Connecticut’s own ‘Second Amendment’

When people debate the legality of gun control legislation, the focus is usually on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  What many people may not realize, however, is that state constitutions often contain a similar (but not identical) provision.  Thus, article first, § 15 of the Connecticut Constitution provides: “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”

We need to get serious about gun violence

America has become an angry society.  Family destruction and income inequality have left many young males in the dust. Judicial rulings have made it impossible to institutionalize the mentally ill. Thus, we have disturbed angry young men who view their lives as empty wishing to make a statement. And they do so by gaining access to powerful guns and killing innocent victims. The latest massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida by a lone gunman, Nikolas Cruz, has pushed the country over the edge. This must stop. But how?

Connecticut judge not fit for promotion

If public figures with an animus against the Catholic Church were driven out of public life, Connecticut’s Andrew McDonald would not be sitting on the Connecticut Supreme Court today. That he has been nominated by Gov. Dannel Malloy to be Chief Justice makes this story all the more surreal.

On the Parkland massacre: ‘Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We must do something now’

It is with profound sorrow and empathy that we try to understand and come to terms with the massacre that occurred at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day of all days. It is unthinkable that, once again, children and adults were shot and killed at a school, with at least 17 people dead and more wounded. We mourn for the victims and the survivors and reach out to all of their families who will be forever changed by this brutal act of violence.

‘The arc of the moral universe… bends toward justice’

On December 12 – more than five decades after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham — the people of Alabama made clear their intention to set right the hateful murders and destruction. They chose to trust the women who asserted that Republican candidate Roy Moore had sought them out and acted indecently towards them and they delivered their verdict that Moore was not fit to represent the people of Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

The House should act on this federal animal cruelty bill

Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) to crack down on extreme animal cruelty, taking a critical step towards enactment of the first general federal animal cruelty law.  The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, if approved by the House of Representatives, would prohibit malicious animal cruelty that occurs in interstate commerce or on federal property, providing federal enforcement authority to supplement state anti-cruelty frameworks. 

Marijuana: An issue we can solve

We must legalize recreational marijuana in Connecticut. It’s time our state joins the forward thinking people of Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont to put an end to this modern day prohibition.

How dogs and cats can get their day in court

In 2016, the FBI started to track animal cruelty, including neglect, torture and sexual abuse, because of disturbing connections.
“If somebody is harming an animal, there is a good chance they also are hurting a human,” said John Thompson, the deputy executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association. “If we see patterns of animal abuse, the odds are that something else is going on.”
In response to longstanding failures to aggressively prosecute and sentence perpetrators of animal cruelty, I developed a way for lawyers and law students to advocate for animal victims. I believe this approach can solve the problem of under-enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and achieve justice for animals.

The Blue Water Navy vets need your help

There are an estimated 1,800 Vietnam Blue Water Navy Veterans in Connecticut. They are not entitled to VA Benefits due to exposure to herbicides, aka Agent Orange. The Agent Orange Act of 1991 was implemented to provide much-needed care to veterans who were exposed to the harmful chemical cocktail Agent Orange. In 2002, the VA amended its initial plan and excluded thousands of “Blue Water” Navy vets — vets who served right off the coast — from receiving their rightful benefits.