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President Bush has extended the powers of his office beyond what many believe the Constitution allows, with unauthorized spying, the treatment of prisoners and the denial of legal rights. Was it necessary and justified to protect the country or should there be high-level criminal trials to re-establish the rule of law? Also, the unemployment rate continues to climb. On Reporter's Notebook, is the effort to legalize same-sex marriage turning into a civil rights movement? 

Banner image: President George W. Bush (R) speaks to his cabinet while Vice President Dick Cheney listens at the White House September 6, 2005. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Making News Unemployment Rises and Will Keep Climbing 5 MIN, 40 SEC

Five hundred sixteen thousand Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total to 3.8 million, about the size of the City of Los Angeles. The weekly total of lay-offs is the highest since the attacks of September 11, 2001.  David Serchuk is Assistant Editor at the Intelligent Investing channel at Forbes.com.

David Serchuk, Assistant Editor of the Intelligent Investing channel, Forbes.com

How Would a Patriot Act?

Glenn Greenwald

Main Topic Has the Bush Administration Taken Presidential Power Too Far? 35 MIN, 18 SEC

If Bill Clinton's impeachment was a curb on the excesses of the executive branch, it didn't last long. Even some Republicans concede that George W. Bush claimed unprecedented presidential authority, which may have led to violations of law. Now some constitutional lawyers advocate high-level prosecutions for torturing prisoners, spying without warrants, and denying American citizens basic rights.  Are such trials needed to re-establish the rule of law or is it better to move on?

Jonathan Mahler, New York Times (@jonathanmahler)
Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com (@ggreenwald)
Douglas Kmiec, Pepperdine University (@dougkmiec)
Lee Casey, former staffer, Justice Department

The Challenge

Jonathan Mahler

Reporter's Notebook A Political Awakening as Gay-Marriage Advocates Take to the Streets? 7 MIN, 47 SEC

In California last week, voters overturned a state Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right. Since then, street demonstrations by opponents of Proposition 8 have grown larger. Yesterday, gay and lesbian couples exchanged marriage vows for the first time in Connecticut. Last night in New York, some 10,000 people gathered, protesting the Mormon Church's financial support for Prop 8. Dale Carpenter is Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Dale Carpenter, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota

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