- Making News: National Implications for California's Special Election?
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has called a special election for this November, but it's not just California politics that will be thrown into turmoil. The issues to be decided have national implications, says Professor Bruce Cain, who directs the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
- Reporter's Notebook: Star-Struck Jurors in California?
Criminal trials of celebrities lead to massive publicity and coverage that's less about legal issues than lifestyle. Michael Jackson's acquittal on all 10 charges related to child molestation is the latest example to raise the question of whether fame and fortune is an asset or a liability inside the jury room. Are celebrities prime targets for ambitious district attorneys? Are jurors more sympathetic to the rich and famous? We ask a veteran judge, criminal defense lawyer, and a journalist who's followed Michael Jackson-s legal tribulations for over a decade.
The Patriot Act - Act II
The Patriot Act was passed six weeks after September 11, in such haste that some provisions were subject to 'sunset.' That means they'll expire at the end of this year unless Congress restores them. Civil libertarians on both the Left and the Right are demanding limitations on what they call excessive government powers that constitute a threat to civil liberties. But President Bush contends the Patriot Act is an important tool against terrorism that should be expanded if it's changed at all. What are the benefits--and the risks--of extending the federal government's powers to probe the lives of suspected citizens? We hear from a Washington Post reporter who covers the Congress and two high-profile conservatives on different sides of the issue.