Friday assorted links

1. Megan McArdle on Roe vs. Wade.

2. “We find a positive relationship between intelligence scores and fertility, and this pattern is consistent across the [Swedish] cohorts we study.

3. WalkAway: Observational Data on 150 Erstwhile Democrats.

4. New TWA hotel at JFK airport.

5. Yonatan Berman: “We also find that absolute mobility decreases with income. Individuals and families occupying thelower ranks of the income distribution have a higher probability of increasing their income over short time periods than those occupying higher ranks. This also occurs during periods of in-creasing inequality. Our findings stem from the importance of the changes in the composition of income percentiles. These changes are over and above mechanical labor market dynamics and life cycle effects. We offer a simplified model to mathematically describe these findings.”  More here.


Who would have guessed that making our most contraversial issues winner take all battles decided by unelected judges from 3 schools could have negative reprocussions?

Hi mouse.

Mouse is an anti abortion zealot? Who knew?

mouse hates the SCOTUS because conservative and orange man bad.

I am not a progressive and I am not anon-e-mouse but I think government by a committee of nine lawyers just might not be a good idea nor is it what the Founders intended. They wanted the legislature to run the Federal government and to exercise limited and enumerated powers. They do so by having an executive branch that *executes* the laws passed by the legislature, subject to judicial review. The legislative branch has largely abdicated its responsibility.

The Supreme Court made a Supreme mistake when they somehow discovered a constitutional right to kill the unborn children. It was so clearly a political decision and so far from the Supreme Court's prevue that everyone knows it was legislation by unelected judges. THAT is the underlying problem the court placed on this issue that can never go away. The very act of doing that by the court was, ironically, unconstitutional.

Such is life in America. Wasting their time on abortion debates while Red China grows stronger every day:

“The older generation of Chinese both respect and fear the United States, we were brought up to think America was superior and we were the underdog,” said Wang Xiaodong, a nationalist writer. “But the perspective of young Chinese is different. They don’t respect you. Nor are they afraid of you.”

#2: "all Swedish men born 1951–1967"

The negative IQ-Fertility relation is mostly a female thing, the male relation is flat-ish almost everywhere. So this isn't particularly surprising.

#1 IMO there are a lot of things they should have done differently. Yes no Roe V Wade finding forcing the states but alse they should have had to amend the constitution to:

1. Enact Social Security.
2. Enact Medicare
3. Ban Machine guns
4. War on drugs

I sure there is more.

For 1 and 2 what would be so hard to amend the constitution to allow the federal government to fund charity.
3 to allow the feds to regulate weapons.
The war on alcohol seemed to require an amendment.

Making the importation of narcotics (or the transportation of narcotics across state lines when they're contraband in a given state) a crime did not require a constitutional amendment. (AFAIK, simple possession is not a federal crime, and if manufacture or propagation is a federal crime it ought not to be).

You have a decent argument that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are unconstitutional. The thing is, they're so embedded in the long range planning of households that it would cause extreme disruption to attempt to enjoin them. Robert Bork made this point in delineating for lay audiences circumstances wherein the principle of stare decesis should guide the appellate judge; another example he offered was the printing and distribution of paper money, something you could make a decent case was not incorporated into the constitutions delegations of legislative power.

The analogy doesn't hold in re liberals' favorite 'Landmark Decisions' (with the possible exception of Miranda) because overturning most such decisions would just return discretion to state legislatures and local conciliar bodies, not blow up the retirement planning of a nine-digit population.

There are some areas where the Supreme Court went beyond it's authority, but Roe is not one of them. I don't think either side - women's right's vs. unborn fetuses' really thinks that these matters ought to be decided by a majority vote. No matter what the legislature did they would still be appealing to the Supreme Court because these are moral questions.

There are some areas where the Supreme Court went beyond it's authority, but Roe is not one of them.

I'll wager you have little understanding of Canadian institutions either.

The justification for judicial annullment of duly-enacted statutory law is that it conflicts with superordinate law. No state legislature exercising it's general police power to proscribe abortions is violating any provision of the federal constitution. A creature such as Laurence Tribe wandered through four separate and incompatible excuses for Roe v. Wade over the years because there actually is no such provision which would prohibit this act of legislative discretion.

It doesn't matter. People are going to appeal to the Supreme Court when they think that congress is violating their moral rights, whether or not those rights are enshrined in the constitution. There is zero chance that the "losers" in any legislative battle are going to sit back and say "oh, well, 51% of the population voted to make it legal to kill babies, so I guess I'll just shut up now." Abortion opponents would be appealing to the courts no matter what happened, because they think abortion is fundamentally wrong and that is not a point they will ever believe should be decided by voters.


It is not ok to kill inconvenient humans.

Tell that to the ppl operating the drones.

Does Alabama have Hellfire missiles on its drones?

That stopped when Obama left the White House.

Moral equivalence - abortion killers - 70,000,000; Obama drone killers what 26.

Additionally, reports reveal cases of race hate violence significantly reduced since Obama left.

Peace, prosperity, racial comity: Is there nothing President Donald J. Trump cannot accomplish?

Thats some mighty strong kool aid you be drinkin, fanboi!!!

Yeah, it's called truth serum. Get a shot and you'll say the same things.

Unless those inconvenient humans are in a petri dish, then it's ok. Alabama law says so.

Being male, I don't deserve n opinion on abortion.

