A case currently before the Supreme Court challenges the constitutionality of the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law, which in 1974 legalized heterosexual sodomy but not same-sex sodomy. Does the Texas law violate the constitutional rights of homosexuals, or are states permitted to pass such laws if they choose? If the Supreme Court does strike down the Texas law, what implications will that have for other civil rights that gays and lesbians are seeking, such as same-sex marriage?
On December 12, 2000, the Supreme Court of the United States brought an end to thirty-six days of dramatic vote recounts and legal challenges in the state of Florida. The decision let stand the initial results of Florida's election, which gave the state's electoral votes, and thus the Presidency, to George W. Bush. What was the legal justification for the Supreme Court's decision? Should the Court have intervened in the first place? And what precedent did the Court create for future elections?
Are hate crimes more serious than other crimes, requiring greater penalties, or are laws against them an unnecessary addition to the criminal code? Does hate crime legislation infringe on freedom of speech? Should congress extend hate crime statutes to cover more groups or should the federal government leave the issue up to the states?
Fed up with crime, the public has demanded "get tough" laws, locking up more criminals, handing out longer sentences and calling for more executions. Is it working? Susan Estrich, the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at University of Southern California, Charles L. Hobson, Atttorney, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation and Pamela Karlan, Professor of Law at Stanford University, give a lively presentation of different approaches to stopping crime.
The American public has lost faith in our criminal justice system. Susan Estrich, the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at University of Southern California, Charles L. Hobson, Atttorney, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation and Pamela Karlan, Professor of Law at Stanford University, take a critical look at justice in America and tell how to fix a system badly in need of repair.