President Obama appeared to endorse mandatory voting as a way to get money out of politics. In countries that have mandatory voting laws, if you don’t cast a ballot, you have to have to pay fines or other penalties. American polls show that most people who don’t vote support Democrats, which, of course, doesn’t do Democrats much good. I’ve read that in Australia, which punishes non-voters, the effect is a kind of stasis, since so many of those who cast a ballot really don’t care, cancelling out the votes of partisan true believers. What’s the problem with compulsory voting? I believe it was Sartre who said that the essence of freedom is the ability to say “no,” and saying “no” to all of the candidates would seem to be essential to democracy. But what do you think? [Read more…]
Belying the leftist myth that big corporations are conservative, 379 major businesses filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting gay marriage for when the Supreme Court hears arguments on the issue on April 28. [Read more…]
Wikipedia has filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency and the Justice Department, seeking to stop the government’s mass surveillance of the internet. [Read more…]
What’s the big deal, one might ask, about Hillary Clinton using a private account for her e-mails when she was Secretary of State? Maybe it was a technical violation of a very minor law, but lots of us use work e-mail for personal reasons and personal e-mail for work, so what does it matter?
Well, this was not a matter of using a g-mail or Yahoo account. Mrs. Clinton had her own server with sophisticated secrecy features, protecting her messages from media and legal requests under the transparency laws. The normally sympathetic Chris Cillizza explains why this is, in fact, a big deal after the jump. [Read more…]
The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on the most serious legal challenge to Obamacare so far. At issue in King v. Burwell is whether the language in the Affordable Care Act that provides for federal subsidies for health insurance policies purchased in exchanges “established by the state” applies also to the policies purchased in the 34 states that refused to establish exchanges.
The clumsily written and largely unvetted law and the way it is being applied poses other questions for the court: Does a law mean what it says, or what it surely must mean? Do the words in a law mean what was originally intended (there is evidence that the writers of the law actually intended the provision to apply to state exchanges only in order to coerce states to establish them) or what the bureaucracy wants it to mean? [Read more…]
We’ve blogged about the Maryland parents who let their 10 year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk home from a park by themselves, whereupon they were charged with child neglect. (See this and this.)
Well, the Child Protective Services ruled against them, saying that they were responsible for “unsubstantiated child neglect,” meaning that they are on notice for five years. The parents say they will continue to practice “free range parenting” despite the ruling. [Read more…]