Patterico's Pontifications

4/9/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:26 pm



[guest post by Dana]

I hope you’ve had a good week! Here are a few news items to talk about. Please feel free to share anything you think would interest readers. Make sure to include links.

First news item

Let’s be very clear: schools will open when teachers’ unions say they can:

It’s been more than a year since schools closed for the COVID-19 virus. Across the country and across the world, schools have opened up, full-time, for students.

But those of us unlucky enough to live in places with powerful teachers unions and, more importantly, weak leadership, have heard excuse after excuse how it’s just not possible here.

Enough. Open the schools.

Stop lying to parents and dangling promises. Just open.

Related

Union leaders/members can mask-up and meet in person for important business but students can’t mask-up and meet in person with their teachers for the really important business of learning???

Second news item

Not so fast there, President Biden:

Biden said, “You go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want, and no background check.”

This is overstated. If you go to a gun show and buy a firearm from a federally licensed seller, you will have to pass a background check, just as if you went to a bricks-and-mortar gun store. You would only escape a background check at a gun show if you bought from a seller who isn’t federally licensed.

While the data is incomplete, federally licensed sellers have been found to make up a substantial share, and perhaps a majority, of gun show vendors.

We rate Biden’s statement Mostly False.

Third news item

Why let a crisis go to waste when there’s money to be made off of it:

U.S. Rep. Matt Getz started fundraising off a still unfolding sex scandal that could put him in prison…asked for checks to be sent to the campaign account Friends of Matt Gaetz.

“Here we go again,” the email begins. “Just another media hoax. Do you remember the fake Russia Hoax? Their attempt to frame General (Michael) Flynn? I do… and now they are coming for me.”

“They have smeared my name while creating another partisan witch hunt, all because I dared to stand up to them,” Gaetz wrote.

“I will not back down from the Fake News hacks that want to destroy me and America-First patriots like you. I am more determined than ever to shut down this HOAX, and I am glad to have President Trump on my side.”

“The D.C. Swamp protects its own, and their media puppets are going all-out with fake, salacious stories to try to take me down,” Gaetz wrote. “These are the actions of a corrupt Establishment that is seeking to take out Trump supporters… BUT I WON’T BACK DOWN.”

While the House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into the allegations against Gaetz, he’s been busy schmoozing it up with the most gullible gals on earth:

Fourth news item

Succumbing to peer pressure:

President Joe Biden announced Friday he is forming a commission to study possible changes at the Supreme Court, responding to a call from liberals to expand the nine-member bench to blunt former President Donald Trump’s impact on the court.

Biden promised to name the commission as a candidate amid an outcry from Democrats over Trump’s nomination of three Supreme Court justices, including the rapid confirmation of Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett just before the election, and a bevy of lower court judges that tilted the federal judiciary to the right.

The push for change at the nation’s highest court, where conservatives now have a 6-3 advantage, has put a squeeze on the White House. Throughout the campaign, Biden hedged when asked whether he supported expanding the court, though he allowed in October that he was “not a fan of court-packing.”

Pre-presidency:

During the primary, Biden was consistent in his opposition to court-packing. He said during a Democratic presidential debate last October that he “would not get into court-packing,” adding, “We had three justices. Next time around, we lose control, they add three justices. We begin to lose any credibility the court has at all.”

He reiterated his position and this rationale when a voter asked him about his position on expanding the court during a town hall in Iowa later in December. He also told the Iowa Starting Line earlier this year that he opposed court-packing because Democrats will “live to rue the day.”

Oh:

Fifth news item

Alabama Amazon warehouse workers says no to forming a union:

The vast majority of votes cast by Amazon’s workers in Bessemer, Ala., were against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in a stinging defeat of the union drive. The final tally showed 1,798 votes against unionizing and 738 votes in favor of the union…The retail union is now filing a legal challenge to the election and charges of unfair labor practices against Amazon. It’s requesting a hearing by the National Labor Relations Board “to determine if the results of the election should be set aside because conduct by the employer created an atmosphere of confusion, coercion and/or fear of reprisals and thus interfered with the employees’ freedom of choice.”

Sixth news item

Just get the vaccine already:

Criminals are looking to cash in on the U.S. immunization push against COVID-19 by selling forgeries of government-issued “vaccination record cards” that show people have been inoculated.

Hundreds of fraudsters are selling blank or forged versions of the cards over ecommerce sites including eBay, Etsy and Shopify, while also running advertisements for the fakes on Facebook, according to Saoud Khalifah, CEO of Fakespot, which uses artificial intelligence to detect online retail scams. And with names such as blankcovidcard.com, such sellers are hardly discreet.

The report says that it’s likely anti-vaxxers are purchasing the cards. They don’t want to get the vaccine but want whatever access a card can provide them (potentially air travel, schools, gyms, churches, etc.) So getting a vaccine to help you stay healthy is bad, but willfully lying and breaking the law to get a fake vaccination card is good???

Seventh news item

Whatever:

Russian and Chinese government officials have recently teamed up to publicly accuse the U.S. of creating biological weapons near their borders and suggesting that Americans are responsible for creating COVID-19.

Speaking to the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant on Thursday, Nikolai Patrushev, Russia’s Security Council secretary, said: “I suggest that you pay attention to the fact that biological laboratories under U.S. control are growing by leaps and bounds all over the world. And—by a strange coincidence—mainly near the Russian and Chinese borders.”… China’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Lijian Zhao…tweeted: “The US bio-military activities are not transparent, safe or justified. In Ukraine alone, the US has set up 16 bio-labs. Why does the US need so many labs all over the world? What activities are carried out in those labs, including the one in Fort Detrick?”

Miscellaneous

Primavera (“Spring”) by Sandro Boticelli
springprimavera

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

236 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Happy Friday!

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. So getting a vaccine to help you stay healthy is bad, but willfully lying and breaking the law to get a fake vaccination card is good???

    Forging, or presenting a forged, vaccination card should be punishable by death.

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. Presenting a forged ID to vote should be punishable by death.

    kaf (0363f1)

  4. Punchy billboard appears overnight in Matt Gaetz’s home state of Florida as he denies sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl
    A billboard claiming that Matt Gaetz ‘wants to “date” your child’ has appeared in the district of Florida which the Congressman represents.
    ……….
    The billboard in Crestview, a city in northeast Florida, was paid for by Mad Dog PAC which says on its website that it was founded to, ‘Fight Fascism. Stop Trump.’

    It features a black and white photo of the embattled congressman with the striking claim: ‘Matt Gaetz wants to “date” your child.’
    ………
    Gaetz is apparently willing to pay for opportunity.

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  5. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz shares document accusing him of taking part in ‘orgy of underage prostitutes’ in attempt to clear his name

    We’re not legal experts and we’re certainly not public relations scholars, but it seems like sharing a document that contains the phrase “involved in a sexual orgy of underage prostitutes” is a bad look for a congressman facing sex trafficking allegations.

    But that’s exactly what Florida representative Matt Gaetz did last night (April 6th). The troubled Congressman put the spotlight on a tweet from Emily Brooks, a reporter for the conservative publication The Washington Examiner. In the tweet, Brooks shared a photo of a document she received from Gaetz, detailing”Project Homecoming.” That’s the name of an alleged extortionate proposal pitched to Gaetz’s father, Don. A screenshot of a text to the elder Gaetz also shared by the congressman is being pointed to as further evidence of the scheme.

    The document makes reference to Gaetz and an unnamed Floridian official, purportedly captured taking part in an orgy with underage sex workers. This likely connects to the unprompted revelation of such photos that Gaetz shared during his deeply weird interview with Tucker Carlson shortly after the news broke.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  6. Former lobbyist accuses Rep. Tom Reed, a potential Cuomo challenger, of sexual misconduct

    Nicolette Davis said she was 25, on her first networking trip as a junior lobbyist for an insurance company, when she felt the 45-year-old congressman’s hand on her back. She and other lobbyists had gathered at an Irish pub in Minneapolis after a day of ice fishing, Davis told The Washington Post, and Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y) was seated to her left.
    “A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” she texted a friend and co-worker at Aflac that evening in 2017, adding later, “HELP HELP.”

    Reed, his hand outside her blouse, briefly fumbled with her bra before unhooking it by pinching the clasp, Davis told The Post. He moved his hand to her thigh, inching upward, she said.

    Reed, his hand outside her blouse, briefly fumbled with her bra before unhooking it by pinching the clasp, Davis told The Post. He moved his hand to her thigh, inching upward, she said.

    Frozen in fear, she said, she asked the person sitting to her right for help. He obliged by pulling the congressman away from the table and out of the restaurant, Davis said.

    Reed declined to be interviewed for this story. In response to a detailed list of questions, he said in a statement provided by his office: “This account of my actions is not accurate.”

    Davis’s account comes at a time when Reed is considering a run against New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo……..

    Davis contacted The Post through a newsroom tip line on Feb. 11, more than a week before Reed said on Fox News that he is “seriously considering” challenging the governor in 2022 and nearly two weeks before the allegations against Cuomo began gaining traction.
    ……..
    …….. Now 29, she is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Okla. With her graduation from field artillery school approaching later this month, she has been thinking about the kind of platoon leader she wants to be, she said.
    ……..
    Davis’s account of Reed’s actions in 2017 was supported by a person who was at the table that night. The person told The Post that Reed was visibly intoxicated and put his hand on Davis’s back before being escorted from the restaurant while the rest of the group remained. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing potential career ramifications.

    Davis said that when she returned to Washington after the weekend trip, she immediately shared more details with the co-worker she had texted, Jessica Strieter Elting.

    In an interview, Strieter Elting said Davis told her about the congressman touching her back and tugging at and unhooking her bra………
    ………

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  7. Rip,

    I’m sure you’ve heard it said that politics is show business for ugly people. It’s looking more like a grope-a-thon for ugly people!

    norcal (01e272)

  8. Boticelli’s Primavera is one of those paintings that surprised me when I first saw it directly. It was more gorgeous than I expected (and bigger).

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  9. I want to go to Europe someday so I can see all that fabulous art in person.

    norcal (01e272)

  10. > So getting a vaccine to help you stay healthy is bad, but willfully lying and breaking the law to get a fake vaccination card is good???

    Those people should be prosecuted for fraud, at the very least.

    > President Joe Biden announced Friday he is forming a commission to study possible changes at the Supreme Court

    Blech.

    Two thoughts:

    (a) this is a terrible idea whose inevitable result would be alternating court packings every time partisan control of the other two branches changed in a unified way, and the medium-to-long-term deligitimizing of the entire judicial branch.

    (b) this outcome was guaranteed when McConnell didn’t apply the same standard to the Ginsburg vacancy that he applied to the Scalia vacancy. If he’d treated them the same way, he could have defused Democratic anger on the issue — but instead he proved that for him it’s all about partisan power grabs, and demonstrated that the only thing he can be relied on is to *always* take the opportunity to engage in partisan power grabs, so if the Democrats don’t do the same, they lose.

    It’s enough to make me wonder if McConnell secretly wants the judiciary delegitimized.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  11. aphrael,

    Couldn’t the same argument be made about Harry Reid blowing up the filibuster when it came to other federal judgeships?

    Also, wasn’t it the Democrats who started the whole win-at-any-costs game with Supreme Court nominees when they derailed Robert Bork? I mean, his last name actually became a verb.

    norcal (01e272)

  12. Plus, even before Ginsburg’s death there was the abominable spectacle of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Parsing messages in a high school yearbook? Ridiculous.

    Even after what the Democrats did to Bork and Thomas, Republicans still took the high road and voted to confirm Democrat nominees like Breyer and Ginsburg.

    norcal (01e272)

  13. Forging, or presenting a forged, vaccination card should be punishable by death.

    Fascist.

    Counterfeiting Crimes and Charges

    ‘Essentially, creating a phony copy of anything and attempting to pass it off as the real things will be considered counterfeiting. While charges of duplicating US securities and obligations are the most serious counterfeiting offenses, any other counterfeiting crimes will be very serious as well and in all cases will be considered felonies.’

    source- https://www.federalcharges.com/counterfeiting-laws-charges/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. @3. See #13.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  15. @10. Once a senator, always a senator. ‘Form a committee’ to study it… for 180 days.

    Translation:

    death by 10,000 pages of paper cuts.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  16. Memo to President Plagiarist–

    Pack a suitcase instead.

    25th Amendment time.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  17. You think Kamala would be a better president, DCSCA?

    norcal (01e272)

  18. @17. We’ll know soon enough.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  19. What did the Democrats in Congress do to Bork? They accused him of having beliefs that he had supported through his career.

    They provided him with five days of hearings in which there was extensive testimony.

    They provided him with a vote in the Senate which he lost 58-42, the 58 including 6 Republicans.

    What did McConnell give Garland? Not a damn thing.

    And note Mitch’s rationale – that Supreme Court nominations are inherently partisan, and therefore a Republican majority is going to refuse to accept any nomination from a cross party president.

    And so, by that logic, if the Court is inherently partisan, what is the real Republican objection to expanding the size? Nothing but a fear of losing power.

    Victor (4959fb)

  20. What did McConnell give Garland? Not a damn thing.

    If the situation were reversed, do you think Reid would have given anything to the Republican nominee? I don’t.

    norcal (01e272)

  21. The same Reid who admitting to lying about Romney’s taxes, and bragging that it worked. Mitt Freaking Romney, the guy who voted to impeach Trump! McConnell’s a novice compared to Reid.

    norcal (01e272)

  22. Norcal,

    This started about Bork, who for some reason Republicans have turned into a martyr over the years for no particularly good reason.

    Now you speculate that Reid would have refused any hearings (like Bork got) and any vote (like Bork got) to a Republican nominee. Your grounds? because Reid is a bad person.

    We have the actual evidence of Mitch’s behavior. We have the actual experience of Bork’s. Justifying Mitch’s treatment of Garland based on sheer speculation as to what Reid might or might not have done doesn’t really cut it.

    And to bring this back to the present day, the current ostensible Republican worry about expanding the Court is that, oh no!, it makes the Court too partisan.

    Well Mitch flatly, openly, brazenly made clear that his single concern re the Court is that it best express the partisan wishes of the Republican majority. And so I don’t really see where the Republicans are supposed to garner much sympathy right now.

    Victor (4959fb)

  23. Good for Democrats good. Good for Republicans bad.

    nk (1d9030)

  24. The relief worker is giving Cletus the stinkeye. “Cletus”, he says, “you know that relief maxes out at six kids. You’re now up to eleven. I don’t even want to speculate how you manage to feed all of them.”

    “I know, Earl”, says Cletus, “I know. I swear if I have one more kid, I’m going to hang myself.”

    Next time Cletus sees the relief worker, Cletus has twelve kids. “Cletus”, he says, “you promised me you weren’t going to have any more kids.”

    “I know, Earl”, says Cletus, “I know. And when this last one was born, I did go to hang myself.”

    “But”, continues Cletus, “as I was standing up on that chair, putting the rope around my neck, my wife rushes into the room and yells, ‘Stop, Cletus, don’t do it! You’re hanging an innocent man!'”

    nk (1d9030)

  25. Victor, Garland did get something….he avoided having his character unfairly assassinated. For instance, Bork was personally pro-choice. Like many legal minds, he simply did not see a right to privacy from what is written in the Constitution….and that it was simply justices inserting their view in place of how states might try to balance the rights of the woman and the rights of the fetus. Now, how this judicial restraint was unfairly twisted was that Kennedy framed this as Judge Bork WANTING american women to be cast into back alleys to have dangerous unregulated abortions. Somehow conflating the worst possible outcome and ascribing that that was what Bork wanted is intellectually unfair. This also was applied to Bork’s criticism of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, again framing it as if Bork WANTED segregated lunch counters when that was far from the truth. Garland was graciously spared a high-tech lynching.

    With regards to court packing, the Democrats have a little problem of not having enough votes to pull it off….unless of course they go “nuclear”. Which simply means that the next time the GOP controls Congress and the Presidency, we will see yet another court packing move as we watch the judicial equivalent of the Butter Battle Book play out. And at each step as the Court expands, the efficiency of the Court goes down as more justices must be heard, persuaded, and divided into a mish-mash of concurring opinions that will muddle the law. You will also see destabilizing lurches in the law as packings abruptly “correct” precedent….with justices specifically selected en masse for ideological reasons. Saying that the current court is already political misses the vast number of cases that are either 9-0, 8-1, or 7-2 or where there are interesting mixes of ideological pairings authoring concurring opinions (i.e., it’s not as bad as many say). Also, filling in vacancies that occur unexpectedly…and gradually…is different than doing it in bulk to create a specific outcome…specifically designing the coup to purposefully overturn Citizens United or Heller.

    Court packing will accelerate the loss of legitimacy of the Court….RBG saw it for what it was and opposed it….how can you argue with RBG!

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  26. My biggest argument with RBG is that she should have resigned while Obama was in office. She had a point of view but she wasn’t partisan. Contrast Justice Kennedy.

    As for your larger point about Bork – what does it matter what Bork’s personal views were? The question that faces a Senator is what will this person do as a Justice? Bork’s America would in fact be one with more back alley abortions because in Bork’s America abortion would be illegal. I can’t see how you can argue that. And whether or not Justice Bork in his home smokes his pipe and sighs in regret is pretty much immaterial to the question of whether that is how you think the constitution should be interpreted. Senator Kennedy, and 57 other senators thought not.

    This is not a personality contest. Nominating and confirming a Justice is a fairly direct way of deciding what the rules are going to be for the country. If Bork’s feelings got bruised along the way, well I can’t muster the sympathy. 58 senators thought he would be a bad justice based on his views. And based on his subsequent writings I think they were entirely correct.

    And Garland was spared,…what? A senate hearing where people question and criticize his opinions? That’s your theory of what a lynching looks like? This belief that Republicans are “sparing” people the full wrath of possible viciousness by not even allowing the nomination is purely weird. If Republicans had any actual substantive or personal objection to Garland they should have come out with it. But they didn’t, or if they did senators didn’t say much about it.

