PUNITIVE DAMAGES AND LESSONS ABOUT THE COURT. The Supreme Court today will hear oral arguments in Philip Morris USA v. Mayola Williams. The case concerns a $79.5 million punitive damage claim against Phillip Morris that was upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court. (See here and here for more background.) There's a good chance that the Oregon Court's decision will be reversed based on a Kennedy's opinion in State Farm v.
AND THEN WHAT? I have a lot of problems with Amy Sullivan's recent piece about the opportunities allegedly presented by David Kuo's new book. First of all, I reject her entire premise that Democratic politicians don't reach out to religious believers, and since she never mentions the names of prominent Democrats who treat believers with contempt it's impossible to evaluate her claims.
THE MAJORITARIAN DIFFICULTY II. Looks like it's Jonah Goldberg Monday here on Tapped. Kevin Drum finds him claiming that the last "100 years" of liberalism has been about "shoving things down people's throats." Drum identifies the most obvious problem: the core elements of the liberal accomplishments of the last century -- most importantly the New Deal/Great Society safety net and civil rights protections -- are very popular, which is why conservatives get power only when they don't oppose them.
SEPERATE AND UNEQUAL. To follow up on my general concerns about federal rules intended to make single-sex education more common, Brad Plumercites the details of the ACLU's suit against gender-based education in Louisiana, which persuasively cites evidence that this education reinforces gender sterotypes. More concerns expressed here and here.
IF YOU LIKE THE WAR ON (SOME CLASSES OF PEOPLE WHO USE SOME) DRUGS, YOU'LL LOVE ABORTION CRIMINALIZATION.Jill Filipovic, while discussing the incredibly draconian new abortion ban set to be enacted in Nicaragua (which doesn't even have an exemption of the life of the mother), points us to data which reinforces a point that should be central to pro-choice discourse: abortion bans are failures even on their own terms.