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Law And Justice

The Brian Lehrer Show

Building the War Crimes Tribunals

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

David Scheffer, law professor and director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law and author of All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals, talks about his work as the first US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues.

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The Takeaway

Growing Number of States Restricting Abortion

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Following in the legislative footsteps of Nebraska, which has had a law on its books for a year that bans abortion after 20 weeks, at least a dozen states are considering some type of restriction to abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, by the end of March, seven states will have have enacted 15 new laws that restrict abortion. In South Dakota a new law will soon go into effect that will expand the pre-abortion waiting period from 24 to 72 hours and require counseling from a crisis pregnancy center. Are we seeing a state-by-state permanent change to abortion rights? 

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The Takeaway

Court Vacancies Force Judges From Retirement

Friday, March 18, 2011

There are 95 vacancies in the federal courts, forcing semi-retired senior judges to pick up the slack — a lot of it. Arizona judges are under particular duress; their courts have such a back load, they can’t meet the Speedy Trial Act, a law that requires courts to try criminal defendants within 70 days after they are charged. Caseloads in most federal courts continue to increase while the number of active judges shrinks — and yet 45  judicial nominees are languishing in the Senate. Why hasn't the Senate confirmed these nominees? 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

DOMA Done?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law and author of Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights, reacts to the DOJ's decision to stop defending the Defense Of Marriage Act. 

→ Read a Recap and Join the Conversation at It's a Free Country!

The Brian Lehrer Show

The Insanity Defense

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate, addresses the discussion around the Tucson shooter's mental health and the politics of the insanity defense.

>> Read more and join the discussion at It's A Free Country.

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The Takeaway

46 Years Later: Justice for a Civil Rights Murder Victim

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The American South caught political fire in 1964. Activism by local African-American organizations and college students from the North led to brutal murders at the hands of white Southerners. But many of the victims of the Civil Rights Movement were not members of political organizations or student committees. Louisiana native, Frank Morris, a Black shoe store owner who was burned alive by two white men in 1964, suffered simply because he was independent and served a racially mixed clientele.

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The Takeaway

Latinos Allege Police Violence and Intimidation in Connecticut Town

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All this week, we're reflecting on the major issues of 2010. Immigration remained one of the biggest stories out of southwestern states, like Arizona. But immigration has become a serious issue even in smaller states along the East Coast, like Connecticut. Latino residents of East Haven, Connecticut, have filed a federal lawsuit against their local police department, claiming police have targeted Latinos with violence, harassment and intimidation.

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The Takeaway

'Law and the Multiverse' Considers Superheroes, Legalities

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Would the X-Men's Scott Summers qualify for workplace protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act? (Probably). Is it illegal to attempt to reveal a superhero's secret identity? Likely, as the courts have held that a right to privacy includes "emotional solitude." Just how hard would it be to get insurance against the super-villains who keep knocking your house over?  These are just a few of the questions asked and answered on the blog, "Law and the Multiverse," which explores the legal ramifications the presence of superheroes would have in the real world.

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The Takeaway

The Case Against WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Julian Assange turned himself over to police in London on Tuesday, bringing to a close a period of speculation about how and whether the WikiLeaks founder would wind up in custody. Assange currently faces extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for discussion with the police on alleged sex crimes. His problems may not end at the Swedish border, however.

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The Takeaway

Supreme Court Allows Women's Class-Action Suit Against Walmart

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Yesterday the Supreme Court announced that it would hear the biggest work discrimination lawsuit in American history. The suit’s plaintiffs accuse Walmart of having discriminated against hundreds of thousands of women across the country for pay and for promotions. Walmart says the suit has too many aspects to be deemed a single class-action.

Even though the immediate stakes are very high for both the plaintiffs and the defendant in this case, the long-term ramifications of the case could be long lasting, particularly for future class-action lawsuits.

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The Takeaway

How the US Might Prosecute Julian Assange

Monday, December 06, 2010

We’ve learned a lot more about Julian Assange since he began publishing tens of thousands of classified documents on WikiLeaks last Sunday. Some believe he’s a hero. Others call him dangerous. Neither the U.S. nor Britain has charged Assange with anything, to date. But should Assange be prosecuted for releasing classified information? Is our legal system prepared to deal with what’s become one of the most notorious information-heists of the Internet Age?

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The Takeaway

Addressing Gang Violence Through the Courts and on the Streets

Friday, November 12, 2010

For decades, cities across the country have tried a variety of approaches to reduce gang violence. Recently, Long Beach, California has implemented court-ordered civil injunctions, allowing law enforcement to arrest known gang members in particular neighborhoods for minor infractions. These infractions include wearing gang colors, carrying a cell phone in a car, or leaving the house after 8 p.m. Is it working? 

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The Takeaway

Last Words of the Executed: A Cultural History of Dying Words

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

From telling a joke to talking to their families to denying their crimes, the last words of death row inmates tend to center on similar themes throughout history. Why are these words so compelling? And what do they say about humanity?

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The Takeaway

Illinois to Set Standard For Sex Crimes DNA Testing

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law mandating police departments across the state to send rape kits to the Illinois State Police laboratory or an approved lab within 10 business days of acquiring the evidence. Illinois is the first state to pass such a law, which will go in to effect on October 1st. State officials hope that more and faster scrutiny of evidence will increase the number of arrests for such cases, which now stand at only 11 percent: The national average is 22 percent. Similar laws have increased arrests in other cities, including New York and Los Angeles. 

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