Tag Archives: Jill Lawrence

Number 14… Number 14… Number 14

Heather Horn at The Atlantic with the round-up:

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell became the latest Republican to call for a reexamination of the Fourteenth Amendment and the issue of “birthright citizenship.” Senators Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl have also recently spoken out against the policy of granting automatic citizenship to all born in the U.S., even if they are the children of illegal immigrants. The birthright citizenship issue, though, doesn’t split quite along party lines. In the ensuing debate, several conservatives have come out opposing the proposed revision. Some maintain, though, that the Republican senators have a point.

Alex Altman at Swampland at Time:

The relevant facet of the 14th Amendment, which ensures due process and equal protection, states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” While proponents of repeal say the language–specifically the phrase, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”–is ambiguous, judicial precedent is stacked against them. That’s one reason why the notion of revisiting the citizenship clause may be more of a political gambit than a realistic proposal. Bills challenging the citizenship provision have been proposed multiple times in recent years without success–former Rep. Nathan Deal, who’s running for governor of Georgia, submitted such an idea last year, and Rep. Ron Paul did so in 2007 without success. “Anchor babies,” as critics of birthright citizenship have dubbed children born to illegal immigrants, have long been a subject of scorn for conservatives. But a constitutional amendment requires the backing of two-thirds of both chambers of Congress and ratification by 38 states–which is highly unlikely, to say the least.

It’s unclear how far the party is willing to push the issue, or whether conference members are on the same page. A GOP aide told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent that “nobody is talking about an all out repeal of the 14th Amendment,” and that McConnell merely supported holding hearings to revisit the concept of birthright citizenship. But the topic has sparked a pitched battle in the Senate, as The Hill reports, and Senators like Graham and James Inhofe seem to have their minds made up.

A majority of Americans support Arizona’s new law, and in the short term a hard-line stance on illegal immigration may give Republicans a boost. As a long-term political strategy, however, attacking birthright citizenship is an easy way to alienate the nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority group. In one recent poll, 49% of respondents supported birthright citizenship, while 46% said the law should be tweaked. But that poll found nearly 80% of Latinos are in favor of the provision–a figure that’s surprising only because it wasn’t greater. Many conservatives have argued the GOP risks kneecapping itself with the Hispanic electorate. “If the Republican Party embraces ending birthright citizenship, then it will be assured losing Latino and ethnic voters — and presidential elections for the foreseeable future,” wrote Cesar Conda, former domestic policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Mark Krikorian at The Corner:

Would it be cynical of me to think that McCain’s “little jerk” is just trying to burnish his tough-on-immigration bona fides?:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Wednesday night that he is considering introducing a constitutional amendment that would change existing law to no longer grant citizenship to the children of immigrants born in the United States.

Yeah, right. So the guy doesn’t want to do what’s necessary to actually stop illegal immigration, but he wants to make sure that the children born to all the illegals he helps bring here become U.S.-born illegal aliens? I’m afraid, though, that his rationale, whether he actually believes it or not, is in fact one shared by a lot of immigration hawks:

“People come here to have babies,” he said. “They come here to drop a child. It’s called ‘drop and leave.’ To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child’s automatically an American citizen. That shouldn’t be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons.”

I don’t like illegals having U.S.-citizen kids any more than anyone else, but there’s no evidence suggesting that this “drop and leave” stuff is true — anything’s possible, I suppose, but it’s just an assertion at this point. My own sense is that most illegal alien women who have kids here (accounting for nearly 10 percent of all children born in the U.S. each year) didn’t come for that purpose; they came for jobs or to join relatives, and one thing led to another, birds-and-bees style, and they had kids. There are no doubt some people who dash across the border illegally to have kids, but they just can’t amount to a large share of the problem. Nor does the problem of “birth tourism” require a change in the Constitution — we just need to permit (and require) our consular officers to reject visa applications from pregnant women, inviting them to re-apply once they’ve given birth in their own countries.

