Constitution

Diversity in the Classroom is Doomed.

Yesterday, supporters of affirmative action in admissions got a reprieve. The Supreme Court voted 7-1 to return the case to the 5th Circuit for reconsideration. But that reprieve won’t change the ultimate calculus that spells the doom of affirmative action in school admissions. The problem is a fundamental contradiction between the allowed reason for such policies…

Close of the Term

It’s one of my favorite times of year, the close of the Supreme Court’s term. Yes, I’m nerdy like that. But these are some big, significant decisions being made. I suggest, as I always do, that you follow along with Slate‘s Supreme Court Year in Review.  Though I miss having Dahlia Lithwick involved, Emily Bazelon…

Should the Government Promote “Traditional” Families?

Insofar as it is ‘traditional’ to organize families around a legal marriage of two consenting adults, recognized by the state, and securing for them certain rights, I do believe the government has an interest in promoting ‘traditional’ families. But I do not believe the state has a compelling interest in denying marriage to same-sex couples….

Virginia Electoral Vote Plan: Unconstitutional?

The legislature in Virginia is considering changing the way they divide the state’s electoral votes. In case you don’t remember, each state receives EVs equal to their number of U.S. Representatives (proportional by population) and U.S. Senators (2 per state). In most states, those electoral votes go en masse to the winner of the state….

John Roberts: A Moderate Chief Justice

In my pre-ACA ruling posts, I was critical of Chief Justice Roberts but also still holding out hope that he’d find a way to thread the needle. Now I’m ready to congratulate him on a job well done. Here are what I regard as the highlights of the ACA ruling: A sound principle of judicial…

Judicial Activism

As a follow up to my last piece and the blog entry by James Fallows, I’d like to address the balance between ideology and deference in the Supreme Court. Fallows is upset that justices who claimed a fealty to precedent are now going “out of their way … to decree new law contrary to what…

The Constitution Basis for a Federal Health Care System

Having now outlined my fundamental views on the Constitution, this post seems a bit superfluous. But perhaps it will serve as a useful example. In case you’ve forgotten by now, this is part of a series on health care. You can find the initial post and links to the others in the series here.   As a…

On Taxation, Redistribution, and the “General Welfare”

In my last post I leaned heavily on “promot[ing] the general welfare” as justification for action by our government. This phrase is necessarily vague and calls for some clarification as to what I perceive as it’s boundaries. Jacob has offered what I would characterize as a conservative/libertarian reading. In his view, “the general welfare” implies…

The Foundations of My Constitutional Beliefs

Jacob asked me to explain why I think it’s acceptable for the federal government to get involved in health care, education, etc. In many ways, this gets to the central purpose of the whole blog, but I think it’s worth trying to give a more succinct answer to the specific issues he raised. So here is a…

A Better Constitutional Basis for National Health Care

One of the things that bothers me about the ACA/Obamacare is that it relies heavily on the Commerce Clause of the constitution rather than the government’s power to levy taxes. This is also the weakness that the Supreme Court may exploit in striking down the law. The Commerce Clause In part, the choice to rely…