Archive for the ‘Academics’ Category

500px-Scene_at_the_Signing_of_the_Constitution_of_the_United_StatesIn the wake of Constitution Day, there is a truly depressing survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center that found that 227 years after the signing of the Constitution only 36 percent of Americans can actually name the three branches of government. Thus, 64 percent of Americans cannot name the three parts of our tripartite system.

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200px-UVU_SealI am in Orem, Utah after speaking at the Constitution Day celebrations at Utah Valley University and its conference on privacy in America. I will be returning today but hope to catch one of the panels today at this extraordinary event of the Utah Valley University’s Center for Constitutional Studies. Yesterday, I spoke twice on free speech issues. My first speech was on private actors limiting free speech, the “little brother” problem. The speech (and those of my panelists) was followed by a panel discussion with with New York University and University of Chicago professor Richard Epstein and UCLA professor Eugene Volokh. Later I spoke again on media and free speech followed by a panel with New York Times columnist Stanley Fish.

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180px-john-yooturley_jonathanYesterday, I had a spirited debate with Berkeley Professor and former Bush Administration lawyer John Yoo at Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies (CAS). The debate was structured around the question of “Filling in the Gaps: Is Executive Prerogative Constitutional?”
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hitlerGeorge-W-BushRepublicans and independents often complain of being an outcast political minority in the heavily Democratic Washington, D.C. However, one parent was unprepared for the homework assignment that his child brought home from McKinley Tech Middle School: asking students to draw comparisons between Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush.

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ChapstickVirginia’s Augusta County school board is in deep deliberation this week after a request of an 11-year-old girl, Grace Karaffa, that she be allowed to circumvent a zero tolerance rule. What is the little demon trying to bring into Stuarts Draft Elementary School, you ask. Heroin? Crossbow? No, Grace wants to bring in ChapStick to keep her lips from bleeding. That’s right, the little Chaphead was caught red lipped in class by a teacher who confiscated the tube. Personally, I am thankful that one school is fighting chap heads who often use peer pressure to get other children to moisturize. ChapStick is a known gateway product to more dangerous products like hand lotion and Deep Pore Scrubs.

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marijuana_leafThere is a startling study out that shows that teenagers who smoke marijuana daily are over 60 percent less likely to complete high school and 60 percent less likely to graduate college. Even more startling is that these students are seven times more likely to attempt suicide. The study is published in the respected medical journal, The Lancet Psychiatry.

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LawDragon has released the results of its increasingly popular survey of the top lawyers in America. I was fortunate to again make the list this year, which included the recent win in the Al-Arian case in the background statement.
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