The former FBI directors tend to investigate Republicans far more zealously than Democrats.
Given recent trends at both local and federal levels, most notably the Supreme Court decision striking down the Texas antihomosexual sodomy law, it would appear that legal recognition of gay marriage may be just a matter of time. Should gay marriage be granted legal recognition? Are same-sex couples who are not allowed to marry under current law being denied equal protection of the law? How would recognition of gay marriage alter the traditional purpose of marriage? And would gay marriage erode support for families or strengthen it?
Democracy and freedom currently hang by a thread in Hong Kong. How much longer will China tolerate dissent before violently crushing the protests? What is America's role and responsibility in the fight to save liberty in Hong Kong?
William H. Rehnquist has served as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court for nineteen years, the longest tenure of a chief justice in a century. How has the Rehnquist Court responded to the key constitutional issues of our times? What will be the philosophical legacy of the man himself? And who will miss him more, liberals or conservatives? Peter Robinson speaks with Kathleen Sullivan and John Yoo.
Is the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional? The original pledge, written in 1892 by the Christian socialist Francis Bellamy, did not contain the words "under God." Congress added these two words in 1954. And it is these words that caused the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in June 2002 that recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools violated the First Amendment's so-called separation of church and state. Now the case is before the Supreme Court. Will the Court rule that reciting the current pledge in schools is okay, or do the words "under God" have to go?
The Supreme Court will soon announce its decisions on two cases that are being called the most important for affirmative action in a quarter century. These cases both challenge the use of racial preferences in the admissions policies at the University of Michigan. On one side of the legal dispute over the Michigan policies are those who argue that creating racial diversity on college campuses is a "compelling interest" that justifies the use of certain types of racial preferences in the admissions process. On the other side are those who argue that any system that rewards people solely on the basis of race is unconstitutional. Who's right? And how will the Supreme Court's decision affect the future of affirmation action?
How is Mexican immigration changing the United States in the twenty-first century? In the past several decades, the United States has seen an explosion in the number of Hispanic immigrants to this country, most of them from Mexico. And most of them go to California. Today nearly half of all Californians are immigrants or the children of immigrants—most of them coming originally from Mexico. What is the economic and social impact of this influx on California, and what does it bode for the rest of the country? What makes Mexican immigration different than immigration from other countries? And what, if anything, should we do about it?
Does the war on terrorism threaten our civil liberties? Benjamin Franklin famously admonished, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Are we today being asked to give up essential liberties for temporary safety? If so, is it worth it? Or are the fears that the government's war on terrorism will trample our freedoms overblown?
In June 2003, a European constitutional convention presented the fruits of 18 months of work: a draft constitution for the European Union that runs to more than 200 pages. Why does the European Union even need a constitution? Will the constitution limit the powers of the EU over the member countries, or does it mean the creation of a European superstate? Should the constitution be ratified, or is it just a colossal mistake?
The Supreme Court has the final authority on all matters of law under the U.S. Constitution. But what legal philosophy should the Supreme Court use to reach its decisions? Should the Court merely hand down rules based on the text of a fixed, or "dead," Constitution? Or should the Court apply standards that are based on interpretations of a "living" Constitution that evolves as our society changes? These fundamentally different approaches to constitutional law have created a rift with the current Supreme Court. How serious is this rift? Who's right? And to what extent are these competing arguments merely covers for ideological positions?
Audio recording of “Out for a Constitutional” (26:48)
Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution examines three enemy combatant cases that represent the leading edge of U.S. efforts to devise legal rules, consistent with American constitutional principles, for waging the global war on terror. The distinguished contributors analyze the crucial questions these cases raise about the balance between national security and civil liberties in wartime and call for a reexamination of the complex connections between the Constitution and international law.
Senior Fellow John Cochrane discussed current events on the nationally syndicated Peter Schiff Show.
Peter Schweizer, the William J. Casey Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, unveils his current research, on Fox News, which exposes the corruption and extortion accepted as business as usual in Washington, DC. Last year, the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes featured Schweizer, spotlighting his book Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison. Feedback from the program helped pass the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, which prohibits members and employees of Congress from using nonpublic information for private gain.
In this Uncommon Knowledge interview from November 24, 2008, Thiel argues that a book published in France in 1968, Le Defi Americain (The American Challenge), has a lot to say to us in 2008, including why the United States has failed to rise to the heights predicted by its author, J. J. Servan-Schreiber. In explaining what’s wrong with the US economy, Thiel points out that, although we have benefited from growth that is both extensive (e.g., free trade) and intensive (e.g., technology), we have not featured enough of each. He asserts that the credit crisis of 2008 had nothing to do with the failings of the free market but rather is a by-product of government entanglement, nurtured by the motors of economic growth, working less well than expected. (38:56)
Although hardly anyone's noticed, billionaire financier George Soros and some other very deep pockets are back on the California ballot with a drug and criminal sentencing reform measure that makes their prior efforts seem modest...
Did the Boumediene decision represent a victory for separation of powers? Hardly, despite what the Supreme Court majority claimed. Instead, it was judicial overreach. By Peter Berkowitz.
What happens when South Korean students take a close look at American democracy. By Peter Berkowitz.