Last week the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments concerning the Executive Branch's right to unilaterally strip citizens of core constitutional rights. People For the American Way Foundation believes the government's "enemy combatants" and detention policies -- the heart of the case before the high court -- violate fundamental principles enshrined in our Constitution, such as the separation of powers and due process of law, and actually threaten progress in the war on terror and America's campaign for greater freedom and democracy around the world. Read the powerful new PFAWF report on these policies.
Mining, coal and cattle industry lobbyist William G. Myers III is President Bush’s latest nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Myers has amassed an incredible record of promoting environmental degradation and harm to the interests of Native Americans, both from his position as an industry lobbyist and from a short stint as solicitor for the Bush Administration Department of the Interior.
Today, governmental responsibilities in education and the strong connection that
Americans have with their public schools are being put to a serious test. A network of Religious Right groups, free-market economists, ultraconservative columnists and others are using vouchers as a vehicle to achieve their ultimate goal of privatizing education.
What would the actual impact be on Americans' rights and freedoms if the views of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas become the majority views on the Supreme Court? This report examines Scalia's and Thomas's opinions to answer that question, focusing on cases in which Scalia and Thomas have been in the minority on the Court, and the answer is nothing short of chilling.
When good people give their own money to a child in need, the best of the human spirit is
revealed. When our nation writes its laws and public policies, the spirit of the nation must be
reflected in order to care for all children. The decisions we make today about the best way to
educate our children must be conducted in the full knowledge that these decisions will shape our
children’s future and our future as a nation.
Sexuality education has been one of the primary sources of controversy in the public schools for almost thirty years. The debate over this issue is particularly heated now, in a time when teen pregnancy rates are persistently high and the HIV/AIDS epidemic is having a devastating impact on young people. This debate centers on one crucial question: whether providing young people with full and accurate information makes them more or less likely to engage in sexual activity.
The Religious Right continues to target public schools in a variety of ways that disrupt education and threaten religious liberty, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). The report provides an in-depth analysis of the struggle over the future of our public education system by focusing on six categories: creationism; textbook controversies; sexuality education; religion and public schools; anti-gay activity and censorship.
This report examines the increasingly sophisticated strategies that creationists use in an effort to inject their ideas into public school science curricula
Punishing Success: The Governor's Proposed Education Budget in Wisconsin and the SAGE and Voucher Programs
Over the past 11 months, the school voucher movement has suffered one major political setback after another. Last November, Michigan and California became the latest states in which voters decisively defeated voucher initiatives. This spring, the Wisconsin Legislature refused to support a proposal to significantly expand the Milwaukee voucher plan—the nation’s longest-running, publicly funded voucher program.
This report details widespread, significant constitutional violations uncovered by People For the American Way Foundation in its year-long investigation into the teaching of “Bible History” classes in Florida’s public high schools. An examination of the written instructional materials provided by the school districts themselves found that the courses were taught from a Christian, generally Fundamentalist Protestant, perspective. Typically, the courses presented the Bible as a history textbook, assumed that students were Christian, and used the Bible to promote Christian faith formation.
This report examines the nomination of John Ashcroft for Attorney General by President George W. Bush. Based on Ashcroft's record as a senator and as Missouri state attorney general and governor, public interest advocates believed that Ashcroft was a right-wing ideologue who should not be entrusted with overseeing the enforcement of laws and the protection of constitutional guarantees affecting civil rights, civil liberties, religious liberty, reproductive rights, environmental protection, and more.
This editorial memorandum examines how U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has failed to pursue a responsible and balanced approach to achieving security and preserving liberty, but has promoted legislation and instituted policies at the Department of Justice (DOJ) that could threaten civil liberties and undermine civil rights for years to come. These recent actions continue a dangerous trend that was already evident in his first six months on the job.
In January 2001, a remarkably broad coalition of civil rights and other public interest organizations opposed the confirmation of John Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General. People For the American Way helped lead that effort. One year later, Ashcroft has done much to ensure his legacy as a right-wing ideologue who is willing to bend the Constitution and laws to his worldview, disregard the constitutional principle of checks and balances, and endanger Americans' basic rights and freedoms.