Month: June 2022

An Originalist Argument For Abortion Rights

The constitution organizes the government, and assigns to different departments their respective powers. It may either stop here; or establish certain limits not to be transcended by those departments. The government of the United States is of the latter description. The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken or forgotten, the constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing; if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained?

Chief Justice John Marshall, in Marbury v. Madison

Originalism, broadly speaking, is that theory of justice which holds that the intention of the writers of the law is the key to its interpretation; and that, as laws were written to be read, it’s not some obscure mindreading process but rather “what those words would mean in the mouth of a normal speaker of English, using them in the circumstances in which they were used.” (Justice O. W. Holmes)

This is the doctrine of interpretation used by Justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch, and to which they habitually adhere in almost all of their legal opinions. As they represent that portion of the Court which may possibly be swayed by legal argument, it is with respect to their interpretation that any statutory or argumentary replacement for Roe v. Wade ought practicably be drafted.

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This Was A Win

It’s been overshadowed by the Dobbs decision, but on Saturday the President signed into law a gun safety law that’s more than a compromise. Fifteen Republican Senators crossed the aisle to vote in favor of a package that closed long-standing holes in the laws and bridged several broad cracks that offenders fell through with regularity. It’s the first intelligent and targeted measure of this nature we’ve seen in years, and a sign that Congress can come together across party lines and act — at least, it can do so when it becomes evident that the general population demands it.

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This Was Not A Win

The fundamentalist fringe of the Republican party believes they’ve won a major victory now that Roe’s been struck down. They’re wrong, but we’ll save that for later.

An awful lot of Republican voters celebrated this weekend, even as protesters flooded the streets in cities across the nation. Republican party insiders know better. They’re counting the marchers and examining the present demographics of Texas and Georgia, and they’re slowly coming to the realization that they may well have just lost the mid-term elections by a landslide. Democrats haven’t been this unified since before Obama.

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SCOTUS: The Same Emphasis

“The one function that TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if it were.”

David Brinkley, broadcast journalist

The American press is dying of suspense, and it serves ’em right.

After reporting on the May leak of a draft SCOTUS opinion on abortion as though it were a done deal when in actual point of fact it’s not, American broadcast journalism has placed a massive critical spotlight on the Court and its opinions. Every week they don’t release the final judgment, the tension continues to build and speculation to circulate, until now, when there’s nothing new left to say and no fresh pundits to say it, they’re forced into invention to satisfy an audience ravenous for blood (or whatever it is that jurists use these days).

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The Not Fake News Update: 22 June 2022

The Truth Shall Mock Yer Fear

Midsummer has passed, and the days will now get shorter and shorter until Christmas and snow. Not to worry, though; there’s plenty of hot summer between now and then. And that’s the weather; now on to the news!

Yes, there are hearings. You already know all there is to know about those, so, as usual, let’s move on to things you won’t see on the front page.

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The Heroism of Biden’s Bike Fall

The President gracefully illustrated an important lesson for all Americans – When we fall, we must get back up.

The above headline caught my eye a little while ago — more for its context than content, if I’m being completely honest. Let me explain.

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Food Crisis: It’s Not About Ukraine

Northern Africa is heading into a season of shortage, one that may lead to widespread starvation. There is no famine; climate change is not responsible. Instead, we’re told it’s due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent shortages.

But it turns out, that’s not entirely true. It’s partly true, but this is not -just- about Ukraine. Read for a bit; we’ll see why that matters.

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Not Watching

Do you want more Trump? Do you?

Because this is how you get more Trump.

In 2015, I was eating a hotel breakfast of powdered eggs and meatless sausage, and I felt seriously ill — and not from the breakfast. It was the realization that CNN had chosen their favorite from the too-wide field of Republican contenders, and it was Donald Trump. They handed him an open microphone and watched the ratings spike, little caring what damage might be done to the American political system in the process.

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Ten Bucks A Gallon? No Problem.

EDITORIAL

Heh. You think these prices are high? Just wait. You’ll see.

It’s easy for me; I stopped driving soon after I moved close to the Beltway. It wasn’t really by choice, though at least the government didn’t force me; it’s a safety measure more than anything. I figured that if I still had a license, some emergency would arise and I’d need to get behind the wheel for whatever reason, and after that it would only be a matter of a very brief amount of time before my Maine driving habits got me killed.

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