Friday 19 February 2016

Links 19/2/16

On the death of Antonin Scalia: 
This moment, with Scalia’s trademark snark, nicely sums up the paradox of how his religious views influenced his Supreme Court career. The justice, who died Saturday, consistently argued that the United States is fundamentally religious, meaning that the government shouldn’t have to avoid religious displays—nativity scenes on public property, prayers at townhall meetings, and the like. His Roman Catholic faith often seemed to lurk in the background of his opinions, especially in cases involving abortion and homosexuality. But above all, he was committed to a literal, originalist interpretation of the Constitution, along with strict attention to the texts of federal and state laws.  
The Atlantic: What the Death of Justice Antonin Scalia Means for Religious Liberty, February 14, 2016 
Having ground Congress to a halt and done everything they can to constantly undermine and demean the legitimate authority of the Executive Branch, Republicans now seem determined to obstruct the workings of the third branch of our government, too.
Article II, Section 2 of our Constitution reads: “Power to nominate the Justices is vested in the President of the United States, and appointments are made with the advice and consent of the Senate.” Last we all checked, President Obama is the President of the United States. Appointing a Supreme Court justice is his privilege and responsibility. 
Quartz: Obama has two choices in filling the Scalia vacancy, February 14, 2016 
Appointing a replacement for Justice Scalia could be just as consequential. Abortion rights would become more secure, and gun rights less so. Business interests would meet with less success, and consumers and workers with more. Judicial hostility to government programs aimed at helping disadvantaged minorities would wane. First Amendment arguments in cases on campaign finance, public unions and commercial speech would meet a more skeptical reception. 
The New York Times: Scalia’s Death Offers Best Chance in a Generation to Reshape Supreme Court, February 18, 2016

Fingers crossed that his successor will believe that people other than white straight men are deserving of inalienable rights. 

Elsewhere, Copenhagen is setting an example in making itself more bike-able and hitting its target of becoming carbon-neutral, and Broad City is back (and re:The Atlantic, not a thing about Ilana's love for Abbi is "platonic")

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