Ten Second News

Sandwiches, cont.

Sandwiches, cont.

In preparing for my recent instructional guide on sandwich making, I asked the MD crowd whether a hot dog qualified.  Responses were mixed.  Included in the conversation were whether burritos ought be classified as such. It turns out their is legal precedent for just such a question: “A sandwich is not commonly understood to include…

Human life is not too controversial

Human life is not too controversial

The rhetorical case for protecting the unborn has succeeded. The debate is over.  It would be, that is, had the Supreme Court not issued – in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s own words – a “difficult to justify,” “heavy-handed judicial intervention” in Roe v. Wade 40 years ago.  Today, nearly two-thirds of Americans support making abortion generally illegal after the first three months of pregnancy.  A staggering four-fifths support bans in the last three months.  So if the pro-choice movement is […]

Big Wednesday 2013

Big Wednesday 2013

I thought this would only have been a one-day thing. But we’re here on the third day in a row of huge decisions from the Supreme Court. At last, we have rulings on the same-sex marriage cases. [Discussion at NaPP]

Big Monday 2013

Big Monday 2013

Today is the last scheduled day for decisions and opinions scheduled by the Supreme Court. In the comments to this post, I’ll be glossing the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and same-sex marriage cases.* And, of course, setting up a forum for your comments on them too. [See you at NaPP!] UPDATE:  Here’s my first…

For The Cold Case Files

For The Cold Case Files

Does the Fourth Amendment allow law enforcement to gather an arrestee’s genetic sequence and compare it with a large FBI database of genetic material gathered from old, unsolved crimes? [Continued at NaPP]

Gosnell and our inadequate public discourse on abortion

Gosnell and our inadequate public discourse on abortion

Tim Carney wrote yesterday that when Obama was a state senator, he “repeatedly voted against legislation requiring hospitals to care for babies born during abortions” because “[s]uch laws might somehow be used in the future to infringe on abortion’s legality.”  Carney argues that “Gosnell’s method for aborting babies wasn’t substantially different from a procedure Obama enthusiastically defends.”  Today, the White House has no comment on Gosnell, noting that it concerns on an ongoing legal matter.  A totally valid response—is what […]

Antonin Scalia is either a fool or a liar

Antonin Scalia is either a fool or a liar

Scalia: “I take no position on whether it’s harmful or not, but it’s certainly true there is no answer to that scientific question…” — Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) March 26, 2013 This is why the support of the American Academy of Pediatrics matters. When Justice Scalia spouts balderdash like that Tweeted above with regard to…

Does Opposition to Abortion Demand Certainty That the Fetus Is a Person?

Does Opposition to Abortion Demand Certainty That the Fetus Is a Person?

I agree with Ned Resnikoff that the issue of abortion hinges on the question of personhood, but I am not sure the question of personhood as related to nascent human life has to be answered definitively before one may have an ethical basis to avoid (or morally permit) lethal violence against it. We may not,…

Blackmun on Roe, 14 Years Later

Blackmun on Roe, 14 Years Later

Via Digby I see this 1987 interview between Bill Moyers and Harry Blackmun, former Supreme Court Justice and author of Roe v. Wade. One thing to understand about Blackmun is that despite whatever assumptions you might have about his politics, he was actually something much rarer than an activist lefty: a moderate-to-liberal Republican. Appointed by Nixon, no less!…

A Great Case Out Of Sequence: Bad Valentines, Bank Robbers, And Taxes

A Great Case Out Of Sequence: Bad Valentines, Bank Robbers, And Taxes

Note: This post is part of our League Symposium on Guns In America. You can read the introductory post for the Symposium here. To see a list of all posts in the Symposium so far, click here. While I usually post my Great Cases at my sub-blog (example) rather than here on the front page,…

Tales from the Nightstand: <em>When She Woke</em> by Hillary Jordan

Tales from the Nightstand: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

“She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into a moral wilderness. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had…

Conflicting Accounts of Obama's Foreign Policy Achievements

Conflicting Accounts of Obama’s Foreign Policy Achievements

Andrew Sullivan wants Obamaites to more aggressively tout the President’s foreign policy achievements: “I think the Obamaites need to be more aggressive in foreign policy arguments. Obama ended one war in Iraq, dispatched Osama bin Laden and Muammar Qaddafi without a single US casualty, re-set relations with Russia, brought unprecedentedly united international pressure against Iran’s nuclear bomb potential, wiped…

Jurisprudence blogging 2: Hart

Jurisprudence blogging 2: Hart

In my previous post in this series, I gave a rough outline of Austin’s views and a number of criticism levelled against it. Now, I’ll reveal my hand: All those criticisms were levelled by HLA Hart in his book: The concept of law. Hart’s theory of law is therefore founded on the very same criticisms…

Against Traditional Morality

Against Traditional Morality

by James Hanley Guest author: James Hanley. Tom Van Dyke has written a very thoughtful post about the role of traditional morality in law. There are various points at which we could quibble with his argument, but here I offer a direct rebuttal of his support for traditional morality as a basis of law, arguing…

Reproductive Rights and Libertarianism

Reproductive Rights and Libertarianism

~by Sam Wilkinson For reasons that I cannot understand, the threat posed by various conservative candidates to women’s reproductive rights rarely seem to warrant mention or concern amongst those who profess themselves to be most concerned with liberty. Perhaps I travel in the wrong circles – with a two kids and a mortgage and a car payment and a…

Hopelessness and Torture

Hopelessness and Torture

“It’s a mistake to say this was about inflicting pain. These measures were about instilling a sense of hopelessness, and that led them to compliance.” — Jose Rodriguez, former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (2002-5) His statement, for the way he said it, is all the more striking.  It was not about inflicting pain…

Shande

Shande

I was going to keep my damn mouth shut today, because, well, my attitude toward the news is May his name be blotted out! and it’s kind of hard to shake a grogger at your computer every few minutes.  Then: There is this: “Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of…

Searching for Oskar Schindler

Searching for Oskar Schindler

by Christopher Carr I considered titling this post a more academic “Rejoinders to a Utilitarian Framework for Evaluating the Morality of Abortion” but thought better when I realized how many lines that would take up. First, I’d like to say thank you again to Erik for agreeing to guest-post my recent offerings on abortion to this excellent blog and…

A Utilitarian Framework for Evaluating the Morality of Abortion

A Utilitarian Framework for Evaluating the Morality of Abortion

by Christopher Carr Jeremy Stangroom is a British author, philosopher, co-founder of The Philosopher’s Magazine Online – one of the premiere philosophy publications on the Internet – and the director of Philosophy Experiments – where users can participate in a variety of interactive thought experiments.  One of the more popular experiments is called Whose Body Is It Anyway; it is about the taboo…

Abortion and Slavery again

Abortion and Slavery again

Ta-Nehisi has pushed once again into the abortion and slavery debate, this time following the invocation of that analogy by Rick Santorum and Joe Klein’s subsequent defense of Santorum’s rhetoric. Now, I’ve admitted in the past two things about the fetus-as-slave analogy: first, that it is not a very good analogy – and indeed I…