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Monday, July 19, 2010
Do the Homeless Deserve Protection as a Minority Class? In a Recenlty Published Piece, 2009 PJP Fellow Margo Pierce Says Yes
By Margo Pierce
If 27 people had been killed in the United States in one year for being African-American or for being Jewish or for being developmentally disabled, there would be a national uproar. In 2008, 27 people were killed in the United States “for being homeless,” according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. Where is the uproar?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
In fact, while we were meeting in the National Constitution Center last February, Walczak, who is the ACLU’s legal director for Pennsylvania, had three different cases before the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals just around the corner.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Norman S. Fletcher, Former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, upon hearing that his state had told the defendant in a capital case that it could no longer afford to pay for his lawyer and that, instead, he would have to switch to an overworked public defender unfamiliar with the case.
As most journalists probably know, Courts interpreting the First Amendment have always strongly resisted any “prior restraints” on speech because they suppress expression before a court can determine that the speech should indeed be denied First Amendment protection. In other words, our system says “we won’t prevent you from speaking, but we may punish you for it after the fact.” The breadth of protection goes rather far. Back in 1971, a federal judge deemed national security concerns to be insufficient to prevent publication of the Pentagon Papers, an internal defense department study of the Vietnam War that had been leaked to the New York Times.