Chris Cassidy

Chris Cassidy is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. His writing has been featured in the Harvard Law Record, Justice Watch and the Huffington Post.

Recent Articles

Republicans' Tireless War on Women

The Republican war on women is one of attrition, and women are losing. After yesterday's overwhelming House vote restricting federal funding for abortion, there will be no policy change, fortunately. If the Senate even takes up the bill, they won't pass it. And if they did, by some miracle, pass that bill, President Barack Obama has already promised to veto the draconian law. Republicans did not lose the battle by failing to change federal policy, however. They demonstrated their strength on a unifying issue, not only voting unanimously for the bill but also pulling five Democrats over the aisle for a 251-175 vote that loudly and clearly makes this point: When the day comes for simultaneous Republican leadership of the Senate, House, and White House, among the first victims will be women. It's not just on Capitol Hill where Republicans are launching assaults in their war on women. Battles are breaking out in state legislatures across the country. "Nearly 1,000 anti-choice bills are...

Today in Race

Race issues are as American as apple pie. Here's the latest. Today is the 20th anniversary of a rookie police officer shooting a Salvadorean-American man in Washington, D.C. Police say that the victim lunged at the officer with a knife. Witnesses disputed this account, with some saying he was shot while handcuffed. The shooting set off days of riots and looting in the area, vividly displayed in the video above. The National Museum of American History is holding a diverse panel on the riots and their causes this Sunday, May 8. Ezra Klein noted a recent political science paper titled, " Do Politicians Racially Discriminate against Constituents? " [PDF] The answer: uh huh. " Geronimo " was the moniker given to an Apache warrior who fought to resist Mexican and U.S. encroachment into Apache lands in the mid-1800s. It's also the code name Navy SEALs used to identify Osama bin Laden . A hearing this afternoon before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee promises to feature debate over the...

Aristotle, Kant, Ashcroft

I don't know about you, but for me, nothing screams ethics like the names of President George W. Bush 's former attorneys general. (Cue: crickets chirping.) No? Well in that case, you may be surprised to learn that Bush's first attorney general, John Ashcroft , is heading a new ethics committee for Xe Services, nee Blackwater. According to a statement released this morning by the consortium restructuring Blackwater, Ashcroft will head the committee recently created to "maximize governance, compliance and accountability," and hold the company to "the highest degrees of ethics and professionalism within the private security industry." As Spencer Ackerman observes , that might just mean "no more shooting civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan ; no more signing for weapons its guards aren’t authorized to carry in warzones; no more impersonations of cartoon characters to acquire said weaponry; and no more ‘roids and coke on the job." Charges against former Blackwater employees for the 2007...

Marijuana Flip Flop Leaves States in Lurch

More so than Barack Obama 's presidency, Eric Holder 's tenure as Attorney General is proving to be an unequivocal disappointment for progressives. Holder's time in office was launched with bang. During his confirmation hearings, Holder disavowed the Bush administration's use of torture in interrogations. He was central to the administration's widely touted plans for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and announced that high-profile detainees there would be tried in federal court. And he promised deference to states on medical marijuana, ending federal raids where medical marijuana was dispensed within the bounds of state law. On Guantanamo and trying detainees, Holder's about-face seemed forced. Congress overwhelmingly voted against funding alternative housing for Guantanamo detainees and public outcry was severe over Holder's announcement that federal courts could handle their trials. Yet for the Justice Department's back-pedaling from medical marijuana legalization,...

Bin Laden's Dead. Now What?

Almost 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. forces succeeded in locating and killing Osama bin Laden yesterday. His body was buried at sea within hours after his death, according to U.S. officials. President Barack Obama made a rare Sunday night address from the White House's East Room to announce that "justice has been done." Marc Ambinder provides a detailed account of the raid and events leading up to it here , and you can follow the IT consultant in Abbottabad, Pakistan, who unwittingly live-tweeted the raid here . Behind the celebrations and mourning internationally, and the principled but pointless debates about whether Americans should be celebratory or stoic, lies a more important question: What now? The effects of bin Laden's death on al-Qaeda's operations in the short term seem limited. Long term, though, the void that bin Laden leaves, paired with recent successes of nonviolent revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, paint a grim picture for the terrorist network's health...

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