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


COURT PROTECTS GENDER DISCRIMINATION. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg notes , the evidence of gender discrimination in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear , decided today by the Supreme Court, is unambiguous: Lilly Ledbetter was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire and Rubber’s plant in Gadsden, Alabama, from 1979 until her retirement in 1998. For most of those years, she worked as an area manager, a position largely occupied by men. Initially, Ledbetter’s salary was in line with the salaries of men performing substantially similar work. Over time, however, her pay slipped in comparison to the pay of male area managers with equal or less seniority. By the end of 1997, Ledbetter was the only woman working as an area manager and the pay discrepancy between Ledbetter and her 15 male counterparts was stark: Ledbetter was paid $3,727 per month; the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month, the highest paid, $5,236. Despite this, and contrary to the judgment of the EEOC, the Court by a bare 5-...


AND DON'T KID YOURSELF, GROUCHO MARX WOULD TOTALLY SUPPORT UPPER-CLASS TAX CUTS. Memorial Day used to be the unofficial start of the summer movie season, although these days the start day keeps getting pushed back. But for those of you whose Memorial Day weekends involve watching one of the six or seven movies in constant rotation on Turner-owned cable networks, via Roy does Slate has some aesthetic Stalinism for you! According to Reihan Salam Fletch apparently isn't funny not because it's not funny but's too liberal. This is in contrast with Animal House , which is funny because it's conservative, or at least not-liberal. Now, if a Republican Party in which cultural reactionaries have a de facto veto over Supreme Court nominees doesn't immediately cause you to think of Delta Tau Chi, keep in mind that "the boys in Animal House aren't, say, fighting tooth and nail for a living-wage ordinance." Oh. Now, you might be tempted to reply that Fletch didn't really seem to be...


TERM LIMITS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL REVOLUTION. Brad Plumer reads Tom Goldstein 's astute analysis of pending changes to the court and proposes term limits: "The fact that, say, Mitt Romney could nudge out Hillary Clinton by a percentage point or two and then bring about a constitutional revolution seems fairly absurd, and a decent argument in favor of term limits for Justices, no?" One thing to add is that the revolution on the Court hasn't tracked changes in the electorate with nearly the precision that is often assumed. Since Roe was decided, there have been eight presidential elections and Democrats and Republicans have each won the popular vote four times. And at the Congressional level, Democrats have emerged with control of the House after eleven of those elections, Republicans in just six, while the Senate has been evenly split with each party winning control eight elections (counting 2000 as a tie because of Jeffords .) That doesn't sound like the basis for a massive...


BIRTH CONTROL "IS A PESTICIDE." More reasoned discourse from America's profoundly serious and morally superior pro-life movement, this time from National Abstinence Clearinghouse Sweepstakes spokesperson Leslee Unruh . You will not be surprised to learn that Unruh and her spouse were featured "experts" of the uber-crackpot South Dakota Forced Pregnancy Task Force . More on Unruh here . [Via Feministing .] -- Scott Lemieux


PUNDIT PROJECTION. To follow up on Sam and Matt , I too find the focus on the short-term reactions to individual votes baffling. As long-term readers will be (all too) aware, one of my hobbyhorses is the tendency of law professors to assume that public reaction to Supreme Court decisions is based on the craftsmanship of the Court's jufiscatory reasoning, although the evidence is overwhelming that public reaction is based on outcomes. I think this is something similar -- political pundits seem to assume that since they pay close attention to particular votes that this also matters a great deal to the public. (My favorite recent example was the hand-wringing over the allegedly devastating consequences of Russ Feingold 's censure resolution, which if you recall played no role whatsoever in the '06 elections that his party won.) When it comes to the war, it's the big picture that matters, and for people who agree with withdrawal on the merits it will also be good politics in the long run...