We’ve got MIT economist Jonathan Gruber stopping by for a live chat on the site today at 1 pm ET. He’s the guy who helped Mitt Romney draft Romneycare in Massachusetts, so should be a pretty good opportunity to figure out what the heck has been going on at the high court these last two days. Chat here at 1pm ET.
Might as well throw some news into the mix since we are Newsweek. Today’s main event is another dissing of Obama’s health care plan. Things appear partisan, as always. The latest count: two judges appointed by Republican presidents have struck down the law or its main attribute, while two judges appointed by Democrats have upheld it. Better get ready, Supreme Court. Here’s the main issue, according to Florida Judge Roger Vinson:
At issue here, as in the other cases decided so far, is the assertion that the Commerce Clause can only reach individuals and entities engaged in an “activity”; and because the plaintiffs maintain that an individual’s failure to purchase health insurance is, almost by definition, “inactivity,” the individual mandate goes beyond the Commerce Clause and is unconstitutional. The defendants contend that activity is not required before Congress can exercise its Commerce Clause power, but that, even if it is required, not having insurance constitutes activity.
If you’re wondering why I’ve been absent from the Tumblr world this past week, or why I haven’t responded to your texts, phone calls, and/or emails, it’s because I’ve been slaving away on the above video. It’s a follow-up to my feature-length documentary, Fall From Grace, about the Westboro Baptist Church and their upcoming case that is being heard before the Supreme Court tomorrow.
Newsweek’s own K. Ryan Jones met with Pastor Fred Phelps and members of
Stuart Taylor Jr., on the confirmation of the Supreme Court’s 112th justice, Elena Kagan.
After about 20 years, Kagan overtakes Wood even though she’s less liberal, because she’s more likely have survived. She continues to provide excess value over Kagan from that point forward, until we reach a period 40+ years out where both women are almost certain to be dead. On balance, Kagan’s lifetime expected VORJ is actually higher than that of Kagan’s (1,280 rather than 1,206, if you care), assuming that she’ll defect from the liberals 10 percent of the time whereas Wood never will.
If you are into baseball statistics, you’re probably already intrigued.
Nate Silver is awesome.
We are in complete agreement. Though, honestly, it seems like from this argument, that a big value is simply sticking around, Obama should nominate the youngest person from Harvard Law’s class of ‘10 next time.
Big ups to our colleague (for now, anyway) Ezra Klein, whose Washington Post column today thrashes the argument that Obama shouldn’t nominate two women in a row to the Supreme Court. Since women make up half the population, the odds of two women being seated to the high court in a row are a solid 25%. The odds that 34 male justices would be seated even after women got the vote? 0.000000000058, he calculates. In his words, “Yipes.”
Americans like to believe that discrimination is in our past and so nothing has to be done to rectify it in the present … But more subtly invidious is the simple fact that people are so unused to seeing women appointed to the court that it’s somehow a scandal to see two of them named in a row. Two women and we’re talking about systematic discrimination. And that reaction means that even though the coin says there’s an even chance that Obama’s next pick will be a woman also, there’s probably not an even chance of it, as he’ll have to prove that he’s not favoring women. After all, it’s one thing to appoint 101 men in a row. But three women? Why, that’d be un-American!
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Preach.
Also, we’re pretty sure we’re going to ask for Ezra in the divorce….