Supreme Court Will Hear JPL – Homeland Security Case

The Supreme Court of the United States has scheduled October 5, 2010 to hear argument on the matter of open-ended background investigations of federal contractors arising from Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12 (Nelson et al. vs NASA, No. 09-530).

Washington May Be Broken Now, But the Future Is Up for Grabs

Rep. Wilbur Mills, long-time former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, with chief aide and swimming instructor Fanne Foxe.

Michael Sigman: But lest the healthy anger of progressives during the Bush years curdle into full-blown, hide-under-the-covers depression, it’s worth asking: When did Washington work, anyway?

Checks and Balances, Part II

fat cats

Ron Wolff: Here I reveal how a coalition of sub-populations cutting in an entirely different direction (connecting selected people with powerful segments of government) can become destabilizing — possibly even undemocratic (dare I say dictatorial?).

Killing Prop Hate: What Republicans Fear

prop hate

Tom Hall: A conservative Republican judge, appointed by George H.W. Bush has done what the Tea Party activists have been demanding – he restored the Constitution. Judge Vaughn Walker held that the U.S. Constitution, and its provisions requiring equal protection of the laws, required that Proposition Hate be stricken down.

How Empathy Makes Superior Judges – and Justice

elena kagan  barack obama

Joel K. Goldstein: Critics ridiculed President Obama’s statement that judges should be empathetic. But as the Senate prepares to vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, legal historian Joel Goldstein argues that senators should be looking for that very quality.

“Facts are Stubborn Things” – The Value of Judge Walker’s Decision

Judge Vaughn Walker

Paul Hogarth: What taking this case to trial – rather than expedited summary judgment hearings – allowed us to do was to set up a factual framework, which cannot be reversed on appeal.

Where to Go from Here on Voter-Owned Elections

elections

Wayne Williams: With Voter Owned, Auditable, Transparent and Verifiable Elections, voters will come out in larger numbers as they have more confidence in their government. More viable candidates of all races and genders will run for office, and most likely the cost of elections will go down because the public will be more educated, involved and aware.

Should Citizens Be Human Beings?

children fighting.jpg

Citizens United Case Disenfranchises Human Beings I was talking to a friend one day about how to teach children to be fair with one another.  He told me that when he was a kid, his mother had a great way of squashing fairness disputes between him and his sister. When an argument arose around someone […]

Supreme Court Hearings: What’s at Stake

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)

David A. Love: I don’t know about you, but after watching the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, I was given the distinct impression that Thurgood Marshall was being subjected to a criminal trial, post-mortem, by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senator Orin Hatch: Judicial Activism Cuts Both Ways

thurgood marshall

Tracy Emblem: Speaking of judicial activism – both United States Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia are members of a Federalist Society – an organization that advocates a roll back of civil rights.

Free Speech Down the Rabbit Hole

Ralph D. Fertig

Lydia Howell: This Supreme Court ruling effectively says “military actions are the primary tool of U.S. foreign policy.” Or to be more blunt: U.S. might makes right and there is no alternative to the use of military power.

Yes on Prop 15: One Small Step for Democracy

Jesse Unruh and Willie Brown, former Democratic Speakers of the California Assembly

Michael Sigman: Californians can do something about time-consuming fundraising, nefarious corporate influence, and obscene personal spending in American politics on Tuesday, June 8. A victory for Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act, will mean that the race for the Golden State’s Secretary of State will be a “clean money election” in 2014 and 2018. A small step, but a necessary one.

Glenn Beck: “Historian” for a Troubled America

glenn beck water on moon

Joseph Palermo: The wide dissemination of Beck’s views wouldn’t matter much if the United States were in better shape today. But the status quo that is emerging cannot help but create a highly volatile electorate for years to come. Class lines are hardening, mobility is stifled, unemployment will remain near double digits for many years, there is a sea of angry voters who are susceptible to jingoistic appeals and conspiracy theories (like the ones Beck promotes). The ongoing fiscal crisis at the local, state, and federal levels has led to the heartless rollback of public institutions at exactly the time when they are needed the most.

