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Recent Posts: Transformational Citizenship
Category Archives: U.S. Constitution
Virginia’s high court silently joins gerrymandering conversation
Gerrymandering has broken through the din of partisan grenade-throwing to become a top-tier issue of voter concern across the political spectrum. If we cannot fix this party- and incumbent-protection racket, We the People are coming to understand, we will cease … Continue reading
That fantasy about the Second Amendment
I keep seeing these fairy tales about the origins of the Second Amendment — that its purpose was to guard against the tyranny of the government by enshrining an individual’s right to own a gun. The Constitution was ratified in reaction to … Continue reading
Posted in Bill of Rights, James Madison, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized Tagged Bill of Rights, gun control, Second Amendment 1 Comment
Anniversary of a call to citizenship
Fifty-five years ago this week, I woke up in Arlington for the first time, a four-year-old transplanted from Texas. Upon finishing law school in Austin, my dad had answered Kennedy’s call, “Ask what you can do for your country,” and … Continue reading
Posted in Citizenship, Congress, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized Tagged John Kennedy Comments Off on Anniversary of a call to citizenship
The Electoral College: Will no one rid us of this meddlesome relic?
On the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, the Electoral College is expected to demonstrate not only its uselessness but its destructiveness by choosing for president a candidate who lost the national popular vote by more than 2 … Continue reading
Posted in Electoral College, Supreme Court, U.S. Constitution, Voting, Voting Rights Act Tagged Alexander Hamilton, Donald Trump, Electoral College, Federalist Number 10, Federalist Number 68, James Madison, Supreme Court, U.S. Constitution Comments Off on The Electoral College: Will no one rid us of this meddlesome relic?
‘Change’ vs. our ossified process: It’s no contest
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther King’s distillation of abolitionist Theodore Parker’s sermon is one of his most famous quotations. It resonates with us because we assume the universe is moral … Continue reading
Abraham Lincoln had it pretty good
When our 16th president was inaugurated, seven of the 11 Confederate states had already walked. South Carolina’s secession resolution, like those of other rebellious states, was unambiguous that slavery was the cause: A geographical line has been drawn across the … Continue reading
Bert Neuborne and ‘Madison’s Music’
Have you considered why the First Amendment is structured the way it is, or how the 10 amendments of the Bill of Rights came to be so ordered? Me neither, until I read Bert Neuborne’s new book, Madison’s Music: On … Continue reading
Posted in Bill of Rights, James Madison, U.S. Constitution, Voting Tagged 14th Amendment, Baker v. Carr, Bill of Rights, Citizens United, Congress, First Amendment, Supreme Court Comments Off on Bert Neuborne and ‘Madison’s Music’
“Civil Death”: Florida’s Criminal Disenfranchisement
The Honorable Rick Scott Tallahassee, Florida Dear Governor Scott: Belated congratulations on your reelection in November. I don’t write to every governor, but as a non-resident, property-tax-payer who spends about half the year in the Sunshine State (summers too – … Continue reading
Posted in civil rights, U.S. Constitution, Voting Tagged 14th Amendment, 15th Amendment, civil rights, Constitution, disenfranchisement, voting rights Comments Off on “Civil Death”: Florida’s Criminal Disenfranchisement
Three speeches and a bump on the road to a more perfect union
In our journey toward a more perfect union, we have witnessed cycles of history since Abraham Lincoln delivered the greatest speech in American history 150 years ago. Two other speeches, 50 years ago this month, complete a cycle of that … Continue reading
Posted in Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Constitution, Voting Rights Act Tagged 15th Amendment, Abraham Lincoln, Edmund Pettus Bridge, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Second Inaugural, Selma, Supreme Court, Texas HB 14, Veasey v. Perry, voter ID, voting rights, Voting Rights Act 1 Comment
Gerrymandering: Politics as situational ethics?
The state senator had an appointment out of town, and all his colleagues knew it. As soon as he left, the other political party, exploiting its temporary one-seat advantage, rushed to the floor a new legislative district map, though the … Continue reading
Posted in gerrymandering, James Madison, U.S. Constitution Tagged Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government, congressional redistricting, Federalist Number 10, gerrymandering, redistricting, situational ethics, U.S. Constitution, Virginia General Assembly, Virginia House of Delegates, Virginia Senate, William J. Howell Comments Off on Gerrymandering: Politics as situational ethics?