By Eric Allen Kauk* Last week voters in Florida passed a state constitutional amendment that automatically restored the right to vote to more than 1,000,000 people who were previously convicted of felonies, and who have successfully served their sentences. The amendment was widely-supported by many groups including the ACLU, the Koch brothers-backed Freedom Partners, and … [Read more...] about Who Will Gain From Florida’s 1,000,000 Restored-Felon Voters?
By Emma Greenman* With a week until the 2018 elections, campaigns are shifting into high gear and so are voter suppression efforts in many parts of the country. America’s history with disenfranchisement is older than the Constitution itself and this year we have seen a disturbing acceleration of the decade-old resurgence of restrictive voting laws, voter suppression tactics … [Read more...] about The Right to Vote in Every Corner of the Country
by Jillia Pessenda* Across the country women are running for office in record numbers. At Women Winning, a Minnesota-based organization dedicated to electing pro-choice women from all political parties to all levels of public office, we see this unprecedented national trend reflected in our work across the state. At a time when we are confronting the omnipresent misogyny of … [Read more...] about Wrestling with Misogyny: What it Will Take for Women to Win in 2018 and Beyond
By Chris Sagers In the world there are weightier things than antitrust, and the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh involves many of them. His replacement of Anthony Kennedy will likely change the Court’s balance in several areas, perhaps including the constitutional status of abortion, marriage rights, and who knows what other civil rights affairs. It also … [Read more...] about Antitrust, Political Economy, and the Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh
By Milton Heumann* The classic “you’ve come a long way baby” mantra from the world of tobacco advertising has an analogous application to plea bargaining. Fifty years or so ago, plea bargaining was just emerging from the shadows of the perception of our trial courts, but today it is recognized as occupying the central position in understanding the ways justice is … [Read more...] about Plea Bargaining: Lessons Learned, Issues Outstanding
By Eric Allen Kauk* This November Florida will vote on Amendment 4, a measure that would automatically restore the right to vote to 1,487,847 convicted felons who have successfully served their entire sentence and paid their debt to society. Florida lags far behind the rest of the country when it comes to restoring individuals’ civil rights. In 2016, more Floridians had … [Read more...] about Fighting to Restore Civil Rights and Felon Rehabilitation in Florida
By Amien Kacou* The Trump administration has made fighting illegal immigration a top law enforcement priority. But, despite the President’s frequent displays of availability bias—if not vicious cynicism—on this issue, it is well-established that immigrants, regardless of legal status or origins, are on average less likely than citizens to commit most crimes. In fact, their … [Read more...] about Trump’s Flailing Ratchet: From “Bad Hombres” to “Zero Tolerance”
By David Patton* These days as a federal public defender, I’m often asked some version of, “Aren’t federal prosecutions horribly unfair and draconian now that Jeff Sessions is heading the Department of Justice?” I usually respond with some version of “Yes, they are.” What I often leave out is, “And they have been for as long as I can remember.” A casual observer of the … [Read more...] about Obama and the Good Old Days of Federal Prosecution?
By Melissa Garlick* Three militia members from southwest Kansas were recently convicted on federal civil rights charges and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction for targeting Somali Muslim immigrants for a plan of mass murder in 2016. On a recording made available to the jury, one of the defendants said: “The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.” The convictions … [Read more...] about Federal Hate Crime Prosecutions are Critical, but Are They Enough?
By Mark Satta* There are a lot of traits worth wanting in a political leader—relevant experience, good public speaking skills, strong critical thinking skills, a charming personality, empathy, tact, wisdom, diligence, willingness to serve those whom one leads, etc. The current President of the United States seems to lack an unsettling number of these traits, but North … [Read more...] about Epistemic Humility as a Presidential Virtue