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

SUPPORTING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IS THE NEW CONTRARIANISM.

SUPPORTING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IS THE NEW CONTRARIANISM. Christine Stansell 's new article about Carhart II is very good. The puzzle it presents is how on earth it made it into the New Republic -- perhaps Jeffrey Rosen and Ben Wittes were away on a cruise (high contrarianism on the high seas!) or something. Anyway, it's a good analysis of the problems with the decision: Kennedy's opinion undermines constitutional protections for a woman's right to make decisions established in Roe v. Wade. And, just as disturbingly, it summons up assumptions about women that go back to discredited paternalistic decisions of the Supreme Court. "It's only a couple of paragraphs in the decision," notes Yale Law School Professor Reva Siegel. "But it's alarming." In Kennedy's words, one hears the echo of the anti-choice movement's new emphasis on abortion as a de facto violation of something at the very core of women's being. Medical technicalities take up the bulk of the Court's majority opinion, but the...

"A SOLUTION IN SEARCH OF A PROBLEM."

"A SOLUTION IN SEARCH OF A PROBLEM." A terrific article by Garrett Epps puts Karl Rove 's pressuring of U.S. Attorneys to pursue bogus "vote fraud" cases into the larger (and highly consequential) context of the GOP's vote fraud fraud . Epps also draws our attention to the Supreme Court's endorsement of the GOP's myths in a little-noticed opinion from 2006: We can't count on the U.S. Constitution to protect the election process. The Constitution does not explicitly protect the right to vote, and the conservative majority on the Rehnquist and Roberts courts has proved friendly to anti-turnout measures. As Mark Graber of the University of Maryland pointed out recently, the court echoed right-wing rhetoric about voter fraud in a little-noticed 2006 opinion allowing Arizona to implement its restrictive voter-ID law. "Voters who fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised," the court's per curiam opinion stated. This is the argument that...

THE SELF-IMMOLATION OF RUDY.

THE SELF-IMMOLATION OF RUDY. As a staunch Giuliani opponent, I must admit a certain grudging admiration for his decision to be explicitly pro-choice rather than adopting the High Contrarian "I'm pro-choice, but it should be left to the states (and, er, whatever regulations Congress can pass" position, and it's refreshing in a way that primary voters would see this as the kind of dodge it almost always is . It's good for the country for a serious Republican candidate to take the normatively correct and (funding questions aside) majority position on the issue. Matt seems right , however, that " John McCain and Mitt Romney should, in my opinion, be popping some champagne this morning." The strategic calculation seems to be that the front-loaded primary will include more liberal states in which his abortion position won't be a big issue. The problem is that I don't see much evidence that Republican primary voters in those states are particularly socially liberal. Schwarzenegger had to win...

FOLLOW-UPS.

FOLLOW-UPS. As an addendum to Dana 's terrific post below, people interested in this topic should definitely read Michael Berube 's thoughts on the subject if they haven't already. I would also like to add that the possibility that women may choose to obtain abortions if their children will have severe disabilities (or for sex selection or whatever) is, as Dana suggests, likely to be a major rhetorical strategy for the anti-choice lobby. It seems worth noting that even if one were to assume that this is always immoral there's no way of addressing this in enforceable legislative enactments. Women barred from obtaining abortions for certain motivations can always claim other motivations, and how can they be proven wrong? (Making women get a doctor's certificate, say, would simply make abortions easier to obtain for women with the resources and information necessary to find more sympathetic doctors, while doing little to ensure that women have abortions for reasons that third parties...

ENFORCEMENT QUIBBLE.

ENFORCEMENT QUIBBLE. As I have already argued in exhaustive detail, on the merits I am generally inclined to agree with Matt in his disagreement with Garance . For those of you who skip the long, boring posts, I think that Garance has identified a real problem -- people, especially women, selling nude images of themselves under varying degrees of coercion -- but her remedy of raising the age where it's legal to participate in porn from 18 to 21 is both overbroad (prohibiting more conduct than is necessary to achieve the objective and resting on problematic generalizations about the decision-making capacity of young women) and underinclusive (the problem of models not giving informed consent or being taken advantage of while impaired by alcohol doesn't vanish when they turn 21.) As Matt says, requiring producers to take active steps to secure consent a second time, or at the very least a "cooling off" period (familiar from other forms of high-pressure sales) that allow one party to opt...

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