But, petri dishes (and clones, too)? Seems right in my wheel house, so to speak.

brace yourself, Susan.

If it's in a petri dish . . . it's Frankenstein stuff.

Seventy million petri dishes? Missed chance to go long on petri dish stocks.

A fertilized human egg is a human. Only science deniers and liars disagree.

Let the hox genes do their work.

Abortion is tough to defend - it is a selfish act to avoid an inconvenience.

There are people lined up to adopt unwanted inconvenient human babies.

Pregnant women have options and cam make choices while humans in the womb cannot.

It is that simple.

Are you ok with all the murdering of in vitro babies the Alabama law allows?

Just remember every intestinal epithelial cell you poop out is also a human being. We've had the ability to -- badly -- clone large mammals for 23 years now. Only a science denier would say an epithelial cell in your poop isn't also a human being.


Yeah, and clearly you are the first poop person.

You have time to troll obviously, so answer the in vitro question, please.

So what if a human ovum is human? That doesn't make it a human person any more than any other living human cell is a whole person in and of itself. Henrietta Laks' cell line was kept alive for many years after her death certificate was signed. Was that signing an error? Was Ms. Laks still alive all those years too?

"I don't think either side - women's right's vs. unborn fetuses' really thinks that these matters ought to be decided by a majority vote."

But of course they. These matters were decided by majority vote A) before Roe, and B) in virtually every other democracy.

Or was there a big pre-Roe conservative movement to ban abortion by constitutional amendment that I've somehow never heard of? And is there one now (as opposed to a push to overturn Roe and return the matter to the states)?

There wasn't one then because it was only legal in four states (some states allowed it for rape, incest and life of the mother). People don't pursue constitutional amendments to ban things that are already mostly illegal. That's exactly where the Supreme Court is most effective, at protecting individual rights where they are not popular.

It seems to me that conservatives are kind of making an argument of convenience in this case. Because you disagree with the opinion it would be better to have everything decided by majority vote. But if you apply that standard, then you have to apply it to everything else too. And then you have much weaker individual rights, since they can be easily changed by the whims of popular majorities. Now maybe the Supreme Court was wrong about Roe - I don't know, I'm not commenting on that subject, but I think having a slow, deliberative system that's a couple of steps removed from democracy is probably going to produce better results than one that is directly influenced by majority will.

I assume you're not a lawyer? Just saying that all moral questions should be decided by the supreme court is absurd. Roe v. Wade is a pretty bad opinion. It's bad.

I'd much rather have moral questions be decided by the supreme court than have them be decided by voters or legislatures. And irregardless, most people are going to sue in court when they think their rights are being violated, regardless of what 51% of voters think. Because nobody thinks that moral questions are decided by majority vote anyway. These cases are going to the supreme court no matter what.

Why?? You can sue but you have to have some legal basis, your idea of a nine-member moral cabal ruling over the rest of us by fiat is fascist and absurd. Virtually all moral questions are decided by "majority vote", not fascist cabals. The supreme court exists to interpret and apply the law not to be moral tyrants.

FWIW, I think this Anonymous goes over the top.

There are reasons to keep the separation of powers in place.

Enough said.

Yeah, I'm not arguing against the separation of powers. I'm arguing that SCOTUS is always going to end up being the final arbiter on any moral questions, and I'm frankly just fine with that.

You do realize that the Supreme Court can only strike down laws, not pass them right? There is an inherent bias in favor of less government structured into the institution. What Roe v. Wade says is "you can't have a law against abortion". That is a restriction on government. Hardly an example of "facism".

So were a different majority to declare that a fetus is a person, would it not impose an affirmative obligation on the states to treat it as killing? How is that limited government?

If a fetus is a person, then it has legal rights, which the government is obliged to protect, just as it has to protect the individual rights of any US citizen.
If Congress passed a law declaring a fetus a person, it would impose the same obligation. And that law would, inevitably, be appealed to the Supreme Court. And if the Court declined to hear it then abortion rights advocates would work to put Justices on it that would.

So you are saying that SCOTUS gets to make the laws, which is a clear violation of the separation of powers. That's why opponents of Roe say that it should be left to the elected branches, not SCOTUS, to define what a "person" is (which would also render it illegitimate for SCOTUS to adopt the pro-life position and define a fetus as a person).

Defining who counts as a person that has constitutional rights strikes me as the sort of thing that really *should* be left to the court. Otherwise you'll end up with stuff like, for example, the President revolking people's US citizenship by executive order. Fortunately, the US Supreme Court seem to think that IS it's business.

So one must conclude that is perfectly legitimate in your view for SCOTUS to issue the Dred Scott decision. Talk about being ruled by black-robed tyrants.

To state this more succinctly. Defining a fetus as a "person" is NOT passing legislation. It is a ruling on who is entitled to the protection of the constitution.

Even if the court decided a fetus is a person, in order to make abortion a crime they would also have rule that failure to preserve a person life is a crime even if it is costly in both time and money

Good point.

Yeah.... no parent has ever gone to jail for neglect when their kid has died.

Careful, you are making a subtle argument for the state to provide shelter, food, water, and healthcare to all of its citizens. Are you a Green New Dealer?

Exactly wrong. Argument is made that parents are responsible for their kids, whether the kids are wanted or not.

