Archive

  • THIS AIN'T NO KOREMATSU, THIS AIN"T NO FOOLING AROUND.

    THIS AIN'T NO KOREMATSU, THIS AIN"T NO FOOLING AROUND. The Canadian lawblogger Pithlord has a good analysis of the Supreme Court of Canada's recent Charkaoui decision , which held that the Canadian government's procedures for detaining and deporting terrorist suspects were insufficient to meet the requirements of fundamental justice. As he said, the decision is judicial review "at its best": "[t]he Court encouraged a more moderate response to a serious problem, one that has the potential to reduce miscarriages of justice." The Court's meticulous balancing of legitimate state interests and constitutional rights is particularly instructive in light of Benjamin Wittes' world-weary sneering about the inherent incapacity of courts to make reasonable legal judgments during times of war. --Scott Lemieux
  • POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE GAY GRENADE

    POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE GAY GRENADE . In the fight to garner popular support for a revitalized ERA campaign in select states, some proponents have taken to reassuring voters that the ERA in no way guarantees gays the right to marry. Keely Savoie explains why this approach isn't good for gay rights OR women's rights activists. -- The Editors
  • EDWARDS EVOLVES AGAIN....

    EDWARDS EVOLVES AGAIN. John Edwards 's latest on Iran, according to ABCNews : Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a group of New Hampshire voters Saturday that he would consider pursuing a nonaggression pact between the United States and Iran. Edwards' statement came in answer to a voter's question at a house party in Nashua on Saturday morning. Asked about it later in an interview with ABC News, Edwards confirmed that he views such a treaty -- in which the United States would promise not to attack Iran -- as "a possibility down the road." But he emphasized that the Iranian government would first have to change its behavior in several areas. "I wouldn't give away anything until it became clear what the intent of Iran was, that they've given up any nuclear ambition, that they would no longer sponsor Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations," Edwards told ABC News, in an interview to be broadcast on "Nightline" Monday night. "So there would be huge jumps and...
  • AGAINST FALSE COMPLACENCY.

    AGAINST FALSE COMPLACENCY. Brad Plumer has a good piece about how any Republican President will almost certainly try to replace John Paul Stevens with a doctrinaire reactionary in the mold of Sam Alito . To add to his point, I think it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that most landmark liberal precedents survived a significant number of Republican appointments (even leaving aside the fact that this is, as Brad notes, a misleading metric - -the Rehnquist Court's strategy was to largely drain precedents of substantial content rather than overturn them outright). First, you will often hear the idea that many Republican appointments have been "disappointments," with the implication that it's more likely than not that a new swing appointment will be surprisingly liberal (indeed, a few people -- despite a complete lack of evidence -- made this claim about Alito himself.) But this is misleading -- conservative justices selected for ideological reasons have, in...
  • NOW WITH THE PIGEONS.

    NOW WITH THE PIGEONS. Coming hard upon the heels of the Chinese anti-satellite test, and the report of US Navy foolin' around with sharks , it appears that China is attempting to create an army of cyborg pigeons. Scientists with the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center of east China's Shandong University of Science and Technology say they implanted micro electrodes in the brain of a pigeon so they can command it to fly right or left or up or down. The implants stimulated different areas of the pigeon's brain according to signals sent by the scientists via computer, and forced the bird to comply with their commands. An insidious effort to develop a delivery system for weaponized avian flu? Noah at Danger Room has the following to say: I, for one, am outraged. Those of us growing up in New York know that there is nothing nastier than the swarming, disease-ridden, flying rats who turn every public place into a fight for room to breathe. Now China is looking to engineer a fleet of...
  • POLITICIZED NATIONAL SECURITY,...

    POLITICIZED NATIONAL SECURITY, CIRCA 2003. Yesterday, I was traveling back from my unsuccessful effort to -- no joke -- talk to Al Gore at the Governor's Ball (he didn't show before I left), so I missed the excitement in the Scooter Libby trial over the juror who got booted for exposure to media coverage of the trial and the happy reaction from the defense. (For what it's worth, I got the very strong impression from Sunday night that Gore will not be running for president -- who needs the hassle when you're on an inexorable march to sainthood?) While I was traveling, I had a chance to look back over Libby's grand jury testimony, and was struck again by just how involved, in ways that continue to surprise, Cheney was in the politicization of national security in July 2003. A small but interesting example that didn't even come up at the trial concerns a topic I have discussed before: Libby and Cheney's story that they were really concerned with the declassification of the October 2002...
  • POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: CHENEY FOLLIES.

    POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: CHENEY FOLLIES. In his column this week, Matt ruminates on Vice President Dick Cheney -- national joke, national nightmare. --The Editors
  • PRIMAL FEAR.

    PRIMAL FEAR. As Ezra notes , questions about Mitt Romney 's religion could be getting too much attention, given the fact that it is Romney as an individual people will either be voting for or against. But the Romney campaign is obviously acutely aware of the question of whether conservatives will consider Romney "one of us" or not. Today's Boston Globe has an article on that most delicious of campaign stories, the leaked strategy Powerpoint: The plan, for instance, indicates that Romney will define himself in part by focusing on and highlighting enemies and adversaries, such common political targets as "jihadism," the "Washington establishment," and taxes, but also Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "European-style socialism," and, specifically, France. Even Massachusetts, where Romney has lived for almost 40 years, is listed as one of those "bogeymen," alongside liberalism and Hollywood values. Indeed, a page titled "Primal Code for Brand Romney" said that Romney...
  • PLAN B-ACKLASH

    PLAN B-ACKLASH . There's apparently hell to pay when you point out that there's no scientific or medical reason to deny women over-the-counter access to emergency contraception. Although the Bush administration and Congress requested and allocated a full $4 million in funding for the Office of Women's Health, the FDA plans to withhold more than a quarter of that money -- $1.2 million. Martha R. Nolan , a vice president at the Society for Women's Health Research, a Washington advocacy group, said that big budget bites in Washington are often the beginning of the end and that she worries that this is retribution for the Plan B controversy. "We fear this is the first step toward eliminating the Office of Women's Health," Nolan said. "We must not allow this office to be eliminated or reduced to an empty shell that has no program funding." But if the funding cut becomes official, the office is going to be in a bind now , not just in the future. They've already spent or allocated the...
  • FIND BETTER EXAMPLES, PLEASE.

    FIND BETTER EXAMPLES, PLEASE. David Greenberg , who's a really smart guy and TAP contributor , makes the case for letting Scooter Libby walk in the latest New Republic . Because liberals are "supposed to be champions of the First Amendment and foes of overzealous prosecutors," he argues, they should have avoided "partaking in some hypocrisy of their own" by championing Patrick Fitzgerald 's case: "In fact, applauding it actually benefits the Bush administration -- and future regimes of its ilk -- by further sanctifying secrecy and demonizing the press." I have disagreements with most of Greenberg's argument, which seems to me to skip too quickly to meta commentary about what liberals are "supposed" to champion in the abstract, but frankly all I wanted to flag here is this part: Besides the value of airing secrets, liberals also used to defend something else: the Fourth Estate. While conservatives demonized the mainstream press, liberals -- though aware of the elusiveness of...

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