Ellen K. Boegel is America’s contributing editor for legal affairs.
Messages hang on a fence as hundreds of students and parents arrive for campus orientation on Feb. 25 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Attendance at the orientation was voluntary, but it was being held in anticipation of the school officially reopening on Feb. 28. (CNS photo/Angel Valentin, Reuters) 
Politics & Society Dispatches
Ellen K. BoegelFebruary 26, 2018
Gun control advocates focus on “A.B.C.” initiatives: “A” for assault weapon and ammunition bans; “B” for background check enhancement; and “C” for closing the gun show and private sale loopholes that permit buyers to avoid existing federal checks.
Jars of medical marijuana on display on at the Western Caregivers Medical dispensary in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Politics & Society Dispatches
Ellen K. BoegelJanuary 16, 2018
The Justice Department is vowing to enforce a federal ban on marijuana, even as some states try to move toward full legalization.
Politics & Society Dispatches
Ellen K. BoegelDecember 12, 2017
The establishment and free exercise clauses prohibit the government from impeding or requiring observance of any religious holiday, including Christmas.
(Photo: Ben Blennershassett/Unsplash) 
Politics & Society Dispatches
Ellen K. BoegelNovember 09, 2017
Except for crimes committed on federal land, state law governs what constitutes a sex crime, and the definitions vary.
Politics & Society Dispatches
Ellen K. BoegelNovember 03, 2017
The president’s campaign to define—and enforce—patriotism poses constitutional questions for chief executives and football players alike.
CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA
Politics & Society Dispatches
Ellen K. BoegelSeptember 19, 2017
The court is scheduled to hear cases relating to immigration, religious freedom, federalism, voting, employee rights and federal court jurisdiction over foreign governments and corporations.
Politics & Society News
Ellen K. BoegelAugust 11, 2017
Our information has been or soon will be made available to the Presidential Advisory Commission.
The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in January 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Politics & Society Dispatches
Ellen K. BoegelJuly 27, 2017
Controversial decisions, such as Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation), Roe v. Wade (abortion) and, most recently, Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage), often are challenged for decades by opponents seeking their reversal or limitation.
A U.S. Capitol police SWAT team officer escorts members of Congress and congressional staff from the scene after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., on June 14. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)
Politics & Society Dispatches
Ellen K. BoegelJune 30, 2017
The sale of new fully automatic weapons has been banned since 1986, but there are an estimated 182,600 pre-1986 machine guns in the United States that may be bought and sold legally.
Activists rally outside U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 26 after the court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., which sued after being denied a state grant for creating a safer playground (CNS photo/Yuri Gripas, Reuters). 
Politics & Society News
Ellen K. BoegelJune 27, 2017
The Supreme Court court ruled on June 26 that the government may not exclude religious groups from grant programs simply because they are religious.