Wendy McElroy: Is the Obama administration sincere in its stated intention to ease draconian drug sentences? Or is the rhetoric just that?
Peter Dreier: Best-case scenario: A Democrat becomes president in 2016, the Democrats keep control of the Senate, and Scalia and/or Kennedy are so enfeebled by then that they have to quit. At that point, a Democratic president can replace one or both with a liberal justice.
Peter Laarman: In this Hobby Lobby ruling, the fundamental distinction and separation between a commercial enterprise and a specifically religious or “ecclesiastical” corporation has been fatally breached.
Larry Wine: ‘Member how nekkid evvahbuddy wuz feelin’ in church, wearing jez them slacks an’ shooz an’ a buttonup shart an’ TAAH?
Jasmyne Cannick: The LAPD had determined that based on Gaines’ wearing expensive designer suits and shirts, his many credit cards, and lavish spending habits that he was engaged in some kind of misconduct and had him under investigation.
While crime may be on a downward trend the last few decades, there are still very large differences between states on which crimes are high and low. In this graphic, we compare states and their crime levels.
Tina Dupuy: Weapon manufacturers in spite of the shock and horror at fill-in-the-blank say they believe in the Second Amendment as an absolute god-given right of every American. They ignore/deny/edit out the “well-regulated” part of the Amendment.
Ira Cherus: The current battles between the tea party and the more “moderate” Republicans as well as between the Clinton and Warren wings of the Democratic Party are both as American as apple pie.
Nicole Ozer: We shouldn’t need a local Edward Snowden in order to ensure that public debate and oversight accompany any proposed use of surveillance technology.
Andrew Leigh: Sometimes a tragedy is so awful that it changes the national debate. The 1996 Dunblane school shooting in Scotland, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, and the 2011 Norwegian gun massacre all prompted an outpouring of anguish and a demand for changes in law.
Kevin Zeese: Majorities now support the outright legalization of marijuana and oppose the war on drugs. The public has overcome decades of misinformation to justify the drug war.
Dave Zirin: Just as “rape” is a crime and “rape culture” is when the crime is disregarded and mocked, violence against women excused is ensuring that violence will occur again.
Peter Bibring: There’s no reason that shootings should be anonymous, and this week’s ruling rightly makes clear that even general evidence that officers might face retaliation isn’t enough to withhold information; there must be a specific threat of violence.