Thursday, January 23, 2020

The ‘bedrock principle’ of the First Amendment

  Many people recoil at the notion that the First Amendment protects the speech that they most dislike or detest. The late great Nat Hentoff captured this censorial impulse in his “Free Speech for Me, But Not for Thee.”

  But the reality is that the First Amendment protects much speech that is obnoxious, offensive, and repugnant. Justice William Brennan captured this principle eloquently in his majority opinion in the flag-burning decision Texas v. Johnson (1989):

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Three big ways that the United States will change over the next decade

  The United States has just entered the new decade of the 2020s.

  What does our country look like today, and what will it look like 10 years from now, on Jan. 1, 2030? Which demographic groups in the U.S. will grow the most, and which groups will not grow as much, or maybe even decline in the next 10 years?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What it looks like to be hungry in college

  Over the past few years, the issue of food insecurity among college students has gained national attention—and with good reason. A study released last year by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice found that 48 percent of students at two-year institutions and 41 percent of students at four-year institutions experienced food insecurity during the 30 days preceding the survey.

Monday, January 20, 2020

MLK’s vision of love as a moral imperative still matters

  Fifty-two years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the United States remains divided by issues of race and racism, economic inequality as well as unequal access to justice. These issues are stopping the country from developing into the kind of society that Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for during his years as a civil rights activist.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

5 ways Trump’s latest anti-environmental proposal would allow fossil fuel companies to bulldoze communities

  A few weeks ago, the Trump administration released a draft of its proposed changes to the regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—the most important law that requires the federal government to consider the environmental impacts of its decisions and that gives the public a voice in federal decision-making. This is not an effort to “modernize” the environmental review process, as President Trump and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Mary Neumayr claim, but rather an effort to allow fossil fuel companies to quickly bulldoze communities with less public input and without disclosing harmful public health, environmental, and climate change impacts.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Craig Ford: A New Year's Resolution for Alabama

  Many people like to make a New Year’s resolution. As we start this new year and new decade, I think our state leadership needs to make a resolution: To improve our storm warning systems.

Friday, January 17, 2020

An old debate over religion in school is opening up again

  As the 2020 election approaches in the United States, President Donald Trump is adding school prayer to the list of contentious issues up for debate. At a rally in early January, he announced plans to “safeguard students’ and teachers’ First Amendment rights to pray in our schools.” Yesterday, the White House issued new “guidance on constitutional prayer in school.”

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Senate impeachment trial must include all important evidence

  In impeaching President Donald Trump, the U.S. House of Representatives uncovered overwhelming evidence that Trump extorted a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 election. The House did so even though Trump engaged in unprecedented obstruction of Congress by blocking critically important witnesses and documents, circumstances that underlay the House’s second impeachment article. Now, as the U.S. Senate begins the trial phase of impeachment proceedings, every senator must make a crucial decision: recklessly support the president’s obstruction or uphold their oaths under the U.S. Constitution.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Trump administration has a new stealth approach to kicking people off disability

  Even though I’m a lawyer, receiving a letter in the mail from the Social Security Administration still triggers a panic attack. My heart races, I get nauseous, and my hands shake.

  Lately it’s gotten worse. A letter last month made me feel suddenly lightheaded as my vision started to fade. As I sat on the floor, my mind raced through all of the potential bad news the envelope could contain for a disabled Supplemental Security Income recipient like myself.