July 22, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH Pa. should ensure right to try test drugs While I echo the call to protect Pennsylvanians' right to try potentially lifesaving investigational treatments, a commentary wrongly indicated that a state right-to-try law would not eliminate U.S. Food and Drug Administration impediments ("Give patients right to try experimental drugs," July 14). The U.S. Constitution provides a floor of protection for individual rights, not a ceiling, leaving states free to enact laws that protect individual rights more broadly.
June 13, 2016
William C. Kashatus is a historian, educator, and writer Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, affirmed the protections of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by ruling that a suspect must be clearly informed prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent and that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law; that he has the right to the presence of an attorney; and...
May 11, 2016 |
THE ELEPHANTS are gone from the Ringling Bros. circus. I am glad and amazed. The orca shows at Sea World are next to go. Glad and amazed again. These decisions are "game-changing," according to Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal advocacy group. The elephants are also gone from the Philadelphia Zoo, glad again, although I know children miss the thrill of their gentle enormity. Zoos elsewhere have or will shed their pachyderms.
March 23, 2016
There's a reason beyond garden-variety partisanship that Senate Republicans resist even holding hearings on President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Their gambit evades a full and open debate of the conservative judicial agenda, which is to use the high court in an aggressive and political way to reverse decades of progressive legislation. The central irony here: The very conservatives who use "judicial activism" as a battering ram against liberals are now the aggressive judicial activists.
March 26, 2015 |
WHIPPANY - Gov. Christie described his political philosophy, including his belief that individual rights are derived from God, in front of a crowd Tuesday that included several people he grew up with. At a town-hall-style meeting in a packed community center in Morris County, the Republican governor - who said he would decide on a 2016 presidential campaign in "the next three months" - responded to a question from a gun-rights supporter by saying his authority to change existing state laws was limited.
February 27, 2015 |
A MEASLES outbreak among more than 100 children has turned political, and apparently so has hand-washing. Earlier this month, repeating the conservative trope of an over-regulated America, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told a bipartisan group in our nation's capital that "restaurants should be allowed to opt out of certain regulations, like making employees wash their hands after going to the toilet. " This misguided belief in the primacy of individual liberty over the larger benefits of society often transcends political parties.
February 19, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Republican Party, after months of trying to recruit a high-profile candidate for mayor, must now decide whether to endorse one of four virtually unknown contenders. Republican committeeman Elmer Money and businesswoman Melissa Murray Bailey pitched themselves to party ward leaders Tuesday night at a meeting. So did lawyer Rhashea Harmon, 38, who ran for state Senate in 2010, and Sean Clark, 35, who is vice president of a nonprofit called the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
January 21, 2014
AND NOW, just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, another bright idea from the Pennsylvania Legislature. A 10-year-veteran Lancaster County lawmaker wants to amend the state Constitution to free us all from the burdens of anti-discrimination laws. You could say he has a dream. Republican Rep. Gordon Denlinger, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy, an elder in the Zeltenreich Reformed Church of New Holland, Pa., is circulating a memo seeking co-sponsors for his effort.
May 26, 2013 |
Barack Obama, vowing to elevate Washington to the level of his fastidiousness, came from Chicago, where the political machine inoculates itself from scandals by the proliferation of them: Many scandals mean merely cursory scrutiny of most. Now, notice the scant attention being given to an assault on civil liberties by the misconceived Education Department's misnamed Office for Civil Rights. Responding to what it considers the University of Montana's defective handling of complaints about sexual assaults , OCR, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, sent the university a letter intended as a "blueprint" for institutions nationwide when handling sexual harassment , too. The letter, sent on May 9, encourages (see below)
March 6, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - They can't breathe. They don't bleed. They don't digest food. But, as Mitt Romney famously blurted, corporations are people - at least under the law. In the Citizens United decision in 2010, for instance, the Supreme Court recognized that corporations have the constitutional right of free speech, something most people assumed belonged to actual carbon-based life-forms. The court struck down limits on corporate election spending, ruling them the same as banning speech.