Ruptly TV on Apr 18, 2017
National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden is due to participate via a video link during an international conference at College of William & Mary in Williamsburg on Tuesday, April 18.
[By the latter part of May, 1970, feelings about the war in Vietnam had become almost unbearably intense. In Boston, about a hundred of us decided to sit down at the Boston Army Base and block the road used by buses carrying draftees off to military duty. We were not so daft that we thought we were stopping the flow of soldiers to Vietnam; it was a symbolic act, a statement, a piece of guerrilla the after. We were all arrested and charged, in the quaint language of an old statute, with “sauntering and loitering” in such a way as to obstruct traffic.
The passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia evoked widespread commentary about how outspoken he was both on the Court and at law schools and other forums where he often lectured and sometimes tangled with audiences. Knowing of Justice Scalia’s unusual expressiveness for a jurist, my colleague Robert Weissman and I wrote him a challenging letter in 2006, starting with these words: Continue reading
Do away with #elections? To even think such a thought is treasonous. An election, or should I say a presidential election, is one of the few occasions, or should I say the only occasion, on which we take a genuine interest in government. We are spectators at a sporting event, a mix of a bullfight, prizefight and a barroom brawl. We get into heated arguments about which team is “better” about who deserves to win, about which gladiator will be the best for the country. There is an uppercut, a right cross, a roundhouse and he or she (not too often) is down for the count. No, he is not out. He is on his knees, struggling to his feet. The crowd roars.
The Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case about the allocation of voting districts will have consequences far beyond the millions of U.S. taxpayers its ruling may deprive of representation. A decision that only counts voters, rather than all persons, will undermine the very foundation of the Republic.
with Ralph Nader
ShakeEmUp HLS on Oct 30, 2013
In this groundbreaking conference, Ralph Nader moderates conversations with twelve leading scholars, practitioners, and advocates about transforming America’s broken legal system. Speakers from former Attorney General Ramsey Clark to the founder of the National Legal Services program Edgar Cahn will explore topics ranging from corporate capture of government and the courts, mass incarceration, campaign finance reform, access to justice, and the excesses of executive power.
I just finished reading a critical but seemingly irrational argument by one of the so-called constitutional experts against the concept of Nullification. I am neither an expert when it comes to constitutional law nor do I profess to be one. That said, when I sit and read analyses made for nullification by constitutional experts such as Professor Tom Woods, and then read other analyses made against nullification by experts such as Ian Millhiser, I am left with my own judgment and common sense, and my own decision-making process to judge validity.
I was on the 15th floor of the Southern U.S. District Court in New York in the courtroom of Judge Katherine Forrest on Tuesday. It was the final hearing in the lawsuit I brought in January against President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. I filed the suit, along with lawyers Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran, over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We were late joined by six co-plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg.
This section of the NDAA, signed into law by Obama on Dec. 31, 2011, obliterates some of our most important constitutional protections. It authorizes the executive branch to order the military to seize U.S. citizens deemed to be terrorists or associated with terrorists. Those taken into custody by the military, which becomes under the NDAA a domestic law enforcement agency, can be denied due process and habeas corpus and held indefinitely in military facilities.
Note: The Preface and Chapters One through Twenty can be found here: The 15% Solution
This is the twenty-sixth installment of the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022. Herein you will find Appendix I, the Constitution of the “Old United States and the New American Republics,” as amended through the (fictional) year 2010. This Appendix demonstrates how the Republican Religious Right used the procedures embedded in the original U.S. Constitution to amend it into a document that in effect resembled nothing like the original, except in form.
June 11, 2012
Honorable Patrick Leahy
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Honorable Lamar Smith
Chairman, House Judiciary Committee
United States House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Re: Upholding and Defending the Constitution
The rule of law is rapidly breaking down at the top levels of our government. As officers of the court, we have sworn to “support the Constitution,” which clearly implies an affirmative commitment on our part.
Take the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The conservative American Bar Association sent three white papers to President Bush describing his continual unconstitutional policies. Then and now civil liberties groups and a few law professors, such as the stalwart David Cole of Georgetown University and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, have distinguished themselves in calling out both presidents for such violations and the necessity for enforcing the rule of law.
Among Americans there remains strong pride about the US Constitution, even though there is widespread support for creating reform amendments to it. Globally, however, what should surprise Americans is a significant loss of respect for it. Other nations, especially those creating new democracies, see better constitutions elsewhere. This is not opinion. It is fact. And it is important to understand this historic shift.
by Bernie Sanders
December 8, 2011
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 – Warning that “American democracy in endangered,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that allowed unrestricted and secret campaign spending by corporations on U.S. elections.
The first constitutional amendment ever proposed by Sanders during his two decades in Congress would reverse the narrow 5-to-4 ruling in Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission. In that controversial decision almost two years ago, justices gave corporations the same First Amendment free-speech rights as people.