Tag: Nat Hentoff’s Constitution

  • The Constitution Versus Ray Kelly

    Our police commissioner and his chief cheerleader, the mayor, have forgotten or never learned that the Constitution would not have been allowed to work until the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments, introduced by James Madison) were added. These guaranteed that the new Americans’ personal constitutional liberties would be protected from abuses by a […]

  • Bloomberg Schools Flunk the Constitution

    Years ago, when I was interviewing Justice William Brennan in his Supreme Court chambers for my book, Living the Bill of Rights, he suddenly became somber. “How,” he asked, “can we take the Bill of Rights off the pages and into the very lives of students?” He was aware, even back then, how little time […]

  • Joining the War Over the Constitution

    Two months after the 9/11 attacks, 25 teachers, retirees, lawyers, doctors, students, and nurses—none of them professional civil libertarians—formed the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in Northampton, Massachusetts. They knew the Bush-Cheney war on the Constitution had begun. That October 25, the White House had terrified Congress into rushing the Patriot Act into law. In […]

  • Consider the Constitutions of Obama and McCain as You Choose Sides

    On the blessed day when George W. Bush leaves office, he will have left behind a largely hidden parallel government within this nation, a rogue apparatus that allows a President to be the law, with a holy patriotic mission to ignore the Congress and the courts when decisive action is needed. And if the other […]

  • Is Obama’s Constitution Strong Enough?

    The morning after the historical surprise in Iowa, people from all kinds of backgrounds were feeling good about themselves, welcoming the real possibility—whether or not they intend to vote for him—of a black American President. I felt that way, too. Even at the Daily News, not known as a liberal bastion, the lead editorial was […]

  • Do You Miss Our Constitution?

    ” If Americans win a war [against terrorism] and lose the Constitution, they will have lost everything. “ -– Lance Morrow, Time, March 30, 2003 “We cannot allow this [Military Commissions] Act to stand. It violates some of the most basic principles upon which human rights are founded. And we must not rest until it […]

  • Daughter of the Constitution

    Anna Diggs Taylor never intended to become the first black woman to serve as chief judge of the U.S. District Court in eastern Michigan. . . .[S]he accepted out of a sense of historic duty. David Ashenfelter, Detroit Free Press, August 7 The first judge to strike down the National Security Agency’s secret warrantless surveillance […]

  • Bushwhacking the Constitution

    These are weighty and momentous considerations that go far beyond the detainees at Guantánamo. . . .[This amendment] . . . takes away jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States. It is untenable and unthinkable and ought to be rejected. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter , on the floor of the Senate, […]

  • The Broken Constitution

    The outlook of Richard Nixon was that he was above the law. Watergate disabused him of the notion. The position of George W. Bush is that he is a law unto himself. – Lincoln Caplan, editor of Legal Affairs (associated with Yale Law School), September 2005 Have we ever had a situation like this, where […]

  • Who Owns the Constitution?

    The conscience of this nation is the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas On September 17, 1987, I was privileged to be in the audience at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York when Justice William Brennan, who had become the conscience of the Bill of Rights on the high […]