Sam Alito, GOP hack

I did not go to an Ivy League school. Millions of graduates from respectable community colleges possess an empathy and moral imagination — both are synonymous — greater than Samuel Alito, associate justice of the Supreme Court. His remarks to the Federalist Society this week depended on the infringement on his right to use federalContinue reading “Sam Alito, GOP hack”

The nonsense of originalism

I’m no lawyer but have always shown interest in the Supreme Court as an institution: its history, personalities, decisions. Not immune to appropriating the language of their enemies, liberals annoy me when they decry “judicial activism” or conservatives when they regard a political document written over two centuries ago as inviolate. Isn’t it funny howContinue reading “The nonsense of originalism”

Ruth Bader Ginsberg — RIP, Part II

Thanks to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, millions of women gained access to safe abortions and were no longer considered “secondary breadwinners,” gay men and women could marry, extended the statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit, and all-male admission practices in military colleges were unconstitutional. I could go on.

One year after Brett Kavanaugh: ‘They just make it feel better—until they do not’

Apparently this happened last week: The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday filed a motion for summary judgment in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit aimed at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) controversial supplemental background check on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. This means the FBI wants the case, initiated byContinue reading “One year after Brett Kavanaugh: ‘They just make it feel better—until they do not’”

Another allegation against Brett Kavanaugh

The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings almost exactly year ago belong among the more sordid affairs of my life, and it hurts to recall how our two political parties responded. Worse still was watching the real-time devolution of the sleazes who sided with Kavanaugh; their  dismissals of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony went from “Well, I believeContinue reading “Another allegation against Brett Kavanaugh”

John Paul Stevens: applying ‘reason tempered by experience and humility’

One Republican whom the Reagan White House didn’t hornswoggle was the late John Paul Stevens. In Linda Greenhouse’s obituary, I learned that Stevens understood with his usual alacrity how the Justice Department smothered the promise of the Fourteenth Amendment. Ed Meese he regarded with disdain.

John Paul Stevens — RIP

For as along as I was alive, the Supreme Court was John Paul Stevens’ court. The justice with a devastating interlocutory style and one of the last to write the first draft of his own opinions well into his eighties, nominated by the most conservative American president since Calvin Coolidge, ended up well to GeraldContinue reading “John Paul Stevens — RIP”

What Kavanaugh did to the right

I haven’t written much about Pride for uncomplicated reasons, but one of the reasons for which I’m glad, in the era of casual experimentation, that we gays still carve a month out of the year is to anger twerps like Sohrab Ahmari, for whom drag queens reading books to children in Sacramento libraries is analogousContinue reading “What Kavanaugh did to the right”

‘He had me with the idea that we are made to be free, and then he lost me’

Cue Adam Serwer: the cruelty is the point. In a story that deserves a Netflix series, the estranged daughter of Thomas B. Hofeller sifted through her dead parent’s USBs and external hard drives and found a curious document: a study concluding that a citizenship question on the 2020 census would make gerrymandered districts ever moreContinue reading “‘He had me with the idea that we are made to be free, and then he lost me’”