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14-year old’s arrest over a clock: a teaching moment

Hatem Bazian, senior lecturer, Near Eastern studies and Ethnic studies | September 16, 2015

The arrest of 14-year old Ahmed Mohamed at the Independent School District in Irving, Texas illustrates the pervasiveness and normalization of Islamophobic responses that assume guilt before innocence. In this incident, Ahmed’s school principal, Dan Cummings, informed parents in a letter that the police were called to the campus in response to a “suspicious-looking item.” He assured parents … Continue reading »

Is it unconstitutional for the President to implement major new policies by regulation?

Dan Farber, professor of law | February 3, 2014

The short answer is a resounding No. Some domestic initiatives obviously do require Congressional approval because they are clearly outside the authority conferred by existing law.  But Congress has given the executive branch broad discretion to regulate in many areas, and the executive branch can use that authority for major policy initiatives.  The only real restriction … Continue reading »

The story of a presidential tweet

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy | May 29, 2013

We generally complain that action on climate change is mired in polarized partisan politics and thus nothing can be done. True to an extent, but let’s hold on a bit. In terms of generating important discussion about the clarity that exists around the conclusion that the scientific debate over climate change as an anthropogenic process … Continue reading »

An open letter to African-Americans

john a. powell, director, Othering & Belonging Institute | November 19, 2012

In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, john powell, Paul Hudson, Eva Paterson and Roger A. Clay, Jr. published the following open letter: Although we acknowledge the deep support President Obama received from many groups and from the American people generally, African-Americans were a critical constituency both nationally and in battleground states such as … Continue reading »

Obama’s racial penalty

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | October 17, 2012

Barack Obama has run his presidential races with an extra weight on his shoulders: being black. Sure, there are some pundits who claim that he benefits from his race – black loyalty, white guilt, and such – but serious scholars understand that his race has been, in net, a notable disadvantage. My rough sense from … Continue reading »

‘Full force of our justice system’?

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | July 25, 2012

The Consoler-in-Chief was in Aurora, Colo. this week to comfort the community struggling to cope with the mass killing (and wounding) over the weekend. Among the tones of emotion and religious faith that the President is remarkably effective at communicating in his restrained and reasonable way, the sharpest and most quoted words were reserved for … Continue reading »

Wall Street is still out of control; break up the banks

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | October 27, 2011

Next week President Obama travels to Wall Street where he’ll demand – in light of the Street’s continuing antics since the bailout, as well as its role in watering-down the Volcker rule – that the Glass-Steagall Act be resurrected and big banks be broken up. I’m kidding. But it would be a smart move — … Continue reading »