Why Not Blame It on a Black Man

black sisters

David Love: I just read a pilot study that CNN released on the racial attitudes of children. And nearly 60 years after the watershed Brown v. Board of Education case – in which the Supreme Court invalidated Jim Crow school segregation – it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

How Will Elena Kagan Approach Immigration If Confirmed?

kagan judicial experience

Andrea Nill: Kagan could have a direct impact on the role the federal, state, and local governments play in enacting and enforcing immigration laws. Her potential confirmation could also have a more indirect effect on how the nation’s immigration population is treated and who is and isn’t protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Kagan in Context: Shafting Progressive Values

Elena Kagan

Noman Solomon: If President Obama has his way, Elena Kagan will replace John Paul Stevens — and the Supreme Court will move rightward. The nomination is very disturbing, especially because it’s part of a pattern. The White House is in the grip of conventional centrist wisdom. Grim results stretch from Afghanistan to the Gulf of Mexico to communities across the USA.

Robert Reich’s Ignored Warning on Chief Justice John Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts Swearing In

Robert Reich: Viewed as a whole, the record suggests that Roberts is likely to place a higher value on property than on community, and is likely to view the Commerce Clause as hobbling the effective reach of the federal law and regulation. As such, John Roberts may have more in common with his namesake before Justice Roberts switched sides in 1937 than after that historic switch.

News/PR Line Gets Blurrier

Ozzy Osbourne, dining.

Michael Sigman: Many of the thirty-thousand-plus newspaper journalists laid off in the past two years have signed on to corporate public relations gigs, further blurring the already-murky line between PR and news. When the handful of corporate chieftains who control most mainstream media hire as PR agents the journalists who used to expose them, they’re one giant step closer to commandeering the information narrative in America.

End the Filibuster and Pass a Lot of Stuff

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.

The Power to Change the Debate

Corporate-Voice

Tracy Emblem: With the recent Supreme Court 5-4 radical decision treating corporations the same as individuals and asserting that federal laws cannot limit corporate speech, legislation requiring public disclosure of lobbyist driven “grassroots” advertising campaigns is needed more than ever. Individuals have constitutional rights. Corporations are legally recognized business entities.

A Conversation Between We The People and a Corporation

Corporate Donations

Jerry Drucker: Okay Corporation. This time you’ve gone too far! We the People will take on you huge Corporations and the Republican Party, as well as the Blue Dog Dems and finally fight back. That’s what real democracies do. Damn your torturous nation changing lies and full steam ahead. We’ll fight you in the Congress until we see the waves of their AYES!

“Citizens United” for More Corporate Power

Corporate Senate

Joseph Palermo: The next ten to twelve years promise to be a turning point in American democracy unless some drastic civic action is taken to blunt the effects of this egregious example of Far Right judicial activism.

A Year of Fall and Decline

sarahs-book

David Swanson: This year opened with the United States Supreme Court claiming further power to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, specifically by further opening up elections to the highest bidder.

Friday Feedback: Supreme Court to Block Fair Election Efforts?

Not only do I expect Chief Justice Roberts to break his promise to the American people and legislate from the bench by overturning McCain-Feingold, but I expect him to work with the other conservatives on the court to overturn any laws that Congress passes in this area.

Troy Anthony Davis Update

Troy Anthony Davis continues to fight for justice. He has been on death row since 1991. During his time there, Davis has received three stays of execution.  In August 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Troy Davis the chance to present crucial evidence in court that may prove his innocence. This video which was produced […]

Blacks and Latinos Hit Harder in Hard Times

unemployment

Unemployment is and always has been much higher in Black and Latino communities. But the gap has widened during this recession. In fact, Black unemployment is nearly double that of Whites, while Latinos are unemployed at a rate one-third higher than their White counterparts.

High Court Losses Stun Environmentalists

Green_Economy

Environmentalists are 0-for-5 at the high court this term.

Friday Feedback: Oligarchs Will Not Play Fair

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Carole Lutness, writing in response to Anthony Asadullah Samad’s Economic Recovery Will Be More than Trusting President Obama’s Stimulus Plan.” Carole  writes: The oligarchs will not play fair. They are not built that way. […]

Enough of This Bipartisan Nonsense

bipartisanship

I started to laugh when I heard that Michael Steele was selected as the first African American to chair the Republican National Committee. I don’t think much of the “new” Republican Party, but then again, that doesn’t prevent me from writing about it. But don’t get me wrong, I think that the former Maryland lieutenant […]