US Opinion and Commentary

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‘General’ Concerns About Trump’s National Security Team

Posted December 6th, 2016 at 1:28 pm (UTC-4)
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As President-elect Donald Trump’s list for secretary of state grows, so do questions about others in his national security team. Specifically, the number of generals Trump is surrounding himself with.

Trump has named two retired generals to his team: Michael Flynn as national security adviser and James Mattis as defense secretary. Two other retired generals and a retired admiral are being considered for national security team positions.

The specific issue is Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in March 2013. U.S. law requires seven years of separation from active duty for any secretary of defense. For Mattis to be appointed, Congress would need to waive the requirement.

The U.S. Constitution empowers the President of the United states with the duties of Commander-in-Chief, ensuring civilian control of the military and the government. How might the presence of top military brass in the cabinet room impact the Trump administration?

In the U.S., Who Has the Monopoly on Force?

Posted July 14th, 2016 at 11:01 am (UTC-4)
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Though not the bloodiest episode, the Dallas massacre epitomizes our predicament. Police came under fire from an African American who believed himself to be resisting governmental abuse and tyranny — which, according to many a gun-rights advocate, is one of the reasons to have an armed populace.  

Hillary Clinton’s Surefire Bet for Increasing Black Turnout: A Constitutional Right to Vote

Posted May 16th, 2016 at 1:25 pm (UTC-4)
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The Constitution stipulates reasons why a person’s right to vote cannot be removed such as due to race, gender, age or a poll tax, but it does not say that the ability to vote is a constitutional right that should be protected for all Americans.

Writing a Blank Check on War

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 2:14 pm (UTC-4)
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There can be no question that the responsibility for deciding when and whether the United States should fight resides with the legislative branch, not the executive, and that this was manifestly the intent of the Framers….Actual practice has evolved into something altogether different.

Supreme Politics

Posted February 16th, 2016 at 4:07 pm (UTC-4)
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Despite its status as an independent branch of government, the American judiciary is not immune to partisan politics. That has become vividly apparent in the hours and days following Saturday’s death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday. The United States Constitution codifies the politicization of the Supreme Court. Article II Section 2 says the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court…” In other words, the president appoints, the Senate anoints. At stake in replacing Scalia is the philosophical bent of the Supreme Court. Scalia was a steadfast conservative. His death leaves the nine member court divided between four conservatives and four liberals. With a presidential election coming in November, conservative Republicans wasted no time in demanding that President Barack Obama refrain from nominating a replacement for Scalia, arguing that responsibility should be left for the next president after the American people have their say. Obama has vowed to exercise his constitutional duty and nominate a candidate for the Supreme Court “in due time.” Fellow Democrats argue that the president has already won two elections and the people have already spoken about the direction of the country. Few believe the senate will act on the president’s nomination, leaving the Supreme Court in the political gridlock gripping the other two branches of government.