June 26, 2008
WASHINGTON--In knocking down the District of Columbia's 32-year ban on handgun possession, the conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court have shown again their willingness to abandon precedent in order to do whatever is necessary to further the agenda of the contemporary political right.The court's five most conservative members have demonstrated that for all of Justice Antonin Scalia's talk about "originalism" as a coherent constitutional doctrine, the judicial right regularly succumbs to the temptation to legislate from the bench.
Let A Thousand Mitt Romneys Bloom
Today's opinion in the DC gun-ban case is getting all the headlines today, but Phillip Carter makes a compelling case that its practical impact will be limited--there just aren't that many gun laws out there nearly as restrictive as DC's draconian version, and Justice Scalia's opinion (pdf) goes out of its way to emphasize its compatibility with more tempered efforts at gun control (assault weapons bans, waiting periods, etc.). It's also worth paying attention to the Supreme Court's decision (pdf) in Davis v.
Many liberals may be inclined to view Barack Obama's criticism of the Supreme Court decision banning execution of child rapists as the worst kind of poll driven pandering--akin to Bill Clinton's decision to fly home to Arkansas during the 1992 election to permit the execution of the mentally handicapped Ricky Ray Rector. I disagree.
Inside Mccain's Ipod
Now that we've peeked at Obama's iPod, how about McCain's? Here's an imagined playlist for those long and tedious Baghdad airport landing spirals: "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" -- Glenn Miller Orchestra "Over There" -- George M.
Team Mccain's Imperfect Selflessness
I just have to poke a little at the constantly-inflating balloon that is the "selflessness" theme in McCain's campaign.
Yoo's On First
The House Judiciary Committee hearing with David Addington and John Yoo is proving to be exceptionally bitter and acrimonious even by House Judiciary Committee standards. If you're around C-SPAN, I recommend turning it on--this is entertaining stuff. Addington continually displays unveiled contempt for the members of the committee (I was about to say "thinly veiled," but even that would be too charitable). Yoo is slightly more polite, but no more helpful.
Mccain-feingold Takes A Hit
Today's big SCOTUS news is, of course, the 5-4 ruling that strikes down the DC gun ban, and which has Obama in a somewhat awkward position. But today the court also zapped the so-called "millionaire's amendment" from the 2001 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, designed to protect members of Congress from wealthy self-financing rivals.
Understanding Today's Gun Ruling
The Supreme Court will release its ruling on the Washington, DC gun ban today. While you're waiting, read up on the Bush administration's unlikely 2nd Amendment position and learn what will happen if the ban gets struck down. --Barron YoungSmith
Call It The Xx Markup
As if it weren't bad enough that women still end up getting stuck with more of the housework, now it turns out they're also getting stuck with higher health insurance bills. That's the news out of California, where the state's Blue Shield insurance plan recently announced new rates for people purchasing coverage individually, rather than through an employer or other large group. Blue Shield unveiled the new rates in a recent letter that contained a chart. And if you examined the chart closely--as David Lazarus did for his Sunday Los Angeles Times column--a gender differential comes into view.
Alan Dershowitz: Ultra-liberal?
It's a big day for legal news in Washington. The Supreme Court is handing down its final opinions of the term, and has apparently struck down DC's gun ban by a 5-4 vote. The speculation was correct that Justice Scalia was writing the opinion. Elsewhere, I'm here on Capitol Hill at a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee hearing investigating the administration's interrogation policies, where John Yoo and David Addington are testifying (Addington in response to a subpoena). Yoo's opening statement is here (pdf); Marty Lederman has some preliminary reactions.