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Last updateFri, 05 Jun 2020 10am

Politics

Pre-Law Club Listens to Supreme Court DOMA and Prop 8 Oral Arguments

The Pre-law club held a listening party about the oral arguments before the Supreme Court regarding Proposition Eight and the Defense of Marriage Act on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 26 and 27 in Young Auditorium.

Club advisor Dr. Gregory Bordelon said that the showing for the Proposition Eight arguments had about 10 to 15 students, but the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) arguments led to a full room of students and faculty.

Bordelon said the most interesting part of the arguments was the mixture of law and policy. “Often times, when political forces clash with the courts, you see the latter frame the issues in very different terms - terms that are addressed in a legal framework.  It’s what courts do and we saw that clearly in the substantial amount of time spent on each oral argument on matters of jurisdiction, standing and procedural matters,” said Bordelon.

Bordelon said that students are not exposed to the working of the judiciary enough. “The President is covered by the media the most, Congress is covered by the positions of party leadership in that branch, but rarely are we exposed to the ins and outs of the judiciary,” said Bordelon.

With same-sex marriage being a high profile topic, Bordelon believes that it will lead to more media coverage similar to the Affordable Health Care Act which news outlets, at first, incorrectly reported the results.

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Students Go to U.N. About International Rights

The University was represented at the United Nations at the first ever youth-led briefing on international women’s rights and violence against children on Monday, March 25. 

The briefing, which was organized by the U.N.’s Department of Public Information and Non-Governmental Organizations, was attended by five University students under the auspices of the Department of Political Science and Sociology as well as the Institute for Global Understanding, Monmouth University’s NGO.

During the two-hour conference, which was presided over by the United Nations’ Secretary General’s Youth Envoy, Ahmad Alhendawi, issues such as domestic and sexual violence and gender-based discrimination were discussed by a panel of U.N. experts as well as by community leaders from the greater New York City area. The panelists later led an interactive group discussion which posed a series of yes-no questions to those in attendance with regard to the audience’s perceptions of race and gender-based inequalities, discrimination, and violence in everyday society.

Senior communication major Alexandria Fitzgerald was one of the students who attended the conference as well as played a role in organizing Monmouth’s participation in the event. She felt that this event presented a valuable opportunity to reach out to her fellow students and encourage their involvement in community outreached.

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Will the New Pope Change International Relations?

Will the New Pope Change International Relations?


The white smoke has risen and Roman Catholics around the world have a new spiritual leader, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, former archbishop of Buenos Aires and now dubbed Pope Francis I. He has a political history that is closely associated with his homeland of Argentina. The New Pope’s connection to Argentine history dates back to the era known as the Dirty War and continue right up to the current president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Some of the more recent episodes of Francis’s entanglement with Argentine politics took place dur­ing the regime governments of the Kirchners, including Nestor Kirch­ner and his presidential successor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. During this time, Francis I was then Archbishop of Argentina’s biggest and most powerful providence, Bue­nos Aires.

The relationship first became rocky when Bergoglio gave a hom­ily, on a national holiday, with a message that indirectly criticized Nestor’s government for his han­dling of the financial crisis. The fol­lowing year Nestor did not attend the same homily, which was can­celled. Hence forth Nestor Kirchner and Bergoglio were considered po­litical rivals.

Senior political science major Lexi Todd views the politically tur­bulent episode, “The Kirchner’s felt that the Catholic Church did not pay them enough credit for lifting Argentina out of one of the worst economic crisis that the country had ever faced. In 2007, Cristina became President and she clashed with Ber­goglio over social issues such as gay marriage and abortion.”

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Growing Trend in Political Blockbusters

Movies Such as “Lincoln” and “Olympus Has Fallen” are Spotlighting Political and Historical Issues


Lincoln-Movie-PosterHistory and politics seem to be finding their way onto the big screen of late in blockbusters such as Lincoln and Argo, but what does that mean for education in those fields?

Politics has often been a topic in multiple movies. Specialist pro­fessor of communication, Robert Scott, said while recently there has been multiple films with political or historical backgrounds, it is not a new concept. Scott said that stories with passion, fear, turmoil, drama, suspense and a wide range of emo­tions help make for effective story­telling.

