philosophy that Church and State should be separated," said Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in the 1952 Zorach v. Clauson decision. Ten years later, Justice Potter Stewart said in his dissent to Engel v. Vitale: "Moreover, I think that the Court's task, in this as in all areas of constitutional adjudication, is not responsibly aided by the uncritical invocation of metaphors like the 'wall of separation,' a phrase nowhere to be found in the Constitution."
On Tuesday, October 19, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of California, who overturned the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, rejected the government’s request to halt her order enforcing her decision. For the first time in U.S. history, the military is accepting openly gay recruits.