By Frederick S. LaneAs intrusive as data collection by private companies can be, the negative consequences (unwanted ads, commercial profiling, even credit redlining) pale in comparison to government power over our property, our liberty, and even our lives. As I wrote in American Privacy, we don’t have to look far back in our nation’s history to find instances of government misuse of personal information. Nixon, with his enemies list and abusive IRS practices, is the most well-known example, but similar abuses have flared up at all levels of government. (Among other things, there are numerous reports of investigating officers downloading and sharing nude photos and videos that they discovered while examining seized cellphones.)
The SCOTUS cellphone privacy ruling and the recent celebrity phone hack are two sides of the same coin, according to Frederick Lane, legal scholar and author of AMERICAN PRIVACY: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right.
Legal scholar Frederick S. Lane, author of 'The Court and the Cross,' investigates the ramifications of the Hobby Lobby decision and the doctrine of nullification gaining foothold in Christian conservative circles.
Edward Snowden's leaks revealed that the National Security Agency had far overstepped legal boundaries with their current data collection programs. But, claims legal scholar Frederick S. Lane, these intrusions into American privacy and civil liberty are as old as America itself.
An atheist organization is suing to prevent the installation of a cross-shaped piece of debris at Ground Zero. Their case has come under fire, but Fred Lane looks at the constitutional issues at stake.
You may not want to explain the details of Anthony Weiner's public disgrace to your kids, but if you keep mum, you may be missing a chance to teach your kids some valuable lesson.
“You Have the Right to Remain Silent”
Frederick S. Lane makes an immodest proposal for airline safety in the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing.
Frederick S. Lane looks at the Constitutional issues posed by the group of politicians at 133 C Street, otherwise known as "The Family."
Frederick Lane looks at the history of anti-Census fervor.
Four and a half years ago, during the halftime show for the 2004 Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson set off a heated national debate about televised decency when Timberlake pulled off part of Jackson's bustier and revealed her right breast.
It is no secret that the evangelical wing of the Republican Party has some strong reservations about the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain. The "agents of intolerance" charge that McCain leveled at Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell during the 2000 primary, for instance, has not been forgotten. Nor were evangelicals pleased when McCain so quickly disavowed two prominent evangelical preachers, the Rev. John Hagee and the Rev. Rod Parsley, for making controversial statements about Islam, Hitler, and the Holocaust.
Roughly a month ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in United States v. Williams that upheld the consitutionality of the Prosecutorial Remedies and other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 (The PROTECT Act). The 7-2 decision is the latest in a disturbing line of Congressional actions and Supreme Court decisions that cloak encroachments on the First Amendment in the pious garb of protecting children.
The Religious Right has successfully spent the last thirty years putting the fear of God into Republican presidential candidates. Those who deviate from the evangelical political liturgy are threatened with the special purgatory of corporate golf games and Viagra ads reserved for unsuccessful Republican nominees. And of all the hymns aspirants are required to memorize, none is more sacred than "A Mighty Fortress Are Strict Constructionists."
Frederick Lane discusses the aging of the liberal members of the Supreme Court, and what this year's election might mean for the future of the court. "Change is an inevitable feature of the Supreme Court, but few presidential elections have taken place in the shadow of such potentially momentous change as this one."
Frederick S. Lane is an expert witness, lecturer, and author who has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, the BBC, and MSNBC. His fourth book, The Court and the Cross: The Religious Right's Crusade...
by Frederick S. Lane Forty or so years ago, a U.S. Senator from Vermont by the name of George Aiken wisely advised both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon that the United States should simply declare victory in Vietnam and bring...
by Frederick S. Lane Last week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney traveled to College Station, Texas, to deliver a major address on faith to an audience at the George H.W. Bush presidential library. Given the fact that the speech was...