Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

The SOGI Saga Sags

As we wrestle with the question whether in 1964 (or even today) “sex” meant “gender identity” and/or “sexual orientation” — shouldn’t this be a short wrestling match? — I thought I would recycle a couple of Bench Memos posts of mine from when the same-sex marriage issue was pending before the Supreme Court. Just because you have to consider a person’s sex in making a decision, doesn’t mean that the decision will discriminate against that person because of sex. The analogy I’ll use is that we have to consider a person’s date of birth in deciding whether to throw them a birthday party, but that doesn’t mean that deciding not to throw them a birthday party is age discrimination — even though we also have to consider the person’s date of birth in deciding whether to engage in age discrimination. Likewise, we have to consider people’s sex in deciding whether their being attracted to men makes them gay, say, or whether they are transgender — but that doesn’t mean that we are therefore discriminating against them because they are male or female. We just need that datum to make another determination which is ultimately not about their sex, but about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Elections

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The most substantively outrageous presidential campaign in American history has some serious chance of success. Bernie Sanders is leading or near the top of most polls in the first two Democratic nominating states, Iowa and New Hampshire. He could plausibly win both, which would instantly transform the race ... Read More
Elections

Bernie Is Not Normal

The most substantively outrageous presidential campaign in American history has some serious chance of success. Bernie Sanders is leading or near the top of most polls in the first two Democratic nominating states, Iowa and New Hampshire. He could plausibly win both, which would instantly transform the race ... Read More
Media

Our Stupid Times, Etc.

I don’t think most people who read the news are too stupid to understand the news. I think they are too dishonest. I am frankly embarrassed that we’ve found it necessary to append a note to Zachary Evans’s report on anti-Semitism to emphasize that quoting a person to illuminate his sentiments does not ... Read More
Media

Our Stupid Times, Etc.

I don’t think most people who read the news are too stupid to understand the news. I think they are too dishonest. I am frankly embarrassed that we’ve found it necessary to append a note to Zachary Evans’s report on anti-Semitism to emphasize that quoting a person to illuminate his sentiments does not ... Read More
Law & the Courts

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Law & the Courts

Jussie Smollett’s Google Headache

If Jussie Smollett had last year pleaded guilty to some minor charge, done 90 days of community service, and paid a substantial fine to reimburse the $130,000 worth of overtime costs rolled up by Chicago police detectives investigating his ludicrous assault claims, he might today be in full rebound mode. Picture ... Read More
PC Culture

Women Lie Too

Elizabeth Warren says Bernie Sanders once told her that a woman couldn't win the presidency. Bernie Sanders says Elizabeth Warren is lying about the encounter. I have no idea whom to believe. Some notable people on Twitter have wondered if maybe, considering all that happened during the #MeToo movement, ... Read More
PC Culture

Women Lie Too

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