From fingerprinting to criminal sentencing, from lawyer licensing to judicial selection, and from eminent domain to wealth transfers via class-action lawsuits, how do perverse incentives impact the law and what reforms would create a more just and efficient legal system?
An Independent Policy Forum held on 3/7/08. Peter L. Hays, Associate Director of the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies, and Theresa Hitchens, Director of the Center for Defense Information, discuss the implications that the U.S. takedown of a malfunctioning satellite have for a potential arms race in space.
The elections in Iraq have not resolved the main problems therea constitutional crisis, continued terrorism, a potent Sunni rebellion, and fighting between religious and ethnic groups that could result in a full-blown civil war. Is the Iraq war a hopeless quagmire that has been lost, or can the U.S. still foster a united, peaceful and prosperous Iraq? If the latter, how can this be achieved? Should the Iraqi constitution be revised and, if so, how? Should the U.S. withdraw its forces-with Iraq partitioned-or use the threat of withdrawal to pressure Iraqi groups into a negotiated settlement? Should the U.S. extract troops rapidly, pull them out gradually, stay the course with current Bush administration policy, or escalate its involvement? This very timely policy forum, featuring Mark Danner and Ivan Eland, will address these critical issues.
The recent unveiling of White House plans for PATRIOT Act II has raised concerns nationwide about the state of American civil liberties in a time of crisis. Since the attacks on September 11 and the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Bush administration has clashed with civil libertarians over allegations of constitutional violations and the excessive use of government powers. With an expansion of the PATRIOT Act now before Congress, what do the American people stand to gain or lose from its passage? Is the increased power of law enforcement a necessary response to terrorism or a reckless assault on our constitutional protections? Please join the Independent Institutes Center on Peace & Liberty and our panel of distinguished experts as we examine the key issues in this crucial national debate.
Professor of Law, Georgetown University, and author of Enemy Aliensand Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security
Member, ACLU National Board, past Chair of ACLU Northern California, and Professor of Law, Santa Clara University.
Journalist, Policy Analyst, and Author of Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil and Lost Rights
Many people have wondered how technological progress will affect political, economic, and civil freedoms. With the rise of encryption software, the National Security Agency's Echelon worldwide surveillance system, and the FBI's Carnivore e-mail snooping program, this subject is no longer the exclusive domain of speculative thinkers or futurists, it is the subject of intense public-policy debate. Will privacy-enhancing technology improve faster than privacy-threatening technology? Should the government mandate privacy standards? Should it enforce contracts in cyberspace, or would private law do a better job? Economist, physicist, and legal scholar David Friedman discussed these and related questions about technological change and the case for and against government involvement.