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Constitutional Law

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The 13th Annual Muzzle Awards

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.
A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 02, 2010
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How to opt-in to your rights

Enter the Konami Code on your passport to give yourself 30 secret rights.
 Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  June 11, 2010

The powerless rise

I’m an even-tempered guy. I don’t lose my cool more than, maybe, once or twice a day.
The danger of the unfocused anger of the Tea Party
By AL DIAMON  |  May 21, 2010
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Considering Kagan

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.
She’s weak on free speech, but doesn’t deserve her ‘Seinfeld moment’
By EDITORIAL  |  May 14, 2010
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Elena Kagan’s shaky record

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 wa
What a Kagan appointment to the Supreme Court could mean for civil liberties
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE AND KYLE SMEALLIE  |  April 23, 2010

Bully pulpit

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 spe
Letters to the Boston editor, April 23, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  April 23, 2010


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Murderabilia

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.
A serial killer seeks a payoff
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  April 02, 2010

Should non-citizens vote?

We Americans know we don't like taxation without representation in our democracy, but should we allow participation without naturalization?
Government Reform
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 19, 2010

Building block

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

It's been a depressing stretch for supporters of marriage equality.
Justice for Some
By ADAM REILLY  |  November 27, 2009

Campaign crash

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.
Press Releases
By JEFF INGLIS  |  November 20, 2009


Easy Ed strikes again

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.
More propaganda from Achorn. Plus, legislative musings and more.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 13, 2009

Doom predictions

Plenty of seemingly unemployable people manage to make decent livings even though they're consistently wrong.
Gays into the crystal ball
By AL DIAMON  |  October 02, 2009
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You're all guilty!

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 r
In his new book, Three Felonies a Day , Harvey Silverglate dissects the corrupt justice practiced by federal prosecutors
By PETER KADZIS  |  September 25, 2009
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A decade gone by

This week, we at the Portland Phoenix celebrate 10 years of serving Portland and Maine as your news, arts, and entertainment authority.
Where Portland has come since 1999, and why we can't really even imagine what's coming in 2019
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 18, 2009
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Ted Kennedy's real record

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, littl
A note on the 32-year-incumbent's accomplishments
By AL GIORDANO  |  August 28, 2009


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The Gates case isn't about race

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 relat
Doesn't Matter If You're Black or White Dept.
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  August 07, 2009

Federal investigation requested

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.
More prison turmoil
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 24, 2009
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The 12th Annual Muzzle Awards

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.
A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 10, 2009

Our Pazmanian Devil

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.
Vinny's early days. Plus, a lame land grab, and more budget madness.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  June 26, 2009
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Benign neglect?

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.
It's time Obama moved vigorously to advance gay and lesbian rights
By EDITORIAL  |  June 26, 2009


Under attack

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.
Civil liberties' limits grow
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 12, 2009
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Robojudge

Judge Stephen Breyer, Bill Clinton's latest pick for the Supreme Court, has attracted support so broad that it spans ideological and political differences.  
Stephen Breyer may be the right man at the wrong time
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  June 05, 2009
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Sotomayor's mixed message on free speech

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.
Freedom Watch
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  June 05, 2009

Drinking muddy water

There's something in the water
Eco-Whacko Syndrome!
By AL DIAMON  |  May 15, 2009

Dumb College Edition

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.
Uber-PC at Beige University. Plus, too many sad farewells
By PHILLIPE and JORGE  |  April 17, 2009


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Partisan civil liberties disorder

Millions of Americans are suffering

By MATT BORS  |  April 10, 2009

Voting frights

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."
Judging people by a name
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  April 01, 2009

Mixed Magic's When Fate Comes Knocking

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."
Living history
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  February 10, 2009
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Speak no evil?

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
Why tightening up on anti-Obama speech is a bad idea
By ADAM REILLY  |  January 14, 2009