Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Re: Tenth Circuit Requires Funding of Planned Parenthood

A postscript to my Part 1 and Part 2 posts: I now see that Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, right on the heels of his misguided defense of Justice Ginsburg’s attack on Donald Trump, has praised the Tenth Circuit’s ruling.

Indeed, Feldman outdoes Judge Mary Beck Briscoe’s majority opinion in at least two respects.

First: Whereas Briscoe embraced the silly proposition that the Center for Medical Progress videos were “selectively edited,” Feldman falsely asserts that they were “doctored.”  

Second: Whereas Briscoe relied on her highly speculative assessment of how a jury would “more likely than not” view the evidence of Governor Herbert’s motivation, Feldman somehow sees fit to play factfinder himself and declares, flat-out, that Governor Herbert’s directive “stemmed from a generalized political desire to show solidarity with the antiabortion movement.” Feldman doesn’t bother to raise for his readers why Herbert didn’t act on that same supposed desire during his previous six years as governor.

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Politics & Policy

Demagoguery Is Not Leadership

The government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand has, with the support of the opposition, decided to enact fundamental changes in the nation’s firearms laws less than a week after the massacre at two Christchurch mosques. This is the opposite of leadership. It is also an example of why ... Read More
White House

The Media’s Disgrace

There will soon enough be an effort to memory-hole it, but the media coverage of the Russia investigation was abysmal and self-discrediting — obsessive and hysterical, often suggesting that the smoking gun was right around the corner, sometimes supporting its hoped-for result with erroneous, too-good-to-check ... Read More
Politics & Policy

What Was Trump So Annoyed About?

One of the stranger arguments that I heard throughout the Mueller saga -- and am hearing today, now that it's turned out to be a dud -- is that Donald Trump's irritation with the process was unreasonable and counterproductive. This tweet, from CNN's Chris Cilizza, is a nice illustration of the genre: Donald ... Read More
U.S.

Political Theatrics

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including all you whippersnappers under the age of 50), I’m writing this from somewhere over the Atlantic. At least I hope that’s ... Read More