Politics & Law

Mark Peterson Campaign Finance and the Lessons of 1776

$1776. That’s the amount that Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in the campaign finance case recently decided by the Supreme Court, wanted to donate to every single political candidate he supported in the 2012 elections, but he was thwarted by then current limits on donations. The court decided in … More >

Yuriy Gorodnichenko Ukraine’s path to oligarchy: Lessons for the U.S.?

The New York Times just posted a debate on whether there is oligarchy in the U.S. Because countries’ political systems tend to develop only gradually, it can be difficult to draw a hard line that identifies country X as a particular regime. There have, however, been some instances in which … More >

Yuriy Gorodnichenko Russia-West relationship: The Long Telegram revisited

The Russian invasion into Crimea sent the Russia-West relationship to the lowest point in a long time and many commentators talk about the return of the Cold War: although Russian media talked about turning America into radioactive dust, few want to have a military conflict in Europe and yet the Russian aggression has … More >

Riddhi Dasgupta The Future of Tunisia (and the Arab Spring)

The President’s pledge of $500 million to Tunisia has been a subject of some discussion. Surely, this monetary pledge was a show of support and encouragement to the fresh face of Tunisia.

This U.S. commitment may have been partially influenced by Tunisia’s soul-searching and new constitutionalism. The cradle of the Arab … More >

Robert Reich Today’s jobs report and the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon debacle

What does the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision this week have to do with today’s jobs report, showing 192,000 new jobs for March?

Connect the dots. More than five years after Wall Street’s near meltdown the number of full-time workers is still 4 million less than it was in December 2007, yet the … More >

Robert Reich The most brazen invitation to oligarchy in Supreme Court history

This is no April Fool’s joke. Today, in a 5-4 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court in “McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission,” went beyond “Citizen’s United” to strike down overall limits on how much an individual may contribute in one election cycle to innumerable federal candidates … More >

Ethan Elkind The perils of rail transit and democracy

Americans seem to love democracy but hate many of the results. We want governmental power to be decentralized, whether it’s across three federal branches or with local control over sometimes regionally oriented land use decisions. But when the inevitable compromise that is required to get majority approval means a less-than-perfect … More >

Jonathan Simon Dying inside: Lifers, the dying and California’s correctional paradigm

Before the hospice program started by prison chaplain Lorie Adolff, dying prisoners in California’s state prison in San Luis Obsipo (California Men’s Colony) just expired alone in their cells, with prison nurses looking in periodically until their vital signs ceased.  Adolff’s project, Supportive Care Services, trains other prisoners, most of … More >

Dan Farber Rand Paul versus clean water

Rand Paul recently won a big victory in the straw poll held by CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.  In the environmental area, his signature measure is the Defense of Environment and Property Act.

Sen. Rand Paul (Gage Skidmore photo via Wikimedia Commons)

On its surface, the goal of the law is to cut … More >

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