22 posts categorized "Frederick S. Lane" Feed

Frederick S. Lane | In my previous post, “The Napoleon of the Mailbags,” I talked about the enthusiasm of Christian nationalists for a re-invigoration of the 1873 Comstock Act. In the view of zealots like US District Court Judge Matthew Kaszmyrak (D. 19th Cent.), the law's long-dormant prohibition against the mailing of “(e)very article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion” amounts to a national ban of mifepristone and misoprostol, the two medications most commonly used to induce abortion. Read more →

By Frederick S. Lane | The name “Anthony Comstock” has been in the news a lot over the last few weeks. That’s really something of a surprise, given that Comstock died almost 109 years ago in his Summit, NJ, home. But he left behind a legacy of legislative and cultural activism that increasingly resonates with the country’s growing Christian nationalist movement.  Read more →

By Frederick S. Lane | For millennia, childless couples were told that their nurseries were empty because of “God's will,” or that it was “all in God’s plan.” Similarly, empty condolences were offered when infants or children died of preventable diseases, unsanitary conditions, unhealthy foods, or foreseeable negligence. Read more →

By Frederick S. Lane

Having spent a fair amount of time reading the writings of America's founding statesmen, I feel qualified to ask the following question: Is there anything that Franklin, Madison, Jefferson, or Washington would have found more ludicrous than the sight of thousands of Americans wandering around colonial Philadelphia trying to capture imaginary Japanese monsters known as Pokémon? Read more →

By Frederick S. Lane

As 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.) Read more →

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. Read more →

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. Read more →

Frederick S. Lane looks at the Constitutional issues posed by the group of politicians at 133 C Street, otherwise known as "The Family." Read more →

The Perils of Parables

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. Read more →

What Were They Thinking? United States v. Williams and Free Speech

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. Read more →

The Petrification of John McCain

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." Read more →

Happy Birthday, Justice Stevens

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." Read more →