Blog No. 161. The Sutherland Massacre and the Challenge of the AR-15

  The day after the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, White House Counselor Kelly Anne Conway offered the familiar response of those for whom the Second Amendment—and their own boundless interpretations of it—are Holy Writ. She attacked anyone who would “politicize” the event by calling for increased gun control measures.[…]

Blog No. 42. Contraceptive Confusion: The Puzzlements of Hobby Lobby and Wheaton

On June 30, The Supreme Court issued an opinion in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius (collectively Hobby Lobby) invalidating regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that require that insurance provided by employers cover a broad range of contraceptive medications and devices. The employers in each case objected to coverage for four specific types of contraceptives that they consider to be abortifacients, i.e., causing an abortion. The employers claimed that the requirement to provide that coverage infringed their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). A five-justice majority of the Court agreed in an opinion by Justice Alito. The immediate controversy over the decision was quickly heightened when, three days later,the Court entered a preliminary stay in Wheaton College v. Burwell relieving Wheaton, a Christian college, of complying with an alternative procedure that the Court had appeared to endorse in Hobby Lobby. […]

Blog No. 34 McCutcheon and the Quagmire of Campaign Finance

The recent decision of the Supreme Court in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission has once again focused attention – often outrage – on the quagmire of campaign finance law.  In McCutcheon, Chief Justice Roberts observed that many people “would be delighted to see fewer television commercials touting a candidate’s accomplishments or disparaging an opponent’s character.”  I count myself among the people Roberts described. Nevertheless, it can be argued that extravagant political spending is more of an cultural irritant than the fundamental threat to democracy that it is sometimes claimed to be. In any event, it may be helpful to put the McCutcheon case in context and highlight briefly some of the key issues and Supreme Court decisionsBlog 32 demo reb money

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Blog No. 25. Abortion, Guns and Evolution.

On January 3 and 4, The New York Times printed a trilogy of pieces – two articles and an op-ed column – that many RINOs would find acutely depressing. The first article was titled “Access to Abortion Falling as States Pass Restrictions ” and the second was “Banished for Questioning the Gospel of Guns.” The op-ed, by Charles M. Blow, was titled “Indoctrinating Religious Warriors.” The pieces were unrelated in that each addressed a separate subject, but they shared a common thread: the influence of the far right in the Republican Party. […]

Blog No. 6 The Supreme Court, Republicans and Race. PART I, Race As a Factor in College Admissions

Issues involving race often provoke strong emotions that make them difficult to discuss. Republicans know that difficulty full well. Although, as we sometimes remind ourselves, our party is “The Party of Lincoln,” we are too often seen as insensitive or even hostile to the rights and aspirations of minorities. Needless to say, Democrats work hard to reinforce that impression and it is an impression that can be costly at the ballot box. Taking thoughtful and constructive positions on racial issues is not only an ingredient of responsible governance, but clearly has electoral consequences. As conservative columnist Ross Douthat recently wrote: […]