    Mitch’s single solitary point was that this was a seat to be preserved for a Republican nominee. And if Mitch thinks that partisan leaning is the most important thing, I’m not sure why Democrats should suddenly make themselves the nobler ones.

    As for your substantive objections to court expansion. First, we’ve already seen instances of the Court suddenly reversing itself. Check out the Flag salute cases during WWII. Or the current court’s sudden reversal regarding union dues in Janus, reversing Abood from 1997. We all survived.

    Second, I thought that the pitch made to Republican voters was that when they got the Court they wanted, finally, finally they’d be able to get rid of Roe v. Wade, and perhaps Obergefell, and Obama care. I can’t see that sudden reversals of precedent are really something conservatives worry that much about except at the possibility of being negatively effected.

    But lastly, the theory that one expansion of the Court will lead to another ad infinitum seems silly to me. We’ve had expansions in the past, and contractions. They didn’t always escalate. Random commenters on the internet, like you and me, can theorize weird results but politicians don’t usually push things to absurdity. If the Court went to 15 under Biden (unlikely I agree) getting a House, Senate and President to agree to going to 21 under the next round would be pretty difficult. It’s more likely people will wait for deaths and resignations, and/or push for a constitutional amendment.

    I hope every day Roberts wakes up thinking about whether he is going to preside over a Court that’s completely broken and that Barrett, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch pause, for political reasons, before voting to overturn Roe. I don’t think the Court should be all powerful and forever unworried.

    Victor (4959fb)

  27. Have you ever stopped to think about all the cameras everywhere? You can’t step out your door without a good chance that you will be photographed? I bet you have.

    But have you also considered the positive side? That if a crime is committed somewhere, and you’re innocent but under suspicion, what a better chance you have to prove an alibi?

    nk (1d9030)

  28. When I heard Joe Biden say you could go to a gun show and buy any gun you wanted with no background check my heart leapt for a moment because I assumed he meant he had just signed an executive order to that effect.

    Jerryskids (999ce8)

  29. So after Cletus gets down off the chair, he asks his wife who the other man is. After some back and forth, she finally lets on: “It’s Clarence”, she says.

    “Clarence?” he asks. “Who’s Clarence?”

    “He moved here about a year ago”, she says, “into the little blue house just across the bridge.”

    Cletus says, “I’m gonna go over there and whip him to within an inch of his life.” He sets off, leaving his wife wringing her hands.

    A little while later he comes back, looking the same as when he left. “Cletus, what happened?” his wife asks anxiously.

    “Nothing”, he replies. “I got to the bridge and it had a sign that said ‘Warning: Clarence 8ft. 4in’. So I came right back.”

    nk (1d9030)

  30. “because in Bork’s America abortion would be illegal”

    No, it would be decided by the states…if it had gotten to that point….and most would have some legal version of it….including ones like California and New York who would place the right in the state constitution. But saying that reversing Roe would make it illegal…is wrong. Leaving complex, controversial social matters that the Court has no expertise in….to the states and the people to decide is kind of the design of the Constitution. Those that drafted and enacted the 14A would be shocked to learn that hidden in penumbras and emanations was the inability of states to strictly regulate or ban abortion.

    “This belief that Republicans are “sparing” people the full wrath of possible viciousness by not even allowing the nomination is purely weird”

    Well, Thomas, Bork, and Kavanaugh might disagree with your view. Hurt feelings? Seriously? One’s reputation being publicly trashed is a bit more than….being told that you might have to wait until after the election. I’m not a fan of the Garland move…because it did rachet up polarization….but giving him a hearing and then voting against him would have accomplished what exactly? He didn’t have the votes….to replace Scalia.

    “finally they’d be able to get rid of Roe v. Wade, and perhaps Obergefell, and Obama care”

    The GOP base has been trolled. These precedents won’t be reversed. States may be given more latitude in regulating abortion, but it won’t be sent back to the states to start over. The justices will not impose such a dramatic change in the law when most surveys have 60% of respondents favoring some form of legal abortion. If anything, the justices are pragmatic and want stability in the law. The GOP needs to change hearts and reduce the demand for abortion.

    “We’ve had expansions in the past, and contractions.”

    But this is deceptive….since it’s been 9 for 150 years….and has only ranged from 6 to 10…with 10 only being a short amount of time. The early court history where there were adjustments was also not a period of time where the Court was activist…..inserting itself into political questions and intruding upon state sovereignty. If you want to return to that type of court and contract its size and influence, I be interested in hearing your proposal.

    “Senate and President to agree to going to 21 under the next round would be pretty difficult. It’s more likely people will wait for deaths and resignations, and/or push for a constitutional amendment.”

    This just seems like wishful thinking. If the Court of 15 overturns Heller….I would suspect the swing would give you whiplash….the same for a stacked court that reversed Roe. You just define escalation as being “silly”….you don’t actually make a convincing case. Again, it’s hard to pack with 50 or 51 senators. And packing will lead to a cultural civil war. The decision on Garland wasn’t great….but the replacement was literally incorporated into an election where all Hillary had to do was beat an obnoxious, undisciplined, unqualified Trump….and she couldn’t do it. If the nation saw Garland like you saw it….they found an uninspired way to voice that discontent.

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  31. AJ, If I don’t get you a more comprehensive response quickly it’s not because I’ve forgotten but some other duties call. I will make the quickest response off the top of my head but then get back to Roe later.

    My smartass response is that despite being lynched and assassinated Thomas and Kavanaugh are Justices on the Supreme Court who will make incredibly significant decisions for this country – a power not usually extended to dead men.

    Despite having his character assassinated by people who complained about the effects his theories of constitutional interpretation would have on the country Bork went on to a reasonably successful career as professor and author and campaign advisor. His decision not to continue to be a judge was his own when he resigned. And to note his assassination was accomplished by 58 senators, including six Republicans.

    In short, Republicans complain about being criticizes and mischaracterized as if they were deadly blows, but still somehow wind up with a lot of power even if accompanied by a fair amount of bitterness.

    Again, I hope, more on this later.

    Victor (4959fb)

  32. Why Is the Supreme Court Hesitating on Abortion?
    This week’s Supreme Court orders list again featured a dog that noisily did not bark: abortion. There was no action on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns whether a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional. Mississippi petitioned for SCOTUS review last June……..

    The Dobbs case has repeatedly been on the list for discussion at the Court’s conferences……..[T]he direction of the Court on abortion law remains, for the moment, a mystery while a decision on a review of Dobbs is delayed again and again.
    ………

    There are multiple theories about what’s going on. It takes just four justices to agree to review a case. Quite possibly, there are five or six prepared to begin unraveling the Court’s abortion precedents but no consensus of four on where to start or how quickly to proceed. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch are thought to be the Court members most likely to favor direct reviews of Roe and Casey. ……

    The most likely path for an anti-abortion majority is a gradual erosion of Roe and Casey, rather than an abrupt reversal, perhaps through a green light to states that want to regulate providers out of existence. …….[M]aybe Roberts and Kavanaugh are waiting for the “right” case, and the other four conservative justices don’t want to take up a case unless an anti-abortion majority is certain.

    ………[T]he Los Angeles Times recently reported:

    Conservative legal analyst Ed Whelan called the Dobbs case “the best opportunity the Supreme Court will ever have to overturn Roe.” The case “provides an excellent vehicle for overruling” the right to abortion and returning the issue to the state legislatures, he wrote in November. “Indeed, it is unlikely that there will ever be a more opportune moment” …

    In late January, Whelan said he was surprised and dismayed the court had not granted review yet, adding he would be “deeply disappointed” if the new conservative justices “failed to provide the needed votes.”

    ……..

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  33. But have you also considered the positive side? That if a crime is committed somewhere, and you’re innocent but under suspicion, what a better chance you have to prove an alibi?
    nk (1d9030) — 4/10/2021 @ 7:25 am

    Yeah, like exculpatory evidence is always disclosed.

    felipe (484255)

  34. @8 and @9
    I took the train from Rome to Florence about fifteen years ago. As I got off the train, the first person I encountered was a fair-skinned strawberry blonde woman about 23 years old. She was identical to the figure in The Birth of Venus. Boticelli used real people from the town as his models! I was impressed.

    Fred (d109df)

  35. SCOTUS is the modern conservative movement’s Alamo.

    Doomed.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  36. What Has the Pro-Life Movement Won?
    The pro-life movement’s multidecade strategy, up to and including its fraught bargain with Donald Trump, appears to have succeeded. Thanks to the Trump White House and Mitch McConnell’s Senate, there is now a 6-to-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, vetted by conservative legal activists and committed to principles of constitutional interpretation that seem to require sweeping Roe v. Wade away, or at least modifying it into obsolescence.

    Yet instead of preparing to claim victory, in the last two weeks part of the anti-abortion movement has fallen into an acrimonious debate over a radical proposal — from the Australian philosopher and Notre Dame professor John Finnis, in the journal First Things, arguing that unborn human beings deserve protections under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    The political implication of Finnis’s argument is that the pro-life movement’s longtime legal goal, overturning Roe and letting states legislate against abortion, is woefully insufficient, and in fact pro-life activists should be demanding that the Supreme Court declare a fetal right to life.

    ……[A]bortion foes actually have good reason to feel unsettled and uncertain rather than triumphant. First, there is the strong possibility that the 6-to-3 conservative court does not have a majority of justices who particularly want to apply their principles to something as fraught as abortion, as opposed to the comforting blandness of administrative law. Between the popularity of Roe in polling and the fear of liberal backlash and potential court-packing, some combination of John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh may decide to follow the rule of institutional self-protection rather than their principles, or find ways to make only the smallest-possible edits to the court’s existing abortion jurisprudence.
    ……..
    …….[I]t’s extremely easy to imagine the end of Roe leading to a little more state regulation over all (mostly limitations in the second trimester, along the lines of many European countries), but then for the few states that go further to find themselves boycotted and besieged, leaving the goal of ending abortion nationwide as far away as ever.
    ………..
    ………. The Atlantic’s Emma Green profiled Cheryl Bachelder, the former chief executive of Popeye’s and a rare pro-lifer in the C-suite world, who was working with other anti-abortion leaders “to brainstorm all the community support systems that would need to be stronger in a world where abortion is illegal: mental health services, addiction-recovery programs, affordable child care.” Green also reported that the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, has been compiling a database of state resources for pregnant women in preparation for the hoped-for end of Roe.
    ……..
    Suggesting that judges should endorse an anti-abortion reading of the Constitution solves none of the pro-life movement’s immediate problems. If today’s Republican-appointed jurists are too politically timid to merely return abortion regulation to the states, it’s much harder to imagine them ever issuing a sweepingly pro-life ruling that, under current alignments, would risk attempted nullification from many liberal state governments.
    ……..
    It’s hard to imagine a future where a Supreme Court imposes the full pro-life position on an unwilling country. Whatever its constitutional merits, the 14th Amendment idea requires that public opinion be moving in its direction first.
    ……..
    I have never understood why, if abortion is a moral evil (it is) why overturning Roe is a good thing. If it’s evil as national policy it’s evil as a state policy. There is no doubt it would still be legal in California or New York. Further, I’ve also never understood why state laws that seek to punish doctors who perform abortions exempt the women who want the abortion. Doctors don’t go randomly performing abortions, the women are just as guilty.

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  37. Meant to say:

    I have never understood why, if abortion is a moral evil (it is) why overturning Roe and returning regulation to the states is a good thing. If it’s evil as national policy it’s evil as a state policy.

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  38. RIP Ramsey Clark (93).

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  39. Basing rulings on the moral parameters of ‘good and evil’ is a fool’s errand.

    Morality is a transient.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  40. If killing a joke was a crime, felipe, ….

    nk (1d9030)

  41. $500,000 Jefferson Davis chair stolen in Selma will be a toilet unless Confederate group hangs banner, email claims
    ……….
    ………A group that claims to have taken the monument, the Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair, sent emails to AL.com saying they will give the chair to the United Daughters of the Confederacy if that organization agrees to hang a banner outside its Richmond, Va. headquarters.

    In those emails, a group calling itself White Lies Matter say they stole the chair from the Old Live Oak Cemetery and are demanding that the UDC hang a large banner at 1 p.m. on Friday — the anniversary of the Confederacy’s surrender in the Civil War — and leave it there for 24 hours.

    The banner bears a quote from Assata Shakur (mother of Tupac Shakur and currently in exile in Cuba), a Black Liberation Army activist wanted by the FBI for the 1973 murder of a New Jersey state trooper: “The rulers of this country have always considered their property more important than our lives.”
    ……….
    “Failure to do so will result in the monument, an ornate stone chair, immediately being turned into a toilet,” the email states. “If they do display the banner, not only will we return the chair intact, but we will clean it to boot.”
    ………..
    There is a $5,000 reward leading to information about the disappearance of the chair, described as being about 3-feet-tall and weighing several hundred pounds, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.
    ………..

    “Like most Confederate monuments, (the chair) mostly exists to remind those who’s freedom had to be purchased in blood, that there still exists a portion of our country that is more than willing to continue to spill blood to avoid paying that debt down,” the White Lies Matter email states.

    “We took their toy, and we don’t feel guilty about it. They never play with it anyway. They just want it there to remind us what they’ve done, what they are still willing to do. But the south won’t rise again. Not as the Confederacy. Because that coalition left out a large portion of its population. All that’s left of that nightmare is an obscenely heavy chair that’s a throne for a ghost whose greatest accomplishment was treason.”

    A response to an email query from The Associated Press to the address that sent the ransom note said the group’s aim is “to creatively address the argument surrounding Confederate monuments and hope that the UDC chooses to play ball.”
    …………
    UPDATE:

    $500,000 Confederate chair stolen from Alabama cemetery used as toilet, will be returned tonight
    ………

    On Wednesday night, however, the group issued this statement:

    “As the UDC has given us every indication that they had no intention of hanging the banner, even going as far as declaring our demands, ‘fake news, White Lies Matter has decided to move forward prematurely with the alteration of the chair. It will be returned to the UDC immediately.”

    Photos of the chair – seemingly being used as a toilet – accompanied the newest statement.

    White Lies Matter, when asked for more information, said the chair will be surrendered to the UDC tonight.

    “White Lies Matter will contact them directly with coordinates indicating where the chair is located,’’ WLM said. “The chair will not be returned to the cemetery.”
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  42. Oh, the humiliation:

    Donald Trump Tumbles Nearly 300 Spots In Billionaire Ranks
    ………..
    ……… By refusing to divest his portfolio upon taking office, Trump bogged down his presidency with ethics issues for years, while also missing a chance to cash in on a market boom he helped propel.

    If he had sold everything on Day 1, paid the maximum capital-gains taxes on the sales, then put the proceeds into a conflict-free fund tracking the S&P 500, Trump would have ended his presidency an estimated $1.6 billion richer than he is today.

    As is, he is worth an estimated $2.4 billion, enough to qualify for No. 1,299 on the Forbes billionaires list, down from No. 1,001 last year. Trump is actually richer than he was a year ago, when we knocked valuations down at the start of the pandemic, but he couldn’t keep up with the other billionaires on the list, whose fortunes soared.
    ……,,

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  43. $500,000 Confederate chair stolen from Alabama cemetery used as toilet, will be returned tonight

    The current president of the so-called confederacy isn’t gonna be happy about this!

    Dave (1bb933)

  44. $500,000 Rebel chair; $5,000 reward… ‘value and rewards’ in Confederate currency, no doubt.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  45. 28…imagine if Zhou Bi Den (Insta* phrase) said exactly that and chose that time to leave this mortal coil.

    *For this oldsters, Insta is Instapundit, not Instagram.

    urbanleftbehind (828f8b)

  46. AJ,

    A little more time now, at least as regards Bork and Roe. This was your point:

    No, it would be decided by the states…if it had gotten to that point….and most would have some legal version of it….including ones like California and New York who would place the right in the state constitution. But saying that reversing Roe would make it illegal…is wrong. Leaving complex, controversial social matters that the Court has no expertise in….to the states and the people to decide is kind of the design of the Constitution. Those that drafted and enacted the 14A would be shocked to learn that hidden in penumbras and emanations was the inability of states to strictly regulate or ban abortion.

    My point is that Bork would have been the decisive vote (instead of Kennedy) for overturning Roe in the early 90’s. At that point in many states abortion would have automatically become illegal again because there statutes were never changed. And of course more recently states have passed statutes that openly state they become operative if Roe is reversed. (Though I don’t know how true that was earlier). So, yes, in many states Bork’s America would have been an America with illegal abortions.

    Now I take your broader point to be that whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing it’s still not something that can be blamed on Bork because his intent is not to make abortion illegal but to get the court out of the question of deciding this one way or the other. But my response is that for the purposes of those senators deciding whether to put him on the Court, it is immaterial what his intent is – the question is what will his effect be. The senators have their own varied opinions about how to interpret the Constitution. They are not required to agree to Bork’s just because he himself is so confident he’s right and has a good resume. At the level of the High Court the decisions made will necessarily have political consequences and there’s nothing wrong with taking that into account.

    This is something that Mitch agrees to, and in fact has been true throughout the history of Supreme Court nominations. Why do you think a president nominates somebody in particular? To support his policies, at least generally. Why shouldn’t a senator take the same position.

    I understand you might agree to this on a general level but think that the attacks on Bork, Thomas and Kavanaugh were, regardless, more personal than political. I am going to leave Thomas and Kavanaugh out for the moment (lack of time more than lack of interest) but as for Bork I think this is just wrong. Bork was attacked because he held views at times in his life putting him outside the mainstream of opinion in the 80’s. Pointing out the extreme consequences of those views is perfectly acceptable politics. If he disagreed as to the consequences he could have said so. And sometimes he did, and sometimes he said he changed his mind.

