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Civil Rights

This tag is associated with 7 posts

No Pardon for Snowden

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Edward Snowden has a suggestion for President Obama: “pardon me.” The Presidential Pardon is a prerogative that can be exercised at any time, but is especially favored by Oval Office holders in the last days of their Administration. It is an extraordinarily powerful executive privilege: there is no judicial review, no Congressional oversight, no possibility […]

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The New Voting Rights Act

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In June 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a decision in the case of Shelby County v. Holder. In this case, the electoral commission of Shelby Country, Alabama challenged the constitutionality of the “pre-clearance” authorization required by the 1965 Voting Rights Act before they can enact any changes to their voting […]

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Mourning Hymn of the Republic

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In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me, As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on…. – Fifth stanza, Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward Howe, November 1861 […]

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The Pledge of Allegiance

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“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Those are the words of the original Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy[1] for a juvenile magazine “The Youth’s Companion”. Since then, the Pledge has undergone a few sonorous revisions: […]

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Three Amendments

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The United States was explicitly founded as a secular state. The Founders were transplanted Englishmen whose direct ancestors had fled Britain during a century and a half of religious persecution. They were steeped in the tradition of the bitter English Civil War, which was as much a war of religion as it was a war to […]

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The Partido Popular Assaults Spain’s Constitution

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Spain’s governing Partido Popular continues its assault on civil rights and representative democracy with two measures passed over the past 6 weeks. On 30 October – yes, just before Halloween – the Spanish Parliament approved a reform to the already existing Intellectual Property Law[1], while on December 11th it also approved the infamous Citizen Security […]

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Crime and Punishment

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Imagine you are a young, white male between the ages of 18 and 25. You live in the suburbs of a major American city. You attend your local university. Imagine that one fine November day, you leave the school campus with your book bag and bike down to a nearby coffee shop. The café is […]

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“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.“

John Adams

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