Whether To Prosecute for Torture?

April 30, 2009

Broadcast on WAMC Northeast Report, Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There is an effort to press the Obama Administration to prosecute those responsible for torture and it is gaining steam among many of us who have been outraged by the former Administration’s sanction for torture. I have no doubt that their behavior was unconstitutional and violated many statutes. As a purely legal matter I am convinced that high up in the ranks of the Bush Administration there were a number of guilty parties who deserve prosecution and stiff penalties for their misbehavior. Read the rest of this entry »

The polarization of American politics

April 22, 2009

Changes in American law have played a major role in creating the partisan environment that many denounce. These changes have involved parallel trends in the law of political campaigns and elections and the law of mass communications. The collective impact of these changes has not been appreciated. In a forthcoming article I bring these developments together and identify their collective impact. The article demonstrates how legal regulation shaped the centrism of the mid-twentieth century and regulatory shifts in media and election law shaped the partisanship of recent decades. Sensible proposals will not and should not bring the naive centrism of earlier decades back. But they might curb the excesses of contemporary politics.  For full text, see  Stephen E. Gottlieb. 2008. “Law and the Polarization of American Politics” ExpressO Available  Here.

The Sport of Courts

April 21, 2009
For broadcast on WAMC Northeast Report on April 21, 2009

This week I’d like to make it clear that the Court is consistent in its treatment of those who have been abused by government misconduct. They get the back of this Court’s hand.

Read the rest of this entry »

Prosecutorial misconduct: Eric Holder and the Supreme Court

April 19, 2009

 Broadcast on WAMC Northeast Report, April 14, 2009. [On the striking difference between the sense of responsilibity displayed by by Attorney General Eric Holder and the absence of responsibility display by our Supreme Court.]

Read the rest of this entry »

Does What We Know About the Life Cycle Of Democracy Fit Constitutional Law?

April 10, 2009

Forthcoming  ___ Rutgers L. Rev. ___ (2009);  full text available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1376593

The empirical political science relating to the survival of republican government has not made it into constitutional law. Although specific protections in the Constitution are often hailed as essential for democratic society, the broader issue of what may be necessary to protect American democracy has received little attention, either in the context of the republican government clause or elsewhere.

Political scientists are posing a particularly strong challenge to constitutional law because one of the strongest conclusions to emerge from their study of the breakdown of democratic government has been the importance of a reasonably egalitarian society, with a reasonable division of resources among the population. Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing the Work in Hard Times

April 9, 2009

Broadcast April 7, 2009 on WAMC Northeast Report:

I grew up passionately pro-labor. I have always felt that labor unions did a great service. I have never felt that any human organization, unions included, always did the right thing. We all get some things wrong, elect the wrong people who pursue the wrong agenda. But on balance, I think unions do an important service.

But unions also have responsibilities, and some of those are legally defined. Read the rest of this entry »


April 6, 2009

Just testing

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