Opinion2017-05-19T20:27:29-04:00

The following articles, except where noted, were originally published in the Keene Sentinel.

Face Masks Should be the Law Across the Country

When I got my driver’s license, in 1955, seat belts had been invented, but cars didn’t have them. A federal law passed in 1968 required seat belts in all new cars, and beginning with New York in 1984, states passed laws requiring seat belt usage. Today, every state but [...]

The Republican Party and Patriotism in our Time

This article was originally published in the October 25, 2020 Concord Monitor. Elections belong to the people. Abraham Lincoln I turned 21 in 1960, the last year of Eisenhower’s second term. I went to City Hall in Claremont and registered as a Republican, following in the footsteps of my [...]

The Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and Hamiltonian Consent

The “Appointments” clause provides that the President “shall nominate” and with the “Advice and Consent of the Senate” shall appoint Supreme Court Justices. These words are part of the checks and balances system designed at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The point, according to Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, was [...]

The Right to Vote is Being Wronged

On April 6, 2020, the Supreme Court decided a case called Republican National Committee v. Democratic National Committee. The Court’s opinion, with no Justice’s name attached to it, ruled in favor of the Republican Party and held that absentee ballots for the April 7 Wisconsin primary had to be [...]

Even the Worst Among Us Deserves a Fair Trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is no Walter McMillian, the central figure in Bryan Stevenson’s landmark book (now a movie) “Just Mercy.” McMillian spent six years on Alabama’s Death Row for a murder he did not commit, while Tsarnaev is, in plain English, a cold-blooded killer. On Patriots’ Day, April 15, 2013, [...]

The Supreme Court Doesn’t Always Side with the Trump Administration

The Supreme Court decides two kinds of cases, those that deal with constitutional rights and those that do not. This year’s term, now at the finish line, has produced some blockbuster decisions in both categories. Chief Justice Roberts has been with the majority in practically every instance, and despite [...]

In a Democracy We Do Not Allow Prior Restraints

This article originally appeared in the June 23, 2020 Concord Monitor. During the 18th century, a man named Blackstone wrote “Commentaries on the Laws of England,” the definitive treatise on English law. In that book, he explained that freedom of the press “consists of laying no previous restraints on [...]

Freedom of Assembly: Not a Privilege, It’s the Law of the Land

The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market. The Constitution is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes I’ve been looking through the Constitution for a place where it says the [...]

Constitutional Issues in the Time of Coronavirus

This article appeared in the May 20, 2020 issue of New Hampshire Bar News, published by the New Hampshire Bar Association You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:9-18) In Schenck v. United States (1919), the Supreme Court upheld punishment for circulating flyers urging men not to register [...]

What’s Going on at The Supreme Court During the Pandemic?

The Supreme Court is not conducting business as usual, but it is conducting business. One unusual development has been Court hearings by telephone. Previously, you had to wait a few days before you could listen to recorded oral arguments but in May, for the first time, the public could [...]

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