The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently issued an important decision on the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. In this case, the issue was the right to medical care for prisoners with life-threatening illnesses. When the State takes control of a person's life in order to punish them, it also takes on a responsibility to treat them humanely.
The Supreme Court has gone home for the summer. Some of the Justices will be hitting the lecture circuit, while others will be hitting the road. I try to read all of the Court's decisions that touch on civil liberties and civil rights, but I have not gotten through them all yet.
That is the standard for the Eighth Amendment's protection--the Constitution protects inmates in prisons and jails from "deliberate indifference to a serious medical need." There are few medical needs more serious than drug addiction, but unfortunately very few prisons and jails do enough to provide tools to inmates to help treat and overcome addiction. In a well-researched article in today' New York Times, Katie Zezima and Abby Goodnough discuss one o
As Alex Abdo, noted on the ACLU Blog of Rights last week, the latest documents concerning the government's suspcionless surveillance program were shocking in their frankness. In particular, the FBI acknowledged why the government doesn't want the public to know about this surveillance--people would get mad at their phone companies for turning
Individuals and groups from across the political spectrum are gathering today in Augusta to show support for reproductive freedom and to oppose three bills that would put women's health at risk. So far, the coverage of the reproductive freedom press conference has been very positive. The Portland Press Herald quoted Rep.
In a column in today’s Portland Press Herald, M.D. Harmon strains logic past the breaking point. The piece begins with a criticism of Hilary Clinton’s 1996 book, “It Takes a Village”—always a good warm-up act, even 15 years after publication. Harmon quotes approvingly from a criticism of the book based on its supposed paternalism and endorsement of “big government”—government is supposedly the village, and the public is the child.