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

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

There Are Laws for a Criminal Assault on America

I do not ordinarily begin my monthly column by quoting federal law, but this is not an ordinary month. 18  U.S. Code § 2385, makes it a felony to “advocate, abet, or advise” overthrowing the government. Whoever “helps” or “encourages” anyone to do so, can go to prison for [...]

Donald Trump and the Power to Pardon

This article originally appeared in the January 10, 2021 Concord Monitor. Will he or won’t he? Pardon himself, that is. The last president who considered pardoning himself, so far as we know, was Richard Nixon. However, according to an August 4, 1974, Justice Department opinion, “the fundamental rule that [...]

Religion and the Supreme Court During the Pandemic

Last July, by a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court rejected the petition of a Nevada church seeking to overturn the Governor’s 50-person limit on attendance at religious services. Chief Justice Roberts joined the four liberal Justices—Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. Justice Alito dissented on the grounds that the [...]

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 [...]

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