The phenomenon of citizen-children of illegal aliens is a symptom of too much illegal immigration, not a cause. Comprehensive immigration enforcement — abroad, at the borders, and in the interior — plus deep, permanent cuts in future legal immigration (which is the catalyst for illegal immigration) are the solution, because when we have less illegal immigration, we’ll have fewer kids born to illegals and the problem goes away. I’m afraid that if the citizenship issue makes progress, the libertarians will co-opt us, backing the citizenship change as a way of diverting attention from real immigration control.

Krikorian responds to e-mails

Daniel Foster at The Corner:

When I first read this anonymous Huffington Post story suggesting that Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) had signed on to the wholesale repeal of the 14th Amendment, I thought it was a gross mis-characterization, sloppy at best, a bold-faced lie at worst:

On Sunday, Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) became the highest-ranking Republican to call for the repeal of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, Kyl said that he opposes allowing children of undocumented immigrants to be granted U.S. citizenship and wants Congress to hold hearings on the matter.

But it turns out the blogger was just aping CBS News’s write-up of Kyl’s appearance on Face the Nation. That post contains the same non-sense about Kyl wanting to repeal the 14th Amendment:

Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., said today that Congress should hold hearings to look into denying citizenship to illegal aliens’ children born in the United States, as the fight over immigration widens into the explosive “birthright” issue.

Kyl told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he supports a call by fellow Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to introduce a new amendment to repeal the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

This is absurd. Here’s the text of the 14th Amendment, in full:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

[…]

What Kyl, Graham and others have tentatively embraced is an amendment that would clarify the first sentence of section 1 — and indeed, there is a credible argument that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” already excludes individuals who are here illegally, meaning that one might be able to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens by statutory as opposed to constitutional action.

Neither Kyl nor Graham,  nor any other elected Republican I know of, has talked about repealing the Due Process or Equal Protection clauses — which are prime constitutional underwriters of so much legislation favored by progressives. Nor, of course, has anybody talked about reestablishing the 3/5 Compromise or limiting suffrage for African-Americans.

Michael Brendan Dougherty at The American Conservative:

Of course, Graham was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2007. Back then dropped babies weren’t his concerns, rather he wanted to “tell the bigots to shut-up.”

There is no good reason for immigration restrictionists to soften up to Graham now. Overturning birthright citizenship doesn’t bring order or justice to America’s decades long problem of illegal immigration. There may be good reasons to think that overturning it would do little reverse illegal immigration, and much to prevent assimilation.

In any case, Graham’s re-framing of the immigration issue in one of the silliest and most counter-productive possible and his chosen method signals that he is not serious. Constitutional amendments are almost impossible to pass, especially in this age of gridlock and ideological sorting of parties. In other words, this is a stunt, just as his former denunciation of “bigots” was a stunt.

John Sides:

Everyone knows this controversy by now. Here is the bill. Here is Mitch McConnell yesterday. It’s highly unlikely that this push to end birthright citizenship will go anywhere, but it’s worth probing public opinion on this question and on an underlying question: what should be the boundaries of the American national community?

Some quick searching did not turn up many polls on birthright citizenship per se. Rasmussen recently asked whether children of illegal immigrants should be citizens. In their sample, 58% of respondents said no, and 33% said yes. It would be interesting to know whether this is an objection to birthright citizenship per se or essentially an objection to illegal immigration.

Now to the broader question. In 2004, the General Social Survey asked a battery of questions on potential qualifications for being American. This was the preamble:

Some people say the following things are important for being truly American. Others say they are not important. How important do you think each of the following is…

Here is the average importance that respondents accorded to each qualification.

americanqualifications.png

On average, respondents saw all of these qualifications are more important than unimportant. However, they also saw some qualifications as more important than others. In general, the more important qualifications reflect things that an immigrant can achieve: speaking English, becoming naturalized, respecting American institutions and laws. More exclusive criteria, and ones that immigrants cannot change (or change easily), are less important: being born in America, being Christian, or having American ancestry.