He continued by saying that his­tory and politics tends to be topics in the movies because it appeals to a mass audience. “Since film is an art form, and perhaps our most power­ful storytelling medium to date, it generally reflects life experiences and relies upon universal themes that appeal to mass audiences.”

Scott believes that with movies being a median to the masses, it could lead to movie-goers to look further into the events depicted on the big screen. He mentioned that movies such as All The President’s Men, led him to read the book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and other books by Woodward.

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Medical Marijuana Has High Expectations

marijuana-tourismThe New Jersey Senate was hand­ed a bill last week that would pro­tect the state’s medical marijuana patients from being denied medical care, including organ transplants. Sponsored by state Senators Joseph F. Vitale (D) and Nicholas P. Scutari (D), the bill was approved by New Jersey’s Senate Health, Human Ser­vices and Senior Citizens Commit­tee and is now headed to floor vote in the NJ Senate.

The bill, Senate Bill 1220, re­quires that “any registered, qualify­ing patient’s authorized use of med­ical marijuana is to be considered by medical providers equivalent to the use of any other prescribed medi­cation, rather than an illicit sub­stance.” It is designed to ensure that a patient’s use of medical marijuana would not prohibit them from re­ceiving much needed medical care, the bill explains.

Advocates of medical marijuana recognize the treatment as a com­passionate and humane way to man­age pain and provide relief from side effects that often accompany chronic and terminal conditions.

“The thought that someone would be denied treatment that could help cure their condition or greatly re­duce their suffering because of their legal use of this prescribed drug is abhorrent. We must address this is­sue,” said Scutari in a press release regarding the recent bill.

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Peace Be With You: Vatican and U.S. Diplomacy

The news of the first Papal resigna­tion in 598 years has focused the at­tentions of nearly the entire Western world upon a tiny, yet world-famous, enclave within the city of Rome, Italy.

Many states around the world maintain diplomatic ties with the Holy See, and the United States is no different. From the earliest years of American independence, the United States maintained consular ties with, what were at that time, the Papal States, which were territories in cen­tral and northern Italy over which the Pope exercised control. After Italian unification in 1861, the Papal States were incorporated into the State of Italy and the Pope was sent retreating into within the Vatican walls.

The Vatican, or Holy See, is the world’s smallest sovereign state. With its territorial claims consisting of a mere 109 acres, a population of less than 850, and the distinction of being the only state on Earth where the Latin Language is still spoken in a day-to-day context, the Vatican is dwarfed by the sizes of most Ameri­can municipalities. Its leader and sov­ereign, the Pope, is also the shepherd of the world’s estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics and is one of the most recognized and influential indi­viduals on the planet.

In 1929, the Lateran Treaty, an agreement between the Holy See and the State of Italy, established the Vatican as a sovereign and indepen­dent state, and secured the Pope’s independence from national obliga­tions in his leadership of the Catholic Church.

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New Jersey Taking on Gun Control; 22 New Laws Passed

New Jersey lawmakers passed 22 new gun laws on February 28 that focus on gun and am­munition sales, improving men­tal health services, gun safety, stopping illegal gun trafficking, school security, and stopping gang violence.

Gun control has always been a “hot button” topic, with some saying the Second Amendment allows them the right to own fire­arms, and some saying that the Second Amendment has been misinterpreted all these years and that it simply allows us the right to form a militia, which we already have in the form of the United States Armed Forces.

In the past two years alone, there have been multiple shoot­ings: the shooting in Arizona at a grocery store where former Rep­resentative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head. Eleven oth­ers were wounded and six people died that January day in 2011 be­cause the shooter was able to get his hands on a high powered rifle.

When The Dark Night Rises came out in July of last year, James Holmes entered the movie theater and killed 12 people, in­juring 70 others.

The most recent mass shoot­ing was Newtown, Connecti­cut, where Adam Lanza shot his mother, killed 20 first grade stu­dents and six teachers at an el­ementary school, before killing himself. These are just the shoot­ings that were awful enough to make the evening news.

