(Im)Proper Constitutionalism: Roberts’ Revenge?
Jun28

(Im)Proper Constitutionalism: Roberts’ Revenge?

Now that the original frenzy over the ACA ruling has died done (a little), folks are starting to dig a little deeper into the opinions (particularly Roberts’) to figure out what it means for the next case (incidentally, you can read the opinions here). Chief Justice Roberts’ formulation is that the individual mandate does not lie within Congress’ commerce clause power (nor the necessary and proper clause), but...

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Why Roberts Why?
Jun28

Why Roberts Why?

That must be the question conservatives are asking themselves today. After all, the prevailing wisdom (one I signed onto) was that this was a 5-4 decision one way or the other, with Kennedy holding the swing vote. Now, I thought maybe if Justice Kennedy bit, Roberts might come along — both to keep the decision from being yet another 5-4 ruling and to keep the opinion for himself. But Justice Kennedy voted to strike down the ACA...

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It’s Official: The GOP are now One-Staters
Jan19

It’s Official: The GOP are now One-Staters

Here’s the text of the latest RNC resolution on Israel: BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others; and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people. This is...

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Iowa Reveals GOP’s Anti-Israel Slant
Jan04

Iowa Reveals GOP’s Anti-Israel Slant

Cross-Posted to the Debate Link For the past few years, Republicans have incessantly attempted to argue that Barack Obama — one of the most authentically Zionist politicians America has ever seen — is “anti-Israel”. It was always a laughable claim. But it’s more so given the three Republican candidates who finished in an essential dead-heat for first place amongst Iowa Caucus voters: Mitt Romney, Rick...

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Post-Racialism and the End of Strict Scrutiny (Draft Posted)
Nov16

Post-Racialism and the End of Strict Scrutiny (Draft Posted)

I’ve got a new paper just posted on SSRN, entitled “Post-Racialism and the End of Strict Scrutiny”. Abstract is below, comments are appreciated! In recent years, a growing social consensus has emerged around the aspiration of a “post-racial” America: one where race is no longer a fault line for social strife or, perhaps, a morally significant trait whatsoever. This ambition, however, lies in tension with the most...

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DC Circuit Upholds the ACA
Nov08

DC Circuit Upholds the ACA

A huge victory for the Obama administration before a tough DC Circuit panel, which included two extremely prominent conservative judges (Laurence Silberman and Brent Kavanaugh, alongside liberal Harry Edwards). Silberman (joined by Edwards) upheld the ACA in its entirety, while Kavanaugh dissented … because he thought the court lacked jurisdiction to even hear the case at all. That’ll leave a mark (perhaps literally, as...

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Tea Party Congressman Endorses Destruction of Israel
Sep14

Tea Party Congressman Endorses Destruction of Israel

It’s Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), taking the Hamas line of a one state solution with a single sovereign governing from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. This, of course, would almost certainly result in the demise of Israel as a Jewish democratic homeland and, with it, the end of the Zionist dream. Since this eventuality is part of the reason why a two-state solution is the overwhelming consensus amongst American Jews, we...

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The Palmer Report and Turkey’s Response
Sep02

The Palmer Report and Turkey’s Response

This is a combination of two posts I put up at The Debate Link. * * * The United Nation’s long-awaited Palmer Report on the Gaza flotilla incident has now been released, and, from Israel’s perspective it has to be seen as a major win. The committee firmly decides that the blockade is legal and notes that an essential element of a legal element is that it has to be enforced consistently (which means intercepting folks...

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The Cultural Cognition of Climate Change
Jul05

The Cultural Cognition of Climate Change

Last year, I posted on research by Dan Kahan’s “Cultural Cognition Project” which found, in effect, that increased political and social education is associated with increased political polarization. Contrary to conventional wisdom, where greater education should cause a convergence amongst political actors (as their greater factual knowledge reveals the “right” policy path), Kahan has consistently found...

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6th Circuit Upholds Affordable Care Act
Jun29

6th Circuit Upholds Affordable Care Act

The critical vote was cast by conservative heavyweight Judge Jeffrey Sutton. You might be reading a lot of coverage that seeks to establish Judge Sutton’s conservative bona fides by noting that he was a clerk for Justice Scalia and was appointed by George W. Bush. And those are, indeed, indicators. But let me just say that — wholly independent of those biographical facts — Judge Sutton is known to those of us who...