Even Ronald Dworkin--who supported Roe--thought that was a bad argument if one accepts the view that Roe was wrongly decided and hence a fetus should be regarded as a constitutional person: "Parents are invariably made an exception to the general doctrine under which people are not required to save others. Parents have a legal duty to care for their children, and if a fetus is a person from conception a state would not be justified in discriminating between fetuses and infants...The physical and emotional and economic burdens of pregnancy are intense, of course, but so are the parallel burdens of parenthood" (Freedom's Law, p. 48).

I do not think Roe was wrongly decided because a fetus or embryo is a constitutional person. I think it was wrongly decided because there is nothing in the Constitution giving the Supreme Court the authority to decide who is a person. The state legislatures, and possibly the U.S. Congress, are supposed to decide matters like that.

I favor a right to abortion, but no such right can be found in the Constitution (there isn't even a "right to privacy," or right to be left alone; that's a classical liberal principle that the Founders could have easily included in the Bill of Rights if they wanted to).

"I'd much rather have moral questions be decided by the supreme court "

Slavery used to be approved of by the courts. When, in your mind, did it become immoral?

So you prefer to have the winner of the popular vote 31 years ago (or at least the electoral college) and whatever faction dominated the Senate at that time be the final arbitrator?

Seems silly to me.

Seems particularly problematic as a large portion of the body politic currently believes that both the electoral college and the senate are inherently unjust. Yet betting odds currently believe both that Trump is the underdog and that the Republicans will hold the Senate. Further in 2022, the only Senate seats the Republicans defend precisely zero seats in states Clinton won (barring special elections). Which takes us all the way back to 2018, when the Republicans padded their majority with terrible presidential numbers and in 2024 will be defending zero states Clinton won again.

The days of the people accepting the supreme court as a moral arbiter are closing. Because the court decided to expand its remit into many areas traditionally not contested before the court, politicians are staking all sorts of ground around the justices: nuclear options, holding seats vacant, court packing, etc.

I predict there will never again be time when a Marshall leaves the court for a Thomas without unified control in the Senate and the White House. Maybe the parties will shift and the Democrats can run the table on AZ, CO, and ME (while holding the most vulnerable seat of all in AL) for a 50/50 tie broken by whomever wins Veepstakes … but I suspect that there will never again be an expectation that a reasonably competent lawyer should just be seated by the opposition. So too, I expect that Souters will become more rare and justices will continue to be ideologues with deep commitments who will also be young on appointment.

Much like with Senators in the 19th century, places that have increasing amounts of power tend to degenerate intermediate bodies into quarrels over the aggregating body. For instance in the 19th century Oregon deadlocked on Senate appointment and for parliamentary reasons ended with a legislature that could pass no legislation that year. While Delaware kept their senate seat vacant for four years due to impasse. In virtually every state the national Senate election overwhelmed all other concerns.

I suspect the Supreme Court is headed in similar fashion. Possibly we will eventually just elect them directly, but I think a far wiser course would be for the court to explicitly limit its remit and certainly stop dictating how to apply its findings.

A highly respected, largely apolitical court was a byproduct of the second "era of good feelings" from ~1948 to ~1976 when parties were not ideologically sorted and the elite schools were not one-party fiefdoms. I do not foresee those days returning.

No, no, no, no, no!

The Constitution and Supreme Court do not determine morality. They determine the limits of the government's power and the procedures it must follow to exercise that power.

Until it was amended, the Constitution permitted slavery and denied women the vote. Even today it permits the extrajudicial execution of American citizens on foreign soil. Those who look to it as an arbiter of morality will always be disappointed.

I'm not saying they "determine morality" I'm saying that any legal matter that hinges on a question of morality is properly going to end up in the supreme courts hands. There really is no other alternative since nobody decides what is moral based on majority vote. McArdle's contention that abortion opponents would have been content if abortion rights advocates had passed a law legalizing abortion through the legislature is just nonsense. Nobody gives up on a question of morality just because 51% of other people think differently.

No, or at least not simply so (though legislation probably would command more respect). She's suggesting they would be more likely to pursue their resolution in the legislature, which would be obviously better than trying to "pack the court" and this feel and fact of taking it out of the hands of public control.

As for slavery, maybe, if the Supreme Court had ruled slavery illegal back in the early 1800s, instead of leaving it to the states, we wouldn't have had a civil war. This is an example, to me, of why a *weak* court is bad.

I suppose you aren't familiar with Dred Scott...

I am familiar with it. They made the wrong decision. The fact that the Court sometimes makes bad decisions doesn't mean that Congress is better at protecting individual rights, or that congressional legislation is more likely to settle moral questions. Ultimately, that question was settled by a civil war, because people thought slavery was fundamentally morally wrong. I'm saying maybe if they had made the morally right decision, that war would have been averted. It wasn't going to be settled by congressional legislation though. Clearly, the mere election of an anti-slavery president was enough to precipitate the secession of the South.

They will make bad decisions from time to time. It’s easier to rewrite bad law than fight a civil war.

It's also easier to rewrite good law.

It's an issue of tension. States' rights was a historic tension in America during the 1850's that revolved around slavery, right? Wrong. That's a Van Neuman word-for-word type error. No moral value falls under legal jurisdiction. States rights was about legalism. Abortion is about individualism. Both are transformational issues. There are times to fight, and often one does not choose.

