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

The Census and a Smorgasbord of Broken Rules

Article One of the Constitution provides that members of Congress shall be apportioned among the states “according to their respective Numbers.” That Article also requires a census every ten years in order to count how many persons reside in each state. Originally, the words “respective Numbers” referred to “free [...]

One Nation Under God and Jefferson’s Wall

During the Civil War a man named George Thatcher Batch wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, and Congress adopted it in 1942 as part of a law called the “Flag Code.” Since that time, it has been changed once, in 1954, with the insertion of the words “under God” between [...]

Chief Justice John Roberts and an Independent Judiciary

We don’t often have a “war of words” between the President and the Chief Justice, but that is what happened just before Thanksgiving. A California federal judge ruled that under federal law, migrants can seek asylum anywhere on U.S. soil, even if they did not enter through an authorized [...]

The President Has No Power to Undo Birthright Citizenship

Dred Scott was born into slavery in 1795 and lived as a slave in Missouri. His owner, a military man named Emerson, took Scott with him when he was transferred first to Illinois and later to the Wisconsin Territory, neither of which had slavery. As a result of several [...]

What Can be Done About Partisan Gerrymandering?

We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes During the recent Kavanaugh confirmation process, much was said and written about the future of Roe v. Wade. In 2003, Kavanaugh questioned whether that case is “settled law.” He [...]

An Open Letter to Senator Susan Collins

September 7, 2018 Dear Sen. Collins I started my voting life as a New Hampshire resident, and, after nearly a lifetime’s absence living and practicing law in Boston, I have returned to my home state.  So I am not one of your constituents except to the extent that what [...]

Security Clearance and the Unwritten Rules of Democracy

On August 15, President Trump announced that he was revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, an outspoken critic of the President, citing his “frenzied commentary.” And Trump is threatening to do the same to others, including James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence; James Comey, [...]

Executive Privilege and the Kavanaugh Nomination

In 1974, the Supreme Court decided the case of United States v. Nixon, popularly known as the “Nixon Tapes” case. The question before the Court was whether President Nixon could defy a subpoena, obtained by the Special Prosecutor in the federal conspiracy trial of Attorney General John Mitchell and [...]

Court Upholds Travel Ban, and Our Country is the Poorer For It

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 “Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas.” Notably, the Order did not mention Japanese-Americans. It simply authorized “Military Commanders” to exclude “residents” from their communities in order to protect the western part of the country [...]

Wedding-cake Ruling Falls Flat on Key Issues

June is brides’ month. It’s also Supreme Court month, the time when the Court issues its blockbuster decisions for the term and then recesses until October. On June 4, the Court decided Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That is the case where Jack the baker refused to [...]