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Whitaker’s appointment is unconstitutional

John Yoo, law professor | November 14, 2018

President Donald Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general last week, despite the fact that he cannot legally hold the office. While the president could fix his mistake with any lesser official and in any normal time, the attorney general is no lesser official and this is no normal time. Whitaker takes office during … Continue reading »

The American pipe bomb

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | October 25, 2018

There’s nothing unprecedented about the pipe bombs sent to the Clintons, the Obamas, CNN, Maxine Waters and celebrity critics of Donald Trump. The historical context for these bombs isn’t just an obscure intellectual issue. Not understanding the violence and racism embedded in American history is why so many liberals have gotten Trump and his followers … Continue reading »

Business improvement districts, stop punishing homeless people

Jeffrey Selbin, clinical professor of law | October 18, 2018

In 2010, they actively campaigned for a San Francisco ballot measure to restrict sitting or lying on public sidewalks, and in 2012, their CEO was the major financial contributor to the campaign for a similar law in Berkeley. In 2013, they pushed for a new sit-lie law in Chico, and in 2016, they urged Sacramento to expand its aggressive anti-panhandling … Continue reading »

Senators, show fairness to Kavanaugh

John Yoo, law professor | October 4, 2018

Senate Judiciary Committee members, take heed: You are not running a criminal trial. You are carrying out your constitutional duty to provide “advice and consent” regarding Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The appointments clause vests the Senate with this “check” on the president “to prevent the appointment of unfit characters,” as Alexander … Continue reading »

Judge Kavanaugh tries to cut the Gordian Knot

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | September 30, 2018

In the process of conquering the world, Alexander the Great came to the town of Gordium. In that town was a piece of rope entangled in an intricate knot. Whoever unraveled the knot, according to legend, would rule the world. Many had tried, and all had failed. Nor had anyone ever ruled the world. Alexander … Continue reading »

Democratic socialism beyond the New Deal

Cihan Tugal, associate professor, sociology | September 27, 2018

The financial and housing devastation of 2008, youth underemployment, and ultimately the victory of the radical right at the polls has resulted in talk of socialism in America. Then the talk turned to growing organization, culminating in serious challenges to the democratic establishment. What many mean by “democratic socialism” is an inclusive version of the New Deal (though there … Continue reading »

The answer to GOP dog whistles? Democrats should talk more about race

Ian Haney López, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law | August 29, 2018

By Ian Haney Lopez and Anat Shenker-Osorio Since Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House, various political insiders have warned Democrats not to talk about race issues or what they term “identity politics” — a phrase that intentionally downgrades a raft of critical concerns. In an op-ed last year, for instance, Mark Penn, a former consultant to … Continue reading »

On Women’s Equality Day, balance the scales for men

Camille Crittenden, Deputy Director, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute | August 24, 2018

Forty-five years ago, Congress passed a resolution designating August 26 “Women’s Equality Day,” commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Much has improved for women since that resolution, not to mention since the amendment passed in 1920. Women no longer need a husband to co-sign for a credit card … Continue reading »

Chris Collins and honest graft

Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy | August 15, 2018

By: Henry E. Brady and Kay L. Schlozman Representative Chris Collins, who represents a district between Rochester and Buffalo in upper New York State, has been indicted by federal prosecutors on charges of insider trading. He has already decided not to seek re-election this November, although he will finish out his current term. If he … Continue reading »

Beyond mass incarceration: felony convictions and economic opportunity

David Harding, David Harding | August 13, 2018

When it comes to employment, a felony conviction is more damaging than imprisonment. Criminal justice reform advocates have rightly celebrated recent victories that will reduce the use of money bail. For example, New Jersey eliminated almost all cash bail last year, and recently more and more cities are doing so. Yet the significant harms created … Continue reading »

Looking for Malcolm

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | August 8, 2018

    A popular theory of Black Nationalism (broadly defined) contends that during periods of relative racial harmony in American history, Blacks are welcomed into mainstream society. However, during periods of racial hostility when doors of advancement are shut, Blacks retreat to their own institutions and organizations. According to the theory there have been at … Continue reading »

Psychology Department members cite research against family separations

Ann Kring, Professor and Chair of psychology | July 12, 2018

The Department of Psychology created a “Positive Action Team” during the 2017-2018 year to create public facing statements affirming our Department’s mission and values. In response to the ongoing crises with family separations, the team drafted the following open letter which is also posted on our Department website. See  here. UC Berkeley Department of Psychology Statement … Continue reading »

What comes next? Janus v. AFSCME

Sara Hinkley, Associate director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment | June 27, 2018

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME in favor of the plaintiff, a local government worker who asserted that being required to pay fees to the union at his workplace violated his first amendment rights. This ruling has been anticipated for years (a similar case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, was deadlocked … Continue reading »

What is at stake in Supreme Court ruling on Janus vs. AFSCME

Ken Jacobs, chair, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education | June 22, 2018

Co-authored with Sarah Thomason Monica Ruiz grew up the daughter of immigrant farmworkers in the Central Valley. Despite their hard work under grueling conditions, her parents struggled to make ends meet with the low wages they were paid. Monica joined her parents in the fields as a teenager and could have continued on a similar … Continue reading »

The slow rise, sudden fall of the G-7

Daniel Sargent, associate professor of history | June 14, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders at the G-7 summit, including President Trump, in Canada on June 9, 2018. The end times have come and gone for the West over 70-odd years, but it is difficult these days, to escape the sensation that the dusk really is falling. A changing light casts long shadows … Continue reading »

Trump’s lawyers say Mueller can’t touch him. Is the president really above the law?

Erwin Chemerinsky, Berkeley Law dean | June 12, 2018

A flurry of statements by President Donald Trump and his lawyers are stunningly reminiscent of a comment attributed to Louis XIV: “L’etat, c’est moi” — “The state? I am the state.” In early June, a memorandum from Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller became public and it contended that a president cannot commit the … Continue reading »

Who was Robert Kennedy?

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | June 8, 2018

There was no Saint Bobby. Robert Kennedy was a hawk not a dove, particularly with respect to his role in U.S.-Latin American relations. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was RFK who convinced his brother that a blockade would not be as effective as an invasion of Cuba. Relations between JFK and Bobby with Martin … Continue reading »

How to talk (and not to talk) about school shootings

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | June 7, 2018

Yes, as we all know, we have been here before. Twenty years ago, the nation was shocked by the Columbine High School shooting. On June 1, 1999, the day after the massacre, President Clinton gave an impassioned speech in the Rose Garden in which he announced a national campaign against youth violence. The campaign was to mobilize businesses, volunteer organizations … Continue reading »