How might we interpret these results in light of the debate over birthright citizenship? Here are two possibilities.

First, Lindsey Graham and other opponents of birthright citizenship could take heart. Look, they might say, the public doesn’t even think being born in America is as important as other things. Given the importance accorded to American citizenship, we could make native-born children of immigrants go through the naturalization process and Americans would still see them as American. No harm done.

Second, some might object to that interpretation as a violation of the “spirit” underlying American public opinion. Americans’ sense of their national community is more inclusive than exclusive. Shifting American law in a more exclusive direction is not in this spirit. Why not recognize that more important than birthplace is speaking English, loyalty to the United States, and respect for its laws? And why not take heart that immigrants do learn English and are no less patriotic than native-born Americans?

Jill Lawrence at Politics Daily:

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is playing down his party’s new scrutiny of the 14th Amendment, which among other things confers U.S. citizenship on anyone born in the United States. McConnell on Thursday portrayed calls for hearings on the amendment as simply an attempt to examine what he calls the “unseemly” business of foreigners showing up just in time to have their babies, then going back home.

“I’m not aware of anybody who’s come out for altering the 14th Amendment,” McConnell said at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. He said the push for hearings stems from a Washington Post story about foreign businesses that supply visas to expectant mothers. “This is the kind of thing that irritates Americans quite a lot,” he said. “I don’t think having hearings on an obvious unseemly business is a threat to the 14th Amendment. What’s wrong with looking into this? The Post did.”

McConnell added that “the remedy for it is not yet clear. But I am not advocating revisiting the 14th Amendment and I don’t think any others have. I think the view is, why don’t we take a look at this?”

UPDATE: Doug Mataconis

UPDATE #2: Via Andrew Sullivan,

Will Wilkinson

Tim Lee

More Wilkinson

John J. Miller at The Corner

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Filed under Immigration, The Constitution

Explosions! Excitement! Boom! Boom!

Jill Lawrence at Politics Daily:

The debate over whether to create a public insurance plan to compete with private plans is about to explode in the Senate Finance Committee. The stakes are high and so is the suspense. (1 p.m. ET update on Tuesday: The debate has begun with three hours of talk, including some combative moments. No votes yet; they’ve broken for a 45-minute lunch).

It’s unclear what the outcome will be Tuesday when the committee, continuing work on its 10-year, $900 billion health reform bill, is scheduled to take up three versions of a public health insurance option.

The panel has 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans. Anything less than a solid wall of Republican opposition to all three proposals would be shocking. On top of that, several Democrats have reservations about some or all of the proposals.

Brian Beutler at TPM:

Two things to keep in mind if you’re watching the hearing or reading news accounts about the developments: the two proposals are very different, and neither is expected to pass. The Rockefeller amendment is a version of what we’ve come to know as the “robust” public option. It would, for a time, be tied to Medicare, and, thereafter, be able to use the government’s considerable leverage to bargain down payment rates with providers.

The Schumer proposal, by contrast, is what we’ve come to know as the “level playing field” public option: much like the public option provided for in the Senate HELP Committee’s proposal, its rates would be negotiated by the government with providers, just as private health insurance companies are forced to do.

Though most reformers by and large would prefer a Rockefeller-style public option, for political purposes, the one to pay close attention to today is Schumer’s. It’s the “compromise” public option, that can’t really be honestly construed as a massive government intrusion into the insurance market. Its impact would be relatively minimal, and though it, too, is not expected to pass, we’ll get to see, for the first time, a number of key senators–Baucus, Conrad, Lincoln–dispense with all the vague public statements and go on the record.

It will also provide reformers a sense of how much support there is within the greater Senate (particularly among Senate Democrats) for a public option–which could still be added at a number of key legislative moments down the line.

As the headline indicates, a big day (though not the last day) for the public option.

