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Articles on Constitutional rights

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Without a formal constitution, Israelis disagree on such basic issues as whether Israel is a Jewish state. Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

How Israel’s missing constitution deepens divisions between Jews and with Arabs

Governed by a changeable body of ‘basic laws,’ Israel never settled basic questions like the rights of religious minorities. These destabilizing issues will continue to fester under a new government.
Body camera footage shows a Virginia police officer pepper-spraying a Black U.S. Army officer during a traffic stop in December 2020. Windsor Police via AP

How qualified immunity protects police officers accused of wrongdoing

Police officers who kill, injure or violate the rights of citizens are often not held accountable, even in civil court – because in most cases, they can’t be sued for official acts.
A 2012 training session between two New York police officers demonstrated a way stop-and-frisk encounters could be handled. AP Photo/Colleen Long

Stop-and-frisk’ can work, under careful supervision

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized for his city’s ‘stop-and-frisk’ police strategy. Two criminologists argue it isn’t necessarily inherently racist – though New York’s program was.
Australian federal police entering the Australian Broadcast Company headquarters on June 5, 2019. A.B.C. screenshot from videotape

Investigating the investigative reporters: Bad news from Down Under

An American media scholar studying in Australia looks at the protections offered by the two countries for investigative reporting, raising crucial questions about journalism’s role in democracy.
The nation’s founders saw education as key to self-rule. Joseph Sohm/www.shutterstock.com

Fight for federal right to education takes a new turn

The Supreme Court long ago rejected the idea of a federal right to education. Can a series of new lawsuits convince the court to change its mind?
A woman cheers during Freedom Day celebrations in South Africa. Reuters/Mujahid Safodien

South Africans take stock as the country celebrates Freedom Day

South Africa’s transition to democracy was based on the values of inclusive politics, reconciliation, human rights and constitutionalism. Twenty-two years on, how has the country fared?

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