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As of October 1, 2011 the Jennings Project blog has moved and joined forces with Constitution Daily, the Center’s daily digest of smart conversation on the Constitution. All new posts will be published there, so be sure to subscribe and follow Constitution Daily on Twitter. If you are interested in submitting a post to Constitution Daily, please email Stefan Frank at

Monday, December 7, 2009

An Unusually Brittle Eighth Amendment Exchange

A few days ago, Tennessee executed Cecil Johnson for the brutal 1980 murders of three people, including a 12 year old boy, during a robbery of a market. Johnson made one last attempt at a stay when he petitioned the Supreme Court which refused to hear his case. In their opinions, Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, and Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the dissenting opinion, engaged in a rather contentious exchange. Excerpts from both opinions are reproduced below.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Is This Any Way to Run a Constitutional Republic? The Swiss Amend Their Constitution to Ban Minarets

Last weekend, the people of Switzerland voted to amend their constitution. The document’s original guarantee of religious liberty will now be qualified through an amendment to Article 72 (which defines the line between church and state), officially banning the construction of minarets, those distinctive large spires that rise from mosques and are used to assist Muslims in the call to prayer.