Ed Morrissey:

Schumer and Rockefeller threaten to pull the string on an elaborate work-around by Baucus to gain the most amount of support possible for health-care reform, and it will unravel the effort.  Not only will all Republicans oppose any bill that includes a public option, but a number of Democrats will also flee.  Red-state Democrats such as Ben Nelson (NE), Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor (AR), and even Kent Conrad (ND) have already expressed deep misgivings about that approach and favor a different mechanism.

Rockefeller and Schumer claim that any overhaul without a government option won’t work.  However, they also have not offered any explanation as to how they will pay for the addition of a public option.  They also do not explain how Americans, now opposing ObamaCare in greater numbers than ever, will reward the centrists for selling out to a big-government solution.  They already saw the evidence of the backlash in hundreds of town-hall meetings and Tea Party protests over the summer.

Schumer and Rockefeller have shown their dismissive attitude towards the constituents who sent them to Washington.  How many more are infected with this hubris?  Probably not enough to pass this deficit-exploding monstrosity, and if anything, the pair may have pulled the string that causes this to unravel more quickly than ever.

Conn Carroll at Heritage:

Thanks to Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) the focus today will be on whether or not the Democrats on the committee can find enough votes to include a government-run insurance program. Just like Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) preferred public plan, Rockefeller’s plan would set price controls for health reimbursements at 5% above Medicare reimbursement rates. If the public plan was opened to all individuals and families, 103.4 million Americans would end up on the public plan, 88.1 million of whom would first lose their existing private coverage.

It is unclear at this point if centrist Democrats in Congress are really ready to force this many people out of their existing private care and into government-run health care. But even if the public option is not included, there are still plenty of regressive job killing taxes and invasions of privacy in the Baucus plan that makes it terrible public policy:

Taxes Families – Under the plan,  everyone will have to have health insurance by 2013. The mandate will apply to all adults and their dependents under age 18. Those who failed to buy insurance would be forced to pay an annual tax between $750 and $3,800 per year. Those who fail to pay the tax could be jailed for up to one year. Worse, 7.7 million households would face a 35% excise tax on their health insurance. 94% of these households would be paying a higher tax rate on their health insurance than they would be paying on their income.

Taxes Businesses – Employers with more than 50 employees that don’t offer health coverage would have to pay a penalty for each employee who qualifies for new federal subsidizes under the bill. To stay in business employers will be forced to cut jobs and cut wages.

Taxes the Sick – The Baucus bill imposes higher taxes on manufacturers and importers of medical devices, health insurance companies, clinical laboratories, manufacturers and importers of drugs. In effect, the Baucus proposal would tax the sick to subsidize insurance for the healthy, and many of the taxes would be imposed on the same people “helped” by the subsidies.

Ezra Klein reacts to being quoted by Chuck Grassley and says:

Since the senator considers me an authority on the public option, let me lay out the argument at greater length: Liberals don’t think that Congress will pass a bill outlawing private insurance. They don’t think the Supreme Court will render a decision naming WellPoint “cruel and unusual.” Rather, they think the market will, well, work: The public option will provide better service at better prices and people will choose it. Or, conversely, that the competition will better the private insurance industry and that people won’t need to choose it.

But that confidence rests on a very simple premise: The public sector does a better job providing health-care coverage than the private sector. If that proves untrue — and I would imagine most every conservative would confidently assume that that’s untrue — the plan will fail. The public option will not provide better coverage at better prices, and so it will not be chosen, and it will languish. Indeed, if it languishes, it will lack customers and thus lack bargaining power and economies of scale, and get worse even as the private insurers get better. In that scenario, the public option not only fails, but it discredits single-payer entirely.

The liberals are willing to bet that they’re right. It’s not a sneaky strategy: It’s an up-front wager. The conservatives are not, however, willing to bet that they’re wrong. They’re willing to say the public option will fail, but not give consumers the chance to decide that for themselves.

Now who’s being sneaky?

