"Candidate familiarity will surely breed voter contempt"
Given the trajectory of the presidential primary races preceding New York's ballot April 19 and the results of the six primaries April 26 and May 3, it is clear that for once New York's vote was pivotal and likely decisive for both parties.
Prior to New York, Bernie Sanders had won eight of the nine immediately previous contests and Ted Cruz had significantly eroded Donald Trump's delegate lead through outright primary victories in state delegation fights. New York stopped the Cruz ascent and paved the way for six additional Trump wins, driving Cruz and John Kasich from the Republican race. In the Democratic contest, Sanders gamely battles on, but New York all but obliterated his path to nomination. Read More
"Candidate familiarity will surely breed voter contempt"
"Obama's court choice shows he still lacks jugular instinct"
President's court choice shows he still lacks jugular instinct
President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court and fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia. This pick shows one thing the president has learned from more than seven years of Republican obstructionism, and, sadly, what he hasn't. Read More
"Offer praise judiciously"
Consider Justice Antonin Scalia's biases and opinions before honoring jurist
The passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia raises the distinct possibility, bordering on certainty, that his admirers soon will propose honoring the conservative legal icon by naming a courthouse or other legal structure or institution in his memory.
It is debatable whether names like Woodrow Wilson's should be removed from Princeton University structures today, because of his racist yet mainstream policies a century ago. But it would clearly be unwise to honor the memory of the late Scalia with any object or institution intended to last longer than a weekend. Read More
"Having it both ways"
Clinton has a tendency to want all sides of an issue to work in her favor
Recently resurrected controversy over Hillary Clinton's 1975 legal defense of a rape suspect is but one volley of distant thunder that will steadily intensify and dominate the debate through Election Day 2016 if she runs for president, as expected. Read More
"Commentary: Redefining separation of church and state"
High court rules Monroe County town can start meetings with prayer
A sharply divided Supreme Court (5-4) recently decided that the New York town of Greece could continue its practice of beginning monthly public town board meetings with pervasively Christian prayer.
The majority and dissenting opinions included personal invective among the "brethren," creating tension only slightly relieved by the absurd concurring opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas. He sided with the majority but separately wrote that New York, and any state, could constitutionally establish an official religion but the United States was "probably" prohibited from doing that. Read More
"Shrinking the right to privacy"
Your privacy, and the expectation that it is secure, took a massive hit April 29. It came from state and federal prosecutors arguing Riley v. California before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the Riley case, California's solicitor general and a deputy U.S. solicitor general argued that, when someone is arrested, even for a minor offense like failing to buckle up, the police must be free to search, without warrant, through the entire contents of a smartphone, tablet or laptop in the pocket, backpack, briefcase or vehicle of the suspect. Read More
"A bigger Comcast isn't better for consumers"
Proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable will change the competitive landscape
The moment Comcast, the nation's biggest cable company, announced it would buy Time Warner Cable, the second largest, an army of lawyers and PR operatives fanned out to tell cable subscribers how great this deal will be for them. Read More
"Scandals along the Hudson"
Both Chris Christie and Eliot Spitzer signaled political opponents were enemies to be punished
While the nation follows the unfolding Chris Christie scandal, one group —the executive staff that served former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer — is watching with heightened attention and insight. Sad, nostalgic emails are cascading through cyberspace debating the stark parallels and contrasts with "Troopergate," the scandal that burdened Spitzer from the day it exploded in July 2007 until March 2008 when his patronage of prostitutes caused him to resign. Read More
New York City's next mayor, Bill de Blasio, and his wife, Chirlane McCray, deserve credit for candor. Just as when Bill Clinton told the nation in 1992 it would "get two for the price of one," de Blasio and McCray have openly declared their interchangeability.
In an interview in The New York Times, McCray revealed that she interviews all prospective high-level appointees and edits key speeches, and that policy meetings are planned around her schedule. Without apparent wink or giggle, McCray recounted that she threatened divorce if de Blasio voted to elect, as City Council speaker, a member she considered a "slime ball." De Blasio complied. Read More
"Commentary: Timing is everything, even in elections"
Looking to make a political comeback, Eliot Spitzer chose the wrong race and the wrong time
On Sept. 10, Eliot Spitzer, one of the most powerful state attorney generals in memory, whose name once frequently came up when talk turned to potential presidents, lost the Democratic primary for New York City comptroller to Scott Stringer, a Manhattan borough president so undistinguished that I, a lifelong resident of Manhattan, cannot associate it with any achievement or failure or indeed anything at all. Read More