Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Danger of a Balanced-Budget Amendment

Mark Wilson It seems to make sense: families have to live within their means. State and local governments have to live within their means. Why not the U.S. government, too? But as John Kenneth Galbraith pointed out in The Affluent Society, “conventional wisdom” — premises that everyone generally holds as true — are usually unexamined and…

All aboard the democracy train

Yevgeny Shrago  While markets anxiously watched America’s debt ceiling debate and Europe announced another round of bailouts for Greece in the hopes of saving Greece’s increasingly rickety monetary union, the big news out of China carried a more tragic cast: 32 people died and another 200 people were hurt when one of China’s new high speed trains rear-ended another train that…

140 Characters and No Character: The First Ever Twitter Debate

Jake Laperruque Last week the Tea Party website The Tea Party.net conducted the first ever Presidential Twitter Debate.  Actually, according to the moderator its title was “Twitter Pres debate” (got to save that character space!).  The debate was conducted fully on Twitter; all questions were posted on Twitter by the host site, and candidates gave their answers…

Congress asks Obama to Use Military Commissions

Billy Corriher  President Obama took office after campaigning as a defender of civil liberties.  But his record as President has disappointed many civil liberties advocates.  Some argue that Obama’s policies for handling detainees are nearly indistinguishable from those of President Bush’s second term.  The administration failed to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in the…

Norway: Standing for Freedom in the Face of Fear

Jessica Jackson  Last Friday, as many of us watched in horror, Norwegians experienced absolute devastation as the news feeds revealed the murders of over 90 teens in Utoya and the destruction of Oslo’s government buildings.  The attacks, which have been attributed to a young Norwegian man, brought back a flood of memories for many Americans:  Oklahoma City, 9/11, Columbine,…

Redistricting 101 (and a chance to draw your own district)

Jake Laperruque With the 2010 census completed, states across the country are currently in the midst of redrawing their Congressional districts, something that is so easy to abuse for political purposes that you could make a fun online game about it.  There are means to reform the process and prevent manipulation, but like the process itself,…

Seceding our way to a fairer electoral college

Yevgeny Shrago  California’s Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone made some waves this week, pushing for the Republican parts of Southern and Central California to secede from the evil liberal metropolises of Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Undoubtedly, once those high income areas with their substantial property values and dynamic job markets are no longer around to…

The Fourth Amendment’s Death Is Greatly Exaggerated . . . We Hope

Mark Wilson  The Fourth Amendment is not merely on life support. According to Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, it’s dead. Writing in a new iPad-oriented publication, The Daily, Chief Judge Kozinski and his law clerk, Stephanie Grace, gave the venerable amendment a eulogy and blamed all of us for its…

The Never-Ending Battle Over Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan

Billy Corriher A recent decision from the Sixth Circuit provides a new chapter in the long legal battle over affirmative action at Michigan’s public universities. Jennifer Gratz, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s 2003 case that threw out the University of Michigan’s affirmative action program, campaigned for a state constitutional amendment to prohibit affirmative action.  “Proposal 2”…

Get Your Legal Writing Noticed: Write for The HLPR Blog

HLPR Online editorial staff Apply to contribute to the Harvard Law & Policy Review blog and bring your law and policy analysis to approximately 4,000 visitors a month.  The HLPR Blog: Notice and Comment is now accepting entries to its annual writing competition, through which we select contributors for the forthcoming academic year. Contributors will be expected…

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