Matt Corley at Think Progress:

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who recently took over as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told Bill Press that Democrats “comfortably” have the votes for a public option:

“I have polled senators, and the vast majority of Democrats — maybe approaching 50 — support a public option,” Harkin said told the liberal Bill Press Radio Show. “So why shouldn’t we have a public option? We have the votes.”

“I believe we’ll have the 60 votes, now that we have the new senator from Massachusetts, to at least get it on the Senate floor,” Harkin later added. “But once we cross that hurdle, we only need 51 votes for the public option. And I believe there are, comfortably, 51 votes for a public option.”

Though a version of the public option isn’t expected to make it out of the Finance Committee, supporters such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) say that “the Senate floor is more favorable to the public option than the Finance Committee, and [negotiations with the House are] more favorable than the Senate floor.” ”

Hugh Hewitt at Townhall:

There isn’t a lick of tort reform in the Baucus bill, which is one reason why seniors should be wondering why they have to bleed but the plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t.

The list of Blue Dog Democrats and Senators facing re-election is below.  Call as many senators as you can today, and start with Senator Baucus’ office. 202-224-3121.  If seniors sit on their hands this week and next, they’ll find their Medicare benefits cut and their Medicare Advantage premiums skyrocketing in 2010.

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Filed under Health Care, Legislation Pending

Burka Brouhaha, En Francais

burka

Sarkozy and the Burka (or Burqa).

Jill Lawrence in Politics Daily:

From the Associated Press:

“In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity,” Sarkozy said to extended applause at the Chateau of Versailles, southwest of Paris. “The burqa is not a religious sign, it’s a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement — I want to say it solemnly,” he said. “It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.”

From the New York Times:
“The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue, it is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “The burqa is not a religious sign, it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women.”

Charles Johnson at LGF

Saira Khan in The Mail

And yet, as a British Muslim woman, I abhor the practice and am calling on the Government to follow the lead of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and ban the burkha in our country.

The veil is simply a tool of oppression which is being used to alienate and control women under the guise of religious freedom.

My parents moved here from Kashmir in the 1960s. They brought with them their faith and their traditions – but they also understood that they were starting a new life in a country where Islam was not the main religion.

My mother has always worn traditional Kashmiri clothes – the salwar kameez, a long tunic worn over trousers, and the chador, which is like a pashmina worn around the neck or over the hair.

When she found work in England, she adapted her dress without making a fuss. She is still very much a traditional Muslim woman, but she swims in a normal swimming costume and jogs in a tracksuit.

Jessica Valenti at Feministing:

Banning the burqa doesn’t further women’s rights – it limits them. Now, obviously there’s a difference in Islamic women’s dress from the hijab to the burqa – but legally banning any of them erases all agency from Muslim women. (I’m especially wary of Sarkozy’s comments and this potential ban given that France banned headscarves from public schools in 2004.)

If you’re interested in hearing Muslim women talking about the hijab, here are a couple of interesting vids.

Amad at Muslim Matters:

This French President, described in a recent book (failed to be blocked from publication — so much for free speech!) as an uncaring father and a womanizer wants to now tell Muslim women how to dress. I’d like to ask Sarkozy that if he can tell us how we should dress, then under equal rights of the “republic”, why can’t Muslims tell French women how not to dress?  We are even willing to donate some extra clothing material to help the near-nudity on display everyday in this model nation!

For a President to devote significant time to the hijab in an important speech to the Parliament, the first one since the 19th century, is a clear indication that Sarkozy is running out of ideas to save the country from its economic and social ills. By letting the public focus on a clearly divisive issue, but one whose inherent prejudice bonds French citizens across the political spectrum, Sarkozy wants to use this “coalition of bigots” to distract the public from real problems.

At The Corner, Veronique de Rugy:

I have mixed feelings about this one. I am generally against all prohibition, and I am against encroachments of the freedom or religion. However, I also have read enough (here for instance) about the treatment and condition of Muslim women to find the Burqa troublesome (as the visible sign of their oppression).

