The most influential advocacy sometimes flows from the bravery of our allies. Thanks to one such ally of women in the military, I was able to attend college at the Virginia Military Institute, an opportunity that was made available to women only sixteen years ago. That ally is Nina Pillard, now a nominee for the D.C. Circuit Court, who will have her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday.
Metals theft is a serious crime. Thieves can strike anywhere – an iron fence stolen from a farm, an air conditioner gone missing from a home, or a catalytic converter cut from a car. The more than 100 scrap recyclers visiting Capitol Hill today are on the front lines every day, working hand-in-hand with local law enforcement and prosecutors, trying to prevent metals theft. Unfortunately, current proposals in Congress could handcuff these positive efforts through the well-intentioned, but poorly crafted Metal Theft Prevention Act (S.394/HR 867).
A bipartisan panel charged with taming the decades-long proliferation of federal crimes today takes up the question of whether an offense, to qualify as a crime, should involve criminal intent.
The criminalization of behavior involving no criminal intent -- mens rea, in legal parlance -- is part of the reason the number of federal offenses on the books has swelled over the past three decades to a staggering 4,500, including many that are obviously unnecessary, and even absurd.
In striking down a central provision of the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Supreme Court hammered a stake into the heart of a law that’s been used to guarantee fair elections in this country since the mid-1960s.
It’s now left up to a dysfunctional and highly partisan Congress to fix the law. And if I had my way, we’d already be working on it.
The struggle against discrimination and injustice scored a major win today with a Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. government may not require anyone to share the government’s prejudice, no matter how ancient or widespread that prejudice.
In a 6-2 decision, the high court struck down the Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath (APLO), which since 2003 has required U.S. non-governmental organizations to have “a policy explicitly opposing prostitution” as a condition of receiving U.S. funds for work against HIV/AIDS around the world. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in his majority opinion that the requirement violated the First Amendment because it forced grant recipients “to pledge allegiance to the government’s policy of eradicating prostitution," whether or not they agreed with that policy.