Commentary

<b>PARTY'S OVER?:</b> Oklahoma and Nebraska have filed suit to end legalized marijuana in Colorado, which they argue is particularly harmful to young people and has adversely affected their states.

Op-Ed: A Move To Undo Colorado's Pot Laws

By Mark A. Perry |

Neighboring states are burdened by marijuana commerce. They have the power to make it stop.

Clarence Thomas.

Op-Ed: A Simple Solution to the Conundrum In Supreme Court's 'King v. Burwell'

By Ken Choe |

Fight over tax subsidies for health care boils down to determining Congress' intent.

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Op-Ed: Government's Bullying Tactics Against Companies Are Rewriting the Law

By Nicole Kardell |

Armies of agencies in parallel proceedings are forcing defendants to settle.

<b>GRIEVING:</b> Debbie Ziegler, center, the mother of Brittany Maynard, appearing in support of proposed legislation in California allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients.

Op-Ed: A Human Right to Death With Dignity

By Erwin Chemerinsky |

It's up to the states to decide whether we can end our lives when faced with suffering.

money pills

Op-Ed: Insurers Are Leaving Patients Priced Out

By Wayne Turner |

An end-run around the Affordable Care Act has made life-saving drugs cost prohibitive.

<b>NULLIFIER:</b> Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore insists the state’s courts are not bound to obey a ­federal court order to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Op-Ed: Gay Lawyer to Alabama Judge: Let's Have a Bourbon and Talk It Over

By Toby Eveland |

Baffled by chief judge's stance on same-sex marriage, attorney wants some answers.

<b>HEALTHY DEBATE:</b> Dozens of amicus briefs support President Barack Obama’s health insurance program. Challengers argue that a federal marketplace of insurance plans improperly provides tax credits.

Op-Ed: A Brief and Powerful Argument for the ACA

By Timothy Jost |

Justices should look to friends-of-court papers to determine if Obamacare's tax credits are lawful.

Op-Ed: Parents Have Rights to Make Vaccine Decisions

By Mary Holland |

The law and common sense suggest that vaccination decisions must ultimately rest with parents acting in their children’s best interests.

Op-Ed: States Must Tighten Laws That Let Parents Opt Out of Vaccinating Kids

By Lawrence O. Gostin |

Outbreak of diseases is due to lax legislation that allows for too many exemptions.

Op-Ed: Hardball Employer Tactics Stem from Distrust

By Katherine Van Wezel Stone |

Lawsuit alleges 'walk of shame' orchestrated by retailer led to employee's suicide.

twitter flashlight

Op-Ed: Twitter's Laudable, If Doomed, Bid to Illuminate Government Data Digging

By Marc Zwillinger and Abigail Liebeskind |

Lawsuit seeks to allow company to disclose details about information requests.

Op-Ed: Soliciting Donations Discredits the Judiciary

By Alicia Bannon |

High court should uphold rule banning judicial candidates from personally seeking contributions.

Op-Ed: Dismal Irony in Pending Execution of Intellectually Disabled Inmate

By John H. Blume |

If Warren Hill is executed by the state of Georgia on Jan. 27, one fact will be incontrovertible: Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s creation of a categorical bar prohibiting the execution of people with intellectual disability, some states, including Georgia, still do so.

Op-Ed: Employees' Personal Data Unleashed Under New Labor Board Rule

By Patrick N. Forrest |

Allowing unions access to personal information flouts state laws and imperils employers.

Op-Ed: A High Court Clash Over Religion in the Workplace

By Vivian Berger |

The standard requiring employers to have an 'actual knowledge' of need for accommodation is too rigid.

Op-Ed: High Legal Drama From A Low-Brow Comedy

By Roy S. Gutterman |

The controversy surrounding "The Interview" highlights basic principles of the U.S. Constitution.

Op-Ed: The Scourge of Violence in American Prisons Hurts Us All

By Robert A. Ferguson |

Despite recent exceptions, abuse of prisoners inside correctional facilities is largely unchecked.

Op-Ed: Halt the Mad Rush by Corporate Boards to Adopt Fee-Shifting Rules

By Jeff Mahoney |

New legislation is needed after a Delaware ruling that deters shareholders from filing suits.

Retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Op-Ed: How the High Court Contributes to Racism

By Ruthann Robson |

Recent conflicts between police and citizens highlight the nation's systemic prejudice.

<b>IN PROTEST:</b> Students at Harvard Law School demonstrate after a grand jury did not indict a police officer in the death of teenager Michael Brown.

