Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney split Michigan's 30 delegates evenly. So why was CNN playing up the statewide percentages, as though that mattered? Are they stupid? Do they think we're stupid? The nomination goes to the person with the most delegates, not to the person who "wins" the most states.
Law entrusts judges with responsibilities and society accords them its respect. In return, the social order asks of judges one basic thing—that they respect the parameters of those tasks the Constitution assigns them and observe the need for self-imposed restraint. All persons, be they teachers or carpenters, ministers or congressmen, gain stature within prescribed roles and are over time diminished by departures. A judge’s view of law may be esteemed; a judge’s view on policy is worth no more than any other. It is that simple compact that the rule of law embodies—we have been given much, but it comes with a warning. It is that warning Roe and Heller failed to heed.
In closing, I cannot help but recall Justice Scalia’s lament in Casey:
[B]y foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish.
Yet, sixteen years later, the Court now takes an issue about which the nation is deeply divided and narrows democratic outlets, overlooks regional differences, and imposes a rigid national rule. Heller thus represents the worst of missed opportunities—the chance to ground conservative jurisprudence in enduring and consistent principles of restraint. The Constitution expresses the need for judicial restraint in many different ways—separation of powers, federalism, and the grant of life tenure to unelected judges among them. It is an irony that Heller would in the name of originalism abandon insights so central to the Framers’ designs. The losers in Heller—those who supported the D.C. handgun law, or, more accurately, supported the D.C. voters’ right to enact it—have cause to feel they have been denied the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight. I hope only that my fondness for the Scalia of Casey and the restraint of Hand and Holmes is grounded in more than nostalgia for days of judicial modesty gone by.
Note from KBJ: Did you notice the application of Keith's Law (without using the name) in the first paragraph? All persons, Judge Wilkinson says, are "diminished by departures" from their "prescribed roles." This has happened to journalists, judges, and scientists (including economists), all of whom would rather be political players than disinterested observers and commentators. This choice destroys (or reduces) their authoritativeness.
Insurance coverage for contraception is not an issue of small business, the economy or religion. It is a matter of health.
As a physician (family medicine), I have seen far too many patients denied care because of religious refusals embedded in their insurance.
As a patient, I want my doctors practicing medicine founded on the best scientific evidence, and I want our health care policies to follow suit.
The Institute of Medicine has determined that birth control should be considered an essential health benefit, as it is fundamental to the health of our families and our communities. It is time for employers and insurers to accept medical reality.
DANA SCHONBERG New York, Feb. 23, 2012
The writer is a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health.
To the Editor:
Michael P. Warsaw’s objections to regulations requiring insurance companies to provide women with access to contraception coverage are badly misplaced. First, the Obama administration has announced its intent to take employers with religious objections like Mr. Warsaw, including those who self-insure, out of the process, while still ensuring coverage for women.
It is disingenuous to claim that having any business affiliation with a company that happens to provide separate coverage for contraception services somehow infringes on a religious employer’s faith. No one is forced to use contraception against her beliefs, and religious people and institutions are still free to preach against its use. The ultimate decision is left to the employee’s conscience, not that of her employer.
Second, taking a job at a hospital, university or TV station is not the same as joining a church. Employers that hire people of all faiths need to play by public rules. It makes no more sense for an employer to dictate what health care services an employee may receive any more than it does to have control over how an employee spends her salary.
Employers should not be able to use religion as an excuse to discriminate by providing their employees with substandard health care insurance.
SARAH LIPTON-LUBET Policy Counsel, A.C.L.U. Washington, Feb. 24, 2012
To the Editor:
I’m glad to see that Michael P. Warsaw of EWTN is challenging the Obama administration’s contraception mandate and that a lawsuit has been filed on the network’s behalf.
It’s unfortunately true that Catholics are a divided lot, but I’m encouraged that EWTN and the American bishops are opposing the unjust mandate.
Note from KBJ: Birth control is an "essential health benefit"? Is being pregnant a disease? This is Orwellian doublespeak, folks, courtesy of progressivism. Don't fall for it.
