Ten Second News

Holder Says State Attorneys General Don’t Have to Enforce Obamacare

[Original NYT on which the parody below is based.] Washington — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Monday that state attorneys general who believe that laws in their states enforcing the Affordable Care Act are violative of the Constitution’s First Amendment and Origination Clause are not obligated to defend them. Mr. Holder was careful…

Book Report 2013

Still not a lot of uninterrupted non-manic toddler time for writing, but she does enjoy some political non-fiction before bed. Among my favorites this year were the latest installments from Robert George and Mary Eberstadt, along with Jay Cost’s 2012 work on the Democratic party and Lewis Gould’s on the GOP, which Cost was good…

The Democrats Have a “Principled” Contingent, Too

Ever since “The One” was elected, the Democrats have seemed to represent a relatively coherent ideology. Its New Left contingent was quiescent with the express and implied promises of a decisive leftward move. And the Establishment was proud of itself for having elected the first black president.  As a result, Democrats have been able to…

“Picking the man and then searching the law books”

Two weeks ago, the Justice Department issued a public notice inviting applicants “‘to refer anyone who had any information’ that might build a case against [George] Zimmerman for either a civil rights violation or a hate crime.”  It reminded me of something in Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988),…

A leisurely Sunday afternoon riot

After we returned from an early dinner with friends late Sunday afternoon, we began to hear the reports of disturbances a few blocks away from where we live in downtown Huntington Beach.  The annual eight-day-long and well-attended US Open competition had just concluded around 5:00.  The neighborhood had been packed with attendees all weekend, and…

Prop 8 stands?

Consider this: 1.  The Supreme Court today ruled in its opinion holding DOMA unconstitutional that the states are entitled to decide their own marriage laws.  Assume this is not a meaningless statement – a “bald, unreasoned disclaimer,” as Justice Scalia called it.  (This may be asking much of those who recall the majority opinion author’s prior work in Lawrence and Romer, rich with such disclaimers.) 2.  President Obama also acknowledged today that Americans’ views on marriage are based on “deeply […]

The NSA and Privacy: Why Conservatives Should Not Be Sanguine

Defending the NSA’s program that collects information about the American public’s phone calls and emails, President Obama offered this bit of doublespeak: Well, in the end, and what I’ve said, and I continue to believe, is that we don’t have to sacrifice our freedom in order to achieve security. That’s a false choice. That doesn’t mean that there are not tradeoffs involved in any given program, in any given action that we take. So all of us make a decision […]

How do you interpret a constitution?

The biggest cause of confusion faced by Originalists—the folks who think the Constitution means what it originally did in the late 1700s—isn’t the one you’d probably guess at first.  You’d probably guess it has to do with how we can know what 18th century Americans were thinking.  And how can anyone know what Americans more than two and a quarter centuries ago thought “due process” was, or what a “reasonable search and seizure” was?  We can hardly get consensus on […]

“You don’t ‘seize’ the center, you create the center”

When I learned it, I thought the motion for this month’s Intelligence Squared U.S. debate – “The GOP Must Seize the Center or Die” – was simply dreadful.  How could the opposing case possibly be made without fighting a losing battle with the proposition itself?  Of course the GOP needs to win more votes from the center; of course they’ve been successfully characterized as out-of-touch with centrists.  And indeed, the pre-debate poll showed a staggering 65% in favor of the […]

Irregular Constitutional Order

I’ve seldom agreed with Hugh Hewitt so strongly—and readers know I agree with him a lot—as I do on repealing the medical device tax through regular constitutional order and not the usual rendering of pig lips and cow parts.  Hewitt has a post today on the issue at his blog.  Here’s a key exchange from Hewitt’s interview yesterday with Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means health subcommittee, who agrees with Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp on […]