Veiled Equality and Secularism.
The New York Times recently described the newest developments in France to enact a prohibition on the wearing of the face veil. Some of the opposition of course came from religious groups. Meanwhile, as Miguel Schor has pointed out in a recent blog posting here, Argentina has essentially allowed same-sex marriage.
German Right to Die Case and Supreme Court Confirmation
As has been reported in the press, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany recently issued a ruling making it easier for relatives and others to allow loved ones to die in certain situations. Given the power of the right to dignity and the right to life under the Basic Law, this is significant both there and abroad.
More Soccer and Comparative Constitutionalism
The U.S. sports network ESPN has produced a fascinating documentary called The Two Escobars. It examines the link between Columbian soccer and the various drug cartels there during the period of the ascendancy of Pablo Escobar, who led the Medellin Cartel.
World Cup and U.S. Supreme Court Nominations
This op-ed might be of interest to the readership: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0610/Beyond-World-Cup-soccer-savvy-US-should-look-to-South-Africa-on-Supreme-Court-nominations
Xenophobia in South Africa and the U.S.
South Africa has had a problem with outbreaks of violence against foreigners in the last few years. This is especially distressing given the nation’s legacy of oppressing groups based on their backgrounds. These developments also pose real challenges to the nation’s hopeful and progressive constitution.
Kagan Confirmation Controversy?
The U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process has become increasingly polarized. While the system in other countries is not free of problems, things in the U.S. reached a new low lately when several prominent news commentators essentially called on Court nominee Elena Kagan to address whether she is gay or not (Maureen Dowd in the New York Times, and Andrew Sullivan who has a popular blog).
New Socio-Economic Rights Book
An important new book on socio-economic rights has just been published. The book is called “Socio-Economic Rights –Adjudication Under a Transformative Constitution.” It’s published by JUTA press. The author is Sandra Liebenberg, the Harry F. Oppenheimer Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Stellenbosch Law School in South Africa.
Indonesia Blasphemy Ruling
As a follow up to my earlier post on this topic, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has recently upheld the nation’s controversial anti-blasphemy law. To quote Chris Blake from the Associated Press, “The court ruled…that the 1965 law, which allows for criminal penalties and bans on people or groups that “distort” the central tenets of six officially recognized religions, was in line with the constutition and was vital to religious harmony.”
Indonesia Blasphemy Hearing
The Indonesian Constitutional Court is holding a hearing on the legality of the nation’s 1965 Blasphemy Law. The law officially acknowledges six religions: Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Protestantism. It also essentially prohibits “religious based activities” that “resemble the religious activities of the religion in question, where such interpretation and activities are in deviation of the basic teachings of the religion.”
Race in the New South Africa
South Africa has gone through a rough few weeks recently with racial issues at the forefront that touch on constitutional questions. The controversial leader of the African National Congress youth league, Julius Malema, has included a sing-along with his speeches. He uses an anti-Apartheid song that contains the lyric “shoot the Boers” and other similar statements.