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Constitutional Law

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The 13th Annual Muzzle Awards

A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England
A year and a half into the Age of Obama, we are learning a lesson we should have figured out long ago — that repression, once in place, is rarely rolled back all the way, and that liberals no less than conservatives are reluctant to give up power.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 05, 2010
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How to opt-in to your rights

 Big Fat Whale
Enter the Konami Code on your passport to give yourself 30 secret rights.
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  June 10, 2010

The powerless rise

The danger of the unfocused anger of the Tea Party
I’m an even-tempered guy. I don’t lose my cool more than, maybe, once or twice a day.
By AL DIAMON  |  May 19, 2010
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Considering Kagan

She’s weak on free speech, but doesn’t deserve her ‘Seinfeld moment’
Elena Kagan, onetime dean of Harvard Law School and current US solicitor general, is a less than perfect candidate to sit on the Supreme Court.
By EDITORIAL  |  May 12, 2010
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Elena Kagan’s shaky record

What a Kagan appointment to the Supreme Court could mean for civil liberties
As a potential Obama nominee for Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan has liberal bona fides and the likely support of the right. But if her record is any indication, she’s more likely to side with the conservative bloc on matters of executive power and war-time presidential authority.  
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE AND KYLE SMEALLIE  |  April 16, 2010

Bully pulpit

Letters to the Boston editor, April 23, 2010
While I understand, appreciate, and respect the First Amendment and our right to speak freely, in the case of bullying, Harvey Silverglate makes a dangerous assumption that “civilized people, even teenagers can intuit the difference between protected speech and criminal harassment.”
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  April 21, 2010
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Murderabilia

A serial killer seeks a payoff
Incarcerated in a maximum-security prison in Cranston, Rhode Island, Jeff Mailhot grabbed a pen and a sheet of stationery and traced an outline of his beefy left hand.
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  April 05, 2010

Should non-citizens vote?

Government Reform
We Americans know we don't like taxation without representation in our democracy, but should we allow participation without naturalization?
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 17, 2010

Building block

Letters to the Boston editor, January 15, 2010
Your editorial, “Menino’s Promise,” about Mayor Menino’s inauguration, stated: “He must shelve his reservations about becoming more involved in private development.”
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  January 13, 2010
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Unmaking a bad federal law

Justice for Some
It's been a depressing stretch for supporters of marriage equality.
By ADAM REILLY  |  November 24, 2009

Campaign crash

Press Releases
The single biggest factor contributing to the repeal of same-sex marriage in Maine was how pro-marriage forces used — or failed to use — the media to their advantage.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  November 18, 2009

Easy Ed strikes again

More propaganda from Achorn. Plus, legislative musings and more.
It’s always easy for Ed. That’s “Easy Ed” Achorn, the Other Paper’s deputy editorial pages editor who is the equivalent of a right-wing P&J.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 11, 2009

Doom predictions

Gays into the crystal ball
Plenty of seemingly unemployable people manage to make decent livings even though they're consistently wrong.
By AL DIAMON  |  September 30, 2009
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You're all guilty!

In his new book, Three Felonies A Day , Harvey Silverglate dissects the corrupt justice practiced by federal prosecutors
Silverglate's thesis is as provocative as it is simple: justice has become sufficiently perverted in this nation that federal prosecutors, if they put their minds to it, could find a way to indict almost any one of us for almost anything. It is a truly radical notion.
By PETER KADZIS  |  September 28, 2009
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A decade gone by

Where Portland has come since 1999, and why we can't really even imagine what's coming in 2019
This week, we at the Portland Phoenix celebrate 10 years of serving Portland and Maine as your news, arts, and entertainment authority.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 16, 2009
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Ted Kennedy's real record

A note on the 32-year-incumbent's accomplishments
When a 32-year incumbent seeks re-election, there is a long and well-documented record that can be examined. So it's disconcerting to note that admit all the miles of newsprint and videotape that have been expended covering the US Senate campaign, little has been said of what Ted Kennedy has or hasn't accomplished.
By AL GIORDANO  |  August 26, 2009
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The Gates case isn't about race

Doesn't Matter If You're Black or White Dept.
The weeks-long hubbub over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Jr. by the Cambridge Police Department has centered on race, understandably, for two reasons: 1) the African-American population has suffered inequitably in its relations with law enforcement across this country, and 2) a race story is easier for the media to tell — and to sell.
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  August 05, 2009

Federal investigation requested

More prison turmoil
Stirred into action by the murder of a wheelchair-bound prisoner, human-rights activists have asked the federal Department of Justice to investigate the treatment of Maine State Prison inmates.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 22, 2009
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The 12th Annual Muzzle Awards

A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England.
With the era of repression and secrecy fostered by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney finally over, this should be the best of times for freedom of expression, open government, and civil liberties. Yet change comes slowly.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 10, 2009

Our Pazmanian Devil

Vinny's early days. Plus, a lame land grab, and more budget madness.
Phillipe and Jorge often think of how nice it would have been if Warren Zevon's "Boom Boom Mancini" ("Hurry home early, hurry on home/Boom-Boom Mancini's fighting Bobby Chacon") had been about local boxer Vinny Paz, nee Pazienza.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  June 24, 2009
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Benign neglect?

It's time Obama moved vigorously to advance gay and lesbian rights
If you are gay or lesbian, or if you care about realizing social justice, you must be wondering when Obama is going to turn his attention to the fact that one in 10 of the nation's more than 230 million adults are second-class citizens.
By EDITORIAL  |  June 24, 2009

Under attack

Civil liberties' limits grow
Recent decisions by President Barack Obama and Maine Governor John Baldacci have dampened progressive hopes that the Republican-inspired war on civil liberties might be winding down.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 10, 2009
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Robojudge

Stephen Breyer may be the right man at the wrong time
Judge Stephen Breyer, Bill Clinton's latest pick for the Supreme Court, has attracted support so broad that it spans ideological and political differences.  
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  June 11, 2009
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Sotomayor's mixed message on free speech

Freedom Watch
Minutes after President Barack Obama announced that he was nominating appellate judge Sonia Sotomayor for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, battle lines were drawn on the pre-scripted questions of "post-racial" America.
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  June 03, 2009

Drinking muddy water

Eco-Whacko Syndrome!
There's something in the water
By AL DIAMON  |  May 13, 2009

Dumb College Edition

Uber-PC at Beige University. Plus, too many sad farewells
Phillipe and Jorge have words of wisdom for Brown University's idiotic, uber-politically correct faculty members who voted to drop Columbus Day and substitute a "Fall Weekend" at the behest of student group called Native Americans at Brown.
By PHILLIPE and JORGE  |  April 15, 2009
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Partisan civil liberties disorder


Millions of Americans are suffering
By MATT BORS  |  April 08, 2009

Voting frights

Judging people by a name
When I heard about the bill being bandied about in the Maine State House that would allow non-US citizens to vote in local elections, I said to myself, "Hmmmmm."
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  April 01, 2009

Mixed Magic's When Fate Comes Knocking

Living history
It's been said before and it'll be said again: the election of Barack Obama casts a new light on the Civil Rights Movement. Or, in Ricardo Pitts-Wiley's words, "We get to tell the story in a different way."
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  February 12, 2009
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Speak no evil?

Why tightening up on anti-Obama speech is a bad idea
Anthony Lewis's free-speech credentials are impeccable: among other things, the former New York Times columnist is James Madison Visiting Professor of First Amendment Issues at Columbia University's Journalism School
By ADAM REILLY  |  January 14, 2009

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