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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Biden as Paradox

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president. Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given ... Read More

Biden as Paradox

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president. Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given ... Read More
U.S.

What Happened to Social Distancing?

Cardenas Ortiz-Sandoval’s mother, Guadalupe, died last month. Cardenas, 22, helped to plan her funeral. She was told by mortuary officials that the state of California would not allow more than ten people to attend her mother’s graveside service. Some family members were forced to stay home. Lifelong friends ... Read More
U.S.

What Happened to Social Distancing?

Cardenas Ortiz-Sandoval’s mother, Guadalupe, died last month. Cardenas, 22, helped to plan her funeral. She was told by mortuary officials that the state of California would not allow more than ten people to attend her mother’s graveside service. Some family members were forced to stay home. Lifelong friends ... Read More
U.S.

The Lockdowns Are Now a Scandal

A boy in my neighborhood committed suicide a few weeks ago. It’s possible that the teen’s preexisting problems were exacerbated by the seclusion, tediousness, and helplessness of a national lockdown. Maybe not. I didn’t really know him. I do know that locals were forced to pay respects by sitting parked ... Read More
U.S.

The Lockdowns Are Now a Scandal

A boy in my neighborhood committed suicide a few weeks ago. It’s possible that the teen’s preexisting problems were exacerbated by the seclusion, tediousness, and helplessness of a national lockdown. Maybe not. I didn’t really know him. I do know that locals were forced to pay respects by sitting parked ... Read More