Gun Control Can Survive the Supreme Court
December 28, 2012
Recent Second Amendment rulings are unlikely to stand in the way of sensible gun-control measures.
Torture, America, and the Laws of War
December 21, 2012
Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American HistoryBy John Fabian Witt (Free Press, 498 pp., $32) WAR IS ABOUT killing, maiming, and destroying. Yet in its midst men have sought heroism not only in savage acts of bravery but also in observing limits, in finding a way to affirm their and their adversaries’ common humanity, in the concept of honor as a higher expression of morality than is attainable even in peace.
December 20, 2012
Bork—and his video rental history—was this writer's Watergate.
Gun Politics Can Change. They Have Before.
December 17, 2012
Why do so many people in Washington think it will be impossible to tighten gun control?
The Beauty and Inhumanity of Oscar Niemeyer’s Architecture
December 12, 2012
Don’t believe it when you read that Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian architect who died this week only days before he would have turned 105, was the one who took the chill off modernist design with his flamboyantly curving, white thin-shell concrete buildings. That’s the sort of nonsense that gets peddled in obituaries and haigiographies, particularly when a charismatic charmer distorts the historical record to inflate his own contribution, takes credit for the innovations of others, and outlives—by decades!—his competitors.
How Can the Supreme Court Help Gay Rights? By Keeping Out Entirely
December 12, 2012
Dear Supreme Court Justices, Last week, you agreed to hear two landmark cases about gay marriage. In the broader of the two cases, which comes out of California, you could establish same-sex marriage nationwide as a matter of constitutional right. This is a ruling that most gay Americans would celebrate as a historic victory for civil rights. But I want to suggest that you make history, and advance the cause of gay equality, in a different way: by butting out. I bow to no one in my support for marriage equality.
Can Gay Marriage Supporters Count on Kennedy?
December 11, 2012
Whether narrow or broad, his decision is likely to favor marriage equality.
Gay Rights Gets a Brown v. Board—If It Doesn't Backfire
December 10, 2012
The Supreme Court has announced it will look at two gay marriage cases. Chris Matthews feels a thrill running up his leg. Shivers are probably the right response. But not necessarily the Matthews kind. The Court’s consideration of the sweeping challenge to California’s Proposition 8 raises the odds that the Supreme Court strategy may backfire—a risk that the modest challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act was likely to avoid.
The Data Plan
December 08, 2012
Don't like affirmative action? The alternative could be much worse.
Dear Courts, Please Ignore Mitch McConnell's Latest Lawsuit
December 07, 2012
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a habit of rushing to court to reverse his political defeats. The ink wasn’t dry on the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act when McConnell filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality in court in 2002. McConnell and Senate Republicans supported similar suits challenging the Affordable Care Act moments after President Obama signed it. And now McConnell is at it again. Along with 41 Republican Senators, McConnell has filed a lawsuit, which the U.S.