Andrew Stuttaford

That said, although almost all societies do enact dress codes that reflect their notions of decency, banning the burqa from the street seems to me to be both a step too far and, quite possibly, counter-productive. What Sarkozy should do, however, is ensure that his fellow-citizens are as free to criticize the burqa as he is. In a country that stamps on free speech in the name of combatting the bogeyman of “Islamophobia,” it’s by no means clear that this indeed the case.
And more Stuttaford
Ambrose Burnside at Daily Kos:

The question remains, though.  Would a ban of the burqa be a women’s rights victory?  Or a regressive act that would stifle the free will of women who wish to wear the burqa?  Personally, I’m not in favor of banning any sort of clothing, religiously based or not, with a few exceptions such as making people remove face-coverings for ID photos, court appearances, for the police, and similar situations.

If a woman wants to wear a burqa out in public, and she’s doing it completely by her own free will, there is no reason why she shouldn’t be able to and a law banning the burqa would be a slap in the face for women’s rights.

However, if it turns out that women generally only wear the burqa to avoid being abused by jealous males, banning the burqa would be an important step toward women advancing in society.

UPDATE: Freddy Gray in TAC:

In 2003, when France decided to ban the Islamic veil from schools, there was at least an arguable case that state schools represented a public – and therefore necessarily secular — space. But to propose that hijab and niqab be expelled from French society is a more radical idea, one that carries a strong whiff of secular absolutism.

Sarkozy says that the Islamic veil is “not the French republic’s idea of women’s dignity.” Of course it isn’t. It would be a great shame if all French women began covering their faces. (Imagine if we could not behold the elegant features of Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni.) But is it not an equal, or even greater, affront to women’s independence to demand that they show their faces? What if a woman chooses to hide her face from the world? Is that not a legitimate expression of her freedom, religious or otherwise?

UPDATE #2: Michelle Goldberg in American Prospect:

A ban on burqas would, of course, be unthinkable in the American context, because our understanding of church state separation, and of free speech, is quite different than the one prevailing in France. “Here in America, the separation of church and state is about the protection of religion from the state,” Scott says. “In France, the idea is to protect individuals from the claims of religion. The state can intervene on behalf of individuals when they are thought to be oppressed by some communal group.”

Yet such state interventions can end up working against individual women. Last year, for example, a Moroccan woman married to a French man was denied French citizenship because she wore a burqa at her husband’s request. The ruling declared her “radical practice of her religion (and) behavior in society incompatible with the essential values of the French community, notably the principle of equality between the sexes.” According to the scholar Cécile Laborde, political parties, intellectuals and journalists praised the decision almost unanimously.

Likewise, Sarkozy’s prospective burqa ban has significant feminist support, including the backing of the feminist group Ni Putes Ni Soumises, or Neither Whores Nor Doormats, which has its roots in France’s Muslim ghettos. It’s worth taking the position of Ni Putes Ni Soumises seriously, since the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism has been, for them, a matter of life and death. Like the Somali-Dutch feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, their activism serves as a crucial corrective to multicultural pieties.

Ultimately, though, there’s no evidence that most burqa-clad French women regard themselves as oppressed. “There are women who wear burqas who are not being forced by anyone, who think that form of modesty is appropriate for who they want to be in the world,” says Scott. “It’s hard to distinguish between them and those who are being forced.” And so in the end, a ban putatively passed to further women’s rights could instead impinge on their freedom, and take from them something they value. Even worse, it could lead to those in the most fundamentalist of households being trapped inside their homes altogether. It would be cruel to limit these women’s options in the name of liberation, even if their clothes are a rebuke to the secularism that the French rightly hold sacred.

