What explains U.S. mass shootings? International comparisons suggest an answer

Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins study cited by The New York Times, Nov. 7, 2017

The United States is not actually more prone to crime than other developed countries, according to a landmark 1999 study by Franklin E. Zimring and Gordon Hawkins. … American crime is simply more lethal. … They concluded that the discrepancy, like so many other anomalies of American violence, came down to guns.

Sharp-eyed pragmatist

Saira Mohamed quoted by Daily Journal (registration required), Nov. 7, 2017

She recently taught the opinion, though it was later vacated after the city and the class settled, and she said that it was an important decision. “I think the Jones case is pioneering in its understanding of the criminalization of poverty,” she commented.

Lawmakers ‘can’t police themselves’: How statehouses are confronting sexual harassment

Barbara Bryant quoted by The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 6, 2017

Bryant said the confidentiality protections should extend to people who are accused of sexual harassment, at least until investigators determine if someone might have committed a crime. That may help an accused person feel less defensive. “If we can make progress to resolve it between the individuals, the whole idea is that it would be kept private,” she said.

Should “harmful speech” be punished in the U.S.?

Erwin Chemerinsky and john a. powell quoted by California Magazine, Nov. 6, 2017

“Would we be better off if the campus had the power to prevent the speakers that they find offensive from being there?” Chemerinsky says. “We might think that’s our ideal, but I still worry that’s what would have kept students from protesting segregation, or from protesting the Vietnam War. When you give the government the power to censor the speech that we find offensive, it’s going to be used against us.”

“We are moral beings, and we have to think about things in a much deeper way than just what the court said,” powell said. “Some things injure other people, and both the concept of liberty and equality doesn’t allow us to injure other people with impunity.”

Lawsuit: Remove ‘So help me God’ from citizenship oath

Erwin Chemerinsky quoted by MassLive.com, Nov. 3, 2017

Newdow’s defeat in the Pledge of Allegiance case could signal a difficult road ahead for Bilbo’s lawsuit, suggested … Erwin Chemerinsky. … “Courts generally have not been receptive to this in the context of the Pledge of Allegiance,” Chemerinsky wrote in an email.