Op-Ed: Call for Exam Delays Not a Cry from 'Coddled Millennials'

By William Desmond |

Each year as classes of law students enter and exit our nation's legal institutions we are told the same thing: You are the future of the law. Well, the future is now.

FCC gun

Op-Ed: We Don't Need a Pistol-Packing FCC Inspector General's Office

By Patrick O'Donnell and Brita Strandberg |

IGs increasingly claim that firepower is necessary to conduct their jobs.

<b>ON THE DEFENSE:</b> Entertainer Bill Cosby faces allegations that he drugged and ­molested women throughout his career.

Op-Ed: Court of Public Opinion — Not Court of Law — Likely Will Decide Cosby's Fate

By Laurie L. Levenson |

Even with an exception, the statute of limitations will present a formidable hurdle.

Op-Ed: State AGs Swayed By Special Interests

By Paul Nolette |

Appointing, instead of electing, states' 'top cops' could reduce their alliances with corporations.

<b>NO CHARGES:</b> St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch on Nov. 24 announced a grand jury declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown.

Op-Ed: Ferguson Prosecutor Should Have Bowed Out

By Monroe Freedman and Paul Butler |

Having special appointees lead grand juries in cases against police prevents conflicts of interest.

censored

Op-Ed: Prior-Restraint Fight in Connecticut: Privacy Versus the Right to Know

By Hillary Greene |

Decision blocking, and then permitting, story's publication shows age-old tension.

Op-Ed: Changing a Presumption in Organ Donation

By Alan C. Milstein |

If family members cannot agree on the procedure, hospitals decide against it. They shouldn't.

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Op-Ed: Everyone Gains When the Poor Receive Free Legal Services

By Jeffrey Baliban and Renee Miller-Mizia |

Pro bono provides good training for lawyers and economic benefit to the community.

<b>DETERMINED FATHER:</b> Sidney Zion, right, who died in 2009, was represented in a lawsuit by Thomas Moore. The lawsuit helped reduce workloads of young doctors after Zion’s daughter, Libby, died at New York Hospital.

Op-Ed: A Deadly Visit to the Hospital — 30 Years Later

By Steve Cohen |

A young woman's death in 1984 profoundly changed doctor training and improved patient safety.

<b>RECOGNIZED:</b> Transgender actress and advocate Laverne Cox at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards on Nov. 10.

Op-Ed: Ever Slowly, Law is Moving Toward Equality for Transgender People

By Sonia K. Katyal |

Some states have abandoned surgery as a requirement for changing gender identity.

Op-Ed: Civil Asset Forfeiture Flouts the Constitution

By Theodore Simon |

Laws that allow enforcement agencies to take property without due process need changing.

Op-Ed: Justice System for White-Collar Defendants is Flawed Top to Bottom

By Stuart Gasner |

From whistleblowers to cops to prosecutors, it's skewed against the accused.

Op-Ed: True Confession: I Failed the Bar Exam

By Anna Girard |

She feared it was the worst thing that could ever happen to her. Turns out, she was wrong.

DC’s E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse

Op-Ed: What Will the GOP's Senate Takeover Mean for Judicial Nominations?

By Nan Aron and Edward Whelan |

Two takes on what the GOP ascendancy means for President Obama’s nominations.

Op-Ed: A 'People's Pledge' Could Quell The Politics in Judicial Elections

By Trevor Potter and Ganesh Sitaraman |

A call to donate a portion of special-interest spending used for advertising.

Op-Ed: Momentous Change in American Culture

By Joanna W. LiCalsi |

A decade ago, only one state allowed same-sex marriage. We've made progress, but not enough.

Washington appointed Commander in Chief, lithograph.

Op-Ed: Actually, the Founders Rejected the Death Penalty

By John Bessler |

Washington, Adams and others embraced views of an Italian writer who opposed the punishment.

<b>FORTHCOMING:</b> Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, seen here in June 2013, took the unusual step last week of making public a correction to a dissenting opinion in the Texas voter case.

Op-Ed: A Call to Expose the Unnecessary Secrets of the Supreme Court

By Richard L. Hasen |

One justice publicly announced an error in her dissent, but such candor is rare.

<b>BIRTH RIGHTS:</b> Ari Zivotofsky, right, stands with his son, Menachem, outside the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011. The family wants the boy’s passport to list his birth place as Israel.

Op-Ed: Supreme Court Passport Decision Could Give President Too Much Power

By Louis Fisher |

Basic checks and balances at issue in case over designation of child's birthplace.