UPDATE: Matthew Yglesias:

A woman whose husband and/or other male relations have enough power over her to force her into a burqa against her will is only going to be forced by those same men further underground by this sort of rule. The only kind of person who would be genuinely unveiled by this kind of legal measure would be someone with enough autonomy to be in a position to choose compliance with the law over compliance with tradition. The French have a strong tradition not just of secularism, but of a kind of illiberal egalitarianism that holds that everyone should really be the same, and I think it tends to push them toward measures like this that don’t ultimately help anyone.

UPDATE: Julian Sanchez

UPDATE: James Kirchick at Commentary

UPDATE: Now the burquini has been banned. New York Times.

UPDATE: Christopher Hitchens in Slate

Shikha Dalmia at Forbes

UPDATE: Ryan Brown at Salon

Jim Newell at Gawker

Rod Dreher

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Filed under Fashion, Feminism, Foreign Affairs, Religion

Justice Sotomayor

9500_1

That’s what MSNBC is reporting right now.

Kathryn Jean Lopez

Atrios

NYT Caucus is confirming it, via TPM.

Will update.

EARLIER: Jeffrey Rosen Gets A Post Of His Own

$100 on Sonia Sotomayor?

UPDATE: All we have now is posts announcing, not posts reacting.

James Joyner

John Hinderaker

Sotomayor’s nomination is being hailed as a victory for the far left, but whether that is a fair assessment, I don’t, at this point, know.

Ann Althouse

Doug J. (entire post)

Who will be the first to compare her to J-Lo?

The obvious choice is TNR, but I’ve got to think Slate is in the running, unless the wingnuts beat them both to it. (Yes, I’m referring to SCOTUS nom Sotomayor.)

UPDATE #2: Steve Benen

Wendy Long at NRO with actual thoughts.

UPDATE #3:  SCOTUSblog:

Well before the hearings and votes, the immediate struggle will be to define both the nominee and the President (in light of his selection). In several prior posts, we have summarized Sonia Sotomayor’s principal opinions. Here, I discuss the lines of attack that likely will be directed at her if she is nominated by the President this morning.

The attacks are inevitable and tremendously regrettable, just as they were for Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. A cottage industry – literally an industry, given the sums of money raised and spent – now exists in which the far left and right either brutalize or lionize the President’s nominees. Because the absence of controversy means bankruptcy, it has to be invented by both sides, whatever the cost to the nominee personally and to the integrity of the judiciary nationally.

That is not to say that there aren’t legitimate – in fact, critical – debates over issues like judicial philosophy and the proper way to interpret the Constitution that can and should be front and center in a Supreme Court confirmation hearing. But the most extreme interest groups and ideologues are transparently uninterested in that reasoned debate as they rush to caricature the nominee and the opposing viewpoint.

Jim Lindgren at Volokh

BLT:

Sotomayor has gained a reputation as tough questioner -– some say too tough -– and has issued rulings that she will no doubt be asked about. One decision she participated in is now pending before the Supreme Court. She was part of a panel that upheld the city of New Haven’s decision not to certify a promotion exam for firefighters because not enough minorities passed it. The whites (and one Hispanic) who did pass, but did not get promotions, claim they were victims of discrimination based on race. The ruling Sotomayor joined has been criticized as cursory, and the New Haven firefighters could be compelling witnesses against her.

Rod Dreher quotes Jeffrey Rosen, asking of Sotomayor is Harriet Miers.

Atrios again

UPDATE #4: Steve Benen again.

Stephen Hayes gives us the thought of Bill Kristol at TWS.

Matt Y: “Looks like a bad day for Jeffrey Rosen.”

UPDATE #5: Michael Scherer at Swampland

This morning I spoke with Curt Levey, the executive director of the Committee For Justice, a conservative legal group, which will position itself in the middle of the coming fight. He said he was shocked by the reports that Obama had selected Sotomayor. “I didn’t think he would go that radical,” Levey said. “There is so much to go after there. . . . But I think that’s what happens when you box yourself into a corner–say it has to be a Hispanic, it has to be a woman.”