    But senators don’t have to accept at face value what a nominee says. For appointment to a life term on the most powerful court in the country, perhaps the world. senators are allowed to consider the whole life. A man who in 1964 thought the Civil Rights Act was a bad idea doesn’t have a right to nomination if in 1984 he shrugs and says I got that wrong.

    Victor (4959fb)

  47. As I got off the train, the first person I encountered was a fair-skinned strawberry blonde woman about 23 years old. She was identical to the figure in The Birth of Venus.

    That’s a great story. Maybe it was her.

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  48. I knew Gaetz’s goose was cooked the moment I saw the selfie of him with Goldberg and Stone, two known perverts. His slavish devotion to Trump, a known adulterer and philanderer, didn’t improve his image. I’m surprised there isn’t a selfie of him with Epstein somewhere. (That trip to the Bahamas is awfully close to Epstein’s island of young prostitutes.)

    Guys–I will not refer to them as men–like these don’t have a clue about how to relate to women. They think money, position, status, celebrity, power, whatever, is what attracts women. It is not. Or they thing that money, position, status, celebrity, power, whatever, entitles them to take advantage of women. It does not.

    It is a lure, to be sure, but it’s more a trap for the fisherman. They call it fishing, not catching, for a reason. Once you bring her in, you better treat her right, or she will destroy you completely.

    I will now conclude my story of how I came to write the Wedding Poem. No more cliffhangers, norcal. Not that you’re a lemming, or that I’m a Pied Piper, but let’s go, off the cliff, sky diving.

    To briefly recap, for those of you who haven’t been following along, Joey was a total nerd freak and computer genius, albeit a little socially awkward. He aced out of high school, graduated early, and excelled his freshman year at UT–106 credit hours with a 4.0 GPA (that’s 14 short of a degree) in two semesters. Then he went a little crazy, or perhaps he was acting out, because college was beneath him, maybe he wanted attention. He got arrested for writing hot checks all around Austin over the summer, and was promptly thrown out of the University. He never graduated.

    Rejected and dejected, he returned home and applied for a job at the computer company where my father was the lead programmer and president. In their first interview, my father, who was an excellent programmer himself, immediately recognized Joey’s talent and genius, and hired him on the spot. Joey’s failure to graduate and criminal record didn’t matter. Perhaps that’s because my father never graduated from college either, but he knew programming, and he saw something in Joey that no one else saw, an instinctive knowledge of computers. They formed like some sort of Vulcan mind meld, and my father took Joey under his wing, like he was the son my father didn’t have.

    I came down from Austin on Christmas vacation, and my father said, “Son, I want you to come to the office. There’s someone I want you to meet.” Okay, Dad, no problem. So I went and met Joey for the first time.

    It was really weird watching the two of them together. They were completely different, but yet the same. They would complete each other’s sentences and say the same thing at the same time! A Vulcan mind meld, indeed. So, I’m thinking, okay, this is the guy my father wants me to meet? The son he didn’t have, as if he were an example for me to follow. Um, no.

    I first majored in biology, then in literature, philosophy and poetry. I didn’t give a damn about computers. But I saw something in Joey that my father didn’t see. I thought to myself, this guy needs to get out, have some fun. So I invited him to my mother’s company Christmas party, which was held at her junior partner’s house.

    This was the place to be. Everyone, anyone, who had money or influence was there. My father was the king of computers and my mother was the queen of real estate. So, we’re talking about business leaders, bankers, brokers, realtors, title company owners–the people you want to know, or rather the people who wanted to know my father and mother, because they were the most important people.

    I showed up with Joey. There was an open bar, which I quickly got behind. (I was a licensed and experienced bartender, at the time.)

    What would you like, a Cuba Libre? Okay, a lot of rum, a little Coke for color, and a lime twist for flavor. Joey sat there in dumb amazement, while I loaded up drinks for everyone. Once they, including my parents, were all smashed, I turned to him and said, “My work is done here. Let’s go clubbing.”

    From that point on, that’s the way it was between me and Joey. Whenever we got together, we partied, hard. Every time I came down for vacation, or when he came up to visit in Austin, we partied, hard.

    It was the 1980’s, you have to understand. Then Joey started messing around with this young girl, a seventeen-year old, the daughter of the the owner of the health spa he worked out at.

    “I love her! I love her! I want to marry her!” I warned him against that. I told him, look, you’re not thinking straight. You enjoy having sex with her, but that is not love. She’s using sex as means to get out of her parent’s house. She’s way too young, and she’s neurotic. If you marry this girl, she will hurt you.

    He didn’t listen to me, no one does, but he married her. I stood at their wedding, which was a farce. But I stood there as a friend, knowing this marriage would not end well.

    I graduated and went into teaching. Joey took his young bride and moved to California, where the divorce laws are hell. Of course she divorced him, first chance she got; this was her plan all along.

    I knew this girl, first time I met her. She was a drama girl. And I know drama girls like nobody else. I’ll tell that story at a later time, but she was a drama girl, and I knew it.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  49. Victor, And RBG was confirmed 96-3. Do you think her unabashed liberal positions should have been taken into consideration when Republicans voted for her in 1993? By your reasoning….since she was clearly not a stealth candidate and had later voted regularly against conservative Constitutional questions…say gun rights, the answer is an unequivocal and decisive “yes”. Scalia was confirmed 98-0 in 1986. He was philosophically an originalist similar to Bork. Kennedy too was considered a reliable “conservative” and unanimously confirmed by 97-0 in 1988. It was unclear where he would come down on abortion…and he in fact in time came down on both sides (see Casey and Stenberg). Bork and the short-lived Ginsburg nomination were in between. Was Bork actually more extreme than other nominees or did he simply have a long and extensive paper trail by being a scholar (the same would have been true of Lawrence Tribe)?

    The question isn’t should the Senate use conflicting ideology as a means of disqualifying someone….obviously they have and there is no prohibition…..but should they? And is the current ahistorical practice now of narrow partisan votes good for either of the institutions? It seems like we really don’t want scholars or deep thinkers but Manchurian candidates who will give oblique umpire analogies or are just under-impressive legal minds generally (like Alito). Mix in now a dose of perusing high school year books and unsubstantiated molestations and (poorly substantiated) dirty talk….well, the entire process has really sunk down deep. It’s clear who started it….and who sank deeper. Certainly Garland struck against comity….but it was a response long building. If you’re OK killing off a nomination for political expediency, then you don’t have much standing to complain about Garland. It should be enough that he wasn’t conservative enough to replace Scalia, no?

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  50. Yes. I wonder if Victor would have thought it just fine if Republicans had denied Ginsburg’s nomination because of her writings and beliefs.

    norcal (01e272)

  51. Thanks, GG! You are a good read, even when recapping.

    I loved this bit:

    I stood at their wedding, which was a farce. But I stood there as a friend, knowing this marriage would not end well.

    It reminded me of The Rockford Files episode in which Angel gets married. Deep cut, I know, but I’ll bet somebody here will get the reference.

    norcal (01e272)

  52. Excellent jokes, nk. Mark Twain would approve.

    norcal (01e272)

  53. RBG was a radical leftist like the current radicals on the current court. They have their mind made up before a case is made and create a decision to fit their preferred results, law not necessary.

    Look at their nonsensical decision just released on Constitutional Religious Rights in California.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  54. With mixed feelings,I got the J&J shot 2 days ago. Have some peers that had bad reactions to it, but I just had soreness like I had run several miles and a mild headache. Went away in 24 hours.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  55. $500,000 Jefferson Davis chair stolen in Selma ….

    EBT finds work for idle hands.

    nk (1d9030)

  56. Went away in 24 hours.

    Stay hydrated for a few more days. My first Moderna shot kicked my butt four days after.

    Dave (1bb933)

  57. My drugstore called today, without leaving a message. I wonder if it is because they had a vaccine to offer me. Oh well. I’m not about to call back and wade through their odious phone menu, praying that I’ll eventually talk to a real person.

    norcal (01e272)

  58. That won’t be a problem Dave. I’ve been back on Keto to slim down for the summer and you need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated since you don’t store nearly the amounts you would if you had glycogen in your cells.

    Thanks for the advice.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  59. My first Moderna shot kicked my butt four days after.

    I get my first shot tomorrow, so maybe I’d better clear my calendar for Thursday. Or get everything important done before noon tomorrow.

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  60. 62. The bad effects last about two days. Then it goes away because it’s a fake infection.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  61. Gawain’s Ghost #49.

    That’s what you told us so far. Nothing new, except that the girl was daughter of the the owner of the health spa he worked out at.

    What you didn’t say was the continuation – how you saved him from the economic consequences of his divorce. That’s where you left off – when he was begging for help. (you also said that, had he gotten divorced in Texas alimony would have been limited to two years, but he had moved to California.)

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  62. Agreed, Sammy. I’d like more details on her taking him to the cleaners, and the sordid aftermath.

    norcal (01e272)

  63. I get my first shot tomorrow, so maybe I’d better clear my calendar for Thursday. Or get everything important done before noon tomorrow.

    I’m not in great health, and may have a weaker immune system than people in good physical shape. I felt very mild discomfort immediately after, and figured that was it. Then when the real side effects came a few days later, it was everything all at once (fever, headache, chills, achy joints, fatigue).

    Very weird feeling sick without actually being sick, but I was fine two days later, and glad to know that the vax did what it was supposed to.

    Dave (1bb933)

  64. I have a story of my own about my mother.

    It was July 1957. She had just arrived in Europe for her two-year Mormon mission in France, Switzerland, and Belgium. She and a group of new missionaries went with the Paris mission president and the Holland mission president (who happened to be visiting) to the Louvre Museum.

    During the tour, the group rounded a corner and saw a man, pants down, humping the statue of a naked woman. The guy stopped moving, but didn’t run away. He just stood there against the statue. He appeared to be about 60 years old. My mom said she didn’t know who was more embarrassed, the missionaries or the mission president(s). They turned their heads and went to another room.

    After her mission, my mother was telling this story to her best friend. The friend said, “Now that is what I call statutory rape.”

    I recently recounted this story to my younger brother (he’s 47, and I’m 57), who had heard it before, but seemed hazy about some of the details.

    After I finished telling the story, I asked him what kind of 60-year-old guy would hump a statue.

    He said, “Well, we’ll know in about three years.”

    norcal (01e272)

  65. Now that is what I call statutory rape.”

    2021 Dad Joke Champion

    Dustin (4237e0)

  66. People have accused me and/or my mom of making up that story, but it’s true. Sometimes punchlines happen in real life.

    norcal (01e272)

  67. hahaha no I totally believe it. It’s awesome. The best wit always seems to happen in a part of the brain that doesn’t need any time to do it.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  68. Bad effects of J and J were immediate. ..nausea w/o vomit, bad headache and dead tiredness for 1st 24 hours, then tiredness only for another 24 hours. Finally broke about 46 hours in, and I ran 5 miles that afternoon. I’m due for DRMS – delayed reaction muscle soreness after a return to free weights this morning (moving apts in 2 months, I dont hire movers).

    urbanleftbehind (4fbb22)

  69. My mom is full of wit.

    Once upon a time my aforementioned brother was complaining to my mother about the lack of romance in his life. My mother suggested he pray about it. Well, what do know. He finds a girlfriend. After some time had passed, my brother started airing grievances he had against this girlfriend (again with my mother doing the listening).

    My mother said, “Next time pray for somebody perfect.”

    My brother was speechless, which, if you knew my brother, is the most awesome part of the story.

    norcal (01e272)

  70. The Louvre, eh? Was it a statue of Galatea, maybe?

    nk (1d9030)

  71. So, about that vaccine….

    I was talking to a friend who is fighting cancer. The treatments have demolished his immune system and he must stay completely isolated until there is herd immunity as the vaccine has only minimal benefit to him directly (no immune system to train). He is understandably unhappy with people who could get the vaccine, but won’t. If they get Covid, no big deal, but it will kill him almost certainly.

    Is there such a thing as passive endangerment? Does one have a duty top protect others?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  72. That appears to be a good guess, nk. I’ll have to ask my mom if she remembers which statue it was.

    norcal (01e272)

  73. Kevin,

    There is a good case to be made for moral duty. The harder question is whether it should be a legal duty.

    norcal (01e272)

  74. Most memorable Mom story: Sunday morning, November 24, 1963.

    Father still in bed asleep. Very 1950s Mom in apron w/cigarette and spatula in hand was making breakfast pancakes in one of those West Bend electric skillets in the kitchen. Told brother and I to go watch TV and she’d call us when breakfast was ready. We told her only thing on all the channels was this Oswald stuff — no cartoons… BOR-ing. She quipped, “Wouldn’t it be funny if he got shot, too?” So we went to living room and put on NBC nd she went back to pouring batter.

    BANG! Down goes Oswald.

    Brother and I look at each other, eyes wide saucers- then dash to the kitchen, yelling to Mom he’d been shot! Grabbed her- still with spatula and cigarette in hand- and literally dragged her in disbelief to the TV. And in the understatement of 1963, she says, “Huh. Isn’t that something. Now who wants pancakes?” For the next few years we were firmly convinced Moms knew everything; every secret, every screw-up… She’s been gone nearly a year– but that story is 100% true and forever unforgetable.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  75. #49
    Your story is too late to save Harry from Meghan.

    Had a conversation with the British tabloid people camped out waiting to badger Harry about his grandfather yesterday. I’ll always like Harry because when the USA decided to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, Harry showed up and did the work as allies do and as expected by the Crown. A small handful of our politicians sent their sons and daughters, UK sent its second most prominent son.

    steveg (02d731)

  76. Great story, DCSCA

    Dustin (4237e0)

  77. A small handful of our politicians sent their sons and daughters, UK sent its second most prominent son.

    I always thought both of Diana’s kids were good lads.

    Dave (1bb933)

  78. “The heir and the spare”, they call them, in feudal tradition. When William and Kate produced their own three spares (girls are also eligible in England), Harry went from spare to supernumerary.

    nk (1d9030)

  79. I love that story, DCSCA! It beats ragging on Reagan anytime!

    norcal (01e272)

  80. nk,

    I just finished talking with my mom. She does not recall which statue it was, but she is sure it was a live person engaged with the statue.

    norcal (01e272)

  81. We fought two wars so we wouldn’t have to pay attention to British royalty. I’m following suit.

    norcal (01e272)

  82. I’m hoping the Supreme Court rules 6-3 that packing the Supreme Court is unconstitutional. I’m sur they could find an argument at least as compelling as Roe.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  83. @82. OTOH, we ragged on her from 1964 on; she was a Goldwater Girl and for the rest of her life we never let her forget it. Got a helluva tongue lashing the afternoon we thirsty kids we used a church key on the bottom of a can of Goldwater Ginger Ale, drank it- and left the empty can in place. When she found out she was ready to nuke us, just like Barry. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  84. When I was young, the liberals controlled the Supreme Court, 7-2. Even when a “Republican” was appointed, it had to be someone the Democrats would approve. Stevens, for example. Yet, not once did the Democrats say “My God, this is just terrible, the way we own the Court an all, let’s change the rules!”

    But now, the Court is the next thing to Hitler to hear them talk about it. Just more “Heads I win, tails you cheated.”

    Let them do what the GOP did — organize for 30 years and incrementally change the Court. It’s how the game is played. Adding seats has no good endpoint, and raises the stakes of every election to the sky.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  85. I get my first shot tomorrow, so maybe I’d better clear my calendar for Thursday. Or get everything important done before noon tomorrow.

    I had Moderna. Nothing but a sore arm after first one. Second shot and I had a big swollen lump at shot site and some aches the next day. Over in a day, nothing unbearable. With both shots, I kept the next day open, just in case. Good luck, Radegunda.

    Glad you’re through it, Dave.

    Norcal and DCSCA, thanks for the fun stories.

    Dana (fd537d)

  86. Adding seats has no good endpoint, and raises the stakes of every election to the sky.

    It’s good in the sense that it makes us look like a banana republic, if that is the goal.

    norcal (01e272)

  87. Got a helluva tongue lashing the afternoon we thirsty kids we used a church key on the bottom of a can of Goldwater Ginger Ale, drank it- and left the empty can in place.

    Hey, that’s my move! Only I would do it with ice cream and frosting. Frosting! I shudder to even think of it now.

    norcal (01e272)

  88. I learned today that a friend whom I lost touch with twenty years ago (and who died about three years ago), who was incredibly important in my life and was responsible for one of the pivotal moments around which my life has reflected … failed to take care of his mental health issues, and developed into a severely mentally ill man who was emotionally and physically abusive of his wife and children.

    I struggle to describe how this feels; in a real sense, it’s like he’s died, again.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  89. NJRob — it wasn’t nonsensical. You can disagree, but there was a sense to it.

    California banned all indoor in home gatherings of any sort involving more than three households. This was a facially neutral law. Indoor in home gatherings were treated differently than out-of-home gatherings and were treated differently than commercial enterprises.

    The majority said that because California treated in-home religious gatherings differently than it treated out-of-home commercial enterprises, religion was unconstitutionally disfavored.

    The minority said — no, all in-home gatherings were treated the same, and California has good reasons for treating in-home gatherings differently than out-of-home commercial enterprises.

