Category: Civil Liberties

February 6, 2003

A Double Standard on Torture: The U.S. Should Practice What We Preach

The Bush administration has a double standard on torture and human rights violations as it prosecutes the “war on terror.” While trying to convince the American people in his State of the Union address that war with Iraq is necessary, President George W. Bush marshaled accusations that Saddam Hussein has tortured his people to coerce… Read more »

December 7, 2002

Three Strikes: Bad Cases Make Bad Law

When former governor Pete Wilson signed California’s three strikes law, he compared the construction of new prisons which would be required to house the increased inmate population to building the University of California system: “We’re producing … capital improvements for future generations, and they rightly can be called upon to help pay for it.” Following… Read more »

August 19, 2002

War on Civil Liberties Hits a Speed Bump

“Watch out for well-meaning men of zeal!” These words penned 74 years ago by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis are no less relevant today. Brandeis was dissenting from a ruling that exempted wiretapping from the protections of the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court later reversed its decision, holding that the government must follow the… Read more »

June 6, 2002

Civil Liberties: J. Edgar Ashcroft?

On May 30, 2002, the same day America mourned the victims of the September 11 attack and the conclusion of the Ground Zero cleanup, Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller III unveiled sweeping new surveillance powers for the FBI. In order to cover up its own incompetence in failing to properly analyze… Read more »

February 12, 2002

Televise Moussaoui’s Trial

U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema has denied Court TV’s request to broadcast the trial of accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, citing security and procedural concerns. She determined that the public benefit from televising this noteworthy trial is “heavily outweighed” by the “significant dangers… [it] would pose to the orderly and secure administration of justice.”… Read more »