He listed three areas where Sotomayor was a relatively easy target: policy making from the bench, affirmative action, and second amendment rights. For good measure he called Sotomayor the “biggest intellectual lightweight of all the top nominees.” All of these problems, he said, could add up to “a Harriet Myers situation,” where Sotomayor would be forced to withdraw her nomination. (As a historical parallel, Myers is a strained one; she was forced to withdraw because of outrage within the president’s own party, something that is unlikely to happen with Sotomayor.)

David Frum

Ed Morrissey

Ta-Nehisi Coates

UPDATE #6: John Cole

At The Corner, Mark Krikorian and Jonah Goldberg

Scott Lemieux

UPDATE #7: James Poulos

The motivation for this move is uncomplicated. There is something deeply tiring about gearing up — as a blogger, but, I imagine, also as a politician, a staffer, or even a plain citizen — for yet another totalitarian conflagration in a teacup, another all-out war in what is now a long series. At a certain point, my dread, for instance, over what Sotomayor might be like on the bench is eclipsed or overcome by a longing to regain at least dispositional control over the situation. And by ‘the situation’ I mean less the nomination of Sotomayor than the deep, structural crisis tightening and tightening around the Supreme Court and its role in our political society.

UPDATE #8: Jonathan Turley

Michelle Malkin

Sullivan has his reacts up. Via Sully:

Alex Massie

Glenn Greenwald

UPDATE #9: A series of posts from different sites. The Daily Beast:

Richard Wolffe

Scott Horton

Stephen L. Carter

Politics Daily:

Carl M. Cannon

Jill Lawrence

Matt Lewis

UPDATE #10: Via TNR, more posts:

Ramesh Ponnuru links to his WaPo piece as “Obama’s Harriet Miers.” Jason Zengerle dissents.

Jeffrey Rosen:

Conservatives are already citing my initial piece on Sotomayor as a basis for opposing her. This willfully misreads both my piece and the follow-up response. My concern was that she might not make the most effective liberal voice on the Court–not that she didn’t have the potential to be a fine justice. Questions of temperament are often overlooked, but history suggests that they are the most relevant in predicting judicial success. (Justice Scalia may be a brilliant bomb-thrower, but has failed in his attempts to build coalitions and bipartisan majorities.) Now is the time to think more broadly about the role Justice Sotomayor is likely to play on the Supreme Court, and I look forward to doing that in the weeks ahead.

Erwin Chemerinsky

UPDATE #11: Noah Millman has questions beyond Ricci.

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Filed under Supreme Court

Survey Says…

Are American’s becoming more pro-life?

Kathryn Jean Lopez posts the article at The Corner.

Chris Good parses the findings. Prior to this Gallup poll, Nate Silver had a post parsing numbers.

Dana Goldstein and Scott Lemieux at Tapped.

Michael J. New at The Corner.

UPDATE: Allah Pundit

UPDATE #2: Ed Kilgore at 538

Cityonahillpolitics at Redstate.

UPDATE #3: Jill Lawrence at Politics Daily.

UPDATE #4: Yuval Levin

UPDATE #5: David Frum

UPDATE #6: John McCormack in The Weekly Standard replies to Frum.

UPDATE #7: Ed Kilgore at TNR:

Some readers may remember that back in May, there was a brouhaha over polls that allegedly showed a major shift towards the pro-life position on abortion among Americans. Much of it came from a Gallup poll that suddenly showed a majority of Americans, for the first time ever, considering themselves “pro-life.”

Well, Gallup’s got a new poll out today, and the “pro-life majority” has vanished (more specifically, May’s 51%-42% “pro-life”/”pro-choice” margin is down to 47%-46%). Even aside from the essential emptiness of self-descriptions like “pro-choice” and “pro-life, those of us who thought the May poll was an outlier seem to have been right. But I bet you’re not going to hear nearly as much about it now that it’s harder for conservatives to write those stories about their impending victory in the long struggle over abortion policy.

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Filed under Abortion, Culture War