Streams

Jami Floyd

Legal Analyst

Jami Floyd appears in the following:

Monday Morning Reality Check: Martial Law, Not Democracy in Egypt

Monday, February 14, 2011

Champions of democracy the world over welcomed the departure of Hosni Mubarak, Friday, with a massive display of joy. Protesters across Cairo savored their victory, and correspondents on TV channels worldwide fought back tears (some, in fact did cry) as they reported the story of a revolution.

I was inspired, instead, to turn to Brother Webster -- as in Webster’s Dictionary, for a little reminder of what all the hoopla was about:

Revolution |n. (pl. s)(Origin Latin revolutio.) a fundamental change in power that takes place in a relatively short period of time.

Given this definition – “a fundamental change in power” perhaps the celebration is a bit premature. I hate to be a spoilsport, but I’m fairly confident that military regime is not what the youth of Egypt had in mind over these last three weeks. And “revolutionary change” is certainly not what has come to Egypt – not yet.

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Egypt — What Happens Now?

Friday, February 11, 2011

I have been watching the events in Egypt over these 18 days and it was clear that the country had risen together for a single cause — the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. But as I have suggested before, a revolution does not a democracy make.

There can be no orderly transition of government in Egypt in the midst of chaos. The protestors have made their point. They have won the day: Murbarak has resigned.

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Opinion: Why One Drop Matters

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Halle Berry may not choose her words as carefully as a politician, but this is the realpolitik she is talking about. She may not be as eloquent as a preacher, but this is the painful process of self-identification that people like us remember. This was a place where skin color and the fullness of your lips and the broadness of your nose could give you away. And, if we are to be honest about it, as Ms. Berry was, America is a place where these factors still determine too much.

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Tear it Down, Build it Up: The Architecture of Democracy

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Having a constitution and respecting that constitution are clearly not synonymous. Without legitimacy, a constitution is nothing more than words on a page. The importance of a constitutional system has less to do with the actual words in the document than the commitment that the people have to respect it. A large number of Egyptians clearly do not think their Constitution has secured what it promises.

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Taking a Pass on Football for the Next Generation

Monday, February 07, 2011

I love football. And for good reason. My father had no money for college and would not have gone but for track and football scholarships. 

But this is the first year he and I didn’t watch the Super Bowl together. My father now suffers from Parkinson’s disease. I believe — and his doctors do too — that repeated concussions triggered the disease.

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In Egypt, Reflections of a World Not Safe for Journalism

Friday, February 04, 2011

There is great alarm in America about a great many things in Egypt, including the treatment of journalists during recent anti-government protests. The ugly truth, however, predates the Egyptian crisis of the last ten days and spills far beyond the streets of Cairo. Eighty-seven journalists were murdered worldwide in 2010. And that's not taking into account the journalists who have been assaulted, kidnapped, harassed or otherwise suffered violence in the line of duty.

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Comment

Obama's Silence on Guantanamo

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

WNYC

In the week since the State of the Union, it seems we analyst-types have dissected every word; but perhaps as many people have taken the President to task for words not spoken: poverty, race, gun control.

For me, there were two more words noticeably absent: Guantanamo Bay.

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Comments [1]

What the Oscars Don't Tell Us About Race in America

Friday, January 28, 2011

Too often, the stories black and brown (and women) filmmakers want to tell cannot get a green light. Studios do not want to take the chance on a story that is out of what they perceive to be the mainstream. So, come Oscar time, you don’t see diversity -- in front of the camera, or behind it.

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A Good Speech, But to the Wrong Audience

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Last night I watched with 100 of my fellow political junkies as President Obama gave his third State of the Union address. We tweeted along, in earnest, with mostly substantive commentary, though the tweets were laced with wry humor about John Boehner's emotional reaction to Obama's remark about his boyhood and whether Vice President Biden himself was tweeting.

I said on this page yesterday that, for Obama, this speech needed to be a big transformational moment, a speech that would evoke FDR and Kennedy, one that would remind us why we voted for him in the first place.

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SOTU Analysis

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's A Free Country bloggers Jami Floyd, Karol Markowicz, Justin Krebs, and Solomon Kleinsmith join our listeners in reacting to last night's State of the Union address.

→ Read More and Join the Conversation at It's A Free Country

What Obama Should Say

Monday, January 24, 2011

No doubt, even a great speaker, like President Barack Obama, will be tinkering with his State of the Union speech up to the last minute. So, here is my humble advice in two words: Think Big.

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Comment

Justice Scalia Shouldn't Speak to the Tea Party Caucus

Monday, January 24, 2011

Simply put, this appearance creates appearance problems. It adds to the politicization of the judiciary. And so, I am forced to consider — with all due respect — whether Justice Scalia should be speaking to the caucus, and whether Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court should speak publicly, at all.

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Comment

My Background with Federal Background Checks

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I remember my background check. I thought it was intrusive, a violation of my privacy and unnecessary.

Now, 17 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court has passed on the very question that's been sitting at the back of my mind, ever since: Does the government have the power to insist that federal employees candidly answer intrusive personal questions — including whether they have received treatment or counseling for illegal drug use?

For the Supreme Court, the answer was so clear, it was a slam-dunk: 8-0 voting yes.

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Comments [3]

Guns Don’t Kill People, Bullets Kill People

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Experience suggests there is little chance the attack will produce significant new legislation, let alone change a national culture that has been accepting of guns since its inception—unless we try something new and different.

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Restoring the Dream of Nonviolence

Monday, January 17, 2011

A national holiday is nice; but it is not enough. To honor and respect the memory of Dr. King, those massacred in Arizona and all Americans who have lost their lives to senseless violence, we must show the courage on the issue of gun control.

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In Remembrance: The Honorable John M. Roll

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Federal judge John M. Roll was among the victims killed in the Tucson shootings last week. His untimely death—and the unnerving frequency with which judges require protection from violence—is a sobering reminder of the perils of public service.

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The Ties that Bind

Friday, January 14, 2011

9 year-old shooting victim Christina Taylor Green was born on September 11, 2001, and killed last Saturday.

As President Obama said, “here was a young girl just becoming aware of our democracy...." 

"She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted," the president said.

He was right. For while I want to live up to Christina’s expectations, while I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it, I am much older than she and it has become difficult to see past the cynicism and vitriol.

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Remembering Clinton's Comforting Words after Oklahoma City

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I had just left my job in the Clinton administration. It was a spring morning. April 19, 1995. A bomb went off at the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City.

I did not know, at that moment, what a big part of my professional life that event would become — the first major news story of my journalism career; the many months I would spend in Denver covering the two federal trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols; and the execution of McVeigh another three years after that. All I knew in April 1995 was that 168 people were dead. 19 of them were children. And we knew that this was the worst act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil, ever.

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Comment

Politics Aside, Expect Legal Strategy to Shift with Facts

Monday, January 10, 2011

More charges are expected against the man suspected of killing six people and severely wounding Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Federal prosecutors have already charged 22 year-old Jared Lee Loughner with five felony counts, including attempted assassination of a member of Congress.

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Comment

Reading the Constitution's Text Alone Isn't Enough

Thursday, January 06, 2011

One cannot simply read the text of the Constitution and call it a day. The very real danger here is that the new Tea Partiers in Congress (and some of their followers at home) will actually listen to the reading of the 7,591 word document (that includes all 27 amendments) without the benefit of real constitutional understanding.

The original text has evolved a bit over the years. We've changed it not only by adding articles of amendment, but also through two hundred years of jurisprudence. No one can understand the Constitution without some greater understanding of the amendment process and the case law that interprets the text.

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