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  • April 10, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    We remember how Keven McKenna unsuccessfully challenged the role of Frank J. Williams, chief justice of the RI Supreme Court, in serving on a federal appeals panel concerning US terror detainees. Now, as Eric Tucker of the Providence AP recently reported, Williams is still waiting for his first case in that arena:

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  • April 09, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Arizona's an interesting place. It's got beautiful cacti, a big city (Phoenix) with absolutely no sense of history or place, a small city (Tucson) with a lot of character, and since it's perched on the Mexican border, it's a hotbed of immigration politics.

    An editorial in today's Times takes a look at what can happen when these two things intersect, with a local sheriff making energetic efforts in the name of homeland security.

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  • April 04, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Another coup for the Bristol-based law program:

    BRISTOL, R.I., April 4, 2008 – On Monday, April 7, Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court will spend a day at the Roger Williams University School of Law, meeting with student leaders, faculty and alumni, as well as members of the state bar and judiciary, participating in a question-and-answer session with students—even teaching a full Constitutional Law class.

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  • March 28, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Frank J. Williams, chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, who wields enormous power and has a lifetime appointment, maintains that sufficient measures are in place to hold him accountable. He made the statement during a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers.

    I noted that electing judges, as is the case in some other states, seems like a flawed process, but that two of the most powerful men in state government -- House Speaker William J.

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  • March 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    At a time when a local merchant remains in the news for demanding to see the Social Security card of two Spanish-speaking patrons, the RI chapter of the ACLU has gotten the DMV to end its practice of demanding an SS card whenever someone renews their driver's license:

    In settlement of a suit filed last month by the Rhode Island ACLU against the Division of Motor Vehicles, the DMV has agreed to halt implementation of a policy requiring all people renewing their driver’s licenses to present their Social Security card.

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  • March 12, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Kim has the details on an upcoming conference on this subject:

    While other states in the country are passing Constitutional Amendments to ban same sex marriages, civil unions and even as far as contracts between same sex couples - New England has turned into a bastion of equality and rights. From Massachusetts’s landmark decision in Goodridge to Connecticut currently taking up the case if there is a legal difference between civil unions and marriage - why has New England (with the notable exception of Rhode Island) been such a unique place for LGBT equality?

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  • March 05, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    I tend to agree with those who say that English is already the official US language, and that learning it is a requirement for sucess in this country.

    A forum at Roger Williams University will take up the topic tonight:

    BRISTOL – In a recent projection made by the Pew Research Center, 19 percent of the U.S. population will be foreign-born in the year 2050—that’s nearly one in five Americans.

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  • February 19, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    For all the gun fans and phobes, and legal buffs, out there:

    Roger Williams University School of Law is hosting a debate on the meaning of the Second Amendment featuring two nationally known experts, Harvard Law Professor Mark Tushnet and Roger Williams Law Professor Carl Bogus. The debate will be this Wednesday, February 20, 2008, at 12:00 p.

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  • February 19, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    No one likes having their expected salary and benefits cut, yet there's still something of a particularly Rhode Island patina to this story in today's ProJo:

    PROVIDENCE — About a third of the state’s judges will retire all at once if the legislature adopts Governor Carcieri’s proposal to slash judicial pensions by the amount of Social Security benefits they’re due to receive, the head of a state judges’ association predicts.

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  • February 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From MERI:

    In celebration of National Freedom to Marry Week, Marriage Equality RI (MERI) is holding a press conference to kick off our 2008 legislative efforts to secure equal rights for same-sex Rhode Island couples. MERI will be introducing a platform of basic rights protections, and introducing individuals who are or will be impacted by this legislation.

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  • February 12, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Amid the news that the US will seek the death penalty for six Guantanamo detainees facing 9/11 charges, a related protest is planned to coincide with the arrival at US District Court in Providence this morning of John Roberts, chief justice of the US Supreme Court.

    According to a news release from Mark Stahl of the RI Community Coalition for Peace,

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  • February 11, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    EVERYONE, IT SEEMS knows someone who would like to use medical marijuana to cope with such debilitating illnesses as cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.

    Medical marijuana proponents plan to seek General Assembly support this session to create an establishment, known as the Compassion Center, which, as the theory goes, would have state Department of Health backing to grow and distribute medical marijuana to approved patients.

    While the outlook for such a measure remains uncertain -- at minimum, it would likely have to overcome a gubernatorial veto -- it would address the glaring shortcoming in Rhode Island's medical marijuana law.

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  • February 11, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Matt has the details on tomorrow's scheduled visit by John Roberts, chief justice of the US Supreme Court, and an expected protest:

    U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is scheduled to visit Rhode Island this Tuesday Feb. 12th to help celebrate the centennial of the federal courthouse in downtown Providence.

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  • February 08, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    UPDATE: More from Segal.

    Linking to this post, the representative has cross-posted at RI's Future and Dose a longer response to PPRIAN.

    ---

    It's no surprise that the Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island Action Network would applaud Representative Art Handy and Senator Josh Miller for backing legislation to implement a "buffer safety zone" around reproductive health clinics.

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  • February 08, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    David Segal and Matt Jerzyk yesterday used a ProJo op-ed to outline a progressive vision for Rhode Island.

    They focused on three important needs: efficiency through regionalization, and creating a predictable funding formula; building the Green economy; and delivering criminal-justice reform.

    THERE’S LITTLE disagreement that Rhode Island’s budget needs savings, that our property taxes are too high, or that our economy could use a boost.

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