Civil Rights and Social Justice
I always enjoy watching the President’s State of the Union address - not only for its substance, but for its symbolism. It is politics in its purest form. The president speaks of his hopes and accomplishments. Flanked behind him is his loyal vice-president, cheering his words with enthusiasm, and the Speaker of the House who, depending on party affiliation, either cheers along, or takes on a persona of dour stoicism.
The well of Congress is divided into categories of those who express agreement and excitement, and those who appear bound to their seats. The Supreme Court sits awkwardly, focused more on not betraying any hint of a personal opinion than on the president’s words. Honored guests watch with awe at being invited to attend this historic event. And outside the room, scores of media and political handlers prepare to spin what they heard into a narrative that fits their professional agendas.
When the State of the Union is a president’s last such address, it can be particularly poignant. It marks the president’s final appeal to history as well as to the American public, who gets to “vote” one last time through public opinion polls. The speech also brings the president closer to the moment when he will be relieved of the burdens of office, and face a new beginning of life outside the protective bubble of the White House. To be able to leave with grace and confidence in a job well done is one of the tougher internal challenges a president faces.
Commentary by Immediate Past Section Chair Mark I. Schickman in honor of the Religious Freedom Committee's Featured Month of January
TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2016 - Freedom of religion holds a unique place in the constellation of Constitutional protections. Our Constitution embodies the importance of equality in broad general terms, but religious adherents are the only protected class expressly mentioned for protection. This is understandable, as our nation was formed in a large part out of the quest to flee religious persecution, founded by those escaping religious abuse.
Sullivan and Canty on Interruptions at the Court
Barry Sullivan, Section Council Member
Millennial and boomer women should be friends. It’s good for their careers.
Quoting Lauren Stiller Rikleen, Section Chair
2015 Nashvillians of the Year: How Abby Rubenfeld and Bill Harbison helped to change history
Featuring former Section Chair, Abby Rubenfeld
A Muslim Immigrant Success Story
Engy Abdelkader, co-chair of the Religious Freedom Committee