The RFRA Black Box (Alliance for Justice)

There was a time when the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the law at the base of the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties contraception mandate cases at the Supreme Court, appeared shiny and noble.  It was all about our beloved American religious liberty.   As it turns out, though—and these cases have made clear—it is in fact a black box. And who delivered this shiny black box to us?  Congress, which blindly trusted religious lobbyists—specifically the self-named Coalition for the Free Exercise of Religion—to be honest about religious liberty doctrine, the state of religious liberty across the country, and their true intentions if RFRA Read More …

Mess With Texas

Please, y’all, mess with Texas, which, in addition to its already restrictive abortion laws, adopted a new law requiring all physicians providing abortion in the state to “have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is not further than 30 miles from the location of the abortion” or be subject to criminal penalties. Read More …

A Victory for Whistleblowers

Back in 2002, Time Magazine celebrated three women whistleblowers—Coleen Rowley of the FBI, Sherron Watkins of Enron, and Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom—as Persons of the Year. Rowley disclosed that the FBI failed to investigate one of the masterminds of September 11. Watkins informed Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay that the company’s accounting methods were improper. Cooper notified Worldcom’s Board of Directors that the company had fraudulently concealed $3.8 billion in losses. The women were celebrated for their courage in part because the law did little to protect whistleblowers from retaliation by their employers. In reaction to the financial scandals, and in Read More …

Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence I know, I know.  This is not a new book!   But it is one a colleague recently recommended, and it is timely given the federal government’s recent attention toward our universities’ rape culture and the lawsuit just filed by the Wesleyan student against a fraternity for her rape.  We have an epidemic of campus rape, and a need for effective solutions, including the best legal deterrents.  One element is how to educate the victims about impending danger before it happens, which The Gift of Fear does.  It should be Read More …

Leah Vincent, Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood

Leah Vincent, Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood She wanted to go to college as well as have children. She thought she could have male friends whom she might not marry. Those desires put Leah at odds with her Yeshivish family, who cut off all contact with her. It is painful to read Leah Vincent’s account of going it alone in New York City, especially the descriptions of her destructive sexual relationships. But I credit her honesty and her willingness to explain her own experience to others who face similar turmoil. http://www.amazon.com/Cut-Me-Loose-Salvation-Ultra-Orthodox/dp/038553809X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401389181&sr=1-1&keywords=cut+me+loose

Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants So many of us become lawyers because we want to help the underdogs, which probably explains why I picked up this book in the first place.  I enjoyed it very much, because Gladwell shows, with numerous stories, how to think more creatively about conflicts between the seemingly powerful and the apparently weak.  Look beneath the surface, he suggests, because David was actually, at the time, the better warrior than Goliath.  At base, this is a book about refusing to adopt widely accepted meanings simply because they are Read More …