SOURCE: The Guardian
Texas GOP's Ten Commandments School Bill Fails
The Texas House did not have the votes to pass a bill approved by the state senate that would have required the display of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.
Neil Gorsuch's Understanding of Major Civil Liberties Infringement May Have a Few Gaps
When the Supreme Court Justice called COVID restrictions "the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country" he seems to have revealed his own view that the rights of white men are the ones that count.
How a Little-Known Anti-Vietnam Protest Reverberates Today
by Gary B. Ostrower
A 1968 disruption of an ROTC ceremony at Alfred University in 1968 involved just 15 students and 2 faculty. It won't be remembered with Berkeley or Columbia in the annals of student protest, but it made a significant impact on the legal requirements placed on universities' policies for dealing with student protest.
How the Comstock Act is Making a Comeback
Lauren MacIvor Thompson and Mary Ziegler discuss the history of the 19th century Comstock Act and its appeal to abortion opponents as a legal tool to ban abortion nationally.
SOURCE: Abusable Past
Blaming Atlanta "Cop City" Protests on "Outside Agitators" is Familiar and Shameful
by Benjamin Stumpf
Blaming outsiders for grassroots objections to turning valuable parkland over to the police to create an urban warfare training center is an effort to shift blame for violence from police to protesters and to assert that local communities accept the plan. Opponents of civil rights did the same thing.
Why NYT v. Sullivan Matters More than Ever
Conservative politicians want to use libel laws to intimidate critics. One Supreme Court case stands in their way.
SOURCE: Washington Post
Cracking Stasi Puzzles is Key to Some Germans Finding the Truth
by Katja Hoyer
With an informant for every 90 citizens, the East German secret police left behind 16,000 sacks of shredded documents. Can information technology help reconstruct a record of what happens when a government commits to spying on its own citizens?
Law Prof. Joanna Schwartz on How the Police Became Untouchable
Policies that protect individual officers from civil liability, and departments from financial responsibility, have developed into a legal architecture of impunity for American police.
SOURCE: Religion Dispatches
For "Religious Freedom Day," Take Back the Term's Revolutionary Meaning
The religious right has hijacked the story of Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom, obscuring the law's intention to prevent the domination of the religious preferences of the powerful.
SOURCE: The New Republic
Michael Kazin on J. Edgar Hoover, and Beverly Gage's Acclaimed Biography
by Michael Kazin
The signal contribution of Gage's book is not to examine Hoover's ideology or the details of his personal life, but to show how the FBI director built power and broad support, among even liberal Americans, for intrusive surveillance and repression of activists.
SOURCE: The China Project
The 1979 Formosa Incident Sparked Taiwan's Democracy Movement
by James Carter
An explainer of the wave of protests that began on December 10, 1979, that disrupted the one-party authoritarian rule of the Kuomintang in Taiwan.
Beverly Gage: When J. Edgar Hoover Tried to Destroy the Left, Liberals Helped Him
by Michael Brenes
Liberals enamored of Hoover's performance professionalism and efficiency, plus his fervent anticommunism, allowed many powerful liberals to remain on board with the repression his FBI unleashed against the political left.
SOURCE: The New Yorker
Beverly Gage on J. Edgar Hoover—Enemy of Democracy
Beverly Gage's book explains the FBI director's longevity not to dark arts of blackmail and secret-keeping, but to a more straightforward and disturbing explanation: many Americans shared Hoover's reactionary views and liked how he cracked down on dissenters.
Are Americans Ready for their Neighbors to Turn Them In?
From abortion to classroom teaching, state laws are increasingly incentivizing people to report other members of the community for violating new restrictions. Experts say this has worked in the past to erode trust and enable further authoritarianism.
SOURCE: New York Times
Released FBI File Shows Extent of Government Spying on Aretha Franklin
Beverly Gage says the surveillance was par for the course under J. Edgar Hoover's leadership, when Black figures with any suspected links to civil rights or militant politics was a target.
Will Biden Finally Pardon Callie House?
Callie House led an organization that sought pensions as a form of reparation and relief for formerly enslaved people. In 1917 unfriendly federal officials prosecuted her for mail fraud for circulating her organization's materials.
SOURCE: ACLU Florida
ACLU, Educators and Students File to Block Florida's "Stop WOKE" Law
" The bill specifically targets and places vague restrictions on educators’ ability to teach and discuss concepts pertaining to systemic inequalities, including the legacy of slavery in America, white privilege, and anti-racism."
SOURCE: Los Angeles Review of Books
Review: David Sehat on the Struggle to Make a Secular America
by Johann N. Neem
In "This Earthly Frame," Sehat examines the way that activists in the 20th Century pushed the nation from an implicit privileging of Protestant Christianity toward a posture of "negative secularism" that separated the functions of government from doctrinal belief, and the transience of that victory.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
The Coming Pregnancy Surveillance State Will Bring "Homeland Security" to Women's Bodies
by Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz
The Dobbs ruling puts longstanding racist and nationalist beliefs that white women's reproductive labor is the price of their citizenship, and punitive controls on women of color, on collision course with the modern capacity of digital surveillance, threatening the criminalization of any miscarried pregnancy.
SOURCE: Boston Globe
The Demise of the Church-State Wall
by Steven V. Mazie
A political scientist and court correspondent says that SCOTUS has adopted a radical version of the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment that makes a mockery of the historic separation of religious and political authority.
- The Debt Ceiling Law is now a Tool of Partisan Political Power; Abolish It
- Amitai Etzioni, Theorist of Communitarianism, Dies at 94
- Kagan, Sotomayor Join SCOTUS Cons in Sticking it to Unions
- New Evidence: Rehnquist Pretty Much OK with Plessy v. Ferguson
- Ohio Unions Link Academic Freedom and the Freedom to Strike
- First Round of Obama Administration Oral Histories Focus on Political Fault Lines and Policy Tradeoffs
- The Tulsa Race Massacre was an Attack on Black People; Rebuilding Policies were an Attack on Black Wealth
- British Universities are Researching Ties to Slavery. Conservative Alumni Say "Enough"
- Martha Hodes Reconstructs Her Memory of a 1970 Hijacking
- Jeremi Suri: Texas Higher Ed Conflict "Doesn't Have to Be This Way"
- New transcript of Ayn Rand at West Point in 1974 shows she claimed “savage" Indians had no right to live here just because they were born here
- The Mexican War Suggests Ukraine May End Up Conceding Crimea. World War I Suggests the Price May Be Tragic if it Doesn't
- The Vietnam War Crimes You Never Heard Of