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“A court of one: Anthony Kennedy”

I have written this oped for the LA Times.  It begins: Forget the debate over whether the Supreme Court has taken a liberal turn. It is not a liberal court or a conservative court. It’s a Kennedy court. On major … Continue reading ?

Michael Morley on the SCOTUS AZ Redistricting Decision

Here is a guest post from Michael Morley, whose article on the Elections Clause issue was cited by Chief Justice Roberts in his AZ dissent: Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the use of independent redistricting commissions to redraw congressional district … Continue reading ?

Which is more taboo: the Confederate flag or the rainbow flag?

What did the American public think about the Confederate flag before the shootings in South Carolina? In November 2014, the respondents of The American Panel Survey (TAPS) were asked how offended they would be by witnessing each of a variety of potentially controversial behaviors in American society. One was the public display of the Confederate […]

Free Market Capitalists Should Celebrate Ex-Im's Demise, But the "Eternal Vigilance" Thing

At midnight tonight, the gears of crony capitalism will grind to a halt at 811 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. After 81 years of funneling taxpayer dollars to favored companies, projects, and geopolitical outcomes under the guise of advancing some vague conception of the “U.S. Show More Summary

Supreme Court to Consider Ending Forced Public-Sector Union Dues

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which asks the court to consider whether compulsory public-sector union dues violate the First Amendment right to free speech–which includes the right to be free from compulsory speech. Show More Summary

The view from Vilnius, part II

When Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, in an early round of negotiations in Brussels, complained that Greek pensions could not be cut any further, he was reminded bluntly by his colleague from Lithuania that pensioners there have survived on far less. Lithuania, according to the most recent figures issued by Eurostat, the European statistics agency, […]

Tuesday assorted links

1. Has 3-D printing stagnated? 2. Claims about Russia.  A speculative but important piece by Max Fisher.  And Russian village prints its own currency. 3. Ben Wattenberg, RIP. 4. Rare earths were never such a big problem to begin with. 5. Anil Kashyap primer on Greece. 6. G.C. Harcourt reviews Piketty from the Left (pdf).

When is the death penalty okay?

Our research was cited in the recent Supreme Court case on capital punishment: It was just a dissent, but still. I agree with Breyer that the death penalty has lots of flaws. On the other hand, Justice Antonin Scalia has a point that it it’s hard to call it unconstitutional given that it was explicitly […]

Will Immigrants Affect Economic Policy?

The New York Times has some wonderful Room for Debate pieces debating whether the American electorate is getting more liberal.  From Molly Worthen bemoaning the rise of secular libertarianism to Robert Reich repeating the mantra of the New Deal to Kay Hymowitz arguing that Millennials are not so liberal, all are worth reading.  If the U.S. Show More Summary

Young people voted in droves for marriage equality in Ireland. Equality would have won without them.

On May 22, the citizens of Ireland voted to broaden the definition of marriage in the constitution and provide for marriage equality. The referendum was notable in a number of respects as discussed here, here and here. The referendum produced an exceptionally high level of turnout at 60.5 percent, and a majority of 62 percent […]

When does religion win support for armed groups in Lebanon?

Within the last week, individual militants identifying with the Islamic State carried out deadly attacks against a Tunisian hotel and a Kuwaiti mosque. These are just the most recent examples of militants committing violence in the name of religion. This presents an obvious contradiction: While the doctrines of most religions preach, and the vast majority […]

Washington Is Fostering Anti-U.S. Cooperation between Russia and China

Relations between the United States and Russia continue to deteriorate, with the U.S.-led NATO alliance planning to station troops and heavy weaponry on Russia’s border.  At the same time that U.S.-Russian relations are reaching frosty levels not seen since the days of the Cold War, ties between China and Russia are growing noticeably closer. Show More Summary

AZ Redistricting Roundup

NYT LAT and LAT Politico       … Continue reading ?

Will the AZ Redistricting Case Save National Popular Vote From Constitutional Challenge?

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision reading the term “Legislature” capaciously for purposes of the Elections Clause likely means it would be read capaciously for purposes of Article II as well. This means, for example, that if a state by initative decides … Continue reading ?

Marriage Policy Is a Mess. Here’s How to Make Sense of It.

Give Rand Paul points for trying: His opinion piece about marriage policy in the wake of Obergefell did better than many other Republicans have done. He did not call for resurrecting the dead – and politically toxic – Federal Marriage Amendment. Show More Summary

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