Writ's Columnists Discuss the September 11th Attacks on the US and the Aftermath
FindLaw guest columnist, George Washington University philosophy of law professor, and author Mark Allenbaugh discusses the purposes of sentencing; how those purposes apply to terrorists; and why motive plays a crucial role. Allenbaugh notes that under U.S. sentencing standards, terrorists' culpability may be aggravated if they are motivated by anti-American hatred, but could be mitigated by their political motives, as occurred in the trials of Timothy McVeigh and al-Qaeda member Rashed Daoud al-'Owhali.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and Michigan economics professor and law student Neil Buchanan discusses what the limits on calls for Congressional unity should be. Buchanan argues that while nonpartisanship may make sense on issues truly related to the war on terrorism and the terrorist attacks and their effects, some proposals -- like the capital gains tax cut and Bush's federal judgeship nominations -- are not that type of issue. Indeed, Buchanan contends, a capital gains tax cut will only aggravate the economic slowdown, not remedy it.
Friday, Sep. 21, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and U.C. Davis law professor Anupam Chander takes issue with the Bush Administration's position in Coalition of Clergy v. Bush, a California case in which a group of clergypersons and attorneys is challenging the Administration's treatment of Guantanamo detainees. Chander contests the Administration's position -- which holds that because Guantanamo is not technically under U.S. sovereignty, the Constitution does not apply to the detainees -- on both legal and policy grounds.
Thursday, Mar. 07, 2002
FindLaw guest columnist and attorney Russell Covey discusses whether it is best to characterize the recent terrorist acts as acts of war, crimes, war crimes, or all of the above -- and the implications each label brings with it. Covey contends, for example, that it is not clear that we are at war with Osama bin Laden, but that we would be at war with any state that sponsored his attack.
Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and London-based writer and journalist Anthony Dworkin comments on the British response to the September 11 attack. Dworkin argues that the United States, in responding to the attacks, should be sure to take a multilateral approach -- in part to dispel longstanding criticism that the U.S. dominates other nations through its military, culture, and economy, yet fails to take account of what other nations think or follow international rules.
Thursday, Oct. 04, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and Mid-East history author, Ph.D., and teacher Steven Z. Freiberger contends that our prior military policy of "bomb and retreat" must change. What should replace it, he argues, is a new strategy of fighting terrorism with methods including infiltration of terrorist organizations, better spying, and even political assassination -- and a new Marshall Plan to address the root causes of terrorism, including poverty and desperation.
Monday, Oct. 01, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and Mid-East history author, Ph.D., and teacher
Steven Z. Freiberger describes the 48 hours after the terrorist attacks --
he, his family, and his students experienced them.
Monday, Oct. 01, 2001
FindLaw columnist and attorney Tom Hentoff discusses why it is important for the government, now more than ever, to refrain from violating the journalist's privilege to protect confidential sources and other newsgathering information. Hentoff surveys three important recent attempts by government to seek disclosure despite the privilege -- include one in which a journalist, refusing to disclose, remains in jail.
Thursday, Sep. 20, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and attorney Philip Gagner discusses a current case in which the Bush Administration has made clear that it believes military tribunals can be used to try not only non-citizens (as the recent Executive Order commands), but U.S. citizens as well. Gagner -- who represents the government's opponent in the case -- argues that the Administration's position is wrong. Military tribunals cannot and should not, he contends, be used to try U.S. citizens, and they also should not be instituted without direct Congressional authorization.
Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and telecommuting law author and expert Nicole Belson Goluboff discusses a recent tax decision in which a Cardozo tax professor challenged double taxation of his income by New York and Connecticut. Goluboff contends that, especially given post-September 11 problems for New York businesses, New York should stop taxing non-resident telecommuters on income they earn, and pay taxes on, in another state.
Monday, Dec. 03, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and attorney Laura Hodes discusses the potential legal issues arising from the use of parody images of the Sesame Street character Bert in posters that also featured Osama bin Laden, and that were used in a pro-bin Laden Bangladesh rally. The images on the posters turned out to have been downloaded by a Bangladeshi from a "Bert Is Evil" website that pairs the gruff character with history's villains. Hodes examines whether the use of Bert, on the site and on the posters, is a copyright violation or legitimate parody.
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and attorney Laura Hodes discusses the Fourth
Amendment issues raised by Attorney General Ashcroft's proposed
Anti-Terrorism Act. Hodes also urges us not to unduly fear the use of
Carnivore, the government's system for tracking certain e-mail
communications, and points out that Carnivore's precision lessens the chance
it will target innocent persons' communications.
Monday, Oct. 01, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and Marquette law professor Scott Idleman argues that, in the wake of the terrorist acts, we need to rethink our individual rights-centered, overly-litigious culture and put renewed focus on concepts of the common good -- including those set forth in the Constitution's preamble.
Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2001
Johns Hopkins political science professor and constitutional law scholarJoel Grossman discusses President Bush's Executive Order directing thatsuspected terrorists be tried by military tribunals.Grossman examinespossible sources of authority for the Executive Order, and considersthe larger question of whether the Supreme Court should getinvolved in presidential actions during wartime.
Thursday, Nov. 29, 2001
FindLaw guest columnists Sam Kazman, general counsel at the Competitive
Enterprise Institute, and Henry Miller, a fellow at the Hoover Institutution,
discuss the recent recommendation by the federal commission on terrorism that
the federal government take over vaccine research, development and
production. Kazman and Miller argue to the contrary, citing experiences with
government involvement in human growth hormone and the anthrax vaccine.
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist, attorney, and former federal prosecutor Mei Lin Kwan-Gett solves a conundrum: why, when there are grand jury secrecy rules, are we still reading press coverage relating to September 11-related grand jury proceedings? Kwan-Gett makes clear what types of information do, and do not, fall under grand jury secrecy rules, and explains why information reported in the press about grand juries may not always be accurate.
