Top Menu

Author Archive | Michael E. Tigar

Bertrand de Jouvenel

Mythologies, Guns, Racism and the Death Penalty

This past week, I have read two judicial decisions that – once again – remind me how powerful mythologies are deployed to justify conduct that harms and mutilates human beings.  However, in both cases, the majority of judges penetrate the mythology and see the case in human terms.  The cases can therefore teach all of […]

Continue Reading
Activists gather at Portland International Airport to protest against President Donald Trump's executive action travel ban in Portland (REUTERS/Steve Dipaola)

The Muslim Ban and Judicial Power

Do federal courts have the legitimate power to block Presidential orders concerning immigration and border control? Yes. Article 3 of the constitution gives them that power. In the current controversy, we should remind ourselves of this fragile and endangered separation of powers, on which we now rely as a bulwark against racism, bigotry and xenophobia.

Continue Reading

Taking Action: Understanding History, Reaching Out

Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, repression, and the other evils that have been spotlighted by the recent election did not arise full-blown from the Trump campaign.  They all trace deep roots in American society; they are brought now to the surface by demagogy. The point of my last several posts has been that we could see […]

Continue Reading

The Lawyers’ Job Now — History and Strategy

Donald Trump and his allies have announced their agenda.  It includes torture, denial of basic human rights, military action that violates the laws of war, racial injustice, misogyny, and xenophobia.  What role and responsibility do we have?  I am a lawyer, teacher, and writer.  So I speak to those in my profession and those preparing […]

Continue Reading
Thinking About Terrorism: the Threat to Civil Liberties in a Time of National Emergency

The Letelier-Moffitt Assassination: New Evidence

The Guardian reports that Chilean President Augusto Pinochet personally ordered the assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt, in Washington, D.C. in September 1976. So, you may say, what’s new?  After all, my partner Sam Buffone and I sued Chile for these murders and won a judgment.  At the trial, our expert witness said that […]

Continue Reading

Private Prisons Are Unconstitutional

A new report by In the Public Interest, available at www.inthepublicinterest.org/article/criminal-how-lockup-quotas-and-low-crime-taxes-guarantee-profits-private-prison-corporations, documents the increased use of private prisons to house the large and growing population of incarcerated Americans.  We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, five to seven times that of comparable countries.  See my article “Lawyers, Jails, and the Law’s Fake Bargains,” […]

Continue Reading