Take John Updike. In the 16th century, Shakespeare wrote novels in the play form, that is, with first person monologues, many of which were obvious in the guise of third person narration. Mr. Updike inverts this and uses third person narration to create tension between the reader and the first person, in this case, the author. In Rabbit, Run Harry Angstrom is sexually attracted to Mrs. Eccles, the preacher's wife. But there is not actual sexual tension for the reader. Like Shakespeare, it is "normative." Janice feels panicky regarding feelings "whether nobody could know or nobody cared...she had no idea." It is a triangular forehead and there are shingles to pluck.

Worcester v Georgia and the ensuing trail of tears suggests otherwise.

"1. Enact Social Security.
2. Enact Medicare"

This took away the individual State's right to mandate children take in and care for their elderly infirm parents, or defective children who can not provide for themselves, or pay others to do it for them.

I grew up at the end of the pre-SS era legacy with classmates living in three generation households, with space, time, and money of the household going to the past generation, not to the future generation.

My dad, a pastor to many such households, reflected on much he appreciated Social Security and Medicare for allowing him to be independent of his kids who had their own problems, as he cared for my mother suffering significant health problems including dementia, while he dealt with cancer.

He was "mobile" like Tyler suggests more workers should be, as his children were, so he lived a day or two away from his parents post teens, as did his three kids. This is in contrast to my brother's wife who had never been outside Kansas until their honeymoon in St Louis at age 22 where my brother was going to sales training.

As my dad pointed out to me, my FICA payments were paying my parents living costs like his FICA payment paid his mother's living costs so we didn't need to provide housing and food for them, whether we had room, time, or money at the time they needed it.

Conservatives argue the poor kids need to be forced to care for their poor parents, and poor parents need to pay for the need of their poor kids, or be sent to jail for neglect.

1. It's a variant of a column Michael Kinsley wrote about 30-odd years ago, when Mrs. Suderman was about 12 years old. The quantum of continuity in our political discussions can be...amusing or distressing depending on the mood you're in.

#1 Wish I could get past the paywall. That said I see nothing wrong with a society - any society - defining, even in-utero, when a person officially begins to exist. I think that's an extremely important thing to have legally and ethically speaking, and it's not an Everest to climb to ask women to respect it.

#3 Lots of Democrats have walked-away. I estimate approximately 2-3 million Obama voters who ended up punching the ticket for Trump in 2016. They'll do so again in 2020.

#4 That's like straight out of "Catch Me If You Can"!

I wish we could separate the two moral issues here.

1) When does human life begin? It matters because before that point terminating it is not murder, after it is. The inextricable connection between the mother and the child isn't relative to this discussion.

2) When is it OK to kill a human?

We make the second choice in many different aspects of our society. We withhold or grant medical care to different people, a choice that results in deaths. We give (or don't give) organs to people who need them, a choice that results in deaths. We allow (or don't) behaviors we know lead to deaths (like Alcohol consumption or smoking or certain kinds of drug use).

So why can't we clearly note that under the fetus is a human, and terminating them is killing a person; while also noting that under this killing is ethical and moral and OK, while under other circumstances it is not and should be prohibited.

Seems like a coherent approach that matches many people's moral intuitions. Take the "OMG child rape victim" example - the fetus may in fact be human; it may also be moral to kill that human fetus because the situation the mother is in is so abhorrent and wrong, in the same way it is moral to kill a rapist if that is what is required to stop them in their act. Problem solved.

Here is another example - I believe it is accepted (as law?) that if somebody has a gun to your head and forced you to commit a crime, you are not responsible for the criminal act you committed. You still did the crime, but you had no agency. This it is revealed that agency matters, so if you become pregnant in a manner without your agency and choice... your murder of the human fetus (or potential human... just because a fetus is not yet a person doesn't imply they won't become one!) may be totally moral and ethical.

The issue is people don't want to nakedly stare at their moral and ethical choices, and want to live a Disney(TM) life where they can believe the choices they make don't ever have downsides or are difficult ones.

Oh sorry reply was in response to your #1

No, because people living in Brazilian favelas are doomed to leading lives of quiet desperation.

I don't live in any favela. I live in a college town. Also, Brazil is implementing economical reforms that will help poor people.

what sorta economical reforms!

Free market reforms. President Captain Bolsonaro has vowed to take government off our backs.

Esta é uma fraude
president bolsnaros first name is jair
not captain!

Captain is his Army rank. His last name is Bolsonaro. As most Brazilian Army man, he is called by his surname. His middle name is "Messias", which means "Messiah", "anointed one" in Portuguese.

3. To be honest, I woke up in a "complacency is complicity" mood. Needless to say, focus on 150 activists and the counter-reaction they experience is very much worse.

Especially given the roots of "Walk Away."

Russian bots are back: #WalkAway attack on Democrats is a likely Kremlin operation


I don't see any evidence in that link that "Walk Away" has roots in Russian interference. Nor does it seem especially plausible given the video testimonials. Did Russian trolls spam the meme? Sure, quite possibly.

Acknowledgement noted.

If foreign bots were hot on the meme, and detections were noted in near realtime, that matters to both first and second order reactions.

Foreign bots are going to pick up any meme that favors their preferred candidate- the stronger and more powerful, the better. So by definition the most authentic and persuasive reasons to support Trump will be those echoed by Russian trolls the most.

Acknowledgement noted.

