Some plays are born strange, some achieve strangeness, and some have strangeness thrust upon them (or upon their characters, at least). We consider one of each type herein.
Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’
The CIA operates in stealth; it is associated with some of the worst abuses of power in recent American history, including assassinations, coups, and torture; it has military capabilities. Congress needs to be firmly in control of its relationship with such an agency. The Constitution demands no less.
Same-sex marriage and public acceptance of legal equality for LGBT folk has broken out of the beachhead phase; defenders of inequality have turned to erecting enclaves for discrimination like the failed “religious freedom” law in Arizona. Marijuana legalization is still in the beachhead phase. We’ll know it’s broken out when enclaves start being built against that. But redoubts almost never hold.
True, we have always known that the outside of any envelope we place in the mail can be seen. We have always known that the phone company had access to “pen register” information, and that the bits and bytes that make up our e-mails are “known” to the various providers transmitting them. But we also did expect that the keepers of the media would take no interest in our metadata, would in fact be bound by rules of confidentiality, and that they would not only safeguard the contents of the communications, but also, to the extent practical, the fact of the communications too. We certainly didn’t think that the metadata would be analyzed by a government agency.
It seems quite possible the Supreme Court could act in such fashion as to lavoid announcing a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. And there is a reasonable chunk of the commentariat encouraging the Court to do just that. In my view, such a sidestep would be a big mistake becauseIt would put the Court in bed with stupidity, a place the Court can ill afford to be these days.
When, at his confirmation hearings, Chief Justice Roberts claimed his job was just calling balls and strikes, he was being disingenuous. The very concept of balls and strikes presupposes a strike zone, and constitutional interpretation is full of competing strike zones. In fact, there aren’t even reliable rules for choosing among these strike zones.
Catholic turf should not be the bishops’ to rule in the first place. The hospitals and the universities were built with the funds and the blood, sweat and tears of generations of all Catholic believers, and should by all rights belong to all of their successors, the entire body of the faithful. Instead of acting like the in-title-only trustees of these institutions, accountable to those who built them and their successors, the hierarchy behave like the equitable owners. And if you think these would-be owners are in favor of religious freedom for the rest of us in the Catholic fold, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.
But we had better be prepared for the consequences. Someone, somewhere, is going to try us, quite seriously, for war crimes. And somewhere else, someone is going to commit war crimes against our soldiers because we fail to recognize their own combatants as POWs. And it won’t be pretty.