Note 2 from KBJ: Did you read the letter from the ACLU attorney? Why is the ACLU taking sides in this dispute? And if it does take sides, why is it on the wrong side? Does it not care about the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty? This shows that the ACLU has long since ceased being a liberal organization, committed to the defense of civil liberties. It is a progressive organization, committed to imposing its will on everyone else.
The editorial board of the New York Times can't understand how anyone could, or why anyone would, oppose homosexual "marriage" (hint: it's called justice), so it resorts to impugning motives. This shows the desperation of progressives. Their argumentative abilities have atrophied as a result of not engaging conservatives. Since they can't support their views rationally, they attack anyone who disagrees with them, calling them "racists," "sexists," "bigots," "homophobes," and "nativists." Notice that even racists, sexists, bigots, homophobes, and nativists can make sound arguments. Why not engage the arguments instead of attacking the arguer? How would the members of the board like it if, instead of having their arguments criticized, they were called names? Oh, wait; they rarely, if ever, make arguments. All they have left is name-calling.
Addendum: The term "marriage equality" is manipulative rhetoric. Justice requires that likes be treated alike and unlikes differently, in proportion to their differences. If unlikes are treated alike, then an injustice is being done. The term "marriage equality" assumes, without argument, that there are no morally relevant differences between heterosexual marriage (i.e., marriage) and heterosexual "marriage." This is presumptuous and question-begging. The term is designed to bypass rather than to facilitate rational thought.
Addendum 2: The board does criticize an argument, but it's an argument nobody makes. The argument is that homosexual "marriage" should not be allowed because doing so would harm marriage (or married couples). This is a straw-person argument. Like begging the question, it's a fallacy.
A controversy is raging in biomedical ethics (or rather, about medical ethics). The authors of a new essay claim, correctly, that the following three propositions are inconsistent:
Abortion is morally permissible.
Infanticide is morally impermissible.
There is no morally relevant difference between abortion and infanticide.
The truth of any two of these propositions entails the falsity of the third. If abortion is morally permissible and infanticide is morally impermissible, then there must be a morally relevant difference between them, which contradicts 3. If infanticide is morally impermissible and there is no morally relevant difference between abortion and infanticide, then abortion is morally impermissible, which contradicts 1. If abortion is morally permissible and there is no morally relevant difference between abortion and infanticide, the infanticide is morally permissible, which contradicts 2.
The authors of the essay reject proposition 2. I suspect that most people reject either 1 or 3. I have no idea why anyone cares about the values of the authors. I, for one, have never heard of them and know nothing about them. Their values are no more important, objectively speaking, than the values of any randomly selected individual. If there is any value in their essay, it is in showing people that they must, to be consistent, reject one of the three propositions.
Wolf Blitzer of CNN is going on and on about Mitt Romney's big "win" in Michigan. But Michigan isn't a winner-take-all state. It's entirely possible that Rick Santorum will get more delegates than Romney even if he loses the statewide vote. Does CNN think that its viewers are fools?
During this period also I commenced (and completed soon after I had left Parliament) the performance of a duty to philosophy and to the memory of my father, by preparing and publishing an edition of the “Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind,” with notes bringing up the doctrines of that admirable book to the latest improvements in science and in speculation. This was a joint undertaking: the psychological notes being furnished in about equal proportions by Mr. Bain and myself, while Mr. Grote supplied some valuable contributions on points in the history of philosophy incidentally raised, and Dr. Andrew Findlater supplied the deficiencies in the book which had been occasioned by the imperfect philological knowledge of the time when it was written. Having been originally published at a time when the current of metaphysical speculation ran in a quite opposite direction to the psychology of Experience and Association, the “Analysis” had not obtained the amount of immediate success which it deserved, though it had made a deep impression on many individual minds, and had largely contributed, through those minds, to create that more favourable atmosphere for the Association Psychology of which we now have the benefit. Admirably adapted for a class-book of the Experience Metaphysics, it only required to be enriched, and in some cases corrected, by the results of more recent labours in the same school of thought, to stand, as it now does, in company with Mr. Bain’s treatises, at the head of the systematic works on Analytic psychology.