The Russian trolls are trying to help Donald Trump to this day, and "other friends of Donald" are fine with that.

In that case, the complicity is rather overt. It is definitely not a stand for authentic, grass roots, American democracy.

How is the complicity overt? Russia can take any grassroots democratic action and turn it into ash by tweeting it out? So if Russians started tweeting Dem talking points you would immediately say Democrats are complicit and inauthentic?

I'm not a Trump supporter and hope he loses, if you thought otherwise for some reason.

It all depends on how we react to foreign hackers and trolls, all of which run afoul of campaign law.

If your first reaction is shut them down, shut them out, you are fine.

See also:

"Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of Senate GOP leadership, said Wednesday that the chamber is unlikely to vote on any election security legislation, despite requests from a federal agency for more funding to improve election systems nationwide."

more here

Does it really violate campaign law for a foreign person to comment on a U.S. political question?

The solution is to ban Russians from Twitter, or what?

Here is the law:

For what is worth, I think a comment by a real live person is going to be taken as allowed speech, but something like a botnet looks more like electioneering *and* a donation of resources.

That's why the botnets have been targeted more directly. Not to mention that they fall conveniently outside most social networks terms of service.

I'm 100% in favor of banning political botnets

#1. Politically, abortion might be more of a wedge issue within the GOP. It's a really hard issue to find a middle ground on. Clinton's "legal, safe, and rare" formulation was about as good a stab at this as I can think of.

Anyway, the Democrats seem internally-riven right now, so maybe they should welcome the re-politicization of abortion and enjoy what it does to the GOP.

I suspect when restrictions on abortion are a live option, a great many business Republicans will jump ship. Business Republicans are pretty useless in a fight. The ethnic Catholic wing of the Democratic Party had as of 10 years ago withered to about two-dozen members of Congress. Twenty-odd years earlier, John LaFalce was able to recruit about 60 Democrats to sign on to his efforts to get the Democrats to step back from collective endorsement of abortion. Twenty years before that, the elites of the Democratic Party included Eugene McCarthy and Sergent Shriver, who were never reconciled to Roe. Things have been moving in the wrong direction in the Democratic Party for a generation-and-a-half.

It's not hard to find a middle ground on abortion: most Americans are in it. Killing a second or third trimester fetus looks a lot like murder. First trimester? No so much.

Reason factors in, too. Life of the mother? Even the Catholic church is ok. Mother's inconvenience? No so much.

When (if ever) should the government pay? What methods are (in)humane (if any)?

So, there are a lot of possible compromises. But, the Court's involvement means there is no democratic compromise possible. We did better working around the similarly morally contentious slavery question, until we didn't.

Agree with the gist of your comment, but:

But, the Court's involvement means there is no democratic compromise possible.

No democratic compromise is possible, regardless of the court. We're three generations deep into a society that is incapable of win-win negotiations. "Tough negotiator" in this day and age means "able to hold out for 100% of what he wants under any set of circumstances."

With two sides both trying to force all of the concessions to be made by the other side, and none on their own side, democratic compromise is a pipe dream.

I thought the op-ed was basically correct: whatever you think of abortion, the court doesn’t seem to have been the right place to have decided it. The constitution doesn’t seem to address the issue, nor do I see how it could have given when it was written. Also, democrats may have gained the ability to abort at will, but they’ve paid for it at the ballot box. And if the court overturns the decision, which I view as very unlikely because they saw what happened the last time, republicans will pay for it at the ballot box. Look how the court has steered away from directly addressing gun rights. They aren’t dumb.

The better way to have decided this would have been to let it work its way through elected legislatures. The court’s role is to interpret law, not to make it. This clearly called for somebody to start making laws. Yeah, we’d have a hodge-podge of laws for a while, but people are free to move around the country. And likely we’d eventually have moved to a more limited nation right to abortion, probably something like “first twelve weeks.”

As it is, I suspect we’re headed towards a viability standard. Which will start at something like twenty weeks, but gradually work its way down to zero weeks as technology progresses.

The new equilibrium will be blue states abortion on demand, red ones abortion illegal always.

And let's face it, an accelerated brain-drain.

Into the red states?

Sure, go with that. Clearly you aren't who we are discussing.

Massive outflow from NY, California into Texas, etc. doesn't exist? Fake news?

You're forgetting the 'brain' part

So someone did an IQ test for all the migrants and found a net IQ inflow into blue states? Post the link please

The initial point was disallowing abortion would lead to (more) smart people leaving red states. No link yet to show that future event.

Different Anonymous here.

If you are a smart girl in Alabama, you have one more reason at the margin to go out of state for college, and then never go back.

Smart girls know choice is not a mandate, it is an option, which they may wish to invoke in specific circumstances.

Also, "Atheists score 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions."

That's an intermediate state. A transitory state. It's where we should have started our moral conversation. But I agree, it's the next step from here.

With the passage of time, technology moves forward. We're headed to the point where all pregnancies are intentional and all fetuses are viable with care at all times. That changes the moral calculus. Things will look pretty different in 2119. The moral subtlety that clouds abortion today will all be gone.

Go far enough in the future and no one knows anything. If all pregnancies are someday intentional then there is no longer a need for abortion.

Well, yeah. We're very close to all pregnancies being intentional today. Birth control is cheap and universally available. At worst it's mildly inconvenient.

Viability is the part that will take longer to develop. But it's where people's intuition turns from "procedure" to "murder."