It is precisely these shootings that have people asking for some­thing to be done. It is precisely these shootings; especially the Newtown shooting that has some lawmakers in New Jersey paying attention.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer Visits University

kurtzerFormer United States Ambas­sador David Kurtzer paid a visit to the University on March 5 in Wilson Auditorium to discuss political situations in the Middle East and his experiences as a United States Ambassador. The event was attended by approxi­mately 50 people including com­munity members and students.

Kurtzer served as United States Ambassdor to Egypt from 1997 to 2001 then served as the ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2005 before becoming a pro­fessor at Princeton University and co-authoring the book, “Ne­gotiating Arab Peace.”

Before Kurtzer spoke, Presi­dent Paul Gaffney II was given the Jewish Heritage Award for his significant contributions to Jewish culture and life. Gaffney said, “I was honored. We started the program and received outside funding for it because there are several Jewish communities in our neighborhood. We took the initiative to be good neighbors.”

The event started with open­ing comments from Professor Amy Handlin, associate profes­sor of marketing and interna­tional business who also works with the Jewish Cultural Studies program.

A theme throughout the event was how Arabs and Jewish peo­ple could co-exist in the Middle East. Kurtzer believes it is up to the United States to help in di­plomacy but that everyone needs to be willing to work together.

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A World-Wide View of Politics: MU International Relations Concentration

un_headquarters_2The University Political Science Department offers a number of pro­grams to create unique opportunities such as the International Relations concentration which focuses on inter­national problems, in hopes to com­pete in a globally connected world.

The concentration, which is an additional area of study within the standard political science curricu­lum, aims to provide students with an understanding of more than just the Western-centric perspective on international concerns. Political sci­ence majors who add the nine-credit concentration to their academic rep­ertoire are required to take one class on comparative politics as well as two courses devoted to the study of both international relations theory as well as studies of ethics of international relations or American foreign policy.

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, professor of po­litical science and Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, be­lieves that it is of utmost importance that students of political science have strong foundations in international relations given the increasingly glo­balized and interdependent nature of the modern world.

Sarsar states, “Students of interna­tional relations become more aware and better immersed in the historical background and basic information of a variety of issues and by whom any how they can be addressed.”

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Public Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage May Sway Supreme Court Decision

ObamaQuoteCalifornia’s ban on gay marriage is likely to fall soon, due to a pair of developments in the past week. What remains uncertain is whether same-sex marriage will become lawful in just a score of “blue states,” or the norm throughout the nation.

Public opinion on marriage for gay and lesbian couples has shifted with almost unprecedented speed for a major issue. Even without a court ruling, that shift could doom restrictive marriage laws in liberal states such as California. It is also likely to have an effect on the court itself, in particular with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and possibly Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Throughout his long career, Kennedy has been willing to make major changes in the law on issues including the death penalty, gun rights and gay rights. Kennedy has been a strong, steady proponent of constitutional principles such as free speech, individual liberty and limits on government power. But before signing on to major changes such as abolishing the death pen­alty for young murderers, for ex­ample he has wanted to feel com­fortable that the change was in line with public opinion and the trend in the law.

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Online Gambling Now Legal in New Jersey

internet-pokerGovernor Chris Christie signed a bill that will allow casinos in Atlantic City to set up online gaming and gambling websites on Tuesday February 26. The state legislature has been dis­cussing the possibilities of online gambling for at least two years. Christie vetoed the bill back in 2011 when it was newer and more risky. He signed the bill last week after sending a revised version back with some suggestions and requirements that he felt would make the bill more successful.

So what does this new bill mean for New Jersey? Or more importantly, what does it mean for Atlantic City?

New Jersey, according to an article by CBC News, is the third state to legalize online gambling. Only Nevada and Delaware have passed a similar bill.

“I believe that [the gambling law] is an opportunity to bring additional revenue to New Jer­sey,” said Professor Amy Hand­lin, who teaches Marketing and International Business and also serves as an Assemblywoman for District 13. “Many people enjoy the Atlantic City gaming experi­ence, the excitement of playing at the tables and the slot machines. Other people prefer not to drive the 90 miles or so, and may pre­fer to play from the confines of their home,” Handlin said.

As of right now, the online gaming sites pertain only to resi­dents in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Meaning that in order to place a bet online and partake in the game, you have to be in New Jersey.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu