Monday, December 24, 2012

Hunting Demographics

Today's post includes information about how many people hunt in America, and what the demographic profile of that group is. These statistics are taken from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Balancing the Budget: Plan B Fails, Speaker Boehner's Choices, and President Obama's Budget for FY 2013

Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" did not garner enough support to pass the House. What's next?

Guns and the Culture of Violence

In the wake of the mass shooting of children in Newtown, Connecticut, Wayne LaPierre, Director of the National Rifle Association, claimed that the problem in our society is not the easy access to weapons capable of such bloodshed but rather our culture - specifically, depictions of violence in movies and on television. I think Mr. LaPierre is right in part, but he misses the point. Guns are a part of the larger cultural problem in this country - a culture of violence.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Second Amendment, the Right of Self Defense, and Gun Control

In District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment confers at least a limited right for an individual to possess a gun.What are the implications for the constitutionality of gun control laws?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Response to Justice Scalia

At Princeton yesterday Justice Antonin Scalia asked why we can't have moral feelings against homosexuality the way we have moral feelings against murder, asserted that the Constitution is not a living document but is "dead, dead, dead, dead," claimed that there is nothing in the Constitution about the death penalty or abortion, and said that it is necessary to interpret the Constitution in conformity to the words used and their meanings at the time they were written. Here is my response to each of these assertions.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Same-Sex Marriage Cases - But Questions Whether the Laws' Supporters Have Standing

Big news today on same-sex marriage.

Judge Jones' Opinion in Nevada Same-Sex Marriage Case (Part 2 - Use of Precedent)

In yesterday's post (Part 1) I discussed how Judge Jones neglected to analyze the fourth element of suspect class analysis and refused to discuss the extensive scientific evidence demonstrating the equality of gay and lesbian couples. Today's post critiques Judge Jones' use of precedent and his failure to honestly confront the real purpose behind the Nevada law banning same-sex marriage.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Judge Jones' Opinion in Nevada Same-Sex Marriage Case (Part 1 - The Fourth Element of Suspect Class Analysis)

The opinion of Nevada Federal District Court Judge Robert Jones upholding a Nevada law prohibiting same-sex marriage is deficient, disingenuous, and disturbing. It is deficient in that he neglected to apply a key element of the law of Equal Protection and he ignored a massive amount of historical and social science evidence about sexual orientation that bears upon that point. It is disingenuous because it mischaracterizes and misapplies the previous relevant case law. It is disturbing because of the language he chose to use in framing his opinion.