Nice has added its famous beaches to the list of resort areas where the burkini is banned. Like the ban on the veil, it is hard to see how such bans are not openly discriminatory towards Muslims. I fail to understand the rationale for such a ban, particularly when many people now adopt full covering (especially for child) to protect against the damaging sun rays.
Below is my column in the Washington Post on Donald Trump’s proposal of “extreme vetting” for immigrants to the United States. While some have suggested that the proposal would violate the Constitution, I do not agree. There are ample concerns or objections that can be raised as a matter of policy. However, such vetting is neither unconstitutional nor unprecedented. Particularly if implemented with congressional approval, I believe that such a heightened level of scrutiny would pass constitutional muster. Conversely, this is clearly something that Congress could prevent legislatively.
Below is my column in USA Today on Donald Trump’s statement that he thinks that American citizens should be tried at Guantanamo Bay with other “terrible people” accused of terrorism. I have previously criticized Hillary Clinton for her views on free speech and executive power. However, the suggestion that U.S. citizens could be sent for faux trials at Gitmo is truly chilling. Here is the column.
There is a highly disturbing story out of Somers, Iowa where Homer Martz was reportedly charged for flying a U.S. flag upside down in protest over an oil pipeline put near his home. It is clearly a protected act under the First Amendment, but the town of Somers appears to lack a single lawyer — or a telephone number for a single lawyer — to explain free speech protections to them.
I have long been a critic of military tribunals as constitutionally dubious and practically ineffectual institutions. The tribunals at Guantanamo Bay have resulted in few actual trials and undermined the standing of the United States as a nation committed to the rule of law. The principle rationale cited by former officials in defense of Gitmo has been that it would not be used to try citizens. Now in a deeply disturbing interview, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has stated that he might try citizens at Gitmo — maintaining a shadow court system for stripping citizens of basic rights of due process just a few miles off the United States shore.
My friend Professor Eugene Volokh raised an interesting case out of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) where the commission reinstated what many would consider a facially invalid harassment lawsuit over a worker wearing a simple “Don’t Tread on Me” cap. The cap was claimed cited as “racially offensive to African Americans” because “the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a ‘slave trader & owner of slaves.’” It is a bizarre case but the concern over the fluid standard for such cases was magnified by a response to Gene from Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman who added that a worker “Saying at work that ‘Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be president because women shouldn’t work full-time’” could also be a legitimate basis for sanctions.
Iran has given the world another outrage in its enforcement of the medieval Islamic Sharia law. The victim was Hassan Afshar, 19, who was hanged for what the Sharia court called “forced male-to-male anal intercourse.” Afshar insisted that that the sex was consensual, though in Iran you can also be executed for simply being homosexual — as we have previously discussed.