Ken Hughes is a researcher with the Presidential Recordings Program of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Hughes argues that erosion in American democracy depends on the conspiracy theory, destructive and demonstrably false, that the 2020 election was stolen. As the author of several books on Richard Nixon – who, before Trump, was the biggest conspiracy theorist to inhabit the White House that we know of – Hughes sees conspiracy theories less as failures of rationality and more as triumphs of rationalization.
Steve Bannon is held in criminal contempt of Congress, pushing key question over presidential power to the courts
Jennifer L. Selin Professor of Constitutional Democracy, reviews how this battle between the two branches of government over access to presidential information raises questions about the constitutional authority of Congress and how lawmakers acquire the information needed to hold the executive branch accountable in the U.S. system of separation of powers.
Masks and mandates: How individual rights and government regulation are both necessary for a free society
Professor Martha Ackelsberg is political theorist – she studies how communities are organized, how power is exercised and how people relate to one another in and between communities. Through talking to friends, and thinking about the protests against COVID-19-related restrictions that have taken place around the country – she concluded that many people do not understand that individual rights and state power are not really opposites. The laws and policies that governments enact set the framework for the exercise of our rights. So, inaction on the part of government does not necessarily empower citizens. It can, effectively, take away our power, leaving us less able to act to address our needs.
You have rights when you go to vote – and many people are there to help if there’s trouble at the polls
Despite all the challenges to this year’s election – long lines, calls for voter intimidation, baseless claims of fraud – voting is a fundamental civil right. As a political scientist who studies campaigns and elections, Daniel R. Birdsong has confidence in American democracy. Lots of people are working at the polls and behind the scenes to ensure election 2020 runs smoothly and safely. In this article Birdsong outlines your rights as a voter and explain where to turn if you encounter trouble at the polls.
As stated in this article by Richard Pildes, Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University – the Constitution does not create rules or an institutional structure for resolving a modern, disputed presidential election. It provides a fail-safe mechanism for only one situation, which has not happened since 1824: If no candidate gets the necessary majority of votes in the Electoral College, then the House picks the president from the top three Electoral College candidates. But that’s not the path the most disputed presidential elections have taken since 1824. Nor is it the likely path if this year brings us to that dark place.
As millions of Americans prepare to vote in November – and in many cases, primaries and state and local elections through the summer as well – lots of people are talking about voting by mail. Prof. Edie Goldenberg explains why it is a way to protect the integrity of the country’s voting system and to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus, which continues to spread widely in the U.S.
Ken Strutin focuses on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper, and the upcoming appeal in Burt v. Titlow in regard to placing plea bargaining front and center on the national stage. As a result, they have divided practitioners and scholars into two camps: (1) those who consider the rulings to be a new statement in the law of plea bargaining and right to effective assistance of counsel; and (2) those who believe they are only a restatement of established principles. These cases have generated interest in the centrality and regulation of plea bargaining, the ethics and effectiveness of defense counsel as negotiator, the oversight of prosecutors regarding charging decisions, sentence recommendations and pre-trial discovery, and the scope of federal habeas corpus review and remedies. Ken’s article is a comprehensive annotated guide to high court opinions, scholarship and commentary regarding the themes addressed by the Supreme Court in Lafler and Frye as well as their implications for the administration of criminal justice.
Peggy Garvin’s thorough and concise guide to free online presidential transition trackers allows you to stay current with all the latest news, rumors and commentary about the incoming administration, via reliable websites, blogs and RSS feeds.
The Government Domain
The Establishment “Claus”
A Selective Guide to the Supreme Court’s Christmas Cases