Citizenship question on census does no harm to immigrants

Plans for the 2020 census questionnaire include one inquiry that should strike reasonable people as straightforward and valid: Are you a U.S. citizen?

Some of the nation’s highest-ranking legal officers, however, are calling it offensive. Further, these dignitaries say that including it on the questionnaire would even be unconstitutional.

Seventeen states, seven cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Census Bureau and Commerce Department demanding that plans to include the question be dropped.

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Manifestations of hate: Let’s punish actions rather than thoughts

In the world of politics, what legislation is called unfortunately may matter more than what it’s intended to do.

Consider, for example, health care. Everyone wants health care to be affordable. So name a bill the “Affordable Health Care Act,” and some will immediately be on board. After all, who wants to be against “affordable health care”?

So it is with hate crimes. On its surface, the term “hate crimes” suggests that it is criminal to hate -- and therefore what right-thinking person would oppose a bill targeting hate? In fact, anyone opposed to any bill called “hate crimes” should prepare to be accused of bigotry, racism and the like.

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Trump and the high ground toward racial reconciliation

Some 150 years after slavery and 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, America still cries out for racial reconciliation.

Seeded from our stormy past, racial discord in the United States has inexplicably and substantially grown in recent years — threatening to create a permanent fissure in our social fabric.

Events surrounding the brand-new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum provide evidence of the work still to be done. Several civil rights leaders insisted that plans be canceled for President Trump to participate in the public opening ceremony. Otherwise, they said, they would boycott the event.

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Clearing the air about CBD oil

On Nov. 21, the Office of Attorney General released an official opinion affirming that CBD oil is illegal in Indiana.

For those just joining the discussion, CBD oil is a marijuana-derived substance taken orally or applied topically by people who believe it helps alleviate symptoms of certain ailments – or, in some cases, administered to children by caregivers.

Reaction to our opinion reveals the persistence of certain misperceptions. A few points of clarification are in order.

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Hoosiers should avoid a Colorado Rocky Mountain high

So you think legalizing marijuana is the answer to our opioid crisis?

Maybe you haven’t seen the 2017 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry showing marijuana users are more than twice as likely as the general population to abuse prescription opioids.

Or perhaps you’re unaware that in 2015 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people addicted to marijuana are three times more likely than the average person to become addicted to heroin.

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The NFL's Opportunity to Stand

The right to protest doesn't necessarily mean that the protest is right.
While the NFL kneeling saga continues, it is becoming less clear what the kneeling is about.

When it began last season, the kneeling was a protest against alleged police brutality and the incidence of blacks killed by police.

This season, following criticism against kneeling NFL players by the president of the United States, NFL players picked up the pace in a series of kneelings, arm-lockings and various forms of unity expressions during the playing of the national anthem before the start of each game. Yet it is unclear what players are now protesting. Police brutality? Racism? Are they just mad at the president?

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Why I choose to stand for the National Anthem

One might argue that our nation’s flag is but a mere symbol.
True as that may be, symbols play an important role in the life of a nation.

Growing up, I was taught that whenever we heard the anthem playing and saw Old Glory waving, we would immediately show our respect.

I would stand.

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The need for civility

Participating in World Civility Day recently in Northwest Indiana was a true privilege. Since that occasion, I’ve considered how those in political leadership might better promote civility.

In his written “Rules of Civility,” our nation’s first president wrote: “Speak not injurious words, neither in jest nor earnest. Scoff at none though they give occasion.”

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Israel - A 'philosophical neighbor' thousands of miles away

International travel is not necessarily a requirement for serving as Indiana’s attorney general, but a recent trip to Israel provided experiences I’m confident will enrich my service to fellow Hoosiers.

During the last week of May, I joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general from seven U.S. states on a trip made possible through the National Association of Attorneys General and funded by the America-Israel Friendship League.

Experiencing other cultures and political systems helps Americans better preserve and advance our own traditions and goals as a nation.

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Stand firm against push to legalize pot

During the lull between legislative sessions, the marijuana lobby is preparing its next big push to legalize pot in Indiana.

These activists want you to believe their end goal is inevitable. The only question in their minds is how long they must wait for the rest of us backward Hoosiers (as they see us) to embrace their agenda.

Given national trends, one must concede that odds are tilting in favor of legalization. Some 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot for either recreational or “medicinal” use.

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Handing out syringes to addicts is a perilous path

Trying to prevent the spread of disease among heroin users, Madison County officials for two years experimented with a needle “exchange” program. After observing negative consequences, they now have wisely backed away.

Nationwide, handing out free syringes and needles to addicts has become a popular tactic intended to reduce some of the harmful effects of substance abuse. The idea is to dissuade addicts from sharing and reusing contaminated needles. When implemented in a very limited and targeted fashion, this approach at times has produced positive results.

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Judge Neil Gorsuch will bring needed perspective to Supreme Court

Throughout his distinguished career, the newest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court has proved committed to interpreting the law as it is written.

And that, simple as it sounds, is saying a lot.

Once he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Judge Neil Gorsuch will help keep the court connected to bedrock principles that, regrettably, have gradually lost favor in recent decades — principles such as strict constructionism, states’ rights federalism and religious freedom.

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