The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 14, No. 3, March

Affirmative Reaction: The Courts, the Right and the Race Question. (Court Packing)
In racial matters, good news from the Supreme Court is generally no news. Since at least the mid-1970s, the Court has been mostly inhospitable to those seeking to advance progressive racial policies through litigation. That is why civil-rights activists...
A Fickle Federalism: The Rehnquist Court Hobbles Congress-And the States, Too
The revival of a doctrine of federalism that constrains the power of Congress has been a signature feature of the work of the Rehnquist Court. The Court's five-justice conservative majority has repeatedly held that the preservation of states' rights...
A Hostile Takeover: How the Federalist Society Is Capturing the Federal Courts. (Court Packing)
If you want to understand the systematic nature of the right's takeover of American public life, consider the Federalist Society. During the first Bush presidency and less than a decade after its founding in 1982, the society had already gained control...
A National-Security Gender Gap. (Comment)
We're hearing a lot about national security these days, but it's always defined in one-dimensional terms--as protection from external enemies. But there is another aspect of national security that is traditionally recognized as vital to any nation,...
At War with Liberty: Post-9-11, Due Process and Security Have Taken a Beating. (Court Packing)
As expected, September 11 has prompted an expansion of law-enforcement powers at almost every level. And who would have it otherwise? For those of us who live and work in Manhattan, 9-11 was not a single horrific day but an extended nightmare. For...
Bad, Old Europe. (Devil in the Details)
FIRST, DONALD RUMSFELD calls Germany and France "the old Europe" in comparison with dynamic Poland and Italy, whose leaders have offered support to the Bush administration for its war. (Actually, polling shows public opinion in Poland and Italy--not...
Circuit Breaker: If You're Worried about Conservative Control of the Federal Judiciary, Watch the District of Columbia
CONSERVATIVES ARE ON THE VERGE OF CONTROLLING the second most powerful court in the United States. That's the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has sent more judges--Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas--than...
Class Warfare, Bush-Style: The Administration's Stealth Attack on U.S. Unions. (Dispatches)
WHILE THE NATION'S ATTENTION IS riveted by the inexorable march to war against Iraq, the Bush administration has quietly opened a new front in the relentless, largely covert war it has been waging here at home against U.S. workers and their labor unions....
Conspiracy Nut Nirvana. (Devil in the Details)
IF, AS PROSPECT EDITOR-at-Large Harold Meyerson predicts in this issue, John Kerry emerges as the Democratic presidential nominee next year, we are in for the greatest outpouring of conspiracy-theory ravings since the Freemasons and the Bilderbergs...
Courts V. Citizens: Our Increasingly Right-Wing Judiciary Has Taken Aim at the Basic Underpinnings of Democracy. (Court Packing)
LIBERALS NEED TO THINK OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY'S spreading control over the federal courts in democratic and not just civil-libertarian terms. Our traditional anxiety is that conservative judges will fail to protect the rights of political minorities...
First They Came for the Muslims ...: The Justice Department's War on Immigrants
THE PALMER RAIDS WERE ONE OF THE MOST NOTORIOUS episodes in American legal history. A. Mitchell Palmer, President Woodrow Wilson's attorney general from 1919 to 1921, rounded up 3,000 allegedly "subversive" aliens for deportation. Only about 300 were...
From Put-Down to Catch-Up: The News and the Anti-War Movement. (Media)
AFTER MONTHS SPENT DILIGENTLY not noticing--or belittling--the anti-war movement, mainstream news media are suddenly listening up. But their sluggishness and incapacity illustrate a more general flaw: the inability of journalists to connect dots and...
Gypsy Rose Bush. (Devil in the Details)
THOSE WHO THOUGHT the classic striptease had vanished with Gypsy Rose Lee and Sally Rand can take heart. The original act of the 1930s and `40s hardly featured gyrating babes who bared all; to the contrary, it was a slow undressing that suggested the...
Hard Money, Harder Races: Congressional Democrats Look to 2004. (Dispatches)
ELECTION DAY 2004 IS STILL MORE than a year and a half away, but two men--Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) and Rep. Robert Matsui (D-Calif.)--are already busy planning how Democrats can retake control of Congress. The hurdles they face are huge: election...
In the Bedroom: Come July, the United States Might Finally Make Homosexuality Legal. (Court Packing)
YOU'RE MAKING LOVE. SUDDENLY THE POLICE BURST into your apartment, arrest you for engaging in "deviate sexual intercourse" and haul you off to jail in your underpants. Are you in: a) Afghanistan; b) Saudi Arabia; c) Cuba; or d) Texas? Yes, it's...
Liebermama: The Return of Joe Lieberman Means the Return of His Mother. (Dispatches)
ON JAN. 13, SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-Conn.) vowed to return to the national campaign trail and seek the presidency. And that can only herald one thing: the return of Marcia "Baba" Lieberman. The 88-year-old mother of Sen. Lieberman may be a little...
Meet Mr. Credibility: Candidate or No, Wesley Clark Upstages Bush on Iraq and National Security
THE DEMOCRATS, AS WE KNOW, HAVE MANY POLITICAL problems: their uncertainty, their inability to trade jabs with the Republicans, their likely minority status in Congress for some time to come. Checked out a map yet of which senators are up in 2004?...
More Years in the Desert: Israel Chooses Sharon and Stagnation. (Dispatches)
JERUSALEM--I RAN INTO THE LABOR party politician at a bar mitzvah celebration, a few days after the election in which the Israeli left suffered its worst-ever defeat. "Celebration" is a euphemism. The bar mitzvah boy was the son of a left-wing activist;...
No Death-Penalty Doubts at Justice: DNA Testing and Racial Bias Raise Questions of Fairness-But Not with Ashcroft. (Court Packing)
In a time of growing doubt about whether the death penalty is being administered fairly and accurately, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is hewing to a policy of full speed ahead in implementing it. "He's the anti-Ryan," says David Bruck, a federal...
Not Slumming It: City of God and the Latin American Continuum
"ON THE FAIR GREEN HILLS OF RIO / There grows a fearful stain / The poor who come to Rio / And can't go home again." So wrote Elizabeth Bishop, although a visitor to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is just as likely to find something eerily beautiful in the...
Off the Wall Street Journal. (Devil in the Details)
In 1898, publisher William Randolph Hearst wanted the United States to go to war with Spain in order to annex Cuba. He had sent reporters, photographers and artists to Havana to document alleged Spanish atrocities and rumored preparations for war....
Radicals in Power
In the debate about America and Iraq, two questions keep getting confused. First, does the United States have grounds to remove Saddam Hussein? And second, is an American invasion the best available course of action, after we balance all the likely...
Saddling Our Kids with Debt. (the Taxonomist)
I've long been a bit of a conservative on fiscal policy. Of course, that dates back to when conservative was spelled with a "c." What passes for conservatism in this country these days seems to be a combination of kooky economic theories, gross irresponsibility...
The Easy War. (Comment)
"If you want peace, understand war," the military historian B. H. Liddell Hart once wrote, and during the past century--some would say ever since Gen. Sherman's march through Georgia--that injunction meant anyone interested in peace needed above all...
The Last Shall Be First. (Devil in the Details)
THOUGH LAW AND TRADITION have made New Hampshire's snowy white Democratic primary the first in the nation, Washington, D.C., has apparently decided to try to steal the Granite State's electoral thunder. Jack Evans, a D.C. Council member who represents...
The Race Case. (Comment)
One of the pleasant fictions that helps justify the Bush administration's opposition to affirmative action is the pretense that America has left behind the evils of segregation and achieved something approaching a race-blind society. "Every day that...
The Right-Wing Assault: What's at Stake, What's Already Happened and What Could Yet Occur. (Court Packing)
Since the election of President Reagan, a disciplined, carefully orchestrated and quite self-conscious effort by high-level Republican officials in the White House and the Senate has radically transformed the federal judiciary. For more than two decades,...
The Tough Dove's Moment: Why John Kerry Is the Democratic Presidential Candidate Most Likely to Succeed
It is Saturday morning, Jan. 18, and in Washington and San Francisco, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have gathered to protest the president's pending war. In Des Moines, Iowa, hundreds of Democrats are turning out, too--both to oppose that...
Trickle-Down Pain. (the Last Word)
Even as the administration prepares for war in Iraq, Bush has revived trickle-down economics with an audacity that's leaving old supply-side fanatics breathless. He's pushing new tax-exempt savings accounts, more tax-favored retirement accounts, tax-free...
Why Iraq? (below the Beltway)
When a country goes to war, one question that already should have been answered is "why?" But many people in the United States, Europe and elsewhere are genuinely perplexed about why the Bush administration is so determined, even at the cost of war,...

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