Don Quixote, Pioneer of Religious Freedom

The Spanish novelist Cervantes wrote his famous tale about a knight-errant almost 200 years before the the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. But as Eric C. Graf, Professor of Literature at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, explains, Don Quixote paved the way for freedom of religious conscience by championing the freedom to think or believe what you want in your head. Continue Reading...

If the Constitution Were Written Like Campus Speech Codes

“Limits on free speech is uniquely troubling for the future health of a free society,” wrote Ray Nothstine in an Acton Commentary. “Students become accustomed to having their rights limited, and will be more lethargic in countering possible oppression from a growing and intrusive state.” Nothstine wrote those words in 2008 — and they’ve proven to be distressingly prophetic. Continue Reading...

Yes, Law Is Inherently Violent. That’s Not the Problem.

“Law professors and lawyers instinctively shy away from considering the problem of law’s violence,” says Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter. “Every law is violent. We try not to think about this, but we should.” Carter, one of the most astute legal minds in America, rightfully points out the inherent violence embedded in the law. Continue Reading...

A Gideon v. Wainwright Reminder

Over the past decade media coverage of the problems surrounding indigent defense has been increasing. For example, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is currently suing the state of Utah for failing to uphold that 6th Amendment which now provides opportunities for government provided criminal defense. Continue Reading...

Perverse Incentives Hurt Poor Defendants

Since the landmark Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) every state has developed a system of public defense. The decision guaranteed that those accused of felony offenses are entitled to a lawyer under the rights outlined in the 6th Amendment, which include, the right to a jury trial, a public trial, and pertaining to Gideon, “to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” In the wake of the Gideon decision each state was required to develop a system of public defenders to represent those who did not have a legal counsel, and especially those who could not afford a lawyer. Continue Reading...

Don’t Politicize Transgender Issue

I want to be very clear from the outset that moral concerns surrounding transgender identity are not unimportant. But in the likely event that we don’t come to any national consensus on that question any time soon, it is important not to overlook other moral and social concerns that are far more pressing. Continue Reading...