The Great Debate

The cost of America’s first black president

By Janai S. Nelson
June 28, 2013

President Barack Obama addresses supporters at his election night victory rally in Chicago, Nov. 7, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

The Supreme Court’s race impatience

By David Dante Troutt
June 28, 2013

ILLUSTRATION: Matt Mahurin

As Tuesday’s decision gutting the heart of the Voting Rights Act made clear, it is June and a slim conservative majority of Supreme Court justices is again impatient with race.

Gutting the landmark civil rights legislation

By Morgan Kousser
June 26, 2013

 

The Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision on Tuesday essentially cast aside the key component of the nation’s most important civil rights legislation.

A victory for gays and for families

By Jeff Chu
June 26, 2013

I didn’t expect to cry on my wedding day. But there I was last September, in my Cape Cod backyard, trussed up in suit and tie, waiting for my soon-to-be husband at our makeshift altar, and the tears came. I wish I could say they were two camera-ready teardrops, wending their way down my left cheek. But no. In reality, I got a monsoon — I was a sobbing, near-hyperventilating mess. The importance of what we were doing had just hit me: We were pledging, in public symbol and sacred promise, to build and sustain a life together.

Big wins for the freedom to marry. Now let’s finish the job.

By Evan Wolfson
June 26, 2013

Reggie Stanley (R) and Rocky Galloway embrace as they are married in Washington.

Nearly two years after we were pronounced married by New York state in front of our family and friends, my husband and I are finally married in the eyes of the federal government.

Marriage equality: Not for states to decide

By Elizabeth B. Wydra
June 26, 2013

ILLUSTRATION: Matt Mahurin

The Supreme Court Wednesday struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act — which denied federal benefits to married gays and lesbians—as discriminatory and a violation of equal protection.

The real IRS scandal

By Herman Schwartz
June 17, 2013

The office for the Internal Revenue Service near Times Square in New York May 16, 2011.  REUTERS/Chip East

Grassley aims for GOP political spin on federal judiciary

By Doug Kendall
May 10, 2013

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 14, 2009. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Can Tsarnaev be ruled an ‘enemy combatant’?

By Ari Melber
April 21, 2013

Three major legal questions are now swirling around the Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Since his dramatic capture Friday night, the public debate has already begun muddling these issues.

Same-sex marriage: Court on the couch

By Richard L. Hasen
March 26, 2013

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy’s support for a constitutional right to gay marriage doom the constitutionality of affirmative action and a key provision of the Voting Rights Act?  To answer this question, legal scholars need to know less about constitutional law and more about human psychology.