December 2017

  • December 4, 2017
    Guest Post

    Sudha Setty is a professor of law and associate dean at Western New England University School of Law. Her book, National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law, was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

    For decades, the balance of national security power has become progressively unmoored from the basic democratic premise that the power to decide what the government does resides with the people through their representatives. Yet post-September 11 national security-related policies have distorted both of these concepts of democracy: exceptionalism and emergency are consistently invoked in the national security context to justify programs that would otherwise be viewed as outside of the legal, structural, and value constraints that society places on government—like extraordinary rendition, torture, and the targeted killings of Americans overseas. On top of that, the secrecy with which certain programs are conducted inverts the democratic structure of transparency in ways that undermine the effectiveness of our governmental structures and lessens our commitment to a society based on the rule of law.

  • December 4, 2017
    Guest Post

    *by Taru Taylor, 3L at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, President at ACS CWRU Student Chapter

    What texts should the American Constitution Society use to introduce its members to progressive constitutional values? I mean besides our nation’s founding texts, The U.S. Constitution and The Declaration of Independence as well as The Federalist Papers.

    First principles are in order. “Alternative facts” derange political discourse. Soundbite screaming matches mock Socratic dialogue. Yellow journalism dumbs down public opinion. We’re in a cold civil war of red states and blue states.

    We need principled idealists to wake us up from our dogmatic slumbers. Our liberal/conservative debate must again approach civility. For productive conversation and mutual constructive criticism, it’s high time that ACS reframe the national debate. To this end, I move that two books initiate ACS members into the mysteries of constitutional law: Associate Justice William Douglas’ Points of Rebellion and Associate Justice Hugo Black’s A Constitutional Faith.