    I think the minority had it right and the insistence that in-home religious gatherings be treated better than other in-home gatherings simply because commercial enterprises are treated differently is … utterly bizarre.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  90. norcal,

    > Couldn’t the same argument be made about Harry Reid blowing up the filibuster when it came to other federal judgeships?

    i had a long argument today with a liberal acquaintance of mine, and with some liberal friends of mine, about this. my position is that court packing will inevitably lead to a tit-for-tat retaliatory packing every time control of the legislature and executive is concentrated in representatives of the same party, and that this will inevitably undermine the legitimacy of the court, of the judiciary, and of the system as a whole.

    the universal response i get is: the republicans are abusing the system and if we don’t stand up against them they’ll continue to abuse the system. they can’t be trusted to stick to the rules. we have to fight them, and they’re the ones responsible for any delegitimization that might occur.

    i’m not offering this as evidence of the truth of their statement, i’m offering this as an indication of their mindset.

    one of my points is that mcconnell, by putting up a rule of action in 2016 and then abandoning that rule of action in 2020 in favor of a different one, came across to everyone on the left and many in the middle as nakedly partisan. graciousness in 2020, holding the ginsburg seat open until after the election, would have defused a lot of the anger on the left and would have been perceived as, and accepted as, an olive branch. it was a chance to heal, and he passed it up.

    one of my other points, though, is this: many on the left, and many on the right, are deeply focused on their *legitimate* perceived hurts and wrongs, and on their anger over them, and on how the other side can’t be trusted and must be punished for the harm they have done.

    we have become, in many ways, like a couple in a deeply troubled marriage, where the focus is on unhealed hurts and resentment, and where each side acts on their own unhealed hurt and resentment in ways that cause the other side new hurts and resentments and enflame the existing unhealed ones.

    for a marriage like that to not end in divorce, *both sides* have to step back and change their focus. they have to let go of the anger and the resentment and the focus on the hurts and wrongs and start focusing on how to come back together and rebuild. if either side can’t do that, divorce is a better option.

    the trouble is that for the united states, there is no path to divorce which is not utterly catastrophic.

    so the best thing *all of us* can do, left and right, is to let go of our anger and resentment and to stop focusing on how the other side has hurt and wronged us and start working towards coming back together.

    this is a *deeply difficult thing to do*. but … we’re very close to a collapse in the legitimacy of the republic. that collapse will be a catastrophe. the only way to avert it is to step out of our anger and resentment.

    your anger at the left is justified. the left’s anger at you is justified. but it doesn’t matter. we *have to let go of it* if the republic is to survive.

    i’m deeply deeply deeply unhappy with mcconnell over the barrett nomination because he had an opportunity to take a step in that direction and he passed it up. maybe he doesn’t see the danger. maybe he embraces the possibility because he’d prefer the thing that we build after the system collapses. maybe he’s so caught up in the rightness of his tribe and the thrill of his tribe’s victory that he doesn’t care. his motivations aren’t clear to me.

    but it was a missed opportunity, and the left is reacting in *exactly* the way that anyone who was familiar with the left’s mindset could have predicted they would react.

    at what point does choosing to do [x] knowing that it will provoke reaction [y] make you morally culpable, in part, for the reaction?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  91. Hey nk, I’m genuinely dismayed that you seem not to have followed my link for the Birth of Venus in #48. I assumed it might be to your taste. And I mean that sincerely.

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  92. You are very persuasive, aphrael. Thank you for that eminently reasonable comment. I can see how it would have been beneficial if McConnell had left the seat open until after the election, if for no other reason than all the angst that Trump had inflicted on the country, but yes, for going against whatever McConnell had previously stated, also.

    I do have to make a distinction. Packing the court is magnitudes worse than anything that has been done before, by either side. It’s like dropping napalm on a knife fight, and it isn’t justified, in my opinion, because I honestly think the Democrats have done more to get us to this point.

    Republicans could have either torpedoed or gotten ugly with Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, or Kagan in retaliation for Bork and the farce with Thomas. They didn’t. How did the Democrats respond to this comity by the Republicans? They went underhanded again with the debacle that was the Kavanaugh hearings.

    So, on one hand we have Bork, Thomas, and Kavanaugh, and on the other we have Garland. Garland and Bork cancel each other out. They were both instances of “we’re not letting someone we disagree with on the court”. People can quibble over who got treated more shabbily. That leaves Thomas and Kavanaugh. I thought the Thomas hearings were bad, but Kavanaugh was even worse. Scrutinizing scribblings in a high school yearbook? An absolute nadir. Mao’s Red Guards would have been proud. With that history of underhandedness from the other side, I can see how McConnell felt like pushing the issue.

    Maybe it’s not best in a marriage to point out who is more at fault. I get it. Both sides need to cool off. I agree with you for the most part, and I respect you. The reason I expounded as I did was to help lefties see that there are two sides to this, that it’s not as cut and dried as they think. All they consider is the rage they feel over Garland.

    Like Kevin said above, the Court used to be 7-2 liberal. Did the Republicans pack the court in response? No. They played the long game over 30 years to get to a conservative majority. The left can do the same thing, but alas, too many are more emotional than rational, and want to bring about radical change immediately. That’s not how our republic was designed.

    norcal (01e272)

  93. @aphrael@91 Your past with your friend is your past with your friend. He was that person at the time and his importance to you and your life shouldn’t be devalued due to his later illness. Mental illness is an illness and sometimes neuro-chemistry goes awry and that sucks, especially for those who love them, but it doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a person who was important to you.

    Nic (896fdf)

  94. Hey Nic,

    You’ve been rather scarce recently. Did you recover well from the dental work?

    norcal (01e272)

  95. I watched it, Radegunda. It was rather entertaining. I’ve never seen a prettier version of Uma Thurman.

    norcal (01e272)

  96. I just came across this, and found it on point with our discussion above.

    @MittRomney
    ·
    Apr 9
    My Democrat friends decry the last president for weakening our institutions with his words and behavior but they now cheer the effort to pack the Supreme Court and end the Senate filibuster, which would forever diminish institutions at our Republic’s foundation.

    https://twitter.com/MittRomney/status/1380636138591895561

    norcal (01e272)

  97. Sorry, but I got interrupted. That recap was just a prelude, norcal. Here’s the real story.

    Joey married this young girl, moved to California, and she promptly divorced him. Like I didn’t see that coming. I warned him, but he wouldn’t listen.

    Oh, she raked him over the coals. Tore his heat out, chewed it up and spit it out. She said he was an alcoholic and a drug addict, that he abused her and molested her daughters. None of it was true, but that doesn’t matter. All she has to do is say it in open court–that’s a mandatory police investigation.

    $44,000 in legal fees and court costs later, the judge ruled he had to pay her $36,000/year in alimony and child support, and that he had to pass a drug test every month in order to have supervised visits with his two young children. This is what I’m talking about. Women, especially neurotic young women, are vicious.

    So, Joey called me. I hadn’t seen or heard from him in years, why would he call me? Because I was his only real friend, and my father was his mentor. He was crying, sobbing, depressed out of his mind–his wife had thrown him out of his house and divorced him, savagely. I told him to calm down, that I was on summer vacation and I would come to California to cheer him up.

    “You’re coming to California?” I’m coming to help you, I’ll be there in a couple of days. Next thing I know, I get round trip air tickets, McAllen to San Francisco, delivered by Federal Express. Okay, I’m thinking he really needs a friend. I mean, he’s paying for my flight and everything.

    I got on a plane and met him at the airport. He was so happy to see me, ran up and hugged me. I told him everything was going to be okay, then gave him a gift. A t-shirt that read “Purgamentum Innit, Purgamentum Exit” (Garbage In, Garbage Out). He laughed so hard he cried.

    The first thing I wanted to do was get something to eat, so he took me to Chinatown. That was a trip, because it was like going to China. Everything, everywhere was written in Chinese, even the street signs! Best Chinese food I’ve ever eaten, I will say.

    On the way to the house where he was renting a room, he stopped at this laundromat to pick up his clothes. And he locked his keys in the trunk of his car. Okay, this is great, but this is socially awkward Joey. I’m thinking, this is my summer vacation in San Francisco? Stuck in the parking lot of a laundromat in Oakland.

    It took an hour for a locksmith to arrive. He had to dismantle the door and make a key to open the trunk. Fine, just get me out of here. How much? $95. Will you take a check? No. Will you take a credit card? No. Cash only. Joey didn’t have any cash, but I had $1,000 in my pocket. (Never go anywhere without cash.) So I gave the locksmith $100, told him to keep the change.

    That, more than my ring–white gold with a real diamond at the center of the star, with a crest that reads The University of Texas–embarrassed Joey more than anything. He was a systems analyst in Silicon Valley, making $400,000/year; I was a junior high teacher in South Texas, making $40,000/year. But I had cash in my pocket for an emergency, and he did not. Talk about being humiliated.

    Joey immediately drove to the bank and withdrew $20,000, gave me $100, then drove to his rented room.

    Once there he broke down and started crying. “I can’t believe I’m divorced. I loved her!” Okay, what we need to do is get out of this room. “Where do you want to go? What do you want to do?”

    Are you kidding me? I’ve never been here in my life. You live here, and you don’t know where to go, what to do? Take me to the Chamber of Commerce.

    This is where you go when you’re in a foreign city. Hey, maps, tourist sites, brochures for hotels and restaurants, all for free. Everything you need to plot an itinerary.

    The first time I met Joey, I thought to myself ‘this guy needs to go out.’ Now I was there to rescue him, but it was the same problem. This guy needs to go out. But he didn’t know where to go!

    He drove, while I read maps and brochures. Let’s go here, let’s go there. He was paying for everything, so I picked the most exclusive sites. We toured Central California like nobody else for two weeks. All of San Francisco, from the Botanical Garden to Alcatraz, down to Carmel up to the Santa Rosa hills. Always at the best hotels and restaurants; Margaritaville to the Hog’s Breath Inn, with a stop over in the bed-and-breakfast at Meir Beach.

    Along the way, I met Danese. She was one of Joey’s coworkers, except she was a Renaissance girl. A real Renaissance girl. She had been involved in the Renaissance Project from the beginning. This was a project by University of California students to create a Renaissance Village. They built an entire village, exactly according to Renaissance blueprints. Houses, armor, clothes, everything. She played a peasant girl in high school.

    So she was the perfect tour guide for the Renaissance Village. It was like going back in time. She bought me an authentic Renaissance poet shirt. Hand sown, original pattern.

    I thought to myself, this is the woman for Joey. She’s his age, educated, intelligent, sophisticated. So when I got home, I sent her a thank-you gift for buying me an authentic poet shirt. It wasn’t much, a floral basket with coffee.

    Joey thought I was trying to steal his girlfriend. Like I could, if I would. I’m 1,400 miles away. I’m a junior high teacher. How am I going to steal his girlfriend? He’s a systems analyst in Silicon Valley, making ten times as much as me, and he’s working with and living right next to her.

    It’s ridiculous. But six weeks later they were engaged.

    I played that one like a violin.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  98. I’m sorry, Radegunda.

    nk (1d9030)

  99. I think I was busy being dismayed by the dismaying fact that renewal of the copyright of only one story from an issue of Black Mask magazine, usually in an anthology or collection, will make that entire issue unavailable as a reprint or archived digital. For Black Mask, that means all the best years from 1926 to 1936, and many, many more. And the stories of a great many writers published in those issues who have not been collected or anthologized lost to ordinary readers like me. (And it’s true for all magazines, not just Black Mask.)

    nk (1d9030)

  100. Meghan Markle’s antics remind me of a quote from a Chester Himes book (later made into a movie starring Robin Givens*) that “[light-skinned black women]** are always getting young black men into trouble”.

    *If you know the story of Robin Givens and Mike Tyson, you’ll agree she was perfect for the part.

    *Himes used a much less politically correct term for light-skinned black person which I will not quote this being not my blog and all.

    nk (1d9030)

  101. So now I have some more time to respond to the points made above.

    Starting, I guess with RBG and Scalia, both confirmed with unanimous or near unanimous votes. The question is posed, do I think that Republican senators with a sincere concern about the consequences of RBG on the Supreme Court should have voted against her ? And the answer is yes, absolutely. If they thought her position on gender equality was out of bounds, that they wanted the Virginia Military Academy to remain single sex, and that she was probably going to be too nice to gay people then vote against her and explain why. And if that’s a majority of the Senate, so be it (though I still think the imbalance of the Senate makes most of its decisions problematic)

    You guys seem to want it both ways. The political consequences of a Supreme Court Justice’s decisions are so important that an entire enormously influential conservative group, the Federalist Society, has sprung up for the sole purpose of feeding right thinking conservatives into the judiciary. But at the very same time we’re supposed to piously keep on believing that nominations are meant to be apolitical resume checking affairs, and noticing that Bork’s political positions and likely voting record is out of bounds?

    I agree that given how much Bork’s nomination was a political Big Deal, it’s peculiar that Scalia, or for that matter, RBG’s nominations weren’t. You’d have to look at the people of the time, their motivations, their resources to figure out why they were tired out by that time. Part of it was that Bork was replacing Powell, a relative moderate, but Scalia was replacing Rehnquist (who moved to CJ). The political balance of the Court wasn’t being changed by Scalia. It was by Bork. And thus there was a political fight.

    And speaking of Bork:

    So, on one hand we have Bork, Thomas, and Kavanaugh, and on the other we have Garland. Garland and Bork cancel each other out. They were both instances of “we’re not letting someone we disagree with on the court”. People can quibble over who got treated more shabbily.

    No, it’s not just a quibble. You cannot compare Bork, who was given a hearing, testimony and a vote, with Garland who was given nothing. You can’t just say “we’re not letting someone we disagree with” was the issue with both when six Republicans voted against Bork (and two Democrats for him) based on an examination of his view while with Garland…? What?

    Did Mitch say we’re not giving him a hearing because we disagree with him? Nope. He said that any nomination by a Democratic president was going to be refused. period.

    And spare me again, the theory that this saved Garland a vicious personal attack. If there was going to be a vicious personal attack on Garland it would have happened with his nomination for Atty General and yet, somehow, he survived it smiling. Obama went out of his way to find somebody against whom there wasn’t going to be any real grounds to object, which made no actual difference whatsoever.

    Republicans are simply projecting when they claim they would have given Garland the same treatment as Thomas or Kavanaugh. Garland didn’t have the personal problems of either.

    I think that leaves me to rant about Thomas and Kavanaugh which i’ll do some other time.

    I will just end with it’s simply amazing to me that after all this time, more than 35 years, conservatives still hoist Bork as up as some bloodied savaged martyr who justifies every political partisan thing that they want to do since.

    The only way Bork was wronged was when the local paper published his video rental habits. That was crappy and the paper should have been ashamed, and/or liable. But as for everything else, including Kennedy’s speech, Bork got exactly what he deserved – a scorching critique of the consequences of his legal theories.

    Victor (4959fb)

  102. At the end of Mass this morning, our pastor, the Rev Al Fritsch, SJ, recounted his one meeting with His Royal Highness, The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke was touring the National Cathedral in Washington, where Father Fritsch had some sort of display, and asked him, “Are there still a lot of stills in Appalachia?”

    “There are a few, but you can’t find them,” Father Fritsch answered.

    The Dana in Kentucky (811f17)

  103. Thomas was a man with a thin resume who denied ever discussing or thing about Roe v. Wade in testimony and who was credibly accused by a woman of sexual harassment (said woman being denied by the chair of the committee, Senator Biden, the chance to bring on supporting witnesses). Thomas’s response was to deny the accusations and accuse everybody of lynching him.

    I think he should have been rejected because to the extent he had said anything about this constitutional interpretation before, it was in favor of a very strict literalism, combined with some natural law theories, that I think would have bad consequences. I also thought his testimony re Roe was either purposely misleading or demonstrated a weird intellectual incuriousity. I am not sure if it was disqualifying in itself, but perhaps in addition to other factors.

    And given that it’s a life time position of great power I am less inclined to vote for people credibly accused of sexual harassment if there’s a choice. And I think Anita Hill was more credible than Thomas.

    Thomas since has shown that he is an original thinker which is not always a good thing, and that his vote on major cases has been, from my opinion, almost always wrong. And so I still think voting against him would have been good. As for his character, all I can say is that the current wife husband team that profits from being deeply engaged in fund raising for conservative causes on the one hand through dark money contributions to “Liberty Central” and issuing dissenting opinions staking forth pure policy diatribes on conservative causes on the other is, …problematic.

    I’ll go on and on about Kavanaugh at some other point I’m sure.

    Victor (4959fb)

  104. Victor, is originalism an extreme interpretive philosophy? Do you believe Roe has a strong constitutional foundation? Nothing in the Constitution prevents states from enacting very liberal abortion laws. Why compel states that may want to weigh the abortion question differently? At what point do justices start to create law when they expand 14A readings simply based on preferred outcomes?

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  105. Aphrael,

    are the States required to uphold the Bill of Rights?

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Which part is the state of California allowed to ignore in perpetuity because they say so?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  106. NJRob – the supreme court said thirty years ago that a facially neutral law which happens to interfere with a religious practice does not violate that clause. Scalia himself wrote the opinion.

    This was a facially neutral law. *All gatherings in homes of more than three households* were banned.

    It happened to interfere with a religious practice.

    But it should have been fine. The Supreme Court already said that, decades ago.

    What we’ve ended up with here is that religious activity is now *singled out for favorable treatment*. California believed that in-home mingling with members of more than three households constituted a sufficient public health threat to ban such mingling in all cases, but the Supreme Court said — even though you have evidence that it’s a public threat, you have to allow it if it’s religious.

    It would be one thing if California had singled out religion for disfavorable treatment. California, in this case, did not. The Supreme Court inferred imaginary disfavorable treatment where none existed.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  107. It should be singled out for favorable treatment, just like the media is singled out for protection. They are both enshrined in the first amendment.

    I thought as someone whose attitudes lean left, you’d look at the disparate impact of the “facially neutral law” and realize it victimizes the religious more than others so it isn’t actually neutral.

    When does an emergency end and oppression begin?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  108. I’m hoping the Supreme Court rules 6-3 that packing the Supreme Court is unconstitutional. I’m sur they could find an argument at least as compelling as Roe.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 4/10/2021 @ 9:54 pm

    Since the number of SC justices are set by statute, and the Constitution says nothing about the number of members, on what grounds could it be unconstitutional? The number of justices has varied between six and ten before nine was set in 1869.

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  109. Do you believe Roe has a strong constitutional foundation? Nothing in the Constitution prevents states from enacting very liberal abortion laws. Why compel states that may want to weigh the abortion question differently? At what point do justices start to create law when they expand 14A readings simply based on preferred outcomes?

