"It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race."
-- Chief Justice John Roberts
WASHINGTON -- Sordid, always. And sometimes lethal, as some Native American children could attest, were they not, like Declan Stewart and Laurynn Whiteshield, dead. They were victims of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which as construed and ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Brittany Maynard was soon to die. The question was whether she could do so on her own terms, as a last act of autonomy. Dr. Lynette Cederquist, who regrets that Maynard had to move to Oregon in order to do so, is working with others to change California law to allow physician assistance in dying.
Maynard, a 29-year-old newlywed, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Every sulfurous belch from the molten interior of the volcanic Trump phenomenon injures the chances of a Republican presidency. After Donald Trump finishes plastering a snarling face on conservatism, any Republican nominee will face a dauntingly steep climb to reach even the paltry numbers that doomed Mitt Romney.
It is perhaps ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It has come to this: The GOP, formerly the party of Lincoln and ostensibly the party of liberty and limited government, is being defined by clamors for a mass roundup and deportation of millions of human beings. To will an end is to will the means for the end, so the Republican clamors are also for the requisite expansion of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- We could wearily shrug, say "Oh, well," and economize waste and annoyance by just building the proposed $142 million Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. But long after its perpetrators are gone, it would squat there, representing Washington at its worst and proving that we have forgotten how to nurture our national memory with ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You probably never knew of the federal funding of museums commemorating America's long-gone whaling industry. The funding existed for 10 years, until 2011, because almost no one knew about it. A mohair subsidy continues six decades after it was deemed a military necessity in the context of the Cold War. The subsidy survives ...Read more
(Disclosure: Mr. Will's wife, Mari, works for Scott Walker)
WASHINGTON -- In every town large enough to have two traffic lights there is a bar at the back of which sits the local Donald Trump, nursing his fifth beer and innumerable delusions. Because the actual Donald Trump is wealthy, he can turn himself into an unprecedentedly and ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- History books can be historic events, making history by ending important arguments. They can make it impossible for any intellectually honest person to assert certain propositions that once enjoyed considerable currency among people purporting to care about evidence.
The author of one such book, Robert Conquest, an Englishman who ...Read more
The Knights of Juzhani: The Emerald of the Black CaveBrandon Young
Jimmy is an ordinary kid who is a senior in high school. Except for being a black belt, he is an average kid in every respect, with the same hopes and angst. Little does he know that his life is about to change, starting with his discovery of a strange emerald during his class’s field trip ...
WASHINGTON -- Don Winslow, novelist and conscientious objector to America's longest "war," was skeptical when he was in Washington on a recent Sunday morning. This was shortly after news broke about the escape, from one of Mexico's "maximum security" prisons, of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Guzman reportedly ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Executives of Planned Parenthood's federally subsidized meat markets -- your tax dollars at work -- lack the courage of their convictions. They should drop the pretense of conducting a complex moral calculus about the organs they harvest from the babies they kill.
First came the video showing a salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It came two days after the announcement of the nuclear agreement with Iran, yet little mention was made on July 16 of the 70th anniversary of the first nuclear explosion, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The anniversary underscored that the agreement attempts to thwart proliferation of technology seven decades old.
Nuclear-weapons ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Today's most interesting debate about governance concerns a 110-year-old Supreme Court decision. Two participants in this debate are the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court and a justice on the Supreme Court of Texas. The latter is trouncing the former.
In his same-sex marriage dissent, John Roberts repeatedly ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras decided to call a referendum on a bailout offer from Greece's creditors -- an offer that expired before Sunday's referendum -- he informed the Greek nation in a televised speech. At 1 a.m.
Mediterranean lifestyles are different. Greece's chosen style of living is dependent on others' choices.
-- Chief Justice John Roberts, June 29, 2015
WASHINGTON -- Roberts' intellectual complexity does not prevent him from expressing himself pithily, as he did with those words when dissenting in a case from Arizona. Joined by Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Roberts' dissent should somewhat mollify conservatives ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In 1824, in retirement 37 years after serving as the Constitutional Convention's prime mover, James Madison, 73, noted that the 1787 "language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders." He knew that the purport of the text would evolve "with the changeable meaning of the words composing it."...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Conservatives are dismayed about the Supreme Court's complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act -- its ratification of the IRS' disregard of the statute's plain and purposeful language. But they have contributed to this outcome. Their decades of populist praise of judicial deference to the political branches has borne this ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton's reticence is drowning out her message, which is that she is the cure for the many ailments that afflict America during a second Democratic presidential term. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has called her "the most opaque person you'll ever meet in your life," but when opacity yields to the necessity of answering ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Now come Greeks bearing the gift of confirmation that Margaret Thatcher was right about socialist governments: "They always run out of other people's money." Greece, from whose ancient playwrights Western drama descends, is in an absurdist melodrama about securing yet another cash infusion from international creditors. This would ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In January, McDonald's, leaning against the winds of fashion, said kale would never replace lettuce on its burgers. In May, however, it said it will test kale in a breakfast meal (breakfast is about 25 percent of McDonald's sales). Kale might or might not cause construction workers to turn at 6 a.m. into McDonald's drive-through ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Americans should light 800 candles for the birthday of the document that began paving the meandering path to limited government. Magna Carta laid down the law about "fish weirs" on English rivers, "assizes of darrein presentment," people being "distrained to make bridges," and other "liberties ... to hold in our realm of England in...Read more