Below is my column on recent effort to boycott states over their abortion laws, a growing push for states to punish other states with measures like travel bans. While boycotts are an important expression of free speech by citizens, it raises more difficult questions when done by states seeking to coerce other states. It can create a morass of boycotts and tit-for-tat measures. This column suggests a way to end the practice through a simple deterrent measure based on Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. It would be to the benefit of all states (and our federalism system as a whole) to remove state-to-state boycotts from the political arena.
Below is my column in The Hill on a shift in the rhetoric in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. From politicians to pundits, pro-life positions are being treated as virtual hate speech. The demonization of those with pro-life views is meant to cut off any debate on the basis or scope of abortion rights. It is the latest attack on free speech as critics seek to silence those with opposing views.
The South Carolina legislature is moving to enact a new law with deeply troubling free speech implications. Following the Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs decision overturning Roe, the legislators have sought to criminalize any effort to ”aid, abet or conspire with someone” to obtain an abortion. That apparently includes sharing information over the Internet or other communication systems. In my view, the law violates the First Amendment and should be scuttled by the legislature. Otherwise, it would likely be struck down by the courts.
Below is my column in the Washington Times responding to the controversy over changes at the home of James Madison. While I have not been to Montpelier since the reported changes, I wanted to respond to the condemnation of Madison as “an enslaver.” He was indeed an enslaver but the truth is far more complex than presented by critics.
There is a major verdict in a free speech case out of Texas where Charlene Carter, a former Southwest flight attendant won a verdict of more than $5 million for her wrongful termination after a posting on social media criticizing her union on its abortion stand. Both Southwest and the Transportation Workers Union of America (TWU) (Local 556) are named as defendants. Ironically, the TWU insists that it is “offering working people a voice.” However, it is accused of working with the company to terminate this worker who spoke up against the union.
Below is my column in the Hill on the next round of litigation over the Second Amendment. New York and other states quickly moved to exploit the concurrence of Justice Brett Kavanaugh (who was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts) that state officials believe contains a loophole for greater gun limitations based not on the weapons but the places where they can be taken.
I’ll go out on a limb and make a proposal, based mostly on anecdotal observations I have made during my adult life of both politicians and elected officials–there is a difference–and what these individuals have often gotten us into. I have come to the conclusion that among the various cultivars of politics, the two positions that for me have consistently remained the most benevolently virtuous, and least damaging to ordinary people, are not the high-profile, ostentatious seats in various houses of parliament, legislatures, or a presidency. They are often the more behind-the-scenes, yet foundationally necessary public service elected officials often known as Water District and Sewer District Commissioners.
They might not be the most well-known, which in itself is an admirable quality, but they serve for me as a model of how we would be as a society better off if politicians adopted the approach of these commissioners and not that of petty tyrants or worse that seem to be attracted to politics.
Below is my column on the case of the ten-year-old rape victim who allegedly was taken to Indiana because an abortion was barred in Ohio. (A shorter, edited version of this column ran in the New York Post). There is a Fox News report that it was able to confirm an abortion involving a ten-year-old girl in Indiana but could not confirm the other claims. Fox is also reporting that a HIPAA complaint has been filed against Dr. Caitlin Bernard. There remain, however, questions as to why the child had to leave Ohio, which has exceptions that would apply to the case. This may reflect confusion among these doctors, but the law seems clear on the available exceptions. There is also the question of what happened to this child and whether a police report was filed. There may have been such a report. It should not violate HIPPA or other laws to confirm that a report was filed and the victim has been protected by authorities.
A professor at Laval University (Université Laval) in Quebec City has been suspended without pay for two months for questioning the benefits of COVID vaccines for children. Microbiology and immunology Professor Patrick Provost sent out an email soliciting a discussion on the issue and raising his concerns. He has now been disciplined for merely raising such issues by a university that has discarded any semblance of academic integrity and free speech.
The Fourth is one of my favorite holidays as an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our common article of faith in the independence of a nation committed to freedom and individual rights. Despite protests opposing the Fourth, the defacing of churches, and calls for boycotts, this country remains the greatest hope for freedom in the world and these protests reaffirm those rights. We celebrate the ideals of the people we strive to be — and the millions who came before us. With the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the Framers placed themselves and their families at the greatest peril for the principles of self determination and democratic rule. The American Republic was always meant to be a work in progress. Yet, our Constitution created the most successful and stable constitutional system in the history of the world. Continue reading “HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!”→
Below is my Hill column on what to expect in a post-Roe world. That world is already taking shape with states crafting their laws reflecting the values of their citizens from Colorado passing a law protecting the right to abortion up to the moment of birth to Louisiana banning all abortions except in limited circumstances. The fact is that most Americans are in the middle in this debate with more nuanced views than many political leaders. In the months to come, we will see if that view will prevail in the majority of states.
Having seen over the years protesters engaged in voicing their grievances in fashions ranging from the peaceful to the violent, I believe it is incumbent to provide guidelines in the hope of furthering a cause without the distractions that spill over into not only silencing important messages but preventing consequences that hurt others.
I propose the idea of Honorable Civil Disobedience.
Below is my column in USA Today on the reversal of Roe v. Wade. When Dobbs was accepts, I wrote that for thirty years as a television and print legal analyst I have annually downplayed claims of commentators that a given case before the Court was a true threat to Roe. However, with Dobbs, I saw a true existential threat to the decision for the first time. It has now played out as expected with a historic 6-3 ruling to overturn the case.
Yet, some coverage has clearly misrepresented the opinion and falsely claimed that it makes abortion illegal in the United States. Others falsely claim that the justices wrote an opinion opposing abortion. The decision focuses on who must decide this question, not what should be decided. The issue of abortion will now return to the states where abortion is expected to remain legal for most women in the country. Roughly 13 states, however, are moving to end abortion and the decision obviously represents a major change in the rejection of a federal constitutional right to abortion services.
I did my customary dawn hike this morning on Billy Goat Trail. It was a great way to start Father’s Day. We came back to a wonderful breakfast. We are going to go to a military history museum today and tonight the kids are making dinner. Continue reading “Happy Father’s Day!!!”→
An archeological excavation at Vindolanda in Northumberland revealed again the notion that once an insult or offense is written into the public forum it can never be successfully retracted, often coming back to haunt despite efforts to bury the story.
The subject of this Roman insult, Secundinus, must have been so infamous of a cad to have invited such scorn from a nemesis; the latter resolved to carve into rock the insult “SECVNDINVS CACOR” along with a very prominent phallus.