    The ostensible foundation for Roe is the Ninth Amendment, not the Fourteenth, isn’t it?

    Suppose a state passed a law making all newborn children wards of the state until 18 years of age, with no parental contact during that time permitted. Nothing in the constitution guarantees you the right to raise your own kids, so would such laws have to be upheld under the “originalist” philosophy that would also uphold state bans on birth control, abortion, etc?

    Dave (1bb933)

  110. on what grounds could it be unconstitutional?

    In the past, Kevin has espoused a fanciful theory that anything done “long enough” becomes equivalent to a constitutional provision, and therefore no longer within the power of legislators to alter.

    Dave (1bb933)

  111. it victimizes the religious more than others

    How does it victimize the religious more than card players, sports fans, BDSM enthusiasts or Tupperware agents?

    Dave (1bb933)

  112. Wrong argument, wrong standard. The government can victimize card players, sports fans, BDSM enthusiasts or Tupperware agents for any rational (that’s as in not insane) reason. It can only victimize the religious for a compelling governmental interest using the least restrictive means.

    Scalia’s opinion “that-a musharoomas are-a for-a marinara, wine-a is-a for-a communion” doesn’t go much further than the facts of that case, not to mention that it’s been pretty much made obsolescent by the RFRAs that it triggered as acknowledged in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

    nk (1d9030)

  113. I may not have been accurate to call Thomas more originalist than other justices. It’s just that his opinions and dissents (to my memory, I don’t pretend to have done an exhaustive study) is more littered with analyses of 17th and 18th Century thinking than others.

    My problem with originalism generally is that, at one level it’s so well accepted as to be noncontroversial. When interpreting any text, Constitution or statute, you begin with the text and the meaning of the words. In trying to determine the meaning of the equal protection clause, you have to think about what “equal” means.

    But at the level often used by conservative legal theorists, originalism becomes this straight jacket. We are to interpret “equal protection” only as people in 1868 would have applied it to situations around them. And because they didn’t think women were equal human beings, there’s no reason we need to. My view is that people who write constitutions know that the words they use will have different meanings in different times, and that different situations will arise which will need to consider at ever more abstract levels what is meant by a term. Today, to claim that discriminating against women would be allowed pursuant to ‘equal protection of the laws” simply doesn’t make sense.

    And that leaves my final problem with the originalism practiced by today’s legal conservatives. It’s inconsistent. It shows up when it’s convenient. Many are well practiced at insulting Douglas for finding a generalized right to privacy that is implied by various specific rights to speech, and security in person and goods, and whose existence is consistent with the 9th Amendment. Mostly because he used as unfortunate expression “penumbras formed by emanations” to describe the idea.

    But when Roberts creates, out of his own head and some mangled 19th Century precedent the emanation of equal state sovereign dignitude to justify, in Shelby County, gutting the Voting Rights Act, and ignoring the 15th Amendment in the process which gave Congress the right to protect voting rights. Oh, well then, who cares about originalism when a Justice can decide for himself what’s reasonable or not. And notably Thomas voted with Roberts on that.

    And even when both sides engage in the entertaining spectacle of figuring out what 18th Century lawyers really and truly thought words meant, it’s not like this is suddenly going to be the shining light making it all clear. Lawyers and judges are not necessarily particularly good historians. They, like everybody else, have a tendency to cherry pick. Stevens and Scalia tangled on the question of whether the prefatory clause to the Second Amendment means anything in interpreting the rest of it. I personally think Stevens had the better of the history, but of course both sides had reams of material to pick through to find the phrases that meant they were right.

    So, no, not a big fan of “orginalism” as currently urged on us. And this doesn’t even get to the point that most Republican politicians couldn’t give an useful analysis of originalism or point to cases that did or did not exemplify it if you put a gun to their head. It’s just a label used to describe results they don’t like.

    As for Roe, here’s Blackmun’s explanation of the constitutional basis.

    The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U. S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right in the First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U. S. 557, 564 (1969); in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1, 8-9 (1968), Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347, 350 (1967), Boyd v. United States, 116 U. S. 616 (1886), see Olmstead v. United States, 277 U. S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting); in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. at 484-485; in the Ninth Amendment, id. at 486 (Goldberg, J., concurring); or in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, see Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390, 399 (1923). These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed “fundamental” or “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U. S. 319, 325 (1937), are included in this guarantee of personal privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U. S. 535, 541-542 (1942); contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. at 453-454; id. at 460, 463-465 (WHITE, J., concurring in result); family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U. S. 158, 166 (1944); and childrearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v. Nebraska, supra.

    This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

    I guess I will save getting angry all over again about Kavanaugh for another time.

    Victor (4959fb)

  114. How many more hundreds of thousands of dead people and trillions of economic costs would it take for stopping the pandemic to become a compelling government interest?

    Dave (1bb933)

  115. NJRob and aphrael: As far as I am concerned, the decision in Tandon v Newsom is slightly helpful, but does not go far enough. The Court said, basically, that Governor Newsom’s executive order couldn’t stand because it burdened religion more greatly than secular gatherings, but put forth the notion that, if the regulation were well-written enough and survived strict scrutiny, the State would have the authority to regulate whom you allowed to enter your own home.

    That, I believe, is wholly wrong. Why should Governor Newsom, or, in my case, Governor Beshear, have any right, any authority to say to whom I may open my own door? Have we lost our right of peaceable assembly? Have our rights to privacy been destroyed?

    From the unsigned Per Curiam order:

    (N)arrow tailoring requires the government to show that measures less restrictive of the First Amendment activity could not address its interest in reducing the spread of COVID. Where the government permits other activities to proceed with precautions, it must show that the religious exercise at issue is more dangerous than those activities even when the same precautions are applied.

    This paragraph accepts the idea that the government’s “interest in reducing the spread of COVID” extends into the individual homes of the American people; the decision simply holds that California’s orders were not well-written enough.

    If the State has the authority to regulate to whom I may open my own door, does the State not also have the right to order us to wear masks in our own homes? If the government’s interest in reducing the spread of disease extends into the homes of private individuals, would not the State have the right to require people to wear condoms during sex? If the State’s interest in public health can extend into our homes, would not the State have the right to say what we must cook and eat, and what we must not?

    I am happy to state that we violated Governor Beshear’s authoritarian decrees on both Thanksgiving and Christmas (he ordered no more than ten persons, from no more than two households, be allowed to gather, and had a state snitch line set up so that the sheeple could report violators), and had the Governor himself showed up at the door, I would have given him the finger and told him to get the f(ornicate) off my property.

    The Dana in Kentucky (811f17)

  116. NJRob — if members of three households gathering in a home is a public health threat because of the risk that they will infect each other and that the infected will then go on to infect others, how is that risk any less serious just because the gathering happens to be religious?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  117. > It can only victimize the religious for a compelling governmental interest using the least restrictive means.

    There’s clearly a compelling governmental interest in preventing or reducing community spread of a novel zoonotic virus that kills between three and seven people out of every thousand who are infected, and which can be spread by people before they are symptomatic (and therefore before they are aware they are infected).

    Given that the virus had only been present in humans for roughly on the order of thirteen months at the time this particular issue ordered, there hadn’t been sufficient time to do the research to determine what the least restrictive effective means would be. Taking the time to do that research would *in and of itself* interfere with and frustrate the compelling government interest.

    Given a facially neutral law which did not discriminate against religion in any way, under these circumstances, strict scrutiny was satisfied.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  118. My good friend aphrael wrote:

    Given a facially neutral law which did not discriminate against religion in any way, under these circumstances, strict scrutiny was satisfied.

    Four members of the Supreme Court agreed with you, but five Justices did not.

    Senator Mitch McConnell gave us Justices Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett; I have np doubt at all that had Merrick Garland and whomever Joe Biden would have nominated had Mr McConnell not forced through Justice Barrett been on the Court, the Supreme Court would have approved of the State regulating who and how many people you can invite into your home.

    The Dana in Kentucky (811f17)

  119. Just wanted to bring the conversation back from card players, sports fans, BDSM enthusiasts and Tupperware agents. When “congregation” is another word for “church” (yes, it is), and without congregation there is no church, discrimination is a red herring.

    nk (1d9030)

  120. But when it’s obvious on its face, like in the Las Vegas where churches were treated more harshly than casinos, it does make the court’s job easier.

    nk (1d9030)

  121. The original framing of Roe drew on the 1st, 5th, 9th, and 14th and the notion of “zones of privacy”, loosely leveraging the notion of marital privacy used in the Griswold contraception case. Later in Casey, the “reliance issues” were attached to the 14A, and abortion access could not be unduly burdened by the state. Most constitutional scholars have a problem with Roe’s basic reasoning. Here’s some notable quotes from the Left:

    In the Yale Law Journal, eminent legal scholar John Hart Ely, a supporter of legal abortion, complained that Roe is “bad constitutional law, or rather … it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”

    Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard law professor: “One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”

    Edward Lazarus, former clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun: “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose. … Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the … years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.”

    Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor: “Judges have no special competence, qualifications, or mandate to decide between equally compelling moral claims (as in the abortion controversy). … [C]lear governing constitutional principles … are not present [in Roe].”

    Michael Kinsley, columnist, writing in the Washington Post: “Although I am pro-choice, I was taught in law school, and still believe, that Roe v. Wade is a muddle of bad reasoning and an authentic example of judicial overreaching.”

    The problem was that the Court did not establish a historical/textual basis for why abortion should be considered a fundamental right….and why other issues of privacy necessarily were relevant to abortion being swept in. Roe was not derived from Constitutional text, history, tradition, structure or precedent. With such foundation, such a matter needs to be left to the democratic processes of the state, especially since the state has a quite reasonable interest in protecting fetal life. To Dave’s point of whether state’s could snatch newborns…I think it trivial to show that such a right…to maintain custody of one’s children… has deep historical roots/tradition…in part shown by the significant process that the state must give to remove children from their parent’s custody. No comparison.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  122. Bork vs. Burke – A Dilemma For Conservatives
    ……..
    In addition to calling for a ramping up of censorship to levels not tolerated by the courts for at least sixty years, (in Slouching Towards Gomorrah, Bork argued that we must adopt extensive censorship of violent and sexually explicit media in order to combat social pathologies such as crime, welfare dependency, and illegitimacy), Bork also argues for the near-abolition of judicial review, an institution that has grown over two hundred years. In his 1989 book, The Tempting of America, Bork argues that even the relatively restrained Supreme Court of John Marshall’s era went too far in striking down legislation. In Slouching Towards Gomorrah (1996), Bork put forward a proposal to allow Congress to override judicial decisions striking down statutes by a simple majority vote. More broadly, Bork, in Slouching, rejects much of the last three hundred years of developments in in intellectual history of liberal democracy. He attacks the great thinkers of the Enlightenment, the Declaration of Independence, and John Stuart Mill for their emphasis on the importance of protecting individual liberty. The Declaration’s invocation of the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is, according to Bork, “pernicious” if “taken . . . as a guide to action, governmental or private”………

    Both Bork’s call for drastic changes in current policy and institutions, and his rejection of much of the Western tradition of individual liberty are seriously at odds with Burkean conservatism.

    Not all conservatives go as far as Bork in urging radical change. However, many do support major divergences from status quo policies. This poses a difficult dilemma for those who also claim to be followers of the Burkean presumption against drastic change and in favor of tradition. By now, many of the policies that social conservatives want to alter have been in place for decades, long enough to become “traditions” in even a strong Burkean sense. Consider, for example, conservative proposals to make divorce far more difficult, ban most abortions, and privatize Social Security – all of which would drastically alter longstanding important policies. One can advocate a robust social conservative agenda, as Bork does, or one can advocate Burkean deference to tradition and a strong presumption against radical change. But it’s hard to consistently advocate both at the same time.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  123. Victor, certainly historical context matters…it’s at least a data point, right? I would agree that Thomas frequently out-punts his coverage…as to what originalist analysis can show/prove/require. But, it’s unfair to claim that more-conservative justices ONLY do originalism (as that would really surprise critics of Robert’s NFIB opinion). Sometimes matters are lost to history or are difficult to extrapolate to modernity (i.e., some of Scalia’s specific conclusions in Heller), and so other analyses may play a more central role. But you yourself seem quite results oriented…as if the Constitution is like a Magic 8-Ball…that you keep shaking until you get the result you like. I question ANY constitutional philosophy that would never take a justice away from his preferred political result. This is my return volley at Living Constitutionalism….is that it becomes free reign to modernize language and extrapolate without much of any constraint…..almost making Article V nugatory. Why bother to garner the super-majority to change the Constitution when all you need to do is get 5 of 9 to rationalize that something is there even though most can’t see it? We’re all guilty of motivated reasoning to a degree….our guys are right….their guys are horribly misguided (and should be publicly shamed!)…but we need to fight the impulse to make the court even more political (court packing or the Garland/Coney-Barrett hypocrisy). Let democracy do its thing. Let’s make Congress functional…or else we just encourage judicial legislating and executive over-reach. But first we have to admit that we have a problem….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  124. @123. Church vs. casinos. We know what Americans worship: the most profitable place to fleece the flock.

    Reaganomics. 😉

    “In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose. In the end, we get it all.” – Ace Rothstein [Robert DeNiro] ‘Casino’ 1995

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  125. @norcal@97 Hi Norcal. The dental work is ongoing through next week, so it’s a process. Work’s been a little crazy, kids back onsite and my parallel coworker has been out with an injury so I’m doing my work and all of her onsite stuff AND we are deep in planning for next year, so I’ve been busy busy with work. Plus there’s been some family stuff where I’m sometimes on the phone for 2-3 hrs at night (nothing over the top serious, it’s just that I’m the family person who pours oil on troubled waters and also everyone knows that I’m still awake after 10, so if they need to talk to someone at 10:30…). Ah well, this too shall pass. 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  126. Dave (1bb933) — 4/11/2021 @ 8:49 am

    The ostensible foundation for Roe is the Ninth Amendment, not the Fourteenth, isn’t it?

    They could have made it the Ninth amendment, but they left it hanging on whether it was the Ninth or the Fourteenth. The Ninth had some logic, but it depended upon on what you thought of abortion. I think Justice Blackmun, pr maybe his colleagues. didn’t want to use the 9th amendment because you could use it to say just about anything was a fundamental right and they didn’t want to create the precedent. Nevertheless, it is true that certain things probably belong there – like the right of parents to raise their children, This is actually a real issue and courts I think don’t want to get into it. But there’s too much foster care, and it is often decided arbitrarily. Similarly there’s the right to have children. The Supreme Court has rested that on something else, and avoided using the Ninth amendment.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  127. There’s a extensive discussion on the opinion of abortion and the history of abortion law in Roe v Wade/ Justice Blackmun really wants to lean to the idea that it wasn’t really ethicall

    https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/ll/usrep/usrep410/usrep410113/usrep410113.pdf

    I think you can argue that a fraud was played on the court in Roe v Wade, (and this would be strong grounds for reversing it) in that it was argued that there was no widely held moral opposition to abortion, at least as far as the fetus was concerned until about 1870, and that the laws against abortion were not passed for ethical or moral reasons, but at most, to protect the mother from a dangerous procedure, which was no longer the case.

    Then you can argue that in 1789, it would have been considered a fundamental right that, however, nobody had gotten around to thinking of violating.

    This was actually where Justice Blackmun was going but he stopped short.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  128. Aphrael,

    I agree with the point you’re making. What’s really happening is that in its lunge to protect religious liberty the Court (through unsigned shadow docket per curiam pronouncements) is deciding for itself whether gathering in a hardware store (relatively short periods of time, more room for social distancing, better ventilation, more likely to wear masks among strangers) is or is not more dangerous, as a pure question of science, than gathering in a living room.

    This is basically Lochnerizing with liberty of religion replacing liberty of contract. The Court is now our Board of Health to tell us how dangerous congregating is.

    AJ

    Two points . First I am not claiming that Roe was closely reasoned. But if you accept that there is a zone of privacy implicated by the Bill of Rights, natural law and preexisting concepts of individual autonomy that could be recognized under the 9th Amendment (and I do) then a right to determine whether you give birth or not seems pretty well included.

    You, and Bork, don’t accept that there is a constitutionally protected zone of privacy, pointing out that there’s nothing explicit to that end in Constitution (Bork famously compared the 9th Amendment to an inkblot). It’s a reasonable point of view, but I don’t think it’s a good one. Most people think they have a right to individual privacy. My guess is that the Framers would have thought this was a matter of course, though as all men the idea that women might have particular views on the point would have probably escaped them. My view is that the Constitutional language is ambiguous enough to support finding it, and if Congress has a problem they can pass a Constitutional amendment, or the population can insist on Justices that change the decision. Which they may or may not be doing right now.

    You seem to think that anything other than strict originalism is unconstrained. This seems kind of pessimistic. When Holmes and Brandeis were giving flesh to the First Amendment they did so on the basis of a reasoned explanation of how the First Amendment should operate in our country. Their reasoning is judged by whether it makes sense and resonates with important values that the Framers had and we continue to have. They didn’t make their opinions purely a ransacking of the private diaries of the Framers to see what if anything they might have felt about the Communist Manifesto or newspaper taxes if the issues had been presented to them.

    Saying that using policy, logic and popular understanding to explicate more fully the meaning of ambiguous language is out of bounds is to give up on reason. It is to say we can’t judge between some arguments and others.

    In the other comments you can see an argument about the meaning of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion. Figuring out which is right requires modern knowledge of epidemics, modern understanding of the importance of small group religious gatherings, modern comprehension of the conditions of modern retail. What the Framers can give us in addition is the understanding that protecting freedom of religion is vital along with the understanding that keeping government and society functioning is also vital.

    I keep postponing Kavanaugh. Oh well. I will tell you that although I would have voted against him because I don’t like his likely theories of constitutional interpretation it was absolutely clear that he didn’t have the character to be a Justice when he made this statement in testimony:

    This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about president trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups. This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. This grotesque, character assassination will dissuade confident and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country and as we all know in the political system of the early 2000s, what goes around comes around.

