Politics & Law

Robert Birgeneau To ensure access and excellence in our public research universities, we need a 21st century Morrill Act

At the present time, Congress and the Obama administration are addressing two important issues, the progressive deterioration of the nation’s physical infrastructure and the enormous sums of money that are being held offshore by U.S. corporations unwilling to pay federal taxes on these funds. Any repatriation of these offshore funds … More >

Terri Bimes Election 2016: Is it too late for Joe Biden?

Vice President Joe Biden has been pondering the 2016 presidential race and lately that thinking has been done in a more public way: meeting with Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the weekend, receiving President Obama’s blessing to run, and seeking out senior Democratic staff members and fundraisers. The question is, if … More >

Thomas Mann Election 2016: Dumbing down American politics — Lawrence Lessig and the presidency

Donald Trump and the Amen chorus of Republican presidential aspirants may have appeared to monopolize the capacity to make fantastical claims about what’s wrong with America and how to fix it. But a rival has appeared on the scene, outlining a very different fantasy plan to run for president on … More >

Lawrence Rosenthal Trump 2016: Archie Bunker runs for President

Over the course of the past three and a half decades, the Republican far right has resembled the successive generations of William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, offering up politicians who act more and more inbred over time. Their stunted thinking frequently makes sense only within their own circles; their words and … More >

Charles Henry Donald Trump and friendly fascism reconsidered

Donald Trump’s entrance into the presidential sweepstakes and substantial lead in the polls reminds me of the warnings issued 35 years ago in Bertram Gross’s widely read Friendly Fascism. Gross was concerned that the ever-closer integration of Big Business and Big Government could well lead to a new, kinder, gentler form of … More >

Lisa García Bedolla GOP still clinging to the Southern strategy

In the 1960s, the Republican Party launched the Southern strategy – the use of coded racialized appeals to gain white votes. The large proportion of whites that now identify as Republican attests to the strategy’s resounding success. Its continued influence was evident on the stage in Cleveland Thursday.

Despite the fact … More >

Hannah Laqueur Drug decriminalization: what we can (and can’t) learn from Portugal

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized the acquisition, possession and personal use of small quantities of all psychoactive drugs. Drug use is still prohibited and subject to administrative sanction, but the law eliminated incarceration as a potential penalty.

Portugal’s decriminalization law has been appropriated in U.S. drug policy discussions, mostly an example of … More >

Stephanie Jones-Rogers The Charleston massacre: What is the meaning of black life in America?

“Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free?” I excerpted these words from a tweet that Solange Knowles (Beyoncé’s younger sister) posted on June 18th at 6:49pm, the evening after Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal … More >

Jonathan Simon A summer classic: Moral panic over a pier shooting

It is a reminder of how hard the past is to leave behind (especially when your leading politicians belong to it). By now the whole nation knows the basic facts: Francisco Sanchez, a 45- or 52-year-old Mexican national, shot and killed Kathryn Steinle, 32-year-old resident of a nearby suburb, in a … More >

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