Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino treads a shameful, unwise,
constitutionally dubious, and ultimately ineffective path when he orders his
goons to keep the untidy street performers from the plaza surrounding City Hall
and Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Relegating the
clowns, artists and other performers
to a small sliver of territory, outside of the main arena of activity, not only
forecloses more than one performance at a time, but relegates the performers to
an inconsequential status.
Today's newspapers carry the obituary for the somewhat accidental civil rights pioneer Mildred Loving, who died last Friday at 68. Loving and her late husband Richard were the plaintiffs in one of the most important civil rights cases ever to reach the Supreme Court. Their exquisitely- and aptly-named case, Loving v.
The ACLU has found itself a strong test case for determining
whether a student’s right to privacy is violated when he or she is
“outed” to the community by their school. A principal in Memphis, Tennessee,
apparently in order to cut down on public displays of affection in school,
asked her staff to put together a list of school couples, both straight and
gay, and then posted that list publicly, thereby outing an untold number of
student romances, including that of a 17-year old gay student, who is now suing
By James F. Tierney
You may have heard about the Pennsylvania woman who was charged with disorderly conduct for "loudly cursing at her overflowing toilet," which a neighbor -- an off-duty police officer, no less -- heard. The Boston Globe reports that the judge threw out the charges against her because her speech was "protected speech pursuant to the First Amendment."
Any publication that devotes itself to promoting liberty, like
this blog, must stop for a moment to take note of the passing of one of the
giants in the never-ending battle for freedom. Connecticut attorney Catherine
Roraback died last week at the age of 87. While she left no survivors other
than a sister who announced her death, she did leave an enormous legacy for
which we all should be grateful.
There was a show-tune ditty that was popular back when I was a kid, which younger readers might also identify as the theme song to Married With Children. “Love and marriage,” went the lyric, “go together like a horse and carriage. This, I tell you, brother: You can’t have one without the other.” In quite the same way, in the context of electoral politics, you can’t have speech without money.
The mourning period that followed Ronald Reagan’s death three years ago, in which even his fiercest critics agreed to temporarily bite their tongues, clearly won’t apply to the recently deceased Rev. Jerry Falwell. His corpse had barely turned cold before the media erupted into a debate over the demagogue’s true legacy.?xml:namespace>
The ACLU is no stranger to hypocrisy (to facilitate fundraising, it has voluntarily pledged to comply with federal blacklisting law that it otherwise opposes;) but it is not guilty of the inconsistencies that James Huffman imagines in his National Law Journal column. The ACLU’s criticism of Charles Stimson’s attacks on lawyers defending Guantanamo detainees was not at all inconsistent with its previous expressions of concern about the record of then Supreme Court nominee John Roberts.