WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is especially admirable when correcting especially deplorable prior decisions, as with the 1954 school desegregation decision rejecting a 1896 decision's "separate but equal" doctrine. It did so again last Wednesday, overturning a 41-year-old precedent inimical to the First Amendment.
Shortly before the court ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Timothy Carpenter's interest in smartphones has had two unintended consequences. It has drawn the Supreme Court deeper into ongoing debates about applying the Constitution's Fourth Amendment to uses of digital technologies that have swiftly -- the first iPhone was sold in 2007; today there are 396 million American cellphone service...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As many conservatives saw it, Justice Anthony Kennedy's 1988 ascent to the nation's highest bench was reason for only muted celebration, if any, because he settled into the seat that his nominator, President Ronald Reagan, had first tried to fill with the conservatives' favorite jurist, Robert Bork. Bork was rejected by the Senate ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Amid the carnage of Republican misrule in Washington, there is this glimmer of good news: The family-shredding policy along the southern border, the most telegenic recent example of misrule, clarified something. Occurring less than 140 days before elections that can reshape Congress, the policy has given independents and temperate ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "This," exclaimed Margaret Thatcher, thumping Friedrich Hayek's 500-page tome "The Constitution of Liberty" on a table in front of some Conservative Party colleagues, "is what we believe." It also is what Bill Weld believes, which is why he aspires to be the Libertarian Party's 2020 presidential candidate.
The former twice-...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., wonders: "Is there any doubt that America would view a foreign nation firing missiles at targets on American soil as an act of war?" His question might be pertinent to why the Singapore summit happened, and what, if anything, was changed by it. The question certainly is relevant to constitutional government ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Karl Marx was no more mistaken than usual when he said that historic people and events appear twice, first as tragedy, then as farce. Today's advocates of a musty fragment of the 1970s, the Equal Rights Amendment, are demonstrating that something that begins as farce can reappear as tragedy, because abuse of the Constitution is ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Back when the Soviet Union had a first-rate nuclear arsenal but a ramshackle third-world economy that produced no consumer goods other than vodka and caviar that anyone elsewhere would buy, the nation was disparaged as "Upper Volta with rockets." Today the question is: Would North Korea like to become Upper Volta without rockets ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "Loose lips sink ships" was a World War II slogan warning Americans against inadvertently disclosing important secrets, such as troop ships' sailing schedules. On Monday, the Supreme Court showed that loose lips can sink cases.
In Colorado in 2012, a Christian baker declined the request of a same-sex couple to decorate a cake for ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Within 17 days in the autumn of 1975 -- first in Sacramento, then in San Francisco -- two separate handgun-wielding women attempted to assassinate the president. Had either succeeded, and each was close enough to have done so, the nation would have had a third president in 14 months, and a second consecutive one who had never been ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Franklin Roosevelt, afflicted by the disease at age 39, died in April 1945 at the polio recuperation facility he had created in Warm Springs, Georgia. Before then, Mitch McConnell living in Five Points, Alabama, began going there for treatment for the polio that struck him at age 2, in 1944.
After paralysis by polio, an inner iron...Read more
WASHINGTON -- No elaborate catechism is required to determine if someone is a conservative. A single question, as simple as it is infallible, suffices: For whom would you have voted in the presidential election of 1912?
That year, a former president and a future president ran against the incumbent president, who lost, as did the country, which ...Read more