The U.S. Senate blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the government’s top civil rights enforcer after Republicans and law enforcement groups objected to his role in the case of a Black Panther activist convicted of killing a white Philadelphia police officer.
The idea of liberty, when truly understood, invites and even obligates us to respect the liberty of others. Yet, as we so often see, the most exalted virtues in the world can give rise to practical vices.
Attorney David Nevin spent 19 1/2 years fighting to save the life of Richard Leavitt, who was convicted of mutilating and murdering a woman in Blackfoot, Idaho. On June 11, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a final plea from Nevin and another lawyer, clearing the way for Leavitt’s execution the next day. Nevin, at last, gave up.
With Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, well into the process of selecting a running mate, and pundits breathlessly speculating on how this or that candidate might help or hurt the ticket, it’s a good moment to pause and ask: Why do we have a vice president in the first place?
Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will step down at the end of this month has prompted some commentators to wonder why we don’t encourage U.S. federal judges to retire early, too. Actually, we do -- and too many are.