Category: Civil Liberties

January 15, 2017

Smooth-Talking Jeff Sessions Can’t Hide Disturbing Record

Although Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general of the United States by the GOP-controlled Senate is a foregone conclusion, it is still important to analyze his Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, which shed a troubling light on his positions. In his responses to the senators’ questions, Sessions loudly protested the idea that he has ever embraced… Read more »

August 26, 2016

Death to the Death Penalty in California

On Election Day, California voters will make a monumental moral and financial decision. Proposition 62—the Justice That Works Act—is on the Nov. 8 ballot, and if the initiative passes, it will replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole. It will also require convicted murderers to work and pay restitution to their victims’ families…. Read more »

May 16, 2016

Michael Ratner’s Death Is a Loss for Freedom, Peace and Justice

Legendary human rights lawyer Michael Ratner died Wednesday. His pathbreaking legal and political work on behalf of the poor and oppressed around the world is unmatched. His death is an incalculable loss for the cause of freedom, peace and justice. The last time I saw Michael was shortly before he was diagnosed with cancer. We… Read more »

February 18, 2016

How Scalia’s Absence Will Affect Pending Supreme Court Cases

The death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia raises a number of questions: What will be Scalia’s legacy? What will happen to the cases pending in the Supreme Court? Will President Obama successfully fill Scalia’s seat on the high court? And how will Scalia’s death affect the 2016 presidential election? Scalia’s Record on the… Read more »

October 3, 2015

Prisoners’ Struggle Ends Indefinite Solitary Confinement

Confirming Frederick Douglass’s adage, “Power concedes nothing without a demand,” prisoners held in solitary confinement for many years in California have won an unprecedented victory. After three hunger strikes, in which tens of thousands of California inmates participated, and a federal class action lawsuit filed on behalf of prisoners by the Center for Constitutional Rights… Read more »

One Day Soon, That Drone Overhead May Be Pointing a Taser at You

North Dakota has just become the first state to legalize police use of drones equipped with “less than lethal” weapons, including rubber bullets, Tasers, tear gas, pepper spray and sound cannons. Now, police will be able to remotely fire on people in North Dakota from drones, much as the CIA fires on people in other… Read more »

May 4, 2015

The Chickens Come Home to Roost in Baltimore

Once again, the nation watches as prosecutors deal with the killing of an unarmed black man. “[The officers] failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest as no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray . . . Accordingly, [he was] illegally arrested,” Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby declared, as she announced the filing… Read more »

January 30, 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Auto Stop With No Traffic Violation

Ignorance of the law is no excuse – that is, unless you’re a police officer. For the first time, in December, the Supreme Court upheld a traffic stop even where there was no traffic violation. The court, in Heien v. North Carolina, continued its steady erosion of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and… Read more »