Saturday, December 28, 2013

Choices and Consequences for the Republican Party

The Republican Party has made a number of choices in recent years. Some of these choices are structural, others are simply cultural and economic. But all of these choices have had consequences for the composition of the Party and its competitiveness in national elections.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Federal Judge Upholds NSA Metadata-Gathering Program

On December 16 Judge Richard J. Leon of the District of Columbia district issued his decision in the case of Klayman v. Obama striking down the NSA telephone metadata surveillance program as unconstitutional -- a violation of the Fourth Amendment. My analysis of that decision may be viewed here. Today Judge William H. Pauley III of the Southern District of New York issued his decision in the case of ACLU v. Clapper. Judge Pauley came to the opposite conclusion and upheld the constitutionality of the data-gathering program.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Obergfell v. Wymyslo: Ohio Must Recognize Same-Sex Marriages From Other States

Judge Timothy S. Black, a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Ohio, has issued a ruling in Obergfell v. Wymyslo ordering the State of Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages that were lawfully entered into in other states. Like last week's district court decision in Utah, the judge based his ruling on the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor which ordered the federal government to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages entered into in the states that allow them.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Federal District Court Strikes Down Utah Laws Against Same-Sex Marriage

In a decision issued earlier today in the case of Kitchen v. Herbert, Judge Roger J. Shelby, a federal judge for the Central District of Utah, struck down that state's statutes and constitutional provisions against same-sex marriage. Utah thereby becomes the 18th state to recognize same-sex marriage. The judge's opinion is available here.

The Miracles of Jesus: Not Magic, But Lovingkindness

The lesson we should draw from the miracles of Jesus is not that we can work magic, but that we must care for each other.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Mexico Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

Earlier today in the case of Griego v. Oliver the New Mexico Supreme Court declared that, under the Bill of Rights of the New Mexico state constitution, same-sex couples have the same right to marry as opposite sex couples. The court's opinion is available here.

Health Insurance Advertising to Explode

Private health insurers are racing to capture market share under the Affordable Care Act.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Klayman v. Obama, the NSA Surveillance Case: Is the "Third Party" Doctrine Still Alive? Or Is the Gathering of Information by Businesses Now Considered "State Action"?

In an opinion released Monday, Judge Richard J. Leon, a federal judge for the District of Columbia, struck down the NSA surveillance program as unconstitutional. The principal question is, "How shall we reconcile the Third Party Doctrine with the State Action Doctrine?"

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Income, By County: Northeast vs. Southeast

In her article America's Wealth Is Staggeringly Concentrated in the Northeast Corridor (December 13, 2013) Emily Badger of The Wire has collected some fascinating statistics from a recent report by the Census Bureau showing the distribution of wealth and poverty in the United States. These reports show that wealth is concentrated in a seacoast corridor stretching from Washington, D.C. to Boston, while poverty in concentrated in the southeastern states that form the Confederacy.