On June 16, the Public Broadcasting Service decided to forbid member stations from carrying any new religious TV programs while allowing the few stations that are already doing so to continue. As the Washington Post reported on June 17, this was a step back from a proposed ban on all religious programs except those that take a journalistic or documentary approach without favoring a particular religious view. Under a complete ban, some PBS stations would have had to give up their affiliation — and, presumably, the funding that comes with it — if they wanted to keep broadcasting local church services or devotional programs.
There are few topics that can divide people who are normally ideological bedfellows like the legal doctrine of the “incorporation” of the Bill of Rights against the states and the Second Amendment. This subject is rearing its head again with the upcoming appointment of a new Supreme Court justice as well as federal courts' recent conflicting opinions in regards to the Second Amendment. The Wall Street Journal reports that on June 2nd, “A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled … that the Second Amendment doesn't bar state or local governments from regulating guns, adopting the same position that Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, did when faced with the same question earlier this year.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reported on June 3 that U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has dismissed dozens of lawsuits charging illegal spying on Americans through warrantless surveillance. The EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plan to appeal the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In his weekly Internet and radio address on Saturday, President Barack Obama said that Memorial Day is “a time to reflect on what this holiday is all about; to pay tribute to our fallen heroes; and to remember the servicemen and women who cannot be with us this year because they are standing post far from home — in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.” The president also said that “we have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us,” but that “all too often in recent years and decades, we, as a nation, have failed to live up to that responsibility.”
In a speech given on May 21 at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said President Barack Obama and other officials have largely "mischaracterized" the Bush administration's approval of "enhanced" interrogation techniques. Cheney said: "The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do."
A Gallup Poll released on May 13 indicated that nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed — 64 percent — responded that it "doesn't matter" to them if the president appoints a woman to the Supreme Court to replaced retiring Justice David Souter.
The tremendous seismic activity reported throughout Virginia lately was not the result of an unpredicted earthquake, rather it was the reverberations that were caused by the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves after reading the recent article by Michael Anthony Lawrence, a professor of constitutional law at Michigan State University. In that article published May 11 in the Detroit Free Press, Professor Lawrence unashamedly invokes the sacred names of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton in a most incredible and inexcusable manner. How so? In the mold of his hero, President Barack Obama, Professor Lawrence audaciously declares that Messrs. Madison and Hamilton would “find a lot to like about President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office.”
Following Montana’s lead, the Lone Star State has introduced a bill in the legislature challenging federal authority to regulate guns under the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. Under the proposed legislation, firearms and ammunition produced in Texas for use in the state would be exempt from federal laws and regulation.
If one wants a nearly thorough education about the U.S. Constitution, it would be wise to examine the following: the notes from the Constitutional Convention, the public editorials written both for and against the proposed Constitution that followed, the state ratification debates, and the actual document itself. These all give one an almost comprehensive knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, although, as any law student will explain, modern constitutional law consists solely of Supreme Court cases mostly from the last 50-100 years. So why should someone bother wasting time on the above-mentioned items when they’re no longer relevant to our federal system of governance?
It’s January 5, 2010 and you’re returning from Christmas vacation in Germany. While there, you read newspaper accounts of a potent and virulent strain of mad cow disease stampeding its way across Europe, but you’ve had no contact with any known source of the disease and you’ve eaten no beef, so you reasonably believe you and your family are healthy and totally unaffected by the outbreak.