But yeah, I think in a hundred years there will be no abortion and progressive liberal good-thinking people will look on our time with horror because they no-longer understand the trade-offs we had to make.

If we were close to that there wouldn't be all this controversy.

Dude, I don't know what to tell you. If you're having sex without birth control, you're trying to get pregnant.

This is about changing your mind about the whole being pregnant thing when you aren't in the heat of the moment.

Ask all the people who got abortions if they were trying to get pregnant. Birth control isn't 100% perfect for one thing.

But very few abortions are the result of failed birth control

Very few? Surely you have data for that.


"Of those with unintended pregnancies, 5% used contraception consistently and correctly"

So idiots get pregnant then kill their babies?

Sad. And sick

There was a meme that "we can solve the abortion issue with contraception" that was popular about 20 years ago. (Mostly to be a wedge issue.) Lots of people believed it. It turns out to not be true. Lots of people just weren't bothering with birth control. They had access to it and could use it, but didn't want to.

And as Lord Action says, BC is just going to get better. Look at Norplant or IUDs and imagine 50 years of future applied to them, including the equivalent in men.

Totally serious, if we end up with more foolproof birth control, there really will no longer be a need for abortion, except for children who are raped before they even think to need it. Not a huge number.

Only 50% of people who got an abortion even tried to use contraception at all in the month before conception

Interestingly, Alabama law has a carve-out for in vitro fertilization. Such embryos may be flushed freely. It is only an embryo in a woman that becomes protected.

“The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.” - Republican Clyde Chambliss

Needless to say, some women think this tells us that the law isn't really about embryos.

It's always about hypocrisy.

What is the hypocrisy exactly? I see this word used a lot in this context but I feel like it's a Princess Bride situation

Is an embryo a baby or not? Isn't that the whole point?

Well I get that, but that's not usually the point people are making when they cry hypocrite. I can imagine some distinction being made on the basis that an embryo outside the womb can't survive on its own, you have to find a willing and able woman to grow it to term and you probably won't- but I understand there is a tension there.

Which is why the sensible rule should be first trimester abortions are ok, that embryo is a far cry from a viable baby. Later than that, you had your chance to terminate.

The hypocrisy is crying 'all embryos are babies and aborting them is murder', then just flushing that miscarried baby or in vitro baby down the toilet.

That's pretty much my position on the issue, and I agree there is a tension there. But usually people say stupid things like "it's hypocritical to be pro life and also not give enough free stuff to poor people" which is more what I object to.

But logically you would think they would want to place limits on in vitro at least. Maybe they see some instrumental nuance there in that, while some "babies" are killed, it is necessary in order for others to be given life and there is a net gain.

That's why when some guy rapes his 12 year old step-daughter, she's gotta have that baby in the great state of Alabama (Missouri is apparently next in line).

I think you are missing the point. If "life begins at conception" is taken literally, every in vitro series involves murder of the "unused."

If you say only implanted embryos are people, you imply some odd theology. God grants a soul to an embryo only after some medical procedures?

We are in exact agreement. The hypocrisy is in the new Alabama law. It's ok to murder in vitro babies, but not unwanted pregnancies. According to them.

I do think there is some distinction there but yes I agree there's a tension- I wouldn't have thought embryos would be 6 weeks old in development but for them to carve that out I guess it must be implicated.

Where do you get 6 weeks?

"The legislation Alabama senators passed Tuesday would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by 10 to 99 years or life in prison for the provider. The only exception would be when the woman’s health is at serious risk. Women seeking or undergoing abortions wouldn’t be punished."

I thought the Alabama bill required a heartbeat? Whatever the case, they would have saved themselves a lot of grief with a rape exception.

My understanding is they believe an embryo is a person, and terminating a pregnancy is murder. How do they feel about miscarriages? I presume that's an unfortunate premature death of a baby. How many of them have funerals for their dead miscarried babies? Or flushed embryos?

I do think many people grieve quite a bit for miscarriages

The idea that people don't is a bit repugnant and perhaps out of touch.

So is the idea that pro-choice advocates love nothing more than getting pregnant and waltzing into the clinic to terminate in the 7th month.

Uh, yeah, I suppose someone could hypothetically say something different that is also horrible. Not that anyone did or anything, which kind of takes the bite out of it as a rebuttal...

He's representative of much of the anti-abortion crowd, who think people getting abortions think it's awesome and swell and just a way to save on condoms.

Maybe I'm wrong and he used another moniker, but the only post from asdf in this thread is nothing like this at all. It doesn't even make it clear if he's pro-life or pro-choice or something in between.

If you can't parse this:
"The common thread on the pro-choice side seems to be selfishness. I want to walk away from my obligations to others when I decide they no longer suit me.

Everyone gets this. It's why it will never be a question legality. It will be a moral question. What kind of woman gets an abortion? We all know the answer. It doesn't reflect well on the woman. That's why it doesn't just need to be legal, it needs to be celebrated. It's why "safe, legal, rare" wasn't a stable cultural point. "Safe, legal, rare" implies getting an abortion is a bad thing, that the kind of people who get them are bad people. That was never going to stand."

...then I'm not sure how to converse with you.

He's wrong on why "safe, legal, rare" is not a stable cultural point - it's not stable because the government can only really control the first of the two factors, and not the third, so it's a transparently meaningless formulation. Or rather, they can only control the third to the detriment of the first two.

But it's not like he doesn't have material to work from when talking about the weird transformation of abortion into a celebrated, compassionate and empowering act - - "I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel".. Not an outlier. As ever, narcissistic 2010s identity feminists tend towards being repellent advocates for any cause they champion, even if it's otherwise halfway tenable.

"I thought the op-ed was basically correct: whatever you think of abortion, the court doesn’t seem to have been the right place to have decided it."

Does this apply as well?

I thought the op-ed was basically correct: whatever you think of right to the means to kill easily, rapidly, and in large numbers from afar, the court doesn’t seem to have been the right place to have decided it.

Its ironic white men argue the ability to kill from afar is an unlimited right of white men, but women must preserve life at all cost until born and able to be killed by men with a gun.

If an organization of black men were arguing the 2nd amendment gives black men the right to openly carry rifles to defend themselves and there community, and and black lawyers, like BPP Chairman Fred Hampton and BPP Minister of Defense Bobby Rush, were arguing Heller at the Supreme Court.

In similar fashion, conservatives argued that preventing births of poor and non-white babies was not merely desirable, but needed with combined abortions and sterilisation forced on poor, especially non-white girls and women. Usually without girls or women knowing what was being done to them.

If black civil rights lawyers were to bring cases to Federal courts in States passing "right to life" amendments seeking mandates to the State to proviide welfare to preserve life from the point of conception until death, would the white men voting to ban abortion because life is sacred agree, or would they argue life is worth nothing to preserve? Ie, if the new born can't earn enough to pay to live, it deserves to die?

safe, legal, and *rare*

I don't think it was a very good formulation. It sounds nice. It sounds like a doctrine, almost. Sort of like "privacy" - a strange thing to wish into being at the moment you are ordering a shift in public morality.

Like being a "little bit pregnant," can you have a little bit of eugenics (which is all abortion is, really). I think you can, probably we always have, I imagine.

Some things are not tenable when made explicit, let alone an organizing principle for society.

I once threw a poster of cells in protest of abortion in a puddle. so misunderstanding, in 5% of cases, is just as bad as eugenics across the board. I am, of course, against abortion, though I would have one in my personal life. Of course, I can't have an abortion, only a female could. Therein lies the contradiction.

I understand pro-life people have difficulty with any sort of compromise on this issue, as you illustrate. That was part of my point.

I think it's a mistake to "routinize" abortion as just a simple medical procedure or a means of backdoor birth control. That's what "rare" means to me. I fully expect you to find this unsatisfying.

Pro-life? No, no, not exactly. Probably too late for that. Presbyterian, once (the subject never came up - too, uh, "private"?). Too late not because it would be hypocritical of me to come to a pro-life position now when it can no longer matter in my own life. (Hypocrisy, or the charge thereof, is greatly misoverestimated!) I just feel like it's a worldview you are steeped in, or not; and I marvel now and then when I think how I was given the impression that I, an exceptionally arrogant and callow young woman, was in a better position to judge of such things than the Catholic church. Are there any other matters you want young me to rule on? It doesn't just have to be about the granting of life, or family formation.

Safe. Legal. Less rare than I'd like to say. Arbitrary. Consequential.

Well I am a muslim, not a catholic. and even if were a catholic, I would not be afforded the opportunity to change my mind. thus suggesting, so and so a parlance.

1. Megan McArdle on Roe vs. Wade.

"The following year, the justices gave the country a new right to abortion. The right is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution, but had apparently been lurking there undetected for the better part of two centuries before the justices finally coaxed it into the open. From this era dates the solemn invocations of “settled law” issued by “the highest court in the land.”

Right of self defense. The pregnancy causes some long term changes to the body, women have a right to protect themselves to some degree.

The right to birth was never given in the constitution either. It is the baby being the aggressor, sorry. This may not fit our view of humanity, but Megan is off her rocker if she thinks babies can run around and screw women's bodies with legal protection.

Who in their right mind listens to Megan on Constitutional issues?

I recall a column from back in my college days (the 1980s). A liberal student wrote an opinion peace claiming that part of what liberals do is speak up for those who have no voice of their own, and the unborn are an excellent example of such a constituency. Thoughtful perspective, I always thought.

Anyway, your "baby being the aggressor" comment triggered this memory. Anyone familiar with human reproduction knows that conceiving a baby sets off an astonishing arms race for resources between mother and child, whose interests overlap but are not identical.

Embryos and fetuses have a lot to answer for here, but they aren't articulate. But as a former embryo myself, I'm sure they'd just say they were doing what they have to to get along in this vale of tears, just like the rest of us.

I'm reasonably pro-choice, but this comment was stupid.

Right of self-defense doesn't really apply here as the woman invited the condition on herself (outside of the rare rape pregnancy). It would be like hiring a dominatrix, and then crying foul when she whips you with the riding crop at the exact force you requested. You can end the session, but that doesn't mean she was an aggressor. And she still deserves payment.

I wish pro-choice people would just get with the fact that abortion actually ends a life and that the question is just when that is okay.

I'm reminded of the Louis C.K. bit about abortion: "It's either like taking a shit or it's murder."

OK, so you are pro choice and think it is OK under some circumstances to take a life. Under what circumstances?

If an attack on the mother's body is not justification, then you have no more justification. You are left with either the 13th (anti-slavery) or you leave it up to state legislatures, and you are not pro choice.

