• Obama Has Lost in the Supreme Court More Than Any Modern President


    Each year, Supreme Court reporters and legal pundits devise a “theme” for the term just ended. They try to connect disparate cases into a coherent narrative about, for example, “the court’s turn to the Left,” the “triumph of minimalism,” or even its “libertarian moment.” Such trendspotting is mainly an artificial exercise driven by the vagaries of the docket; it’s not like the justices suddenly decide to make ideological shifts or alter jurisprudential approaches.

    This term, however, confirmed a very real phenomenon: the Obama administration, by historical standards, has done exceedingly poorly before the Supreme Court. While this conclusion may seem counterintuitive given the term’s liberal victories on abortion and affirmative action—or previous terms’ rulings upholding Obamacare—the statistics are staggering. READ MORE...

  • What Globalization Isn't


    If there has been a bogeyman in politics this year, it has been “globalization.” While Brexit was seen by many as the latest rejection of the globalization that has been the mainstay of international economics since the end of the Second World War, American politicians, both left and right, have also turned against it.

    Donald Trump is, of course, the high priest of anti-globalization. “We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism,” he swears. Bernie Sanders too complains that “the increasingly globalized economy, established and maintained by the world’s economic elite, is failing people everywhere.” And, while Hillary Clinton seldom uses the actual term “globalization,” she often echoes the complaints of anti-globalists, especially on trade issues. READ MORE...

  • Fisher Decision a Disappointment, but Won't Stop Campaign against Racial Preferences


    When the Supreme Court agreed to hear Abigail Fisher’s challenge to the University of Texas’s admissions program a second time, it seemed that the writing was on the wall. Why would the high court twice take up the Fifth Circuit’s rulings in favor of UT-Austin if not to slap down the school’s self-serving and disingenuous justifications for using racial preferences in its admissions decisions?

    Indeed, even without Justice Antonin Scalia, there was supposed to have been a four-justice majority against the use of race here. (Justice Elena Kagan was recused due to her work on the early stages of the case as solicitor general, so seven justices would decide the case.) READ MORE...

  • Fisher Decision a Disappointment, but Won't Stop Campaign against Racial Preferences


    When the Supreme Court agreed to hear Abigail Fisher’s challenge to the University of Texas’s admissions program a second time, it seemed that the writing was on the wall. Why would the high court twice take up the Fifth Circuit’s rulings in favor of UT-Austin if not to slap down the school’s self-serving and disingenuous justifications for using racial preferences in its admissions decisions?

    Indeed, even without Justice Antonin Scalia, there was supposed to have been a four-justice majority against the use of race here. (Justice Elena Kagan was recused due to her work on the early stages of the case as solicitor general, so seven justices would decide the case.) READ MORE...

  • Hillary's Hawkishness Began When She Was First Lady


    It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton favors a hawkish foreign policy. Her views seem out of step with the more dovish preferences of most rank-and-file members of the Democratic Party. And although there were many factors that led to the surprisingly strong challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primary, discontent among his supporters—especially his young supporters—about Clinton’s fondness for military force was high on the list of grievances. Antiwar Democrats recalled all too well that she supported George W. Bush’s disastrous military crusade in Iraq and retracted that approval only when it became obvious that the mission had unleashed catastrophic instability in the heart of the Middle East. READ MORE...

  • A Brexit Revote?


    Just when should the majority — and what kind of a majority — rule?

    The polls had barely closed in the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum when people on the losing side were calling for a revote. So far nearly four million people have signed petitions to hold another contest.

    It’s unlikely. The margin of victory was decisive, about four percent and 1.3 million votes. Prime David Cameron declared that while he was disappointed in the result, he accepted it: “I’m a democrat.”

    Yet he will be out of office soon. And Westminster will remain dominated by parties that favor continued membership in the EU. The Tories are divided but a majority of Conservative MPs want to stay. So does the bulk of the Labour Party. As well as the Scottish Nationalists and Liberal Democrats. Due to the vagaries of the electoral system, the United Kingdom Independence Party has but one MP. READ MORE...

  • A Brexit Revote?


    Just when should the majority — and what kind of a majority — rule?

    The polls had barely closed in the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum when people on the losing side were calling for a revote. So far nearly four million people have signed petitions to hold another contest.

    It’s unlikely. The margin of victory was decisive, about four percent and 1.3 million votes. Prime David Cameron declared that while he was disappointed in the result, he accepted it: “I’m a democrat.”

    Yet he will be out of office soon. And Westminster will remain dominated by parties that favor continued membership in the EU. The Tories are divided but a majority of Conservative MPs want to stay. So does the bulk of the Labour Party. As well as the Scottish Nationalists and Liberal Democrats. Due to the vagaries of the electoral system, the United Kingdom Independence Party has but one MP. READ MORE...

  • Timid GOP Postal Reforms


    The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has lost more than $50 billion since 2007, even though it enjoys legal monopolies over letters, bulk mail, and access to mailboxes. The USPS has a unionized, bureaucratic, and overpaid workforce. And as a government entity, it pays no income or property taxes, allowing it to compete unfairly with private firms in the package and express delivery businesses.

    The USPS needs a major overhaul. It should be privatized and opened to competition. But instead of reform, congressional Republicans are moving forward with legislation that tinkers around the edges. Their bill adjusts retiree health care, hikes stamp prices, and retains six-day delivery despite a 40 percent drop in letter volume since 2000. The bill would also create “new authority to offer non-postal products,” thus threatening to increase the tax-free entity’s unfair competition against private firms. READ MORE...

  • Timid GOP Postal Reforms


    The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has lost more than $50 billion since 2007, even though it enjoys legal monopolies over letters, bulk mail, and access to mailboxes. The USPS has a unionized, bureaucratic, and overpaid workforce. And as a government entity, it pays no income or property taxes, allowing it to compete unfairly with private firms in the package and express delivery businesses.

    The USPS needs a major overhaul. It should be privatized and opened to competition. But instead of reform, congressional Republicans are moving forward with legislation that tinkers around the edges. Their bill adjusts retiree health care, hikes stamp prices, and retains six-day delivery despite a 40 percent drop in letter volume since 2000. The bill would also create “new authority to offer non-postal products,” thus threatening to increase the tax-free entity’s unfair competition against private firms. READ MORE...

  • Scalia's Absence Didn't Affect the Supreme Court Like You Think


    It was an odd and sad year at the Supreme Court. Most years, pundits strain to concoct some sort of “theme.” Was it a liberal or conservative term? Did Chief Justice John Roberts succeed in imprinting his minimalistic methodology or is it still the Kennedy Court? Pretty airy stuff, because year-to-year narratives of the Court are driven by the vagaries of the docket and miss a lot of what’s going in the bulk of cases beyond the handful that make front-page news.

    But this term there actually was a phenomenon that overshadowed the Court’s work: the loss of Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia’s passing “deflated” what would otherwise have been yet another blockbuster term in many ways, defusing several high-profile cases as well as removing the most quotable pen on Earth from media coverage these last weeks of June. He was a legal giant, whose impact on both legal theory and judicial practice cannot be overstated—even if he wasn’t able to move the law quite as much in his direction as he would’ve liked. READ MORE...