Court allows abuse of First Amendment

By Tibor Machan The Supreme Court ruled May 23 that to compel people to support its propaganda with which they disagree does not violate the First Amendment to the Constitution. The First Amendment is the one about everyone having the right to freedom of speech. Yes, the court acknowledged, no one may be coerced into […]

Request to curb judge criticism unjust

Freedom Newspapers P ersonal trauma can cloud one’s judgment, so we can to some degree forgive U.S. District Court Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow for recently urging members of Congress to do something to curb public criticism of federal judges. Lefkow’s husband and mother were recently killed by a deranged man who blamed her for a […]

County’s public records should be open to public

Freedom Newspapers T he year-long legal fight over public records between the Clovis News Journal and Curry County has ended. Who won? The public’s right to know. The county failed in its aggressive efforts to prevent public scrutiny of its payroll records. And the ongoing discussions in the city and county over fair pay for […]

‘Boston Legal’ equals Boston unjust

By Tibor Machan Having been a fan of courtroom dramas since my early childhood — I read 45 Perry Mason novels before I left Hungary at age 14 — I have a hard time denying myself the pleasures of a good legal squabble. So, I have watched TV’s “Law & Order” since it started and […]

TV portrayal of legal system dangerous

By Tibor Machen No, this time I am only indirectly speaking about the terrible legal system that the USA is now sliding toward. Instead, it is the TV show, Law & Order, that comes up for discussion. When the show began, there was a healthy idealism about it. The initial story lines stressed principles not […]

Federal judge dismisses ex-spouses case

by Tom Philpott A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by 58 divorced service members and retirees challenging the constitutionality of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act. The 1982 law allows state courts to divide military retirement as property in divorce settlements. U.S. District Court Judge James. C. Cacheris in Alexandria, Va., granted […]

Decision on sales of alcohol should rest with owners

Freedom Newspapers The recent rise in the number of Clovis restaurants selling beer and wine with meals alarms some people who see alcohol consumption of any amount as wrong. Not us. We see the change as market driven — owners who are responding to customer requests for a glass of beer or wine, and to […]

Martha Stewart’s sentence light, but still not right

Freedom Editorial T he sentence was mild compared to what some legal experts had predicted; Martha- watchers had thought one year in prison would be the penalty. But Martha Stewart was sentenced Friday to serve five months in prison, five months of house arrest and two years of probation, and given a $30,000 fine. We’ve […]

Race issue in California is irrelevant

Tibor Machan I don’t know what goes through the mind of someone like California Senate leader John Burton when he makes the kind of charge he made the other day, namely that the effort to repeal the state law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses was fueled by racism. “I say the issue is […]

Government, religion don’t mix well

By Tibor Machan Alabama’s suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore has argued in television appearances that requiring him to remove the 5,300-pound monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama judicial building amounts to a violation of his constitutional right to declare his faith in God. There is also the fact that other […]

Kobe Bryant case creates media circus

By Ned Cantwell Why couldn’t it have been Portales? Deming? Socorro? I mean, who ever heard of Eagle, Colo.? Just about the whole world, is all. Some little New Mexico town could have been famous if Kobe Bryant had misbehaved there. Thirty-five satellite trucks showed up in Eagle, Colo., so television viewers the world over […]

Freedom shouldn’t mean losing rights

Tibor Machan In light of the very real threat of more terrorism to come, targeting Western-type institutions around the globe, there is great temptation to simply abandon various rules of law, especially due process, in the name of effective response. Not all that surprisingly, many U.S. citizens are going along with this idea, having long […]