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


THE 2000 ELECTION AND THE SMEARING OF THE FLORIDA COURTS. Like Kevin Drum , I'm going to skip the meta-issues in Jon Chait 's article about the netroots and instead highlight this important point about the 2000 election: The 2000 recount is an apt birthing ground for the netroots. It perfectly fits their view of U.S. politics as an atavistic clash of partisan willpower. And their analysis of that episode, while somewhat crude, has a certain truth. The liberal intelligentsia, and much of the Democratic establishment, tried to hold itself above the fray. During the recount, liberal pundits were concerned above all with maintaining civility and consensus, and they flayed Democrats for any hint of partisanship or anger...Elite liberal opinion-makers insisted that their side play fair. Gore, they declared, must allow for the possibility that his opponent could win a fair recount, must renounce street demonstrations, must be intellectually consistent--permitting, say, military ballots that...


IT'S ANNOYING ABORTION CONTRARIAN DAY! Will Saletan has many of the annoying tics of the blue-state male abortion "centrists" who dominate editorial discourse on the topic, such as viewing national elections as referenda on abortion , and originating policies that prominent pro-choicers have been advocating for decades. His latest entry into the field (via A Bird and A Bottle , which has excellent commentary) returns to one of his favorite tactics, trying to infer unassailable moral premises from scientific facts (or, in some cases, "facts") that don't in fact lead to any particular moral conclusion. Today, he defends state-coerced ultrasounds for irrational, capricious women who otherwise just don't know that abortion is a serious decision: Pro-lifers are often caricatured as stupid creationists who just want to put women back in their place. Science and free inquiry are supposed to help them get over their "love affair with the fetus." But science hasn't cooperated. Ultrasound has...


SUNSTEIN ON REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM AND GENDER EQUALITY. Law-blogger Bean points us to this op-ed by Cass Sunstein , who argued that Ruth Bader Ginsburg 's dissent in Carhart II -- which rooted a woman's right to obtain an abortion on the basis that most attempts to interfere with this right violate a woman's equal citizenship -- may well become the Court's majority one day. In the long sweep of history, this is probably right, and certainly this provides a compelling doctrinal basis. ( Reva Siegel , a pioneer in equal-protection theory, argues in the recent book What Roe Should Have Said that such an opinion would have been possible for the Court to advance based on the legal materials available in 1973.) A few random comments about Sunstein's argument: While I think gender equality is fundamental to a woman's right to choose an abortion, I don't agree with Sunstein's assertion that "[m]uch more than the right to privacy, the ban on sex discrimination is firmly entrenched in...


MORE TERRORISM ON AMERICAN SOIL. A bomb was left at an abortion clinic in Austin . I'm guessing this will go down the same memory hole as the hundreds of packets of anthrax sent to abortion clinics after 9/11. After, as five reactionary lawyers on the Supreme Court have just informed us , you have to be crazy if you want to obtain an abortion anyway, so what's the big deal? -- Scott Lemieux


STRANGE JUSTICE. I like Bill Richardson , and hope that he becomes a viable candidate in the primary. But his choice of " Whizzer White " as his ideal Supreme Court Justice in tonight's debate is...odd. Myself, I would prefer a justice who was on the right side of (just for starters) Roe , Miranda , and Bowers . (In fairness, he did write one of my favorite concurrences .) The fact that, when informed he was expected to choose a living justice, he chose Ruth Bader Ginsburg while singling out her demolition of the rank sexism of Carhart II makes it all the stranger. -- Scott Lemieux