Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral was held Saturday, February 20th, 2016 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic church in North America. We now feature the videography of his funeral service. Continue reading “Justice Antonin Scalia’s Funeral Mass”→
*Warning! This post has the potential for spoilers.
Show David Simon a hero and he’ll write you a biopic tragedy full of injustices, passive-aggressive slights, and indifference. He’ll also create original characters, like Tommy Carcetti, Bubbles, and McNulty, who will test the needle of your moral compass on an episodic basis. You’ll want try to find the good one, the one who consistently plays it above board, the incorruptible. You’ll find yourself at bars and cocktail parties when the inevitable discovery that all parties present have binged The Wire debating who the least bad character is. But none such character exists in nearly any of his HBO series. I say nearly because I can’t speak for Treme. Like the rest of us, I never made it through the entire series. My hunch is he’s not in New Orleans either.
I spent most of the day opining in front of the Supreme Court and in studies on the 6-3 ruling in favor of the Obama Administration in King v. Burwell. I will not subject you to more of that analysis. I have previously indicated that I found the opposing view of the Halbig decision against the Administration to be compelling, though I have always viewed this to be a difficult question upon which people of good-faith could disagree. Yet, in both my prior congressional testimony and my columns, I have never accused the Administration of “jiggery-pokery” — largely because I was not sure what jiggery-pokery is. However, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has written a stinging dissent to King that contains the memorable accusation that the majority was engaging in “interpretive jiggery-pokery.”
The Supreme Court has handed down its decision in Elonis v. United States, a case that had sweeping implications for free speech on the Internet. The Obama Administration sought to establish a low standard for criminalizing speech based on a reasonable person standard that would have gutted the requirement of scienter or intent in establishing a criminal threat. The Court adopted the narrowest basis to remand the case but it clearly rejected the lower standard sought by the Administration. In doing so, free speech dodged a bullet today and the Obama Administration came perilously close to rolling back on protections for free speech on both the Internet and social media.
We have previously discussed how schools have rejected students with substantially higher scores for college admissions to allow the admission of African-American and hispanic students. Some academics, myself included, have raised concerns about the significant differences in academic scores — a difference that is particularly great with regard to Asian Americans. For that reason, I share the concern that this constitutes a form of discrimination based on race. While there remains a permissible range in which schools can select students to achieve a diverse and pluralistic student body, the differential of admissions scores can be alarming in some cases and suggest that students are being rejected simply because of their race.
A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas, Gregory H. Holt (also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad), can grow a short beard for religious reasons. The case is The case is Holt v. Hobbs, 13-6827. It represents a trifecta loss. The federal magistrate (Joe J. Volpe), the district court judge (Brian S. Miller), and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judges Bye, Arnold, and Shepherd) all ruled against Holt only to see a unanimous Supreme Court reject their reasoning. Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor both wrote concurring opinions.
The ABA Journal has posted a podcast that I did with former New York Times journalist Linda Greenhouse on the Supreme Court. Greenhouse is currently the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law and Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at Yale Law School.
I’ve spent the holiday break in the sun-drenched state of Arizona every year for the last ten years. It’s warmer than home, I have family and old friends down here, I got married here, and I know where to find an awesome bagel. Yes, lots of reasons to be psyched about spending a week here every December. But there’s another not-so-secret reason I always look forward to returning to the Grand Canyon state – it’s for the a slim chance that I might run into the elusive Supreme Court Justice who calls this state home, Sandra Day O’Connor. Continue reading “What’s a girl gotta do to run into a Supreme Court Justice?”→
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor
This session the record is 7-1. Since October of 2011, the record is 28 wins and 4 losses. That is a record that any team would be proud of and evidence of a significant amount of work and effort to improve its performance on the court. However, I am not talking about any particular basketball team currently involved in March Madness and the upcoming NCAA Men’s Basketball tourney.
When the faceless analyzers locked deep inside the NSA finally get around to divining just how privacy died in this country they won’t start with Friday’s decision by Judge William Pauley, III in ACLU v. Clapper finding the NSA data mining of American’s communications perfectly constitutional or even go back to the horrible events of September 11, 2001 when fear ran freedom from the playing field. No, the truth is that privacy began to die farther back in an obscure case during the nation’s bicentennial year. As most of us were gathering up our red, white, and blue bunting, buying fireworks, and marveling at the first technological salvo of the commercial computer age known as The Cray-1 , a robbery case in Maryland would form the first cancerous cell in the assault on the body politic’s right to be left free from government snooping.
I originally had a guest blog planned for today on a completely different topic, but I ran across an article in Friday’s Huffington Post, that changed my direction. Since I was a youth I have been aghast at the fact that I grew up in a country where such things as homosexuality and abortion were prohibited by law. It seemed like this was too personal an interference by the State into the personal affairs of people and that this interference often ruined people’s lives. Then too, I grew up in New York State, where for so many years divorce was unobtainable leading to such ridiculousness as Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s wife having to establish Nevada residence in order to obtain a divorce from him. It seemed to me then, as it seems to me now, that religious dogma had no business invading our legal system.
Although there were many prior years of a movement building up in support of abolishing Abortion Laws, the decision of Roe vs. Wade in 1973 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade was a breathtaking and welcome surprise. Immediately after, however, there started the blow-back against that decision that almost forty years later continues with fervor and intensity. The opposition cites “The Bible” as the source of their angry opposition and claims that their religion, as encoded in “The Bible” describes abortion as murder, with the life of the child beginning at fertilization. When they quote “The Bible” of course they mean the “New Testament” and what they call “The Old Testament”. Jews actually don’t recognize the term “Old Testament”, to us it is called the “Torah”, since Jews believe that their “Torah” was never replaced by a “New Testament”. The anti-Abortionists need to cite the “Torah” for their beliefs, since the Gospels don’t discuss the abortion issue. Like much that exists in Christian Dogma today, there is a need to cite the “Torah” for their beliefs since there is no evidence in the Gospels that Jesus ever spoke on some matters. Christian “Torah” citation though is haphazard in that they choose what portions to recognize and what portions to ignore. The sentiments of those Christians against abortion are based in the “Torah”. What if their citation of this venerable book stemmed from an incorrect translation of it many, many centuries ago? If they cited it incorrectly in the first instance, doesn’t that destroy their whole argument that abortion is murder in God’s eyes, especially if the writers of the “Torah” never understood abortion to be murder? This is what I’d like to discuss. Continue reading “The Specious Roots of the Anti-Abortion Controversy”→