Thursday, Oct. 25, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and University of Texas (Austin) law professor Sanford Levinson discusses how the Constitution has fared in wartime. Levinson draws upon historical examples including Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus and his Emancipation Proclamation. He also analyzes legal cases ranging from free speech landmarks like the Pentagon Papers case, to the notorious Korematsu decision upholding World War II internment camps, to a little known but important decision called Haig v. Agee.
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and journalist Richard McGill Murphy, who traveled to Karachi and Islamabad to interview Pakistanis and Afghans in late October, argues that individuals have a more nuanced, less abstract view of the war than one would think from listening to leaders and watching media coverage. Murphy contends that overuse of abstractions, and insufficient attention to individuals' plights, plagues both sides in the war.
Thursday, Dec. 13, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and New York-based writer and editor, Richard Murphy started his career as a reporter covering Afghanistan and was later a Fulbright Scholar in Pakistan. Murphy contends that the U.S. should avoid a massive military strike against Afghanistan, which will seem anti-Muslim, and instead focus on convincing the nations of the world that terrorism is a problem that affects Muslims too. Murphy also dicusses what Islamic law would consider to be sufficient evidence of bin Laden's guilt in the terrorist attacks, and explains reasons why America is hated by some in the Islamic world.
Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist, journalist, and history professor Ian Mylchreest points out interesting parallels and contrasts between the 1919-20 anarchist violence in the United States, and the current terrorist attacks -- and government reactions to each. Mylchreest reminds us that this is not the first time terrorists have used the mail as a weapon to target government officials, nor is it the first time Wall Street has been attacked or deportation used as a government anti-terrorism strategy.
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and University of Washington law professor Anita Ramasastry explores a host of issues raised by the Justice Department's decision to have local police interview Middle-Eastern men who are in the United States pursuant to visas. Ramasastry argues that the "voluntary" interviews will nonetheless be coercive; that they will bear the taint of racial, religious and national-origin profiling; that they will not serve their purpose, in part because true terrorists will never attend them; and that they may clash with local privacy laws.
Monday, Dec. 17, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and University of Washington law professor Anita Ramasastry urges us quickly to improve domestic and international policing of money laundering -- the insertion of illegally obtained money into the stream of commerce, so that "dirty" money appears "clean" -- as a crucial part of the war on terrorism. Ramasastry surveys current international and U.S. money laundering solutions, and advises how they should be improved.
Monday, Oct. 15, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and University of Washington law professor Anita
Ramasastry explains the provisions of the Patriot Act -- the current draft
of Congress' proposed legislation concerning procedures applicable to
immigrants whom the Attorney General considers to present a security threat.
Ramasastry contends that the bill conflicts with the constitution's due process
requirements, and hearkens back to the notorious Alien and Sedition Acts of
the Eighteenth Century.
Friday, Oct. 05, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist, Stanford Humanities Fellow, and author Jonathan Schoenwald recalls another time in our nation's history when the FBI also faced fears of internal subversion and domestic terrorism -- the 1960s. Schoenwald argues that the FBI's less than honorable response to these 1960's fears may well be repeated, without our knowledge, today, unless reform occurs.
Thursday, Mar. 14, 2002
FindLaw guest columnist and Hofstra law professor Peter Spiro contends that because the war in Afghanistan is over, the Bush Administration should switch to a law enforcement model to address the war's aftermath. On the domestic front, Spiro argues that we should treat suspected terrorists as we do other criminal suspects. On the international front, Spiro argues that, while the Geneva Convention may not apply to Al Qaeda members, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does -- and the U.S. should start paying attention to that covenant if it wants to continue to rally international support.
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2002
FindLaw guest columnist, Hofstra law professor, and former State Department lawyer and NSC staff member Peter Spiro contends that the recent terrorist acts should be treated as crimes, not acts of war, and that we should proceed accordingly -- refraining from bombing civilian targets in Afghanistan, and attempting if possible to capture and try Osama bin Laden rather than killing him.
Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and Catholic University law professor Victor Williams argues that the President should use his recess appointment power to fill the numerous vacancies that still remain in the executive and the judiciary, while the Senate is not in session. Williams traces the constitutional basis for, and long history of, recess appointments, and explains why he feels they are warranted now.
Tuesday, Jan. 01, 2002
FindLaw columnist and U.C. Davis law professor Tobias Barrington Wolff explains why, now more than ever, the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that affects gay men and lesbians in the military must come to an end. Wolff argues that the policy -- which has resulted in thousands of career soldiers being summarily discharged -- wrongly relegates those it affects to second-class citizenship, and does so at a time when citizenship has never been more paramount in our minds and hearts.
Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and U.C. Davis law professor Tobias Barrington Wolff discusses why it is worthwhile to teach and study law now, after the terrorist acts, more than ever. Wolff surveys areas of law that may take center stage in the coming weeks and months, and reminds us to put current news in the context of legal and historical precedents.
Monday, Sep. 17, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and University of Texas law professor Ernest Young takes issue with the view, voiced by Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse and others, that the war on terrorism has made the era of states' rights obsolete. Young contends that despite the Court's recent limits on federal power, the federal government has ample room to pass anti-terrorism measures which, unlike legislation recently struck down by the Court, inarguably implicate federal interests. He also predicts that we will see renewed activity in the spheres of state and local government as we combat terrorism.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001
FindLaw guest columnist and Cardozo law professor Peter Yu contends that bridging the global digital divide -- which he defines as the gulf between the information "haves" and "have nots" -- should be a top priority. Yu explains why he believes both less developed and more developed countries will benefit, and why the likelihood of terrorism will be decreased.
Monday, Feb. 11, 2002
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