If the goal of the ACLU is to destroy Christianity and drive all religion from the public square, as so many fevered demagogues on the right would have us believe, they sure are doing a lousy job of it. They’re so incompetent at it that they keep defending the rights of individuals to express their religious views in public (as opposed to government endorsement of them, a distinction that the demagogues like to pretend doesn’t exist). Here’s the latest example:… Read more

Mark Olson of Pseudo-Polymath has a post about rights and ethics in competition that I must respond to more fully than I already have in the comments on his blog. To begin with, I must take issue with his characterization of the dispute: The two extreme positions on such laws lie between the Libertarian/Rights based stance of feeling that the law should provide complete license with regard to what is allowed between consenting adults and the Liberal/Conservative/Ethics based stance which… Read more

This is incredibly exciting news. One of my old and dear friends, Aaron Dworkin, founder and director of the Sphinx Organization, which provides education and opportunities to minority youth in classical music, has been awarded a Macarthur Foundation Genius Fellowship for 2005. The Detroit Free Press reports: Aaron Dworkin has devoted his career to building diversity in classical music, and anyone who has witnessed him on his soapbox knows he speaks with the passion of a preacher and the stamina… Read more

Just a short break from my usual subjects for a little whining. My fantasy football team is a keeper league, which means we can each keep up to 3 players from the last year’s roster on our team for this year and everyone else goes back into the draft pool. I only kept one player this year and he happened to be the highest scoring player in all of fantasy football last year, Daunte Culpepper. And how bad has he… Read more

I’ve been trying to find out what was said at that press conference called by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools – you know, the one with Chuck Norris – earlier this month. As it turns out, after savaging Mark Chancey’s scathing report on the suitability of their curriculum as the efforts of “far left, anti-religion extremists”, the NCBCPS has actually incorporated those criticisms into new revisions to that curriculum and they announced those revisions at the… Read more

Kermit Roosevelt, who teaches con law at UPenn, has an interesting article at American Prospect about the John Roberts hearings. He points out, correctly, that the arguments for why a nominee cannot be specific about a case that may come before them on the court don’t withstand scrutiny: What these remarks suggest is that Roberts will not be a wrecking ball, not a conservative out to change the tenor of the Court. That would have been a safe bet anyway;… Read more

I had lunch on Saturday with my friend Dan Ray, a frequent commenter here and a con law teacher, and we had an interesting discussion about John Roberts and the issue of the level of abstraction at which you view a given claim when it comes before the court. This was an issue during his confirmation hearings, though I’m sure a lot of people missed the significance of it. Sen. Biden questioned Roberts about this issue and the exchange went… Read more

Fresh off his electrifying performance on the Daily Show, the intrepid Dr. Dembski is still, it seems, attempting to do comedy. Witness the extraordinary chutzpah it took to write this post about the speaking schedule of NCSE staffers. He writes: Have a look at http://www.ncseweb.org/meeting.asp. One of my colleagues describes reading this page as “watching a car wreck.” I’m just sorry we can’t get a percentage cut from all the speaking engagements they are getting as a result of attacking… Read more

Much has been made during the hearings about whether Roberts is an “ideologue” or not, but I don’t think that tells us much either way. Roberts himself said bluntly that he is not an ideologue and has no single ideology or judicial philosophy, and that he doesn’t think ideologues should be on the court. Several of the Democratic senators have said or implied that they will vote for Roberts if they believe he will be like Rehnquist but not if… Read more

The Senate Judiciary Committee completed their confirmation hearings for the Roberts nomination today. They are expected to vote in committee on the nomination next Thursday, the 22nd. That will send it to the full Senate, which will likely begin deliberations on Monday the 26th and a final vote sometime that week. That should mean Roberts will be seated as Chief Justice by the traditional beginning of the new Supreme Court term on the first Monday in October. After the final… Read more

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