In the current issue of TNR, I suggested that the health care decision represents a “moment of truth” for John Roberts because, if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act by a 5-4 vote, Roberts’s "stated goal of presiding over a less divisive court will be viewed as an irredeemable failure.” This observation was intended as nothing more than a statement of the obvious. It has nonetheless provoked an outraged reaction from conservative commentators.
Next week the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act. But is it really the “case of the century,” as pundits have started calling it? It’s difficult to say without knowing the outcome. Presently that distinction belongs to Bush v. Gore, a decision that may have truly altered history. Just think how the years after 2001 would have unfolded if Al Gore had been president. But Bush v. Gore didn’t change constitutional doctrine.
Yes, we know we’re tempting fate. But we figure there’s a 50 percent chance Obama will get reelected, and in any case he needs an agenda to campaign on. So we’ve asked a number of TNR contributors to explain what they think Obama should focus on for the next four years—if he wins in November.
Jeff Rosen argues today that President Obama would likely win a court challenge if he asserted 14th Amendment prerogative to ignore the debt ceiling. I certainly don't know the law well enough to form a strong opinion about the legal merits.
I enjoyed Jeff Rosen's defense of Sandra Day O'Connor, but wanted to add a bit of detail to this part at the end: O’Connor was prickly and defensive about Bush v.Gore in Aspen: “It wasn’t the end of the world,” she said impatiently. “They had recounts of the votes in four counties by the press, and it did not change the outcome at all. So forget it. It’s over!” O'Connor's recollection of the media recount is false, though understandably so. The media recount was released shortly after the September 11 attacks, at the height of George W.
-- Jeff Rosen wonders why only conservatives want to amend the constitution. -- Emily Yoffe explains how the end of mandatory retirement changed America. -- Some charts for your tax day, from Mother Jones.
Ever since he declared his campaign for Senator, Al Franken has been trailed by endless Stuart Smalley jokes. In TNR's latest issue, though Jeff Rosen trails Franken around and concludes that Franken is, indeed, good enough and smart enough: In recent years, congressional hearings have become little more than televised sideshows in which most senators rely on questions scripted by their staff and seem unable to ask tough or even relevant follow-ups.
The president doesn’t like Mort Klein. I don’t know whether they’ve ever met. But the Obama folk did convene a meeting for the president with the “Jewish leadership,” which included, as it happens, American Jewish organizations (new on the block and who are financed mostly by Jewish billionaires who care not a fig for the survival of a people they do not think of as their home) believing that Israel is basically responsible for the intensity and duration of the conflict with the Arabs, in general, and the Palestinians, in particular.
Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to begin writing “net neutrality” rules to prevent Internet providers from determining which content or services reaches their customers. Several weeks ago, Jeff Rosen wrote a magazine piece on network neutrality in which he argued that a lack of it can amount to discrimination, as well as restriction of free speech: The Comcast case is a model for the free-speech battles of the future, where Internet and wireless providers may want to favor certain content providers over others in order to maximize profits at the expense of con
I had hoped my essay, "Against Transparency," might have inspired something of a marriage between the transparency movement and campaign finance reform. To that end, I had offered something old and something new, something borrowed, and, as is my style, something blue. But like high school all over again, I have obviously fumbled on the first date Let's work this backwards. Something blue: Yes of course my piece is "worr[ied]" (Weinberger) and "gloomy" (Miller/Klein), even "dour" (Abrams), as the commentators say. Of course it is.