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Today in Not The Onion
Jun27

Today in Not The Onion

The Supreme Court rules that allowing poor candidates the ability to respond to rich ones violates the latter’s First Amendment rights. Chief Justice Roberts: “All else being equal, an advertisement supporting the election of a candidate that goes without a response is often more effective than an advertisement that is directly controverted.” Can’t argue with that...

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Bibi Refuses To Meet With American Representatives
Jun06

Bibi Refuses To Meet With American Representatives

Cross-posted to the Debate Link A group of five American Representatives travelling to Israel sought but were unable to attain a meeting with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, or, it seems, any members of his cabinet (it is still possible they’ll meet with Likud’s Miki Eitan, Minister of Improvement of Government Services). The snub appears to be prompted by the quintet’s association with J Street, which is sponsoring...

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Not a “Right of Return” Question, or, Josh Rogin Needs To Read Better
May25

Not a “Right of Return” Question, or, Josh Rogin Needs To Read Better

Foreign Policy Magazine blogger Josh Rogin has a piece up announcing “White House: Jewish ‘refugees’ right of return should be ‘on the table’”. I read that, and I was rather shocked. “Right of return” for Jewish refugees? That would be rather bizarre. While there were a little less than a million Jewish refugees forced to flee from their homes in Arab countries during the time...

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Goldstone Reassesses
Apr02

Goldstone Reassesses

Cross-posted to The Debate Link The blogosphere is abuzz over Judge Richard Goldstone’s reconsideration of his commission’s report on Operation Cast Lead. Judge Goldstone, more or less, states that he’s satisfied with the results of Israel’s investigation into the accusations, that he no longer believes Israel can fairly be accused of targeting civilians as a matter of policy, and that he regrets that Israel...

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On the Other Hand….
Mar24

On the Other Hand….

Cross-posted to the Debate Link Really, Reuters? A bomb planted in a bag exploded near a bus stop in a Jewish district of Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a woman and injuring at least 30 people, in an attack police blamed on Palestinian militants. [...] Police said it was a “terrorist attack” — Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike. It was the first time Jerusalem had been hit by such a bomb since 2004. Mmm...

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Military Interchange Programs as Agents of Liberal Reform
Feb02

Military Interchange Programs as Agents of Liberal Reform

One of the key inflection points in any revolution is the ultimate decision by the armed forces as to whether they will fire on the protesters. Generally, any decently-entrenched regime with a powerful military can survive street protests if the military continues to back it. If the military decides to stand down, however, things get a lot more interesting. This is one of the key differences between Egypt in 2011, and Iran in 2009....

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From the River to the Sea
Feb01

From the River to the Sea

I oppose all radical clerics who advocate a “one-state” solution in Israel. Mike Huckabee is no exception. As Jon Chait observes, Huckabee’s objection in principle to the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank is a position not even taken by the Likud Party (indeed, it’s not even taken by Avigdor Lieberman’s extreme-right Yisrael Beiteinu party). Virtually the only folks who share...

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Barbara Bush Comes Out For Gay Marriage
Feb01

Barbara Bush Comes Out For Gay Marriage

Barbara Bush (Dubya’s daughter, not his mother) has just appeared in an HRC video spot promoting marriage equality in New York. In terms of Bush’s actually influence, this isn’t all that important — Bush is only a political figure because of who she’s related to; she’s expressed little interest in entering the public sphere on her own terms (even less than, say, Meghan McCain — another gay...

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Jon Swift Memorial Blogpost Roundup
Dec29

Jon Swift Memorial Blogpost Roundup

The Vagabound Scholar has resurrected the late “Jon Swift’s” yearly roundup “The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves”. It was a great thing Jon did, and a great thing the Vagabound is doing, both for the blogosphere community and to honor Jon’s memory. Head over and check it...

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Punishment and Reentry — The Case of Michael Vick
Dec29

Punishment and Reentry — The Case of Michael Vick

Over the past several years, the case of Michael Vick has registered a continual and deep discomfort with a lot of how we talk about (and practice) crime and punishment, and the disjuncture between the moral justification of punishment and the way it is actually operationalized in our society. As Vick is enjoying a successful year in the NFL, there are still those who are outraged that he is even allowed to play in the NFL —...

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