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Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

With Republicans poised to flip 14 congressional seats in the 2020 election, boasting a widely unexpected likely net gain of 14 seats in the House of Representatives, it is only natural to wonder: how could this happen? How would a populist president atop the ticket serve as such a clear catalyst for a shocking red wave across the nation –helping to flip districts in some of the bluest states in the country — while simultaneously losing an incumbent presidency, a rarity, in itself.

The phenomenon is even more stunning when you consider how increasingly rare split-ticket votes have become over the past decade. Recent polls estimate that such splits occur at a rate of about 4% on both sides of the aisle; effectively cancelling one another out. And then there is perhaps most shocking thing of all: President Trump overperformed his 2016 effort both nationally, and across crucial battleground states including Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, not merely in vote total but in percentage of the vote. …


The Communications Decency Act (“Section 230”) Was Enacted To Expand Free Speech, Not To Quash It

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Founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801, the New York Post is America’s oldest daily-published U.S. newspaper, and the 5th-highest circulated paper in the nation. Today, the stalwart finds itself mired in day 11 of “Twitter Jail,” blocked from sharing content — any content — for the second straight week.

The sanction stems from the paper’s refusal to remove links to its October 15 investigative reporting allegations into Hunter Biden’s emails and Joe Biden’s foreign dealings that were censored by both Facebook and Twitter and completely blocked from those sites early that morning. Both companies later partially-reversed course on their decisions, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai will testify before the Senate regarding the social media giants’ content moderation policies later this week. …


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According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Pogrom is a Russian word that means “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.” The museum’s website explains that, historically, the term references violent attacks “by non-Jewish populations on Jews…organized locally, sometimes with government and police encouragement.”

There appears to be collective resistance by both Jewish and non-Jewish sympathizers alike to refer to the recent spate of attacks on Jews, Jewish places of worship, and Jewish businesses as pogroms.

The reticence is understandable. But it is also inaccurate and dangerous.

Some feel that using such an historically provocative term will somehow diminish sympathy for current and future victims of targeted anti-semitsim, as if the months, years, and decades before the Holocaust were somehow much worse for Jewish practitioners, everywhere, and in every way, than they are now. …


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Photo by Elyssa Fahndrich on Unsplash

When the historic Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, it faced staunch opposition from southern members of Congress and a particularly vile 75-day filibuster in the Senate headlined by a former Ku Klux Klan member, who spoke for over 14 consecutive hours.

While the legislation overcame formidable obstacles to become a reality, it is difficult to believe that nearly 55 years since the law was enacted, it still grants no protection to the LGBTQ community.

The Civil Rights Act was originally proposed by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. President Kennedy boldly proclaimed at that time that the U.S. …


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Mecca is universally regarded as the holiest site in Islam. It was the birthplace of Muhammad, Muslims pray in its direction, and thousands of Muslims every year join in a pilgrimage to the holy city in order to fulfill the requirement of Hajj, one of the five Pillars of Islam, as described in the Quran. Islam’s historic and deeply religious connection to Mecca is indisputable. To deny this practice or belief to a Muslim student at a university or to a Muslim employee at her workplace, would be a vile and blatantly illegal form of religious discrimination. …


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Photo by Michael on Unsplash

It has been 55 years since passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits employment discrimination “because of… race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” While supporters of the LGBTQ community rightly celebrated the Supreme Court’s historic constitutional recognition of same-sex marriage in 2015, it has gone remarkably unnoticed that sexual orientation and gender identity, to this day, both remain unprotected classes under the express language of Title VII.

That must change.

For over 50 years, federal courts have routinely held that sexual orientation (and, more recently, gender identity) were not protected under Title VII. In part, this interpretation persisted because some federal laws expressly do provide protection based on sexual orientation, whereas Title VII excludes it. This has led some courts to argue that sexual orientation protection was not contemplated or intended to be provided in its original enactment. While this may be true, it is important to recognize that things have changed dramatically since 1964 and that while a court may not legislate a new definition or divine a new protected class, it certainly may interpret that an existing class should protect a previously unidentified subclass. …

About

Jeffrey Lax

Jeffrey Lax is an attorney, professor and department chair at CUNY. He has hosted radio shows on 770 WABC, 970 WNYM and consults on-air for cable news channels.

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