Wendy Kaminer

Wendy Kaminer is an author, lawyer, and civil libertarian. She is the author of I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional, and a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. More

Wendy Kaminer is a lawyer and social critic who has been a contributing editor of The Atlantic since 1991. She writes about law, liberty, feminism, religion and popular culture and has written eight books, including Worst InstinctsFree for All; Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials; and I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional. Kaminer worked as a staff attorney in the New York Legal Aid Society and in the New York City Mayor's Office and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993. She is a renowned contrarian who has tackled the issues of censorship and pornography, feminism, pop psychology, gender roles and identities, crime and the criminal-justice system, and gun control. Her articles and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The American Prospect, Dissent, The Nation, The Wilson Quarterly, Free Inquiry, and spiked-online.com. Her commentaries have aired on National Public Radio. She serves on the board of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the advisory boards of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Secular Coalition for America, and is a member of the Massachusetts State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

  • God, Government, and the Virginia Gubernatorial Race

    Should Virginia voters care about the views expressed by gubernatorial candidate Robert McDonnell in his graduate school thesis 20 years ago? Today's…

  • Major League Baseball Scores One for Privacy

    In 2002, while federal law enforcement agents at the SEC were busy ignoring warnings about Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, federal agents at…

  • Torture Logic

    Who cares if American intelligence agents or private contractors tortured terrorism suspects? That is not a rhetorical question. A widely discussed,…

  • The Banality of Censorship

    Just in time for Banned Books Week, the American Library Association's annual celebration of intellectual freedom, the Brooklyn Public Library has…

  • What Constitutes a Police State?

    Driving civil libertarians crazy is probably not a goal of this month's town hall protesters, but it may be one of their signal achievements. Having…

  • Yale Press Runs Scared

    Repudiating its professed commitment to "the discovery and dissemination of light and truth," Yale University Press will publish Jytte Klausen's…

  • The R-Word

    Add the "r-word" to the lexicon of words that may only be referenced by their initials. As Bob Johnson, President and CEO of the Massachusetts…

  • Privacy v Transparency, 11

    My post last week on the battle over releasing the names and addresses of people who signed a petition placing Washington state's domestic…

  • Privacy v Transparency, and the Battle Over Equal Marriage

    If you sign a petition supporting a controversial ballot referendum should your name and address be publicized (posted online) in the interests of…

  • Arrest-Gate 11: The Hard Case

         For free speech advocates, the arrest of Skip Gates was an easy case, involving no conflicts of rights or interests, as I suggested last…

  • Law Students Flunk Academic Freedom 101

    Another day, another casualty in a conflict pitting equality and demographic diversity against free speech and diversity of opinion: "A Singapore law…

  • Arrest-Gate

    You have a constitutional right to talk back to a police officer; and whether Skip Gate's account of his arrest or the police version is closer to…

  • Sharpton's Law

    New York Congresswoman and possible Senate candidate Carolyn Maloney made news this week by uttering "the N-word."  Too bad Lenny Bruce wasn't…

  • Barr vs. Barr

    Last week, the House of Representatives repealed a 10 year old provision of the D.C. appropriations bill that blocked implementation of a voter…

  • Comments on Palin and Pop Liberal Culture

        Here's a quick response to comments on my post last week re Sarah Palin's stylistic debt to popular liberalism, or more precisely, the culture…

  • Sotomayor, Palin and the Politics of Not Making Sense

         Listening to Republican attacks on Sonia Sotomayor's alleged biases and the undue influence of her "personal experiences" on her judgment,…

  • The Old Men and the Senate

         In the wake of several serious, widely publicized accidents involving apparently confused or otherwise incompetent elderly drivers, the…

  • Child Porn, Animal Cruelty Porn, and the Right to Imagine

         Last month, Christopher Handley, a collector of comic books, pled guilty to federal charges of importing and possessing obscene cartoon…

  • An Ordinary Evil

          If Bernie Madoff's crimes were "extraordinarily evil," as his sentencing judge declared, than how to we describe the crimes of Joseph…

  • Discrimination Under God/Update

    "Schools given OK to discriminate against Christians," a press release from the Alliance Defense Fund declares, with some justice.  The Supreme…

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