    Victor (4959fb)

  129. About two years later, I get another phone call from Joey. He was getting married, and he wanted me to be his best man.

    I was in graduate school at the time, not teaching, not on summer vacation, living off student loans. So, I told him I couldn’t afford to fly to San Francisco.

    The marriage was being held at his mother’s house in El Paso, he said. Yeah, well, that’s about an eleven hour drive from San Marcos, one way. I can’t make that trip.

    “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything,” he said. Next thing I know, I come home from college, and there’s round trip plane tickets, from Austin to El Paso, delivered by Federal Express.

    Okay, this is short notice. The best man is supposed to give a gift to the bride and groom, right? But what was I supposed to arrive with in less than 24 hours? I didn’t have any money for anything like this.

    SI packed my best clothes in a travel bag and got on a plane. I didn’t have much time or money to buy a gift, so I thought the most I could do was write a poem.

    Renaissance poet’s shirt, faded jeans, rough-out boots, that’s what I was wearing when I got on the plane. I also had a notepad clipped to an artist’s palette. (The best pick up tool ever!) I sat down, buckled in, and began writing a poem.

    Writing a poem takes time. A poem is not something you just make up. It’s a craft that requires careful planning. You begin with verse structure, meter, rhythm, rime, phrases, words of choice. At first, it’s just random thoughts.

    I’m sitting there, making notes, working on my poem, and this slender young blonde comes up, throws her bag in the overhead, and sits down right across from me.

    She had a salad in a plastic box, which she practically inhaled. She ate that salad in less than a minute! Then, she took some vitamins out of her purse and drank them with a bottle of water.

    I didn’t say anything, just thought to myself, this girl is really into dieting, and kept working on my poem.

    “Are you an artist?,” she suddenly asked. “In a word,” I said.

    And so it begins, the romance. Men do not pick up women; women pick out men. Why this woman picked me out is beyond understanding, but it’s all in how you play it.

    She introduced herself, I introduced myself, reached across the aisle and shook her hand. (First contact is of primary importance.)

    I then went back to working on my poem, acting like she wasn’t there. “I’m in your newspaper,” she said.

    Now, it wasn’t my newspaper. It was a copy of the Dallas Morning News that some previous flyer had left in the seat next to mine. But there she was, in a half-page ad for Dillard’s, wearing a sexy black dress, smiling in a pose with her leg bent up like a hook. She’s a pop model.

    “Do you like working for Dillard’s?” I asked. “Don’t be silly,” she said, “I work for an agency. I’m on my way to a shoot in LA.”

    Okay, she’s a professional model. She works a circuit, travelling from city to city, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, wherever she’s needed for a picture. And I’m in an awkward situation.

    First, I wasn’t really appropriately dressed to meet a beautiful young woman. Second, I was sitting across from her, not beside her. If I had planned this encounter, I’d have been in a suit with a colorful tie, sitting to her left. But in that case, she probably would have ignored me. A young woman like her meets well dressed men all the time, and only dates the ones she likes. In this case, she initiated the conversation. The problem was, how to continue it?

    Simple. Ignore her. Keep working on the poem. That is what I was on the plane for in the first place, not to meet a model.

    She kept talking. “I like your shirt.” Asking questions. “What are you writing?” The key is to never answer a question directly. I explained that a friend had asked me to be the best man at his wedding, on short notice, and that since I didn’t have time to buy a gift, I thought I would write a poem for him and her at their wedding. She liked that.

    To keep her talking, I asked her a question. “Do you fly to LA often?” And off she went, on and on, talking about modelling and travelling. See, here’s the thing. As a man, you do not talk to women. You talk with women. There are no lines–all lines are lame; there are no come ons–all come ons are clumsy; there can be no pre-assumptions or preconditions–all those are preposterous. No demands, no pressure, just let her talk, because that’s what she wants to do, talk.

    Do not reveal anything about yourself. Answer questions with questions, or observe the emotion she’s experiencing and say, “So what you’re telling me is . . .” and paraphrase what she just told you. Tilt your head to the left; it makes her feel like you’re really listening. When you do speak to her, look up and focus on the bridge of her nose; it makes her feel like you’re looking in her eyes. (Body language, it’s important.)

    It was a short flight from Austin to El Paso, but in the course of an hour, she told my everything about her, her life, modelling, travelling. Where she was from, how she grew up, who her parents were and what they did for a living. Her whole life story.

    When we landed, I helped her with her carry-on luggage. And as we were de-boarding the plane, do you know what she said to me? “You’re the most interesting man I’ve ever met.”

    ?! She knew my name, my first name. She knew I was a graduate student, but not at what university. She knew I was writing a poem for a friend’s wedding. That was it. She knew nothing about me. Where I was from, how I grew up, who my parents were, that my family owned a major real estate corporation, I didn’t reveal any of that. I just let her talk.

    To her, I was a poet on a plane. And I’m the most interesting man she’s ever met? Then she gave me the phone number of her friend’s house she was staying at over the weekend. “Call me.”

    Unbelievable, but not quite unpredictable. It’s the mystery that gets her every time.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  130. Victor (4959fb) — 4/11/2021 @ 2:03 pm

    whether gathering in a hardware store (relatively short periods of time, more room for social distancing, better ventilation, more likely to wear masks among strangers) is or is not more dangerous, as a pure question of science, than gathering in a living room.

    There’s another difference. In a house, particularly for a regularly scheduled religious service, it’s the same people over and over again, which could be more dangerous, and resemble the situation on a cruise ship or a meatpacking plant. The cases could gradually get worse as several different asymptomatic or mild cases could seed the air.

    But they are not using any kind of thinking like that. And the only reason they didn’t prohibit people from the same household from gathering is because they considered that a lost cause. There’s atendency not to pay attention to the degree of exposure.

    The issue is likely to be moot in a week or two.

    This is basically Lochnerizing with liberty of religion replacing liberty of contract. The Court is now our Board of Health to tell us how dangerous congregating is.

    The Board of Health, or rather the Governor, was exercising value judgments.

    It must be noted it is a stronger imposition on people than many other lockdown restrictions.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  131. Gawain’s Ghost: You asked good questions and showed you understood her answers.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  132. You would only escape a background check at a gun show if you bought from a seller who isn’t federally licensed.

    Also if you buy a kit. A newspaper story says they have been around since the 1990s, attracted some attention in 2009, more in 2013, still more in 2016 and are really taking off now.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/us/politics/ghost-guns-explainer.html

    Ghost guns aren’t new, but they are a growing problem. Even though kits to assemble guns have been sold since the 1990s, the market did not really take off until around 2009. At the time, firearm sellers in California began offering unfinished receivers for the AR-15 and AK-47 series of guns, in an attempt to circumvent the state’s assault weapons laws, according to T. Christian Heyne, the vice president for policy at the Brady United Against Gun Violence organization.

    The problem of ghost guns did not become well known until 2013, when one was linked to a shooting at Santa Monica College in California, which killed six people, including the gunman.

    Sales of ghost guns started to rise substantially around 2016, as people began buying kits to recreate a firearm based on the Glock 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol….In cities, those numbers are rising at what the authorities say is an alarming rate every year. Proponents of stricter gun laws have been pushing for action on ghost guns to address the growing problem before it becomes a full-blown catastrophe.

    In Philadelphia, for instance, 250 ghost guns were recovered in 2020, up from 99 in 2019. In Baltimore, 126 ghost guns were recovered last year, up from 29 in 2019…

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  133. “But if you accept that there is a zone of privacy implicated by the Bill of Rights….then a right to determine whether you give birth or not seems pretty well included.”

    Based on what specifically? Maybe we can agree that not all private actions by themselves implicate fundamental rights. Think here, drug use or child pornography certainly don’t qualify. So, a fundamental right would be…from 1997…one that is “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions” so that you could show evidence that they have long been respected by governments of all levels. Think here Dave’s example of taking away your kids for no compelling reason….others might include self defense and interstate travel. So this is the level of inquiry that fails in Roe because we have a century of evidence of the practice being restricted and regulated….and prior to that we had a lack of good scientific information about fetal development that must be considered. Again, your argument is with Professors Tribe and Dershowitz who also don’t see abortion deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. So, no, I don’t think it is pretty well included.

    “the Constitutional language is ambiguous enough to support finding it”

    However, I’m guessing you just can’t find an individual right to self defense in the 2A. It’s funny how that works. Again this type of discovery is the fruit of the Lochner tree that is universally decried…but we’ve moved from freedom of contract to….you know….defining rights on the side of a cultural war. It’s no less arbitrary.

    “explicate more fully the meaning of ambiguous language is out of bounds is to give up on reason”

    The idea that courts have broad authority to grant rights and authorize new governmental powers because they just want to do good….and that we the people must use Article V…a steep climb…to try and reel them in….has the whole Constitutional structure inverted. The Court…being un-elected and unanswerable….has to be the weakest link…and Congress should have the strongest presumption. I don’t want to be ruled by the whims of nine Justices….it’s unclear why you think their opinions on abortion are any more wise or right than anyone else’s….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  134. That didn’t hold up as well as the first ten. The Eleventh Commandment. Reagan’s “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican”.

    Trump. Yet another event this weekend where he demands absolute allegiance to… himself… or it’s attack, attack, attack.

    noel (9fead1)

  135. Good points, AJ_Liberty.

    Dave (1bb933)

  136. Trump is a Republican like Bruce Jenner is a woman.

    Dave (1bb933)

  137. I met Joey at the airport. He drove to the hotel where he had reserved a room for me. It was nice, a luxury suite. Then he gave me the keys to a rental car, a Malibu parked outside, and $500, in case I needed to go anywhere. Like I had or knew anywhere to go in El Paso, a city I had never been in before.

    “I’ve got some things to do for the wedding,” he said. “I’ll be back at 10:00 for the bachelor’s party.”

    “You’re just going to leave me here?” I exclaimed. “Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered,” he said. “You’ve got a fully stocked bar and all-you-can-watch porn on TV, prepaid.” And he left me alone.

    Booze and porn, are you freaking kidding me? What does this guy think I’m going to do, get drunk and masturbate and wait? But that’s Joey, for you. He didn’t have a clue.

    The first time I saw porn was in high school, when I was sixteen. There were these two brothers, who lived on a ranch outside of town. Their parents had gone away for the weekend, and so they decided to throw a party, everyone was invited. I showed up, and there were like 30 girls in the living room, standing around.

    “Hey, girls. Where all the guys?” I couldn’t believe I was the only boy at the party. They shook their heads and pointed down the hallway. I walked to a room and opened the door. Inside this dark room were all the guys, watching porn and rubbing their crotches.

    It was some black-and-white Swedish film in 16 mm, shown on a wall. Basically, it was two people screwing, with no context, just cheap porn.

    Now, what would you do in that situation? Here’s a dark room with a group of guys, watching porn and rubbing their crotches. Down the hall there’s a group of girls, bored out of their minds and somewhat disgusted. I don’t know what you would do, but I shut the door and walked back to the living room. “Hey, girls. Let’s have some fun.” Put on some music and dance. I ended up making out with five girls that night, while the guys stayed in the dark, watching cheap porn and rubbing their crotches.

    Given that history, what would you do in the current situation? Alone in a luxury suite, with a car and $500 cash, but nothing to do other than drink booze and watch porn. What would you do?

    I don’t know what you would do, but I called the model. DUH!

    “I’m so glad you called.” I explained that my friend had dropped me off at this hotel and asked if she and her friend would like to have dinner. “Where are you staying?” I told her, and she said, “Well be there in five minutes.”

    Five minutes! That didn’t give me any time to change clothes or freshen up, make myself presentable. I mean, this was a date, but all I could do was splash on some cologne before, knock knock, they were at the door.

    I invited them in, and she introduced her friend, another model, a brunette. “I’ve heard so much about you,” she said. ?! What could she possibly have heard? Her friend didn’t know anything about me! I didn’t ask, just showed them the suite, led them to the bar and asked if they would like a drink.

    Now, what kind of drink would you prepare? For two young models. Well, if you’re an experienced bartender, like me, you’d make them Orgasms.

    I learned this recipe from an old bartender when I was in college. You won’t find it in very many mixology guides, it’s kind of a secret, but it’s very simple. Build over ice: 6 oz cream, a half shot each of Kahlua, Amaretto, and Baily’s Irish Cream; shake, strain and serve with a small straw. Women love it.

    We talked for a short while. I kept the conversation casual, said that I was new in town, didn’t know El Paso, and asked where they would like to go, what they would like to eat. They recommended Red Lobster, which was fine by me. I like lobster. We enjoyed a delicious meal, some wine, and a delightful conversation.

    Then her friend suggested we go clubbing. “I know a place,” she said. It was an exclusive, members only club, the kind you don’t know about unless you know. Very sophisticated.

    If you had told me, when I got on the plane in the morning, wearing rough out boots, jeans and a Renaissance poet shirt, that by the evening I would be walking into a private club, wearing the same outfit, with two young models, I would have said you were out of your mind. That just doesn’t happen. It happened.

    “He’s with us,” they said at the door. “He’s a poet,” they explained to the doorman, because there was a strict dress policy at the club, formal, suits and ties only. I was horribly underdressed. There is no way I could have gotten past the door, dressed as I was–even if I were a preferred member–but with two young models, I walked right in.

    I ordered a bottle of champagne at the bar, and we laughed and talked and danced. Everyone was staring at me, because I was so out place, but the models giggled and said, “Don’t pay any attention to them. You’re with us.”

    Okay, we were just having fun. It was an enjoyable evening, one like no other, but I had explained to them that I needed to be back at the hotel by 10:00, for the bachelor’s party. So we had to leave early.

    When we got to the hotel, I thanked them for their company, said I had a really good time. “Do you an escort for the wedding?” asked the one. I said, well it’s an informal wedding, being held at his mother’s backyard, and I don’t want to bother you. “It’ll be fun,” she smiled. “I’d love to go with you. See you tomorrow around 11:00.”

    Okay, I would be proud to have you as an escort. Thank you for volunteering your time. She gave me a kiss on the cheek, and they left.

    I went into the hotel, then Joey showed up with some guys. I didn’t know these guys, or how Joey came to know them. They were probably friends of his mother, guys he met while planning the wedding. But I invited them in, got behind the bar and started mixing drinks. They sat down and started watching porn.

    This is a bachelor’s party? Well, it was Joey’s bachelor party. I shook my head and thought to myself, I just walked away from two young models and a private party, to stand in a hotel room with a group of guys, whose idea of fun was to get drunk and watch porn. It was painful, the irony.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  138. 139. Trump is a Republican like Bruce Jenner is a woman.

    By choice.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  139. OK. I realize that I am on the other end of the spectrum. I think two paragraphs is a long post. It’s the advertising background, I guess. But, what is this?

    I started counting the number of words in just one of Gawain’s Ghost’s posts and stopped after four hundred. And some of you other guys are almost keeping up with him on that front.

    It’s not my site, but really? I am not sure why this is happening here. But I know enough about marketing to know that almost nobody is going to read it.

    noel (9fead1)

  140. (Raises hand.) Noel, I enjoy every word from Gawain’s Ghost. Besides, this is the weekend open thread, and, gentleman that he is, has waited until the weekend to continue his story.

    Don’t you love good stories?

    It’s not my blog, either, but I appreciate a break from politics once in a while.

    norcal (01e272)

  141. GG,

    This is tremendous stuff. I laughed hard at her statement that you were so interesting when you hardly said anything!

    norcal (01e272)

  142. 51 years ago today, Odyssey’s odyssey began…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mntGiDejBE

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  143. Do not be dissuaded, GG.

    People can find political bickering in less than two paragraphs virtually anywhere. Your writing is golden.

    norcal (01e272)

  144. Nic @128,

    Good luck with the continued dental work, and I hope that your busy busy is a good busy busy.

    Ah, so you’re the type on the receiving end of the drink and dial. You are doing God’s work. 🙂

    norcal (01e272)

  145. AJ_Liberty, aphrael, and Victor,

    I was educated by reading your exchanges, and I’m beginning to feel that I am out of my league. I am not a lawyer, and I haven’t followed the history of the Supreme Court closely enough to opine any further at this point.

    I apologize for my heated rhetoric and for inflaming tensions. I am determined to be more civil henceforth.

    norcal (01e272)

  146. 1000 word posts. You are killing readership. Other than that, no problem. Have at it.

    noel (9fead1)

  147. noel,

    “Killing” is a tad strong, don’t you think?

    A couple of key strokes and you’re past it, if you don’t like stories.

    norcal (01e272)

  148. Nobody reads that stuff. Sorry if it hurts feelings. I truly am. But NOBODY reads that kind of post. Period.

    I know marketing. If this makes everyone here mad at me, so be it.

    noel (9fead1)

  149. LOL it’s comment 151 on Sunday man. Of course no one’s reading it. We’re all a bunch of geeks. this is the rare place where there aren’t 100 ads and it’s not tied to facebook and there’s no clickbait. I liked the storytelling but let’s agree it is not good marketting.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  150. Who said the goal was market share? If that were the goal, I’m sure Patterico would be on the Trump Train or the Biden Bandwagon.

    This is a community, and it’s okay if some storytelling takes place on an open thread. If it were put to a vote, I suspect you would be in the minority, noel. I know that at a minimum Dustin, JVW, Sammy Finkelman, and I like GG’s stories.

    It’s a Sunday night, and it’s usually this dead or more.

    norcal (01e272)

  151. And, DCSCA had a story that I consider one of his best contributions.

    norcal (01e272)

  152. Suicide. And it’s not just on Sunday. The comments are getting ridiculously long. Russian bots couldn’t ruin a site faster than some of you.

    A friend of mine had to give a speech a couple weeks ago to a large gathering of executives from a corporation you all are familiar with. They gave him a little more than one minute to give a “meaningful” speech. One minute. My friend’s was one of the best I have ever heard.

