Category Archives: U.S. Constitution

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

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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

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‘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

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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