So it’s day one after The Decision. And the political fallout has yet to be seen. When I first heard about the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (aka the health care act, or Obamacare), I’ll admit that my first reaction was one of giddiness and glee. I totally thrust my fist into the air, and with the kind of satisfaction that can only come from a mixture of relief and schadenfraude, I thought to myself, 'na na na nah boo boo, stick your head in doo doo', which, I’ll freely acknowledge, was not the most mature reaction I could have had.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
I don't want to be a downer or anything, because in some ways the Court and the Nation will be better for what was decided in the Obamacare case (NFIB v. Sebelius). More people will have health care, and health care will be a bit better. That's good. CJ Roberts also proved that he is not simply a mouthpiece for whatever argument Fox News is giving on the law, but is a CJ with the strategic genius so many have claimed he has.
It took a great deal of finesse to write this opinion, and to manage to move jurisprudence to the right, generally, while seeming to be a centrist or pragmatist, specifically.
BUT there are two pretty bad parts of the decision, from a policy standpoint.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I thought it was a good time to chat about the article that has been making waves around the internet recently, the Atlantic article on why women can’t have it all. This type of article, in various permutations, has been coming out yearly for a while now. In the beginning, it was penned by men, then by women. Either which way, someone is always willing to wag their finger in women’s faces and admonish them for thinking that they “can have it all”.
I confess I’m not sure what that means.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
I. Southern Union - 1st Cir reversed 6-3. And this is interesting: Breyer dissents, joined by Kennedy and Alito. This is about whether it's necessary for the jury to find each fact that leads to a higher fine by a reasonable doubt - or whether a judge can do it. Sotomayor: "The Sixth Amendment reserves to juries the determination of any fact, other than the fact of a prior conviction, that increases a criminal defendant’s maximum potential sentence. We have applied this principle in numerous cases where the sen- tence was imprisonment or death. The question here is whether the same rule applies to sentences of criminal fines. We hold that it does." Juries must decide, even with fines. Breyer, Kennedy, and Alito want to give the power to judges - drawing a distinction on those facts which involve judge's sentencing decisions - and they think the majority resolution is unworkable.
II. Knox v SEIU - Alito opinion, 9th Cir reversed, 7-2, Breyer dissent, joined by Kagan. Sotomayor concurs, Ginsburg joined her. "Whether a state can require its employees to pay a special union fee that will be spent for political purposes without first giving the employees information about the fee and a chance to object to it." I'm going to focus on this one the most, because I think it is the most important and the most political of the decisions that came down today.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
This is bizarre to me: What do you think about the fact that somebody wrote a book about Michelle Obama's ancestry? Here's a quote from the lady who wrote it (the article is mostly about how one of Obama's ancestors owned the woman whose child he fathered):
"I hope that the book will encourage people to talk more openly about slavery and how that wrenching period of American history still reverberates in this country, shaping countless contemporary family lines, whether black, white or in-between," she writes on her website. "What I loved most about Mrs. Obama's ancestors is that they were ordinary people who loved, struggled, strived and found their way forward under enormously difficult circumstances. Many of us share those kinds of stories. We only have to start digging to find them."So Ms. Obama has to have her ancestry mined to heal our country? That's just strange to me, and unfair. It feels seriously exploitative - she didn't do this with Michelle's consent.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
Humans really, really like to categorize things. This fact explains science and philosophy. It explains astrology and Myers-Briggs. It explains nationalism, sports, and racism. And it explains Muppet Chaos Theory, as explained by the excellent Dahlia Lithwick in Slate last week.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
My kids ate my homework. Okay, no, but boy did they get in the way of me doing any kind of efficient writing in the past two days. Until the fall I am first a mom at just about all times, and only secondly, well, a person who can do things like write cogent sentences without being interrupted constantly, particularly when my kids are low on sleep and wearing their cranky pants. But bear with me for one more bit of background, because it really does help in any discussion about the Court to know something about the personalities and histories of the current justices.
First a note about terminology: There are no liberals on the Court right now,
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
I'd like to talk some about the Supreme Court this week. But first I think it's worthwhile for those of us who aren't particularly focused on the Supreme Court (and really, how many of us are), to talk a bit about the Court and its current members. These are probably things you learned about at some point in school, but like with me and anything to do with chemistry or calculus, they may have been tossed by your brain to make room for things you use more. Like 1980s song lyrics. Seriously, when the kids get to chemistry and calculus it's going to be painful. But if they would like to know the words to every Madonna song, I've got it covered.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Friday, June 1, 2012
I have been, as has been discussed, obsessed with politics from a very early age. The only place I come close to being normal is in DC. My family and close friends put up with me, but I think on the whole they are happier when I can talk about politics with the other people who can get rolling on it the same way I can.
But even I - especially since having kids - can get fed up with politics.