Government & Politics

The Supreme Court’s soaring decision to strike down the core of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional is a civil rights landmark, but the history leading up to it is poorly understood. Marriage equality was neither inevitable nor, until recently, even conceivable. And the struggle for it was not, as is commonly believed, a natural consequence of the gay liberation movement that gained steam in the late 1960s.

Politicians are at their best when they’re being themselves, when they’re comfortable in their own skin. ‘Let Reagan be Reagan,’ they used to say in Sacramento. Jindal needs not merely to accept the fact that he’s a big nerd, but to embrace it.

Criminal Justice

In the old crime movies of the 1930s and ’40s, after the cops had surrounded the suspected bad guys, the chief would get on a megaphone an issue an ultimatum. ‘Come out with your hands up,’ he would say. ‘Or we’re coming in.’ If they did those movies Louisiana style, the chief would probably say, ‘Come out, or we’re going to leave.’”


The Army Corps of Engineers has earmarked $828,340 to complete a feasibility study for the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain levee project in St. John Parish, a $700 million hurricane protection system that has been in the works for more than 40 years, marked by repeated fits and starts.

Charles Maldonado

Charles Maldonado is the editor of The Lens. He previously worked as The Lens' government accountability reporter, covering local politics and criminal justice. Prior to joining The Lens, he worked for...