We Must Root Out The Torturers In Our Midst

That’s why I agreed to support the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture, a grassroots effort to build momentum for genuine national accountability. The federal government and courts won’t guarantee justice but people can if they insist on transparency and truth,” writes Robin Kirk, co-chair of the Duke University Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Read More in Newsweek

Examining The Fallout Over FBI Director Firing

Law professor Christopher Schroeder talks about President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, casting doubt on Trump’s statement that the FBI was in disarray and calling Trump’s claim that Comey told him he wasn’t being investigated “quite unusual, strange even.” (4:50 mark).

 

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Critics Say Trump Broke The Law In Firing Comey

Some critics of President Trump have accused him of obstruction of justice in his firing of FBI Director James Comey amid the bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. Law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor, discusses obstruction of justice law and how it might apply to the president’s firing of an investigator.

Read More in The New York Times

What Herman Melville Can Teach Us About Trump Era

I can think of no other American author who can so inform the perilous moment we are currently living. …  (Though) “The Confidence-Man” … was published 160 years ago, on April Fool’s Day, 1857, Melville could have been presciently forecasting today’s America when he imagined his country as a Mississippi steamer (ironically called the Fidèle) filled with ‘a flock of fools, under this captain of fools, in this ship of fools!’” writes Ariel Dorfman, English professor emeritus.

Read More in The Nation

Watergate Part 2? The Similarities Between Trump and Nixon

“… Coming as it does on the heels of the chaos of the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, the termination of Comey as FBI director, just as he was about to testify about what involvement the Trump campaign may have had with Russia in the 2016 campaign, raises disturbing questions about potential parallels with Watergate,” writes historian emeritus William Chafe.

Read More in The Hill

Faculty Say Firing of FBI Director Threatens Constitution, Democracy

“The firing of FBI Director James Comey is a serious, democracy and Constitution-threatening action. Comparisons to the Saturday Night Massacre and Watergate may in some ways be overdrawn, but in two fundamental ways the similarities are undeniable,” says Christopher Schroeder, a law professor who served as an assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy at the United States Department of Justice.

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Donald Trump Wants the First Amendment Both Ways

“Clearly, Trump wants things both ways. He’d strip First Amendment protections from his media critics while claiming them for himself when others are actually, physically hurt as a result of his words. But the First Amendment does not work this way,” writes Michael Newcity, a visiting professor of linguistics and Slavic and Eurasian Studies.

Read More in the Herald-Sun

Trump Team to Meet on Paris Again

Nicholas School biologist Stuart Pimm and colleagues are seeking to force the Interior Department to restore webpages on climate change through a provision in the Freedom of Information Act. “The public has a right to know important scientific information, particularly when it threatens to unravel the web of life we all depend on,” Pimm says.

Read More in Politico

On Israeli Airstrikes in Syria — Lawful and No Need for Transparency

“… The facts are scarce about what intelligence or legal theory the Israelis relied upon to launch their attack (assuming it was them).  However, my guess is that they knew there were Hezbollah weapons in the warehouses that were being transshipped to the Israeli frontier, and that for legal justification, they relied upon the concept of anticipatory self-defense,” writes law professor Charles Dunlap.

Read More at Just Security

Health Care is a Moral Issue First

“If you share these moral values, of course you should support the push to repeal. You have absolutely every right to do so,” writes political scientist David Siegel. “But if you do not share these moral values and are considering supporting a repeal anyway, perhaps it’s worth thinking about how you might better align your policy stances with your moral values.”

Read More in The Hill

In Congress, Even Lawmakers’ Degrees are a Partisan Issue

Does going to an elite college make for a more effective legislator? That’s what research scientist Jonathan Wai and co-authors argue in a forthcoming paper. However, political scientist Nicholas Carnes (not one of the co-authors) notes that we shouldn’t overstate the extent to which education alone affects policy makers’ decisions. It’s important to also consider factors, he says, like the regions of the country elite-educated members represent and the ideologies of their constituents, Carnes says.

Read More in The Chronicle of Higher Education

What Will Kill Neoliberalism?

 Economist William Darity contributes to a commentary on the future of neoliberalism. Suppose, indeed, that the age of capitalism is actually reaching its conclusion — but one that doesn’t involve the ascension of the working class. Suppose, instead, that we consider the existence of a third great social class vying with the other two for social dominance. …”

Read More in The Nation