A Supreme Court justice should be a Constitutional conservative

Kudos to Neil Gorsuch! Much has been written by the left and the right about Neil Gorsuch — from his nomination for an opening on the Supreme Court to his voting on cases brought to the highest court in the land. So far, he has been conducting himself like all justices should: keeping personal opinions to himself, and speaking for our founders with a literal interpretation of the Constitution by using the definitions of words as they were used at the time of our founding.

Promoting the health of incarcerated women and their children

Imagine giving birth. Lower back searing with pain; muscles internally twisting and seizing with each contraction; hips feel like they’re being slowly dislocated; body rocking to distract from the pain.

Now imagine all of this but in a prison cell, with metal shackles cutting into your body and questionable medical care that may heighten, rather than calm, your anxiety. For many, the word “torture” comes to mind and, for many, it would be unthinkable that this type of treatment is occurring in Connecticut — but it is.

Why we are bailing out women and girls from jail for Mother’s Day

On Sunday, May 13, approximately 1,000 women and girls will spend their Mother’s Day in York Correctional Institute, Connecticut’s prison for women. Of these people, over 300 will have no criminal conviction. They will spend Mother’s Day in jail just because they cannot afford to pay bail. Disproportionately, these women are black, brown, poor, and disabled. Many are first criminalized for acts of survival and self-defense. Most of them are mothers and caretakers, whose children endure the costs of their hardship.

Now is the time for addiction treatment solutions that work

Every fatal opioid overdose means our system has failed to provide treatment. A patient of mine — I’ll call him John — overdosed and almost died last year. After missing a visit in our addiction treatment clinic, he was brought in to the emergency department after being found nonresponsive in his car. John’s close call could have been avoided. When he had first come to our clinic months before, worn-down from years of addiction to heroin and prescription opiates, he was ready to change his life and get treatment.

Why including emerging adults in CT’s juvenile justice system makes sense

Gov. Dannel Malloy is again proposing that Connecticut become the first state in United States history to include most emerging adults – those ages 18, 19 and 20 – who have committed crimes into its juvenile court. He has also put forth a second bill that would provide confidentiality protections for low-risk emerging adults in the adult system, offering them a carrot for good behavior by erasing their criminal record if they don’t re-offend for four years. Both applied research and Connecticut’s own experience with raising the age of juvenile court suggest that the Constitution State would be on strong ground to move in the direction the administration has proposed.

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.