Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's first 100 days

We wanted to share this scorecard from the ACLU of Massachusetts on President Obama's decisions so far on civil liberties, during his first 100 days:

The tally we've come up with so far is -1.5

The problem is not that the Obama administration has not immediately repaired all the damage done to civil liberties in recent years -- that would be a tall order.

Instead, we are looking at the decisions the administration is making that could help to restore the rule of law, and evaluated whether or not that decision was a step in the wrong direction or a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Iowa Supreme Court unanimously overturns marriage ban

When Iowa became the 4th state in the union to recognize equal marriage rights regardless of sexual orientation (after Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California, which voted narrowly in November to take those rights away), I was hit by a sense of inevitability -- an awareness that we will, one day soon, have equal rights under the law.

It's not just that the Hawkeye state -- where I grew up -- serves as a bell-weather of middle-American sensibility. After all, despite being a mostly-white state of farmers and professors, Iowans as a group are moved politically by a sense of common fairness. This gives them the courage to embrace change, even to vote for a young black constitutional lawyer as their presidential candidate and to recognize that "equality under the law" means nothing if those of us with legal rights deny those same rights to our fellow citizens. But the sense of history that I feel in today's Iowa Supreme Court ruling is larger than that -- it's a sense across the nation, we are going to realize the promise of equality under the law. I guess that fresh spring air is the smell of freedom and justice.