Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer is a writing fellow at The American Prospect and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He also blogs at Jack and Jill Politics and has written for The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The Root, and the Daily News.

Recent Articles

Georgetown, Apartheid, What's The Difference?

The folks who brought you the now-discredited charges behind the New Black Panther voter intimidation case are busy trying to prove that the Justice Department is deeply politicized because it's hiring people with experience in civil rights organizations to work in the civil rights division, as opposed to establishing an illegal Republican litmus test like when Bush was in office. Matt Gertz flags this assertion from NBPP hype man J. Christian Adams about a recent DoJ hire, Tamica Daniel. Ms. Daniel comes to the Section only a year out of Georgetown's law school, where she was the diversity committee chair of the law review, volunteered with the ACLU's Innocence Project, and participated in the Institute for Public Representation Clinic. For those in the real world, diversity committees are groups set up to hector for race-based outcomes in hiring employees and student matters. It is an entity with close cousins in South Africa's apartheid regime and other dark eras in history. Here's...

Rick Perry Doesn't Apologize Except When He Does

It’s 2000 all over again: A Republican governor from Texas is running for president, and the press is swooning over his manly manliness. Opinion columnists are already lining up to squeeze Perry’s biceps. Washington Post “liberal” columnist Richard Cohen thinks Perry “looks like a president,” whatever that means, while Kathleen Parker writes that Perry shares George W. Bush’s “certain brand of manliness.” I can’t tell if she means being a conservative from Texas or being a cheerleader . It’s getting a little hot in here for the straight reporters too. Yesterday, the Washington Post ’s Chris Cilizza wrote an uncharacteristically credulous post where he labeled Governor Rick Perry the “no-apologies” candidate who is “is brash, bold and unapologetic about being so.” Perry famously floated the idea of Texas seceding from the United States if the federal government kept trampling on states’ rights in 2009;he referred to the BP oil spill as an “act of God”; and he once asked Texans to pray...

Desegregation In Wake County

Trymaine Lee has a fascinating story on the role Americans for Prosperity played in dismantling a school desegregation program in North Carolina: Since 2000, Wake County has used a system of integration based on income. Under this program, no more than 40 percent of any school’s students could receive subsidized lunches, a proxy for determining the level of poverty. The school district is the 18th largest in the country, and includes Raleigh, its surrounding suburbs and rural areas. It became one of the first school systems in the nation to adopt such a plan. But Wake County’s plan became a political flash point when five conservative candidates, bankrolled by Americans for Prosperity, a political activist group funded in part by the Kochs, were elected to the school board on a “neighborhood schools” platform that would dismantle the existing integration policy. The new board touted their plan as one that would end busing and eliminate class, and subsequently race, as a factor for...

Fallout

Ricci round two. The Civil War isn't tragic . No one should be billed for their rape kit. Someone tell Rick Perry we already have drones at the border.

When Military Commissions Aren't An Option

Robert Chesney, looking at the trial of Mahamud Said Omar, a Minnesota resident who is accused of aiding Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab, cites it as an example of a case in which military commissions simply can't be used: The case is not unlike the much-discussed (and frequently critized) Warsame scenario, in that it involves a Somali man engaged in supporting al-Shabaab. To be sure, Warsame was also linked to AQAP, whereas there is no such claim so far as I know as to Omar. But on the other hand, Omar allegedly was involved quite directly in the infamous–and quite successful–recruitment of young Somali-American men from the Minneapolis region. In any event, the first important thing to note about the Omar case is that there almost certainly was no alternative to charging him in civilian court. He was arrested in the Netherlands, after all, and as we saw previously with the Delaema case, the Dutch are not likely to extradite if we plan to hold someone in military detention or use a...

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