| Jan 30, 2014
| 12:45 PM
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee voted, 13-5, on Thursday to slash mandatory-minimum sentences for many nonviolent drug offenses and to make retroactive a 2010 law reducing the sentences for possession of crack cocaine.
The bill had...
| Feb 5, 2014
Despite persistent polarization in Washington, a bipartisan consensus is emerging around the proposition that too many Americans are incarcerated for too long. Democrats tend to emphasize the injustice of excessive sentences that disproportionately affect...
| Feb 6, 2014
Debo Adegbile, President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, is an experienced litigator and specialist in civil rights law. In a rational world, he would receive unanimous confirmation. But as the Senate Judiciary...
| Aug 2, 2013
| 12:51 PM
Last month, the Senate moved back from the brink of the “nuclear option,” a parliamentary maneuver that would have allowed Democrats to confirm President Obama’s executive branch nominees without amassing the 60 votes needed to break a...
| Jul 31, 2013
| 12:42 PM
They call it the “Snowden effect.” Whatever you think of fugitive former National Security Agency consultant Edward J. Snowden -- hero, traitor, something in between -- his revelations about electronic surveillance programs have inspired a...
| Jul 31, 2013
| 6:56 PM
WASHINGTON — After weeks of mounting controversy and doubts in Congress, the Obama administration made its most detailed effort yet to reassure the public about the National Security Agency's massive collection of Americans' telephone records,...
| Nov 24, 2013
Remember Edward Snowden? For a while, the National Security Agency's renegade contractor seemed like the most influential man in American intelligence, even though he's been hiding out in Moscow. Snowden's disclosures touched off a wave of enthusiasm in...
| Oct 18, 2013
| 3:03 PM
When a statewide immigrant-rights coalition endorsed same-sex marriage this past spring, 11 groups were given a stark choice by a Roman Catholic anti-poverty program: Leave the coalition, or lose their Catholic funding.
Eight of the groups decided to...
| Sep 24, 2013
| 10:54 PM
WASHINGTON — Three hours into his Senate speech-a-thon, Sen. Ted Cruz recalled that Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster criticizing U.S. drone policy was seen at first as "curious if not quixotic," but ultimately "transformed the debate."
Cruz, a Texas...
| Sep 26, 2013
| 4:51 PM
A U.S. Senate committee cleared the nomination of Zachary Fardon on Thursday as the next U.S. attorney in Chicago, sending it to the full Senate for a final vote.
The unanimous voice vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee comes more than 15 months after...
| Sep 30, 2013
| 6:30 AM
The Boston Marathon bombing has brought out the xenophobes.
Often when America suffers some large, inexplicable tragedy, we want to blame "foreigners" and look for ways to fortify ourselves against them. It's more reassuring to believe that an evil...
| Jul 31, 2013
| 8:38 AM
WASHINGTON -- The public got its first look at the secret court order that authorized the government’s vast collection of records of domestic telephone calls as the Obama administration moved Wednesday to try to boost public confidence in the...