Stories by Howard Foster

Howard Foster is a lawyer in Chicago.

It’s Time to Debate Birthright Citizenship

January 5th, 2012 at 4:04 pm 53 Comments

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has introduced a bill to repeal “birthright citizenship.” It’s probably the most significant immigration reform bill introduced in Congress since 1965 when nation quotas on immigration were repealed. That revision in the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) significantly changed the racial and ethnic composition of the country and the number of unskilled immigrants.

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Res Judicata: Can an E-Verify Mandate Be Enforced?

January 2nd, 2012 at 1:39 am 68 Comments

Enforcement of the law prohibiting the employment of illegal immigrants, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), enacted in 1986, has been pathetic. When the was first enacted, illegal migration from Mexico initially slowed to a trickle as Mexicans waited to see how seriously the U.S. Government would enforce IRCA.

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Res Judicata: Where Are the Civil Libertarians?

December 26th, 2011 at 11:09 am 28 Comments

During the 2008 campaign one of Barack Obama‘s major themes was attacking the Bush anti-terror policies: warrantless snooping by the N.S.A., renditions, targeted assassinations, Guantanamo Bay detentions, enhanced interrogation techniques, military tribunals, as unconstitutional.  He promised to close Guantanamo on his first day in office and end all of the other policies as soon as militarily feasible.

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Brinkmanship Works

December 21st, 2011 at 5:21 pm 72 Comments

It seems that everyone is deploring the “tactics” of the House Republicans in refusing to pass a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and by doing so, drawing out the standoff until the last minute. Is this the way resolve a dispute? Yes, deadlines force the combatants to make concessions.

I’ve been practicing law for 22 years, and began my career believing the judicial system was an efficient and civilized method of dispute resolution.

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Res Judicata: Where is the Authority For a Cell Phone Ban?

December 19th, 2011 at 8:51 am 37 Comments

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has proposed a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving, which strikes me as a good idea in principle. But like so many good ideas, we cannot judge it by its facial appeal. Moving beyond that, one needs to ask, does the federal government have the authority to enact such a law? And if so, how will it be enforced?

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Arizona’s Immigration Law Gets its Day in Court

December 12th, 2011 at 12:58 pm 18 Comments

Today the Supreme Court announced that it has granted the State of Arizona’s petition to review the Ninth Circuit Appellate decision striking down most of S.B. 1070, the controversial state law prohibiting the employment of illegal immigrants and making it a crime for immigrants not to carry evidence of lawful admission to the country.

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Newt is Confused by Democracy

December 12th, 2011 at 12:00 am 64 Comments

Newt Gingrich believes in much more democracy than the founding fathers.

They believed the U.S. House should consist of representatives elected by white male property owners. Voting at the time was a public act. On election day the voters would show up at a public place, usually a county seat, where food and copious amounts of alcohol were shared, and raise their hands when the name of their candidate was announced. U.S. Senators were chosen by the state legislatures for six year terms to insulate them from public opinion. The people were not trusted to elect the President and Vice President. An electoral college stood between them.

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Why Kagan Has Skin in the Game

December 5th, 2011 at 12:00 am 52 Comments

In my last post I argued that Justice Elana Kagan is obliged by 28 U.S.C. 455 (b)(3) of the federal recusal statute, which applies to Supreme Court justices, to recuse herself from the challenge to the Obama Health Care law. The provision requires a judge to recuse if he or she “has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser… concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the case in controversy.”

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Gingrich Knows Illegals Break the Law

December 2nd, 2011 at 2:58 pm 44 Comments

Recent comments by Newt Gingrich to the effect that illegal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for 25 years, “obey the rules, have children and belong to a church” should be allowed to remain here are deliberately deceptive. His premise is that an illegal immigrant can somehow live and work in this country for a long period without breaking any laws. He should know better and probably does.

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Res Judicata: The Case for Kagan’s Recusal

November 28th, 2011 at 12:02 pm 49 Comments

The Solicitor General of the U.S. (a position Elana Kagan held in 2010) is the government’s advocate in every case heard in any federal court. Typically the Solicitor will personally argue some cases in the Supreme Court. He or she will certainly be involved with any case that challenges the constitutionality of a federal law.

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