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University of Baltimore Law

Civil Rights and Discrimination

Civil liberties

Articles 1 - 8 of 8

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The Gentleman From Hagerstown: How Maryland Jews Won The Right To Vote, Kenneth Lasson Feb 2008

The Gentleman From Hagerstown: How Maryland Jews Won The Right To Vote, Kenneth Lasson

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This article discusses the early history of Maryland in the context of religious discrimination, specifically in reference to discrimination against those of the Jewish faith, even though the state "was founded as a haven of religious liberty and beacon of toleration." It also highlights a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Thomas Kennedy, a Christian, as being the leader of the movement to ultimately correct this injustice. Part of the problem were clauses in the state's constitution requiring officeholders to be Christians. Kennedy lost his seat in the House, but didn't give up the battle. Ha had ...


Some Learning Opportunities From The Imus Affair, Kenneth Lasson Apr 2007

Some Learning Opportunities From The Imus Affair, Kenneth Lasson

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The author discusses the broader issues of free speech under the surface of the Don Imus affair, where that commentator made a gratuitous slur about the Rutgers women's basketball team. He balances this gaff against the good deeds of the same personality, comparing this with similar provocative remarks made by other well-known public figures. The media is cited for an overreaction to the Imus incident, and all these components are discussed in light of what free speech means.


Civil Liberties In Uncivil Times: The Perilous Quest To Preserve American Freedoms, Kenneth Lasson Jan 2007

Civil Liberties In Uncivil Times: The Perilous Quest To Preserve American Freedoms, Kenneth Lasson

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The perilous quest to preserve civil liberties in uncivil times is not an easy one, but the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin should remain a beacon: "Societies that trade liberty for security end often with neither." Part I of this article is a brief history of civil liberties in America during past conflicts. Part II describes various actions taken by the government to conduct the war on terrorism - including invasions of privacy, immigration policies, deportations, profiling, pre-trial detentions, and secret military tribunals. Part III analyzes the serious Constitutional questions raised by the government's actions in fighting terrorism. The thesis throughout ...


Incitement In The Mosques: Testing The Limits Of Free Speech And Religious Liberty, Kenneth Lasson Oct 2005

Incitement In The Mosques: Testing The Limits Of Free Speech And Religious Liberty, Kenneth Lasson

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In times of terror and tension, civil liberties are at their greatest peril. Nowadays, no individual rights are more in jeopardy than the freedoms of speech and religion. This is true particularly for followers of Islam, whose leaders have become increasingly radical in both their preaching and practice. "Kill the Jews!" and "Kill the Americans!" are chants heard regularly in many Middle Eastern mosques, as frightful echoes of the fatwa are issued by today's quintessential terrorist, Osama bin Laden. The incitement continues unabated to this day. In April of 2004, for example, a Muslim preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque ...


Passage Of Religious Freedom Act Necessary To Fulfill Maryland's National Leadership Role, Kenneth Lasson Mar 1998

Passage Of Religious Freedom Act Necessary To Fulfill Maryland's National Leadership Role, Kenneth Lasson

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Three hundred sixty-four years ago this month, two tiny sailing ships arrived near what is now St. Mary's City with the first settlers in Maryland. The Ark and the Dove were sent to the New World by Cecil Calvert. Lord Baltimore had founded his small colony as a haven for those persecuted in England because of their religious beliefs.

On numerous occasions since then - from passage of the Act of Toleration in 1649 to the achievement of full civil liberties for Jews in 1825 to landmark Supreme Court decisions involving the state in the 1960s - Maryland has been a ...


To Stimulate, Provoke, Or Incite? Hate Speech And The First Amendment, Kenneth Lasson Jan 1991

To Stimulate, Provoke, Or Incite? Hate Speech And The First Amendment, Kenneth Lasson

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If protecting freedom of speech is one of mankind's noblest pursuits, then restricting it is the most difficult. Yet limit we must: even the purest civil libertarian will concede that false shouts of fire cannot be countenanced nor broadcasts of wartime troop movements; even those who object to obscenity laws recognize the need for enabling redress of libel; and even those who would protect the right to be insulting do not defend inflammatory words spit out nose-to-nose. Now a spate of "speech codes" on college campuses has once again brought the first amendment to the fore, part of a ...


Some Words Are Injurious . . . Some Cause A Raging Storm, Kenneth Lasson Dec 1990

Some Words Are Injurious . . . Some Cause A Raging Storm, Kenneth Lasson

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No abstract provided.


Group Libel Versus Free Speech: When Big Brother Should Butt In, Kenneth Lasson Oct 1984

Group Libel Versus Free Speech: When Big Brother Should Butt In, Kenneth Lasson

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The year 1984 may not have fulfilled Orwellian prophecies of governmental totalitarianism, but citizens of the world remain no less concerned about the quality of their civil liberties. If people could live peacefully and productively together under a strict caste system, or blissfully in enslavement, there would be little impetus to identify 'natural rights' nor insistence upon what we know as 'freedom.' But human experience has amply demonstrated the universal yearning for personal liberty, as well as the need to legislate against its deprivation.

Thus Big Brother has been the enemy from long before the Magna Carta and long since ...