Academic Commentary

The draft report by Secretary of State Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights has the Kremlin dancing a collective Barynya of glee. The current US administration and President Putin already share the parochial view that rights are derived from and informed by God rather than a person’s inherent dignity. This fact alone should concern anyone committed [...]

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The three-year journey has ended. Clearing one more hurdle, you would join your chosen profession. But as you approached the hurdle, becoming a lawyer resembled joining a craft guild. Bar admission committees seemed intent on elevating custom over common sense. The infamous bar exam became a pandemic year proxy for antiquated legal industry rituals. What [...]

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In Trump v. Mazars, the Supreme Court appeared to reject President Trump’s claim to an executive privilege protecting him from a subpoena seeking private financial information under United States v.  Nixon, in keeping with its holding in Clinton v. Jones that no special privilege protects the President from private lawsuits. When executive privilege applies, the [...]

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“The masses have followed the magicians again and again…Socrates and Plato were the first to take up the struggle against them in clear awareness of what was at stake.” – Karl Jaspers, Reason and Anti-Reason in our Time (1952) On absolutely all matters of existential survival, individual or collective, candor is indispensable. In connection with [...]

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When President George H.W. Bush signed the historic Americans with Disabilities Act 30 years ago, he proudly declared, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” In a recent decision, the Supreme Court tossed another brick on the wall. The ADA was enacted to level the playing field for people with disabilities and [...]

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(c) William H. Widen 2015

I learned with sadness, but not surprise, that Rep. John Lewis lost his battle with pancreatic cancer yesterday. Congressman John Lewis lived courage. Courage takes the path less traveled. Others will write the details. I want to share with you one perspective. John Lewis was savagely beaten—his skull fractured—on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, [...]

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One of the most devastating parts of the proposed regulations overhauling asylum law issued on June 15 is a new rule allowing immigration judges to deny asylum applications without an evidentiary hearing. The regulation states that the judge can “pretermit” legally insufficient applications, meaning deny them without even giving the asylum seeker a chance to [...]

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