In ordinary times, or in earlier days, when the judges were more clear-headed, the case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez would have been, as they say, a “slam dunk.” The case centers on a religious group of students in a law school, and yet the case would have been settled readily on . . . . Continue Reading »
Justice Thomas is magnificently right in making the case that the whole scheme of requiring the public disclosure of contributions is something that deserves to be struck down… . Continue Reading »
During the presidential campaign Barack Obama declared, with no inadvertence, that among the furnishings of mind he would seek in an appointment to the Supreme Court is a keen sense of empathy for the less privileged in this country. And sure enough, now that he is president, his nomination of . . . . Continue Reading »
I dont know how you feel about Newt Gingrich, but every time he is on, Im drawn to watch him. He always has a different angle, always has something substantive to say. And that, more than anything else, explains why, with all of the turmoil and embarrassments in his personal life, a party filled with conservative people still want to hear him.
It was no small tribute to him then that even out of office he was selected to give the keynote address on June 9 to the major fund-raising dinner for the Republicans in the Senate and the House. George W. Bush gave that address when he was in office, and when a Republican isnt in the White House, the privilege flows to one of the highest-ranking Republicans in office or the titular head of the party. Newt gave a stirring, summoning talk that night. The passion was modulated, the fires damped down only because Newt, with his bent toward the systematic, delivered himself of a lecture. He aims for the comprehensive. And along the way he spoke some telling lines. The most memorable, catching the central truth of the moment was this one: [T]hat [Ronald] Reagan used his rhetorical skills to shine light on truths and fundamental facts. Obama uses his rhetorical skills to hide from fundamental facts.
But past the lines that hit home, and past the evident move to be sweeping and comprehensive, he revealed in the design of his talk the omissions that were quite telling… . Continue Reading »
For his friends this is the kind of loss that tilts the world on its axis; for so many things marking the world around just cannot be the same. How could it be that we’ll never have those evenings again in the townhouse in New York, with the wine and cigars, and Richard John Neuhaus presiding . . . . Continue Reading »
Scenes from a dinner in Washington ten years ago: Irving Kristol: “What was in the Second Amendment, again?” Paul Cantor: “Irving, you don’t remember? You wrote it.”There has often been a faint recollection of the Second Amendment, because it had rarely been before the courts. The rights . . . . Continue Reading »
For reasons quite plausible, even to people on the pro-life side, Rudolph Giuliani persists in standing well ahead of the pack of the Republican candidates for president. He has sounded the traditional Republican themes: preserving the Bush tax cuts, seeking free-market solutions to problems such as . . . . Continue Reading »
Within the camp of conservatives, the most cautious opponents of Roe v. Wade have stopped well short of arguing that the protections of the Constitution may actually extend to cover those "persons" in the womb. The conservative lawyers have been content to argue that the Constitution . . . . Continue Reading »
Only a day after the election, the Supreme Court heard oral argument on Gonzales v. Carhart , the case testing the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. On this argument”and this case”much will hinge. If the Supreme Court sustains the federal bill, the decision would mark, in effect, . . . . Continue Reading »
In the forthcoming January issue of First Things , I have an analysis of the oral arguments the Supreme Court heard on November 8 in Gonzales v. Carhart , the case testing the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. But perhaps it is also worth mentioning, here on the First Things website, the . . . . Continue Reading »