Under The Radar: Trump’s Federal Judge Nominations

The Trump administration’s daily assaults to American laws and norms have produced a sort of outrage fatigue in many of us. That can be dangerous. As we hold our collective breath and cross our fingers–hoping that Muller’s investigation will provide enough evidence of criminality and/or treason to make impeachment imperative, or for the Democrats to regain control of Congress in […]

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Houston Student Suspended For Sitting During Pledge of Allegiance

Windfern High School in Houston, Texas expelled 17-year-old India Landry for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

According to a lawsuit filed last week, Windfern High School in Houston, Texas expelled 17-year-old India Landry for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. Though she’d been sitting out the pledge for years, on Monday, October 2, 2017 she happened to be in the principal’s office when the pledge began over the school intercom. It was the school administration’s knee-jerk […]

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Louisiana School Threatens Students Who Kneel During Anthem

parkway high school in LA

This morning, the administration of Parkway High School in Bossier Parish, Louisiana sent a letter to all students (and their parents) threatening to punish any student athlete who engages in silent protest during the national anthem. In the letter, Principal Waylon Bates rationalized the unconstitutional threat referring to state high school athletic regulations saying all athletes must “stand in a respectful […]

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Florida: Pasco County School Targets Student Kneeling During Pledge

Wiregrass Elementary Pledge of Allegiance controversy

Pasco County school district in Florida is under fire after targeting and publicly humiliating a student who chose to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance this week. The incident follows Trump’s attack on NFL players sitting out the anthem to protest racial injustice. Reporting on the infringement of the student’s constitutional rights, ABC 6 reported: A first grader in Pasco […]

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Identity Versus Behavior: What’s the Legal Difference?

Persecution and Privilege

As the Supreme Court prepares to take up one of the persistent “I won’t bake a cake for ‘those people’” cases, a friend asked me to explain the difference between a merchant who refused to do business with a Neo-Nazi group and one who refused to serve gays or Jews. It’s an important distinction, but not an immediately intuitive one. […]

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What We Don’t Know: The Consequences of Civic Ignorance

civic literacy

When I give presentations like the one I recently posted, addressing deficits in civic literacy and the extent of American ignorance of our constitutional system, I often include a statistic from a 2011 survey: only 36% of Americans can name the three branches of government. Audiences tend to gasp. Only 36%! How awful! Well, the Annenberg Public Policy Center has just released the […]

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Trump, the Anthem, Free Speech & the Fight Against Racial Inequality

Trump, the Anthem, Free Speech & the Fight Against Racial Inequality

When Colin Kaepernick first began kneeling during the national anthem, no one noticed and for the most part, no one cared. It wasn’t until right-wing pundits began screaming about how offended and disrespected people should feel over his peaceful protest that people began forming opinions based more on ‘hot take’ outrage than actual law, reason or ethics. That white-hot rage reached […]

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Federal Judge Rejects MN Christian Couple’s Anti-LGBTQ Lawsuit

Carl and Angel Larsen of Telescope Media Group

Late last year Minnesota residents Carl and Angel Larsen filed a lawsuit challenging their state’s human rights act. Arguing state law unduly restricts them from discriminating against LGBTQ people in the course of their wedding services company, they sought a preemptive legal exclusion that would allow them to exclusively advertise to and serve heterosexual couples. Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim dismissed their […]

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Trump Administration Continues Attack on ESPN’s Jemele Hill

Sarah Huckabee Sanders discusses Jemele Hill and ESPN

Earlier this week, after ESPN media personality Jemele Hill offered criticism of Donald Trump on her personal Twitter account, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested Hill be fired for making the comments since she is connected with the media giant. In the White House press briefing today, Sanders doubled down on those comments following unsubtle jabs on Twitter from Donald Trump […]

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DOJ Files SCOTUS Brief Defending LGBTQ Discrimination

Masterpiece Cakeshop

In the latest attack on the LGBTQ community, the Trump administration’s Justice Department just filed an amicus brief defending discrimination against LGBTQ people in places of business. The brief argues that business owners have a constitutional right to discriminate against LGBTQ people so long as they couch that discrimination in protected speech and expression founded in religious belief. The Justice […]

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