Off to Europe

Featured image I will be in Europe for the next two weeks. In Paris, where I’ll be for a large portion of the trip, the Eiffel Tower will be illuminated, but presumably not in rainbow colors to celebrate gay marriage. Sad to say, the governments of the countries I’ll be visiting all have a better understanding of Iran, and world as a whole, than President Obama does. What a sad commentary. If, »

The Wages of Bork

Featured imageIncreasingly it appears that the failure of the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork in 1987 was a watershed moment for the history of jurisprudence over the last generation, as Anthony Kennedy has been so central to so many bad rulings (and, fairness demands, a handful of good ones, like Citizens United). While Chief Justice Roberts’s jurisprudence may remain inscrutable, nothing about Kennedy should surprise us, though. It was known »

Post-Obergefell Civil Rights: A Tangle or a Knot?

Featured imageRemember the Hobby Lobby decision last year, where the Supreme Court sided with employers whose religious faith led them to object to the Obamacare mandate that all health insurance policies must offer contraceptive coverage? The authoritarian and conformist left howled with indignation. Get ready for a lot of sequels in the aftermath of Obergefell. On Friday the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America issued a very gracious statement about »

The quest for ideological purity in Supreme Court Justices

Featured imageIn our podcast last week, we tried to explain why Democratic-appointed Supreme Court Justices march in lockstep in the big, closely divided Supreme Court cases, while one Republican-appointed Justice (Anthony Kennedy) cannot be counted on at all to vote with his more reliably conservative brethren and a second (John Roberts) has parted company in two of most important cases decided in his tenure. I offered one possible explanation. Liberalism, I »

Will Dems apologize?

Featured imageIn an open letter to DNC Chairman Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz, Jeffrey Lord provides a readout of the tangled history of the Democratic Party with slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan. Lord draws on the Democratic Party platforms of 1840, 1844, 1856 and 1860. He adds that, as the Civil War drew to a close, the Democrats opposed the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment (ending slavery), and proceeded afterwards »

The need to get our minds right

Featured imageNational Review has posted a symposium contemplating what the Supreme Court has wrought in its gay marriage decision of this past Friday. The decision represents itself as the culmination of a long line of cases and related social developments. In the first contribution to the symposium, however, Notre Dame’s Professor Gerard Bradley asserts that it is only the end of the beginning. Concluding with an allusion to the prison warden’s »

This day in baseball history: Twins win twice, cling to first place

Featured image1965 was only the third year since 1948 that the New York Yankees did not win the American League pennant. Unlike the previous two instances — 1954 (when they won 103 games) and 1959 (when they were only 4 games back in early July) — the ’65 Yankees were never in contention. On this day 50 years ago, they were in sixth place, 10 games off the pace. That pace »

Hillary sags in early states

Featured imageRich Lowry says that a “plugged-in lefty” tells him he believes that Bernie Sanders will defeat Hillary Clinton in both Iowa and New Hampshire. This scenario may sound far-fetched, but polling data suggests it could come to pass. A new WMUR/CNN Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center from June 18 to 24, puts Sanders within 8 points of Clinton, 43-35 (with a margin of »

In praise of Lesley Goodman

Featured imageIn his elegy of William Butler Yeats, W.H. Auden concludes with this couplet offering advice addressed to an unnamed poet: “In the prison of his days/Teach the free man how to praise.” This morning I want to take a brief timeout to praise Lesley Goodman. Professor Goodman has a Ph.D. in English from Harvard. She is a voracious and learned reader at the beginning of what should be a great »

The Power Line Show, Episode 21: Supreme Folly, With Dana Perino

Featured imageThis afternoon John, Steve and Paul got together to record Episode 21 of the Power Line show. We talked with Dana Perino about her new book, And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side, her experience as press secretary for President George W. Bush, and her starring role on Fox News’s The Five. Then it was on to the news of the day, in particular the »

From Justice Scalia’s dissent

Featured imageJustice Scalia’s dissent in today’s gay marriage diktat is all must reading. Short of posting the whole thing, let me offer these pointed excerpts (to which I have added some paragraphing in the interest of readability): The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. The law can recognize as marriage whatever sexual attachments and living arrangements it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured imageAfter much thought and deliberation, I’m moving Hall & Oates out of the category of guilty pleasures. Among other things, their best work honestly draws on their background in Philly soul. Moreover, in the spirit of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage diktat, I ask (facetiously) who’s to judge? As Justice Kennedy might put it, all music seeks to comfort the lonely heart; all music must be accorded equal respect. (Not.) »

A Question For Those Who Celebrate the Gay Marriage Decision

Featured imageWhat would you think if the Court had decided the opposite? That is, if the Court had held that same sex marriage is unconstitutional, so that all state laws approving such unions are void, and all court decisions establishing same sex marriage are overruled. Would you then think it appropriate for “five lawyers,” as Chief Justice Roberts put it, to remove this issue from the democratic process and purport to »

Should Conservatives Give Up On the Supreme Court As a Court?

Featured imageThis morning Andy McCarthy takes up a topic that we discussed on our podcast yesterday: the fact that in major, publicly-important cases, the liberal justices always–and I mean always–vote as a political bloc: Already, an ocean of ink has been spilled analyzing, lauding, and bemoaning the Supreme Court’s work this week: a second life line tossed to SCOTUScare in just three years; the location of a heretofore unknown constitutional right »

The Week in Pictures: Confederacy of Dunces Edition

Featured imageSo let’s see where we are in the space of a week: the old Confederate battle flag is coming down, to be replaced, it would seem, by the gay pride rainbow flag. The “reactionary” Supreme Court lived up to its billing, by going all-in for reactionary liberalism. It’s enough to make Ignatius Reilly emigrate to Rhodesia or somewhere. Meanwhile, we’re overlooking who may be the happiest folks today—divorce lawyers. And »

Justice Kennedy’s eyes are wide shut on the gay rights assault on religion

Featured imageIn Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Justice Kennedy acknowledged the dangers of ruling that disparate impact analysis applies to Fair Housing Act cases, and he tried to erect limitations that would avoid these dangers. However, as Justice Alito showed in his dissent, the supposed limitations will not constrain liberal bureaucrats and judges. A parallel exchange can be found in today’s ruling finding a »

In housing case, Justice Kennedy’s eyes are wide shut

Featured imageI wrote here about yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. By a 5-4 vote, with Justice Kennedy writing for the majority, the Court held that the Fair Housing Act allows lawsuits based on disparate impact. Usually in a case like this, it is the dissent that warns of the dire consequences that may well flow from the »