    When they gave him the assignment, they told him that “There is a reason Twitter limits their characters to 280”.

    noel (9fead1)

  153. I don’t like hurting feelings. I really don’t. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think it necessary. When someone reads this site and they see the comments are up to 800 words each… they are gone. If you want a blog of six followers, you are on the right track.

    Do you really not realize this?

    noel (9fead1)

  154. noel,

    If the goal were to compete with Twitter, then you would be right. I would argue that the brevity of Twitter degrades discourse.

    You don’t like long comments. I get it. Feel free to tap the down key a couple times.

    Apparently many people on here enjoy making long comments.

    Some people rip on Dana for not addressing topics they like. You can’t prescribe content or comments.

    norcal (01e272)

  155. Also, just because people’s attention spans are shorter these days doesn’t mean that everybody has to cater to it.

    norcal (01e272)

  156. You can either appeal to ten thousand or ten. Your choice.

    noel (9fead1)

  157. Well, I guess Patterico could set character limits if he saw fit.

    Also, you could use the blocking script for commenters who are lengthy. That way, you’d only see the laconic commenters.

    I used to be quite brief in my comments, but as I’ve come to know the people here better, I’ve expanded.

    norcal (01e272)

  158. Hi Noel,

    Long time, no see. I’m just going to weigh in here since I write the Weekend Open Thread posts. My intention in writing these is to provide a variety of news stories that interest me, and that I think would interest readers. I like the free-for-all opportunity for everyone to link to different stories, to find a jumping-off place and go in another direction, to share about their week, to increase the dialogue when people typically have more time to relax and sort of let the mood take them wherever. I love hearing people’s stories. It obviously reveals more about them, their past, the present, their hopes, their disappointments. You get a fuller picture of the individual and what makes them who they are. That, in turn, can help inform us about particular comments – especially about political issues as well. In turn, we might be compelled to be more understanding and perhaps more generous and thoughtful in our responses. Also, it can simply be entertaining.

    Heaven forbid you to think that the goal of this thread (or any posts I write) is to be marketable. I would wither under such expectations, and frankly, the boss doesn’t pay me enough to endure such stress.

    Dana (fd537d)

  159. Dana writes: “Heaven forbid you to think that the goal of this thread (or any posts I write) is to be marketable.”

    Yea. I don’t buy it. If you encourage 1500 word comments, you will have fewer and fewer readers. Goal achieved, I guess.

    You aren’t marketing to me, that’s for sure. Goodbye.

    noel (9fead1)

  160. Heh!

    nk (1d9030)

  161. I wonder if that was short enough for noel, now.

    nk (1d9030)

  162. @norcal@147 It isn’t bad busy, but I wish my principal would back off a little on whatever random idea she has that she wants me to take care of. And, yes, from time to time I have been on the listening end of the drunk dial (I don’t drink, so I don’t inflict them on anyone else) but right now it’s mostly people having anxiety-brain.

    @noel I love the long stories, Not too long, definitely do read.

    @GG Your poor friend. Surely El Paso has someplace you guys could have gone to see actual women. Did you keep in touch with the model?

    Nic (896fdf)

  163. But I know enough about marketing to know that almost nobody is going to read it.

    I know enough about marketing to know that people who know a lot about marketing aren’t going to read anything here.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  164. Drudge Headline: PFIZER CAN’T STOP SAFRICA STRAIN

    Facts:

    A team from Tel Aviv University and the Clalit healthcare organization sequenced the swabs of 150 Israelis who tested positive for COVID-19 despite having been vaccinated.

    In their study, the prevalence of the South African strain among vaccinated individuals who were infected despite their inoculation was eight times higher than its prevalence in the unvaccinated infected population. Though the number of such infections among the vaccinated was relatively small, the findings indicated that this variant was far more successful in getting through vaccinated individuals’ defenses than other strains.

    “Based on patterns in the general population, we would have expected just one case of the South African variant, but we saw eight,” Prof. Adi Stern, who headed the research, told The Times of Israel.

    So, it protects, just a bit less well. This is a shining example of the press being irresponsible and giving stupid people an excuse not to get vaccinated.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  165. I agree, Kevin.

    I’m not too concerned about this variant “getting through”. I’ll be happy with protection from hospitalization and death.

    norcal (01e272)

  166. Times of Israel is a “Statue of Elvis Found on Mars”-quality news source. And so is Drudge.

    nk (1d9030)

  167. @166 🙂

    norcal (01e272)

  168. @166. I concur.

    noel (9fead1)

  169. nk,

    Are you sure it wasn’t “Woman Found Humping a Statue of Elvis on Mars”?

    norcal (01e272)

  170. https://therightscoop.com/jailed-the-pastor-stormed-the-church-fenced-it-off-now-dozens-of-covid-troops-in-gas-masks-raid-worshippers-outside-video/

    I’m sure many of you saw the un-pc Polish pastor kicking the government official and her Canadian police out of his church on Good Friday. Well the Canadian government didn’t like the embarrassment and responded in force to destroy the church.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  171. AJ
    Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I hope I can address your points clearly.

    I should probably begin, though, by noting I don’t think of Dershowitz as much of a liberal. Certainly in the last few years he’s been a pretty strong voice the other direction.

    But to get to the substance of your points. As I understand it you worry that constitutional interpretation that could generate a right to privacy is essentially unconstrained. To exaggerate, the implication is that justices could wake up in the morning and decide over breakfast to create any new right they thought good for the country.

    You suggest the alternative is to limit rights to those expressly textually noted in the Constitution, e.g. freedom of the press, or rights “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions” . You note as one of the latter, for example, the right not to have your children taken away for no reason.

    There are various snarky snap answers to this that I will note, but hopefully not dwell upon. The first is that to the extent Republicans wish to claim this as their theory, they’ve demonstrated themselves to by hypocrites. My primary example, again, is Shelby County, where Roberts found that the plain language of the 15th Amendment giving Congress the right to legislate to protect voting rights was less important than a theory of equal sovereign dignitude, not expressed textually in the Constitution, that he had concocted (perhaps over breakfast) some years before and was using as his weapon now.

    My slightly less snarky answer is to say that once you get past literal text it becomes very difficult to say with certainty what is a right “deeply rooted ” in tradition and history. Taking the example of children being snatched by the state, you can find plenty of examples, i.e. slave children being taken from their parents, Native American children being taken from their families to Americanize them, “mentally defective” children being locked up without much reason. And today of course there is usually simmering controversy about exactly how much corporal discipline is too much, requiring the state to come in to rescue a child. You can claim that in each instance there were circumstances justifying the state’s response, or (in the case of slavery) other circumstances, and that underneath this is a right to raise your child without interference. But doing so require interpreting the meaning of history just as much as in any other circumstance.

    And thus to some of the particular examples you mention, the right to travel, the individual right to bear arms and the right to an abortion.

    The “right” to travel didn’t appear until 1939 when California attempted to obstruct people coming into the state and the Court said no. Was the right to travel, deeply rooted? You could point to various instances where it was, or was not allowed, but in 1939 the Court had to use reason, a concern about the consequences in addition to this history to figure out whether this should be a right. It’s not mentioned in the Constitution, but the Court held, correctly I think, that it is difficult to imagine us as a single functioning country if people could be arbitrarily stopped at state borders. They didn’t come up with this simply “they just wanted to do good”, but because they felt the constitutional structure required it. You could say now that it was obvious, but that’s not the way California felt at the time.

    As for the individual right to bear arms, well the Second Amendment is one of the very few places in the Constitution where the language gives us a clue as to how the right is to be interpreted. Scalia and the NRA like to wave away the prefatory language about a militia as meaningless. Stevens and I disagree.

    But if it were purely a question of the history and tradition of the U.S. then it becomes even more difficult to find a basis for an individual right. Why was there a shoot out at the OK Corral? Because Earp and friends were making a point of disarming people as they came into Tombstone.

    Where there is explicit language in the Constitution telling how to interpret it, I’m generally in favor of following that language. Thus I find no individual right to a gun. Where there isn’t, a case can be made based on history and how the constitutional structure works – thus a right to travel and, again, not an individual right to a gun.

    Which leaves abortion to discuss. But I’ll save for another comment as there’s been some criticicm already of overlong comments.

    Victor (4959fb)

  172. Belated RIP for Malcolm Cecil (84). Cecil co-created TONTO (The Original New Timbral Orchestra) the world’s largest analog synthesizer in the 1970s. Most famously, Stevie Wonder used the instrument on four of his most famous albums: Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions and Fulfillingness’ First Finale. It was also used by Minnie Riperton, Joan Baez, Quincy Jones, Bobby Womack, Weather Report, Gil Scott-Heron, Harry Nilsson, James Taylor, Diana Ross, the Isley Brothers, the Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, and Randy Newman. Cecil released an album (Zero Time), under the name Tonto’s Expanding Head Band.

    TONTO is currently located at Calgary’s National Music Centre where it is available for musicians to play.

    Rip Murdock (3e2319)

  173. This is an interesting take on populism.

    Senator Hawley is dishonest and anti-democratic. His lies about the election hurt our country. But it’s good to see the GOP put down what they actually want to do. Some of these would be easy to game and the details of how the terms are defined and implemented will be key.

    Ban mergers and acquisitions by firms with a market cap over $100 billion
    Lower the threshold for prosecution under existing federal antitrust laws, replacing the prevalent “consumer harm” standard with one that emphasizes “the protection of competition”
    Require companies that lose federal antitrust lawsuits to “forfeit all their profits resulting from monopolistic conduct”
    Give the Federal Trade Commission new power to designate and regulate “dominant digital firms” in different online markets

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  174. The perpetual rioters are rioting again and robbing businesses blind.

    NJRob (a917b8)

  175. https://patterico.com/2021/04/09/weekend-open-thread-80/#comment-2510852

    The video of this traffic stop was pretty damning. It looks like the investigation is moving quickly and finding against the officers.

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — One of two police officers accused of pepper-spraying and pointing their guns at a Black Army officer during a traffic stop has since been fired, a Virginia town announced late Sunday, hours after the governor called for an independent investigation into the case.

    The town of Windsor said in a statement that it joined calls from election officials, including Gov. Ralph Northam, in requesting an investigation by Virginia State Police into the December 2020 encounter in which two Windsor officers were accused of drawing their guns, pointing them at U.S. Army second lieutenant Caron Nazario and using a slang term to suggest he was facing execution.

    The speed is concerning because it might imply that the results are politically driven. But having seen the video I’m not too concerned about that in this case.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  176. As for abortion, I am going to repeat here what Blackmun used as his constitutional justification:

    The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U. S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right in the First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U. S. 557, 564 (1969); in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1, 8-9 (1968), Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347, 350 (1967), Boyd v. United States, 116 U. S. 616 (1886), see Olmstead v. United States, 277 U. S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting); in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. at 484-485; in the Ninth Amendment, id. at 486 (Goldberg, J., concurring); or in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, see Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390, 399 (1923). These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed “fundamental” or “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U. S. 319, 325 (1937), are included in this guarantee of personal privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U. S. 535, 541-542 (1942); contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. at 453-454; id. at 460, 463-465 (WHITE, J., concurring in result); family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U. S. 158, 166 (1944); and childrearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v. Nebraska, supra.

    This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/410/113/

    He points to a grab bag of cases dancing around the point that whatever the literal language of the Constitution, there are some areas of private life that the government can’t intrude on without good justification. The most relevant cases go back to the 1920’s, with Meyer and Pierce discussing laws requiring public school or restricting teaching language. The more recent cases involved who you married, and whether the state could sterilize you or deny contraception.

    You could argue that the whole line of cases was misbegotten from the beginning, and that the state should have been able to forbid teaching German because there’s nothing in the Constitution saying it can’t and given that there’s not (in the 1920’s ) a really long history of public education or laws regarding curriculum, it’s hard to say that there’s a deeply rooted tradition or history on language instruction. The Court therefore had to rely on the fact that there is a hazier notion of privacy that has been in the air of the English common and constitutional law that shows up in rules against searches and seizure and interfering with private contract and go with that.

    Were these pre Roe decisions right? A strict originalist I think would have to say no. Someone not so strict would say that the Constitution doesn’t forbid recognizing a right of personal autonomy, denying such a right would go against people’s expectations and intuitions and have some problematic consequences in terms of personal liberties, and that if the Court was wildly off course in reaching the conclusion, there’d be push back. And today (I think) nobody would say a state could forbid teaching of a particular language.

    (By the way, we’ve talked about the 9th Amendment. I think the privileges and immunities clause of the 14th Amendment has some potential for being another basis for the Court to recognize otherwise unspecified rights against the state, but despite Thomas’ best efforts that boat seems to have sailed).

    I am not saying it’s an obvious step from Meyer to Roe. At each step the question comes, whether “privacy” extends to this area of life such that we can actually say you have a right, and that still leaves the question of balancing that right against the state interests.

    But with regard to the question of whether or not you’re going to have a child or not, that strikes me as fairly fundamental to your sense of self and personal autonomy. Giving birth is dangerous, painful and likely to lead to lengthy financial and emotional commitments you may not want to take. The fact that there is not a lengthy history and tradition of considering abortion a right seems to me less significant in part because for nearly all that history the people making the decisions about what the laws were, and that abortion should be a crime, were men. RBG would have premised the right to abortion on the Equal Protection Clause – denying it discriminates against women.

    In short, I think there are reasonable grounds for a Court that is mindful of precedent, policy and the consequences of its decision from extending a prior right of privacy to this area of life too. I don’t say the argument can’t be criticized. But I don’t think it’s purely a question of the Court “deciding what is good” or making things up at breakfast. I think the result is reasonable, whether or not you like Blackmun’s slapdash way of analysis.

    Victor (4959fb)

  177. Everything that men do, they do for women. (95% of them, anyway.) (More or less.) Everything that women have has been provided to them by men, and not only the second X chromosome. Even Roe v. Wade.

    nk (1d9030)

  178. Victor, at 131:

    one of the things that makes this difficult is that covid is infectious enough and serious enough to get some of us substantially worried while not worrying others much at all.

    it’s pretty likely that there will be another novel zoonotic virus escape in the next half century. what if the next one has the infectiousness and fatality rate of measles?

    decisions like this one are *tying our hands* against future, much worse, pandemics.

    i think most people would agree that measures which many question against *this* pandemic would be reasonable against a future novel measles-like pandemic (or even worse, a future pandemic with an ebola-level fatality that simply takes longer to kill people, allowing it to spread faster and further than ebola does). but the *logic used* in the court decisions makes these tools unusable against those pandemics, too.

    it would be one thing if the courts were saying that covid isn’t serious enough to trigger the compelling government interest at stake. but they’re not, and that’s setting us up for disaster during a future pandemic.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  179. Everything that men do, they do for women. (95% of them, anyway.) (More or less.) Everything that women have has been provided to them by men, and not only the second X chromosome. Even Roe v. Wade.

    nk (1d9030) — 4/12/2021 @ 7:45 am

    Wow

    Time123 (b87ded)

  180. Don’t believe me. Do some research.

    To me, the comments are an important part of this blog. And I looked up a few comments from earlier this week. One was over 2300 words. Nic.

    A typical person reads about 230 a minute. Ten minutes to read just one comment? Most of us want to take a quick look at the previous comments so as to be relevant and avoid duplication but… ten minutes, for just one comment?

    Like I said, don’t believe me. Ask around. Are these too long? They are for me.

    noel (9fead1)

  181. Noel,

    You do realize that you can skip any comments that don’t interest you, or seem too long, right?

    Dana writes: “Heaven forbid you to think that the goal of this thread (or any posts I write) is to be marketable.”

    Yea. I don’t buy it. If you encourage 1500 word comments, you will have fewer and fewer readers. Goal achieved, I guess.

    I’m not even sure what you’re comment means other than you don’t like long comments. Again, feel free to skip them instead of fixating on their length.

    Dana (fd537d)

  182. Everything that men do, they do for women. (95% of them, anyway.) (More or less.) Everything that women have has been provided to them by men, and not only the second X chromosome. Even Roe v. Wade.

    nk (1d9030) — 4/12/2021 @ 7:45 am

    What??

    Dana (fd537d)

  183. Sorry, Dana. I didn’t mean to take out my frustration on you with a previous comment. I have enjoyed this site for years. I appreciate what it stands for. The truth.

    But I can’t relate to the comments right now. Thanks.

    noel (9fead1)

  184. What I meant about not buying it? I don’t believe you can let people ramble on and on without consequence. It drives typical readers away. I should have been more clear.

    noel (9fead1)

  185. https://www.breitbart.com/law-and-order/2021/04/11/watch-antifa-sets-portland-ice-building-on-fire-with-officers-trapped-inside/

    Still waiting for antifa to be arrested for insurrection and attempted murder for setting fires on a government building with people inside.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  186. Thanks for clarifying, noel. I would encourage you to focus on the comments that interest you or challenge you and simply skip over the ones that are not to your liking. The wonderful thing about this place is that there is a really wide variety of commentary coming from different places on the political spectrum. It is not an echo chamber, nor does the blog have a company line we peddle. I think that speaks very highly of our host and his steering of the site, and the variety of readers that he attracts.

    Dana (fd537d)

  187. Don’t believe me. Do some research.
    Like I said, don’t believe me. Ask around. Are these too long? They are for me.

    noel (9fead1) — 4/12/2021 @ 8:33 am

    some are. I tend to take too many words to make my point but I’m trying to improve. Some are too short. I’d love it if Gawain wrote more. Other’s that are long can be AJ and Victor. I enjoy reading their thoughts when I have time.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  188. And thank God Israel is trying to stop the radical Satanists running Iran from getting the bomb. We know our current government is in full support of the evil running Iran.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  189. https://www.breitbart.com/law-and-order/2021/04/11/watch-antifa-sets-portland-ice-building-on-fire-with-officers-trapped-inside/

    Still waiting for antifa to be arrested for insurrection and attempted murder for setting fires on a government building with people inside.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 4/12/2021 @ 8:48 am

    I hope they catch them all.