In this photo taken Friday Sept. 26, 2014, Ethel Konneh, left, is consoled by her daughters outside the Island Clinic Ebola isolation and treatment center, after she learned her other daughter Rose Johnson passed away from Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia.  There had been no official confirmation of Rose's death from hospital officials, no time for someone to explain her final moments, just word from a family acquaintance inside who said her bed had been cleared that morning to make way for a new patient. As the death toll from Ebola soars, crowded clinics are turning over beds as quickly as patients are dying. This leaves social workers and psychologists struggling to keep pace and notify families, who must wait outside for fear of contagion. Also, under a government decree, all Ebola victims must be cremated, leaving families in unbearable pain with no chance for goodbye, no body to bury. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Op-Ed: The World Could Have Been Better Prepared

By Lawrence O. Gostin |

Cuts in health agencies here and abroad have led to serious flaws in handling the Ebola outbreak.

Chief Justice John Roberts

Op-Ed: The Roberts Court's 10th Year: A Term of Déjà Vu

By Erwin Chemerinsky |

Justices poised to take on issues confronted before, including same-sex marriage and health care.

Op-Ed: Anti-Darwinists Are Relentless in Their Agenda, Despite Court Rulings

By Vivian Berger |

South Carolina Board of Education rejects push to include debate about evolution.

Op-Ed: To Run a Law Firm, It Takes a True Leader — With a Matching Pay Plan

By Bryan Schwartz |

Partnerships need to rethink how they compensate lawyers who hold the reins.

Op-Ed: Concussion Settlement's Medicare Problem

By Alan B. Morrison |

The government will need reimbursement from the deal's proceeds, but how much will it get?

<b>RALLYING:</b> Opponents to Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban react to a decision by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who, despite other recent rulings prohibiting such bans, upheld the state law earlier this month.

Op-Ed: Judge in Same-Sex Case Rebuffs High Court

By Catherine Smith And Susannah Pollvogt |

Ban on gay marriage based on benefits to children is discriminatory, precedent strongly suggests.

<b>INJUSTICE:</b> Kevin Richardson, left, and Raymond Santana, two of the five men wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989, at the announcement of their settlement with New York City.

Op-Ed: A Systemwide Failure Led To Wrongful Convictions of Central Park 5

By James M. Doyle |

Claim that police, prosecutors acted reasonably doesn't account for grave mistakes.

Nancy Gertner, retired judge and now a professor at Harvard Law, during a panel discussion on Judicial Nominations presented by the Alliance for Justice, held at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. February 6, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Op-Ed: One Voice on Surveillance Doesn't Make a Chorus

By Nancy Gertner |

Judge John Bates' letter about FISA court changes does not speak for all, says a retired judge.

Op-Ed: A Formidable Tactician and One of Washington's Good Guys

By Linda Lipsen |

Thomas Hale Boggs Jr. was a loyal friend, talented negotiator and fierce advocate.

Nancy Gertner, retired judge and now a professor at Harvard Law, during a panel discussion on Judicial Nominations presented by the Alliance for Justice, held at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. February 6, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Op-Ed: Who Speaks For the Bench About Surveillance?

By Nancy Gertner |

At the 11th hour, the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committee received an extraordinary letter from U.S. District Judge John Bates of Washington purporting to represent the federal judiciary.

<b>SCOTT PANETTI:</b> On death row in Texas since 1995 for murdering his wife’s parents, he has an extensive history of mental illness that many observers contend would render his execution unconstitutional.

Opinion: High Court Must Avoid a 'Miserable Spectacle'

By Ron Honberg |

A severely mentally ill man is awaiting execution because of a lack of clarity in the law.

Opinion: A Do-Not-Resuscitate Case in Maine Is Horrific, But the Answer Is Clear

By Alan C. Milstein |

A child's best interests, not a mother's wishes, should determine the fate of a baby.

<b>STRONG FEELINGS:</b> Protesters in Austin, where a federal judge blocked a law restricting abortions.

Op-Ed: Rulings Illuminate Abortion Standard

By Caitlin Borgmann |

With scant guidance from Supreme Court, lower courts are grappling with "undue burden" test.

<b>DISTRESSED:</b> Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. in 2008 announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were broke. Investors say the entities later were viable, and that they're owed the dividends.

Op-Ed: Did Fannie and Freddie Recover After The Collapse? Read the Report.

By Jonathan R. Macey and Logan Beirne |

Document says lenders had returned to profitability. Investors want their share.