The Spectacle Blog

The Kennedy Takeover of the California GOP

By on 11.30.05 | 12:56PM

So Maria Shriver's counsel has been taken. The San Francisco Chronicle details Schwarzenegger's new chief of staff, fittingly named Susan Kennedy: A Gray Davis appointee, she "made her name as a political operative as the head of the California branch of the National Abortion Rights Action League. A longtime gay rights activist, Kennedy married her partner, Vicki Marti, in a 1999 ceremony in Hawaii attended by many California political insiders."

Send to Kindle

Politically Incorrect Science at Heritage Tomorrow

By on 11.30.05 | 12:43PM

TAS senior editor and "Capitol Ideas" columnist Tom Bethell is elaborating on his new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, tomorrow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington at noon. If you can't make it to the event, do the next best thing and buy the book.

Send to Kindle

See How Easy That Was?

By on 11.30.05 | 12:12PM

Ok, let's review the bidding. The president gives one really good speech, tells the world that we're not getting out of Iraq because of car bombers and assassins, and what's the result?

The Dems are in full retreat. Kerry's rebuttal? Listen to Rush now. He's got it precisely right. Kerry has the pedal to the metal in reverse. No, no, no. We weren't talking about withdrawing from Iraq. We were demanding a schedule for success. Right.

The president has finally engaged. We can quibble about what he said, but he's finally put the Dems on the defensive. Of course they were talking about quitting and running. Of course none of them were asking how we could win. Of course they were all saying it's unwinnable, a war based on lies, another Vietnam. Now they have been called on it, and they're toppling like a house of cards in a high wind. Messrs. Bush and Cheney have found the right tone. They need to keep singing long, loud and continuously.

Send to Kindle

Breakthroughs in Unethical Cloning

By on 11.30.05 | 12:10PM

A report in TIME Asia Magazine shows that unethical coercion of women has contributed to the work of Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, Korea’s chief stem cell researcher. After failing to receive a sufficient number of donated eggs from the public, Hwang's head scientists were obliged to offer $1,500 to female lab workers to give up their eggs. About twenty women working for the study complied. TIME says one of the researchers stressed that the “cloning breakthroughs would have been impossible without a steady supply of eggs.†That suggests the job security of these lab workers would have been threatened had they not complied, however voluntarily. On stepping down from his head position at the “World Stem Cell Hub,†Hwang admitted “being too focused on scientific development," as as result of which "I may not have seen all the ethical issues related to my research.â€

Send to Kindle

Ayotte: A Limited Invalidation?

By on 11.30.05 | 12:07PM

If the Court excised the health exception and declared the law invalid in cases of medical emergencies:

Scalia: Why should the doctor who's negligent and doesn't know what he's doing, why should he be protected.

Dalven: We believe that would be unconstitutional to send a doctor to jail for acting in good faith.

Scalia: That would be the case in any medical malpractice case.

Send to Kindle

Ayotte: Planned Parenthood Faltering

By on 11.30.05 | 12:01PM

Planned Parenthood's counsel, Jennifer Dalven, is really getting beat up over their challenge to the entire statute while making a very narrow argument, from Ginsburg and O'Connor to Roberts and Kennedy.

Send to Kindle

Ayotte: Medical Emergencies

By on 11.30.05 | 12:00PM

Justice Kennedy is arguing that a medical emergency could be addressed through the judicial bypass. Dalven is replying that once a minor arrives in the ER, it's too late for her to go to court and seek an exception to parental notification.

Scalia: Surely not the delay for a quick phone call. If NH sets up a special court with an abortion judge, why wouldn't that work?

Dalven: If it only takes an instant call to the judge to get approval for an abortion, then what's the point of the statute.

Chief Justice Roberts: Why didn't the physicians preemptively challenge the bypass process instead of the whole law then?

Dalven: No matter how fast the bypass procedure, it would be insufficient.

Roberts: So why does this implicate the vast majority of the cases? ... This is a facial challenge. There's no enforcement challenge at all.
Ginsburg: Why couldn't we rule that the NH statute is invalid to the extent that it fails to protect situations in which there's an imminent danger to health? Why wasn't that the appropriate judgment of the First Circuit in this case?

Send to Kindle

Ayotte: Planned Parenthood’s Case

By on 11.30.05 | 11:53AM

Their counsel, Jennifer Dalven, is leading with the fear of a medical emergency. "The undisputed evidence here is that ... every minute puts [the women] at risk."

Send to Kindle

Ayotte: Standards for Facial Challenges

By on 11.30.05 | 11:46AM

Solicitor General Paul Clement: Ayotte isn't even meeting a large fraction of cases in which the statute would be invalid.

Souter: That was true in Casey.... After Casey, I don't think one could plausibly argue that Salerno is the standard....

Kennedy: If not Casey or Salerno, how should I rule?

Clement: In favor of the state... their case is based on a one in a thousand possibility.

Send to Kindle

Ayotte: One Application

By on 11.30.05 | 11:34AM

Listening to the oral arguments in the Ayotte case: Scalia mentioned that it's rare for the Court to invalidate a law if only one application violates rights.

Send to Kindle