Scott Lemieux

Scott Lemieux is an assistant professor of political science at the College of Saint Rose. He contributes to the blogs Lawyers, Guns, and Money and Vox Pop.

Recent Articles


I UNDERSTAND THAT TRYING TO INFER LOGIC FROM INSTAPUNDITRY IS FUTILE, BUT... Glenn Reynolds asserts that Iran has been at war with the United States "since 1979." My question: when does he start calling for Michael Ledeen to be put on trial for high treason for helping to sell arms to a country the U.S. is at war with? -- Scott Lemieux


ALITO: STILL WORSE THAN SCALIA . David Savage has a very good article in today's Los Angeles Times about Antonin Scalia and the effect of appointing Sam Alito . It carefully explains the areas of law where replacing the centrist Sandra Day O'Connor with the doctrinaire reactionary Alito is likely to have an immediate impact. One good thing about it is that, rather than taking Scalia's claims of "originalism" and "textualism" at face value, it brings up the obvious anomalies in his record (such as the claim -- farcical from an originalist perspective -- that the 5th Amendment's Due Process clause prohibits the federal government from using any racial classifications.) Having said this, however, the fact that Scalia's (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Clarence Thomas 's) commitment to grand legal theories can be sporadic doesn't mean that it's irrelevant. This is evident in a case handed down today. The Court, in a 5-4 ruling with an unusual coalition ( Breyer and Souter being joined...


JOHN MCCAIN'S CONSISTENT OPPOSITION TO REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM. Given the news that John McCain has forcefully denounced Roe v. Wade , the understandable liberal reaction is to point out the inconsistency of this legendary Straight Talker (TM). And I agree, in general, that the media myths about McCain's increasingly risible claims to independence need debunking. Given the unpopularity of his position, though, when it comes to forced pregnancy it should be pointed out that his record is in fact fundamentally consistent: he's for it . He has a 0% NARAL rating. He's never met a federal abortion regulation he doesn't like . He voted for Robert Bork , which would have meant Roe being overturned 15 years ago. He favors a constitutional amendment banning abortion . It's true that he has said that he wouldn't want his daughter forced by the state to carry a pregnancy to term, but basically all American social conservatism comes with an implicit self-exemption for rich white people, and John...


A MODEST REQUEST. Would it be possible for people discussing the Edwards blog pseudo-scandal to stop discussing Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan as if they're the same person ? OK, from Dan Gerstein , what do you expect, but could Joan Walsh get this straight? In context, isn't it kind of important that one of these two women, as far as I can tell, never wrote specifically about Catholicism--the ostensible basis of the "bigotry" charges--at all? Do all young liberal women just look and write alike? Yeesh. -- Scott Lemieux


THE IDIOTIC SEASON. Eric Boehlert has an excellent (if depressing) rundown of the thoroughly phony Pelosi plane non-scandal . As recently as Sunday -- although the House Speaker-At-Arms had released a statement saying she didn't request the plane on Thursday, and even the White House had dismissed it as a "silly" non-story -- Glenn Reynolds appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources and not only falsely claimed that Pelosi had "requested" a larger plane but added the made-up-from-whole-cloth embellishment that "her staff said she wanted to have room for an 'entourage,' which was perhaps an unfortunate choice of word." (Were it not for the unfortunate death of Anna Nicole Smith , it's frightening to think of the traction this smear job would have received.) What's particularly useful about the Boehlert piece is that he notes carefully how this fake scandal fits into pre-existing Republican smear narratives: "Journalists adore the Democrats-are-hypocrites narrative so much that they often...