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  190. https://freebeacon.com/latest-news/judge-prohibits-release-of-undercover-pro-life-activists-recordings/

    Any of our lawyers care to explain how a judge can stop freedom of the press and claim a contract does for the express purpose of doing undercover reporting is used to prevent people from finding out how baby parts are sold and traded in public?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  191. I see no reason to be questioned about my statement. Am I not also a Child Of The Universe? And, ergo, are not all my whimsies inevitably universal truths?

    nk (1d9030)

  192. (By the way, we’ve talked about the 9th Amendment. I think the privileges and immunities clause of the 14th Amendment has some potential for being another basis for the Court to recognize otherwise unspecified rights against the state, but despite Thomas’ best efforts that boat seems to have sailed).

    It was used in 1941 by Justice Robert H. Jackson in a concurring opinion in Edwards v California 314 U.S. 160 (1941), “which involved a Californian who had driven to Texas and returned with his unemployed brother-in-law. He was tried, convicted and given a six-month suspended sentence.” (Wikipedia article)

    If the Unites States had gone down that route we’d have internal immigration laws, like Russia (I think still) and China.

    While that involved only transporting an indigent person, federal immigration laws started out with quality restrictions too, but 35 years later ended up with quotas. (but not for western hemisphere independent countries. That happened starting only in 1968, {in 1960 Cubans could just get on a plane} and a few years later the permanent government bureaucrats started yammering about illegal immigration and propagandized the American people through talk radio show hosts.)

    Justice Jackson didn’t like using the commerce clause the way the court did, saying

    ut the migrations of a human being, of whom it is charged that he possesses nothing that can be sold and has no wherewithal to buy, do not fit easily into my notions as to what is commerce. To hold that the measure of his rights is the commerce clause is likely to result eventually either in distorting the commercial law or in denaturing human rights.

    And he focused instead on the meaning of the word citizen, and said

    This Court should, however, hold squarely that it is a privilege of citizenship of the United States, protected from state abridgment, to enter any state of the Union, either for temporary sojourn or for the establishment of permanent residence therein and for gaining resultant citizenship thereof. If national citizenship means less than this, it means nothing.

    He allowed that a person could be restricted from entering a state on grounds of contagion or if he was a fugitive from justice but indigence couldn’t be a reason.

    Justice Hugo Black, separately, wanted to interpret (in a 1948 opinion) the privileges and immunities clause to incorporate the bill of rights into the states, (those being privileges and immunities if U.S. citizens, and there’s evidence that was the intention, at least to the extent that they are individual rights) but the court used Lochner type reasoning and incorporated them one by one.

    This Court has not been timorous about giving concrete meaning to such obscure and vagrant phrases as ‘due process,’ ‘general welfare,’ ‘equal protection,’ or even ‘commerce among the several States.’ But it has always hesitated to give any real meaning to the privileges and immunities clause lest it improvidently give too much.

    – Robert H. Jackson, in the 1941 opinion.

    I guess you could consider this a kind of Burkean conservatism, albeit dishonest. The same thing is going on with the Ninth amendment.

    Except that, with the “due process…liberty” clause they’ve left themselves absolutely untethered to anything, not even general principles or a general approach.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  193. Rob @194

    A judge permanently banned the release of undercover videos that show Planned Parenthood employees discussed the alleged sale of fetal body parts.

    William Orrick, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, ruled Wednesday that pro-life videographer David Daleiden was in breach of contract when he secretly recorded videos of the National Abortion Federation’s conferences. The ruling bars Daleiden from ever releasing the videos he recorded at the conference, meaning hundreds of hours of footage will never see the light of day.

    “The defendants’ First Amendment arguments do not defeat preclusion or otherwise weigh against entry of judgment on the breach of contract claim,” Orrick wrote.

    IANAL but this seems incorrect to me.
    1. It’s newsworthy and should be protected by the first amendment.
    2. Wouldn’t a contract like this apply penalties after the release and not be used to limit the release?

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  194. NK, I assumed it was a joke, if a very insulting one.

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  195. And thank God Israel is trying to stop the radical Satanists running Iran from getting the bomb……

    Trump’s fixation on withdrawing military forces from the Middle East led to his failure to pursue active regime change in Iran. Following up the missile strike against Solemani with sanctions rather than further military action showed the mullahs that he wasn’t serious. The explosion at Natanz only delays the inevitable.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  196. Rip,

    not one word about Biden or his policies towards Iran. Why is that?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  197. Rip,

    not one word about Biden or his policies towards Iran. Why is that?

    I think it’s fairly obvious that Biden doesn’t want (and won’t pursue) regime change in Iran. But Israel’s tactics are pinpricks compared to what is needed.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  198. #179 Time , that is a pretty sad video of a police stop. What amazes me is the instant fear and aggression shown by one of the cops from the get go – he just keeps screaming.

    Being a cop isn’t easy. It requires a good temperament and training. We do police no favors by not making those attributes a necessary part of the job.

    Victor (4959fb)

  199. Sammy,

    Thanks for the additional information about the travel case Edwards. In my head I keep thinking it’s 1939, perhaps the date of the initial incident. And you’re right, it’s not just Thomas but occasionally other Justices like to poke “privileges and immunities”, but it never actually starts breathing.

    Victor (4959fb)

  200. Being a cop isn’t easy. It requires a good temperament and training. We do police no favors by not making those attributes a necessary part of the job.

    Unforeseen Readily foreseeable consequences of the “lowest common denominator as the ideal”, an entirely liberal philosophy, imposed for the last half century or so. Along with 5ft tall, 90lb women (and 5ft tall, 200lb women), the lowering of standards let in people like Chauvin and Gutierrez.

    nk (1d9030)

  201. I am trying to offer an even reply on that video but NK conveyed it better.

    Watch the video and only pay attention to the cops who aren’t spazzing out. They hate working with the obese guy who is. I have seen cops overreact and they are usually the ones who are out of shape or very small. Chauvin was both very small and obviously jaded as hell.

    I think it’s pretty scary to stop someone who doesn’t stop for a while and then refuses to cooperate when he does stop. Cops see video after video of the cop getting killed right after this setup. And it has happened recently several times. but, it’s not like these cops handled that in a tactically sound manner. They were afraid, and that is justified, but they didn’t solve the problem. Unfortunately I also think the problem of black men refusing to cooperate is getting worse too, as they believe their fear is also justified and they certainly are’t as expected to be cool under pressure.

    Everyone pushing this for politics, either side, is probably making it worse, and what we really need is to steadily push to raise the bar, year after year, for who gets to have this much power over people.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  202. OT- Tip of the cap to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration: 40 years ago today, STS-1, -the orbiter Columbia– was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, crewed Bob Crippen and the late John Young, opening up the space shuttle era for the United States.

    And, by coincidence…

    60 years ago today, April 12, 1961, Vostok 1 was successfully launched from Baikonur in the then Soviet Union carrying Yuri Gagarin, making him the first man in space to orbit Earth– and opening up the age of human spaceflight.

    Glorious. What a time to be alive. A personal note- among my small treasures is a fragment of insulation, framed up in the den, from that same Vostok 1 spacecraft which carried Gagarin on that one orbit flight — a gift from a NASA contact who had access to it, currently on display in Moscow, while working on the shuttle-Mir project back in the day.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  203. @205, Dustin, all good points as usual. One thing that stood out to me on this issue is that they initially stopped the vehicle for not having plates, but the body cam video showed that the temp plate was visible in the rear window. Maybe I shouldn’t because they don’t know at the time, but i tend to give a police officer more slack if the stop is legitimate. It’s clear in retrospect that this incident could have been de-escalated had the officers chosen to. Given the rage the officer was displaying I have a hard time not thinking the driver was terrified.

    Separate question. I was told a long time ago to slow down and signal then find the closest safe place to pull over. Well lit if possible. Turn the car off. Turn the lights on. Put the window down and put my hands on the wheel. Goal being to put the officer in as safe a situation as possible with as much info as possible.

    If there’s a lit gas parking lot in sight should i stop on dark road side?

    Time123 (b87ded)

  204. Given the rage the officer was displaying I have a hard time not thinking the driver was terrified.

    No doubt. And every normal man has that healthy impulse to refuse to let a bully win. That’s why an officer who takes it beyond where he should, trying to gain control, often finds things got worse.

    the body cam video showed that the temp plate was visible in the rear window.

    Oops! That doesn’t help. But people do make mistakes. this only happened to me once that I recall and I walked up and said “I’m sorry you didn’t do anything wrong and I just made a mistake about [bla bla bla].” And the driver was very cool about it. Most of the hassle was accurately filing out the profile module (a computer database about why you stopped someone and what their race was, and what the disposition of the stop was). Awkward to enter “I am dumb” as the reason you stopped someone who didn’t break the law.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  205. If there’s a lit gas parking lot in sight should i stop on dark road side?

    Oh I’d take the parking lot. I would signal and slow and just kinda drive predictably there. If it were close by the officer shouldn’t be upset about it at all. It’s much safer for him.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  206. @208, willingness to admit a mistake is the number 1 way we avoid future mistakes.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  207. 153. norcal (01e272) — 4/11/2021 @ 6:50 pm

    I know that at a minimum Dustin, JVW, Sammy Finkelman, and I like GG’s stories.

    So much so, I didn’t want to leave any long messages. I noticed that long messages tends to cut down in entries.

    And splitting them up tends to make it look like I leave most the posts.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  208. 203. Victor (4959fb) — 4/12/2021 @ 10:09 am

    Thanks for the additional information about the travel case Edwards. In my head I keep thinking it’s 1939, perhaps the date of the initial incident.

    The law was passed in 1937. The incident happened in December, 1939, according to the court opinion.

    I was thinking the decision was rendered in 1943 (and thinking James F. Byrnes, who wrote the court’s opinion, left the court that year, but it was 1941 and he resigned in 1942. He was only on the Supreme Court for one year. He didn’t like it – he wanted some other job.

    I was surprised to read (I hadn’t noticed this when I read the case in US Reports many years ago in a library – and photocopied it and even when I went back to it maybe) that the House of Representatives had appointed someone (or a committee had following a vote on the House floor on April 22, 1940) as amicus curiae, who was accepted by special leave of Court.

    And you’re right, it’s not just Thomas but occasionally other Justices like to poke “privileges and immunities”, but it never actually starts breathing.

    Justice Hugo Blaxk kind of gave up.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  209. There were several things I thought of posting yesterday.

    One was that Russia was marketing several different vaccines under the same name, Sputnik V. Only one was described and published in the Lancet.

    When the country of Slovakia discovered it got something different, and apparently didn’t want to pay for it, or maybe didn’t want to manufacture it, because maybe they were going to that too, Russia Putin asked for it back, so they could sell it to somebody else. 200,000 doses.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/04/russia-cries-sabotage-after-slovakia-questions-quality-of-sputnik-vaccine

    The Slovak regulatory agency, the State Institute for Drug Control, reported that the batches it received did not “have the same characteristics and properties” as the Sputnik vaccine that was peer-reviewed in the Lancet and found to be 91.6 percent effective.

    The Prime Minister, Igor Matovic, who negotiated that with Russia, had in the meantime been forced to switch jobs with the finance minister in an effort to save his coalition.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/world/europe/slovakia-coronavirus-russia-vaccine-sputnik.html

    The Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund that financed Sputnik V’s development and has spearheaded a push for its use abroad, did not address the substance of the Slovak agency’s statement but dismissed it as “disinformation” and “fake news.” In a series of dismissive messages on Twitter, the fund accused the state regulatory agency of carrying out an “act of sabotage,” claiming that Slovakia had violated the terms of its contract and demanding that the doses be returned. …

    ,,,,“The comparability and consistency of different batches produced at different locations has not been demonstrated,” the Slovak regulator said. “In several cases, they appear to be vaccines with different properties (lyophilisate versus solution, single-dose ampoules versus multi-dose vials, different storage conditions, composition and method of manufacture).”

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  210. @Noel@184 Er, thanks for sharing?

    Nic (896fdf)

  211. Ignore him, Nic. Your lengthy comment was just what I needed to hear in response to the Kevin Willamson article. I like Kevin too much sometimes, and your epic takedown was quite salutary.

    Sometimes, to really get at the crux of a problem, a long exposition is in order.

    norcal (01e272)

  212. noel

    If you were serious about not wanting to hurt people’s feelings, why didn’t you just send an e-mail to Patterico?

    norcal (01e272)

  213. Victor,

    I case you didn’t see it above, I want to apologize for angering you with my heated rhetoric over the weekend. I need to work on seeing more nuance and being more civil.

    norcal (01e272)

  214. if you’re writing a blog comment longer than the gettysburg address there’s probably an ego problem

    JF (6fcdbe)

  215. JF,

    Do all blogs have to be the same? What if a blog proprietor and many of his commenters enjoy lengthy exchanges?

    norcal (01e272)

  216. Good point, norcal. I thought that I should do that yesterday. Send an email to Patterico instead of a comment on the blog. But I also thought that regulars here should know that comments of that length are not helping their own cause. IMO

    I am passionate about marketing/advertising, especially in politics, but I am not always so good with patience and kindness.

    If someone wants to argue that a 1000 or 2000 word comment is going to be read by more than a couple folks, I will try my best to respectfully disagree.

    noel (9fead1)

  217. @Norcal@215 I’m not too worried about him, ain’t nobody making him read my wordiness.

    @JF@218 Why the Gettysburg address? Is 272 words a magic number?

    Nic (896fdf)

  218. Actually, noel, you’ve given me something to think about. I don’t necessarily want every one of my comments read by everyone. If making them longer will bring the number down to six or ten people ….

    nk (1d9030)

  219. noel,

    If it’s anybody’s “cause”, it’s Patterico’s. If, after a hypothetical e-mail from you, he concurred, he could then post something about lengthy comments, without referring to anyone in particular.

    norcal (01e272)

  220. We are all adults. We can handle a little honest criticism, norcal. The length of a comment shouldn’t be the most sensitive thing.

    noel (9fead1)

  221. People who put a lot of time and effort into a long comment may disagree.

    norcal (01e272)

  222. if you’re writing a blog comment longer than the gettysburg address there’s probably an ego problem

    JF (6fcdbe) — 4/12/2021 @ 5:10 pm

    It is for me lol.

    Also I find it hilarious how long this discussion has gone on when the purpose of it was to avoid lengthy discussion.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  223. Here’s four words I hope everybody will be able to make it through:

    Live and let live.

    Dave (1bb933)

  224. Norcal,

    Thanks for your kind words. It’s not like I don’t have a temper too. But Time123 has been an inspiration. It’s possible to disagree without being a jerk. I find the reasoned opposition to my opinions helps clarify my own thinking.

    Anyway, we shall all carry on in this imperfect world trying to figure things out.

    Victor (4959fb)

  225. This might get lost in the new stuff, But David Frum has an article in the Atlantic that pertains to the voter law discussion. He doesn’t link his sources but it’s interesting to think about. Since Dem’s seem to be gaining among college educated suburbs laws that make it harder for unsettled voters are likely to discourage GOP turnout. Not sure i buy it but it’s interesting.

    In previous elections, constituencies that have generally supported Democrats in recent years, including younger voters and members of racial minority groups, have tended to use postal ballots less frequently than do Republican-leaning constituencies, including older, white, and military voters. And many of the particular restrictions Republicans have in mind will bear especially hard on their expected voters.

    For example, the new Georgia law requires those voting by mail to include some form of proof of identity, such as a photocopy of a driver’s license or a utility bill. If you work in an office park in the increasingly Democratic suburbs of Atlanta, making a photocopy is easy. A machine is probably just down the hall. If you are tech savvy, you’ll scan the license on your smartphone and print a copy. But if you live on the edge of a conservative small town in rural Georgia, or if you are unfamiliar with computers, making a photocopy or scanning and printing can be complicated. Obtaining an affidavit may prove even more daunting.

    The clear pattern, instead, is that conservatives are being outvoted by a coalition built around Black voters and white, college-educated voters. For a right-wing newscaster to look at recent elections and conclude “We multi-generation Americans are being outvoted by newcomers” is a triumph of ideology over reality. Yet in many state legislatures, ideology has triumphed over reality. Republican decisions are being driven not by what happened, but by rage-distorted misperceptions instead.

    Read: What liberals don’t understand about pro-Trump Latinos

    The misperceptions and the rage are blinding Republicans to four specific ways that their voter-suppression measures may backfire.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  226. Time,

    Frum’s article is interesting. And it is good to appeal to the rational side of the Republican consciousness that perhaps encouraging voting is a better thing than discouraging it.

    But I have to say, I am not particularly looking forward to Republicans winning more elections. I think that would be, as they say, Bad for the Country.

    Victor (4959fb)

  227. Time,

    The particularly interesting part was noting that Trump’s loss is in part from losing some college educated male support. I am hopeful that it shows no particular demographic is going to be captured by the lure of stupid, cruel and greedy.

    Victor (4959fb)

  228. Victor, if this shift is sustained i look forward to left’s rapid chance of position. If the can find a way to do so and maintain black turnout.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  229. Time,

    If by shift of position you mean changing views regarding racial politics, I don’t think it likely in any significant way. I mean Trump’s “surge” of black/latin support means going from around 5-25 % to %15-30. Either way, he still loses that demographic and Dems have no particular reason to stop trying to represent it.

    I think Trump lost white college educated demographic because that includes a substantial minority who worry less about racial politics supporting white supremacy and more about rational long term solutions to the country’s problems. So I don’t think they’ll need a particular racial appeal to stay interested in the D;s.

    Victor (4959fb)

  230. This is just a test comment to confirm I am still person grata here. I had difficulties posting elsewhere.

    Victor (4959fb)

  231. I meant that as soon as reduced access to franchise improves their chances the Dems will be all for it.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  232. You’ve given no cause to be moderated, Victor.

    Dana (fd537d)


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