You are left with nothing but homilies and legislatures.

Making up homilies is not an argument for the Supreme Court.

So the baby just snuck up on Mom then? No mention of whom is responsible for the 'attack'.

Yeah... this is where I think Matt's thinking has gone awry. The baby is not attacking the mom. Mom welcomed that little unborn bastard in.

Is a right to self-defense even in the constitution? I kind of doubt it?

Apparently you are ignorant about the US Constitution.

The Bill of Rights is not a complete list of rights but a subset. Also, any power not specifically given to federal government in the Constitution belongs to the states or the people, and is explicitly stated.

Self defense is a fundamental human right. In fact, it doesn't need to be explicitly mentioned, it is assumed.

No, I don't think I am. The way it works is not that you assert any arbitrary right and say the Constitution guarantees it implicitly because it guarantees all rights. If the Constitution protects a right to self-defense then most likely it would have been acknowledged in some legal case in the last 250 years, which is definitely possible. But you can't just make up any right and say the Constitution guarantees all rights.

"any power not specifically given to federal government in the Constitution belongs to the states or the people"

Well, clearly not EVERY power. Some powers no one has.

Is the right to self-defense stated as a basis for the decision in Roe v. Wade? I would in any event find such a basis unpersuasive in the extreme in a situation where the woman's life is not in danger and she was not the victim of rape. The fetus' right of protection from murder seems a much stronger argument. The fetus didn't have any choice in the matter.

Clearly you don't know what you are talking about. All your protestations are emotive.

Please read, for comprehension, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. While you are at it, read "Notes on the Constitutional Convention" and "The War that Made America".

You live in a different country - inside your head.

I think you need to look in the mirror. I am in fact a lawyer and a good one

"The fetus' right of protection from murder seems a much stronger argument. The fetus didn't have any choice in the matter."


Is a right to self-defense even in the constitution? I kind of doubt it?

It's incorporated into the 2d Amendment.

Ah, yes, those mystical penumbras and emanations.

1. On the contrary, I think the courts really ought to have a lot of power. If anything more. See ObamaCare, where Justice Roberts effectively deferred to the legislature, saying "we're not here to to protect people from the consequences of their electoral choices" , in allowing the individual mandate to stand. So now we have a precedent that allows congress to mandate that people buy things because the Supreme Court *didn't* use it's power broadly.
As a libertarian, I don't believe that my rights ought to be put up to a popular vote. I don't think whether I should be allowed to get an abortion or not is a matter that should be decided by a 50.1% majority, or for that matter by the President.
The determination of what rights people morally ought to have is *correctly* seated in the Supreme Court, because morality is not determined by popular opinion. Whether they decided the question correctly is a different question, but I think even abortion advocates would agree that if the majority elected a congress which passed a bill legalizing abortion, that would still not make it moral, and they would still spend just as much time trying to install justices that would overturn it.

I mean "abortion opponents".

You should understand this old issue a bit better, Hazel. The mandate was designed as a tax because taxation is Constitutionally legal. The mandate was not designed as a crime with criminal penalties because that would have been Constitutionally illegal.

The designers understood the Constitution and legal precedent, and threaded the needle.

(I think in technical details they were even cleverer. They raised everyone's tax by X, and then gave a credit for X back to insurance buyers. So technically it's a credit, not even a tax.)

Small business owners and entrepreneurs hardest hit.

I'm fine with all such fine grained analysis and comparison to alternatives. I just don't like "they called it a 'mandate' so we caught them" level discourse.

I'm aware of all the technical details. That's not really the point of my comment.

Then you should know this was no more a precedent than a national tax credit for electric cars.

Only the clever Roberts and you believe that ex post nonsense.

morality is not determined by popular opinion
Public consensus is the exact definition of morality.

You need a new dictionary.

The determination of what rights people morally ought to have is *correctly* seated in the Supreme Court,

Hazel, the court has no authority but what's vested in it in the Constitution and statutory law. Any entrenched clause in the constitution is the result of democratic deliberation. That's the authentic measure of what's a 'right' and what isn't. You fancy Hazel's prejudices or Harry Blackmun's prejudices or the issue of the Ivy League law faculties' prejudices should determine what people's rights are. Because you're not a serious person.

I fancy that a deliberative body made up of scholars with lifetime appointments is a better mechanism to determine what people's rights are than a majority vote.

"The determination of what rights people morally ought to have is *correctly* seated in the Supreme Court"

You want 9 lawyers to determine what is moral? Are you trolling?

I don't think even Justices Brennan and Marshall would have agreed with that. Also curious is Hazel's assertion-by-way-of-implication that Supreme Court justices are the ultimate arbiters of morality. But why is this so? They only have their position by virtue of the Constitution, which was drafted by the Framers. Perhaps then the Framers are, in fact, the ultimate arbiters of morality?

There's definitely a political wing that reveres the Framers (they capitalize it) as gods.

I'm not argjuing they are ultimate arbiters of morality. I'm arguing that any legal question that involves questions of morality *should* (and ultimately will) be decided by the court, not by the legislature, because nobody chooses their morality based on majority vote. If you really think abortion is murder, you're not going to settle for a majority vote on the issue. The only entity we have that CAN decide this stuff IS the court. It's not because the Court is an arbiter of morality, it's because it is the final institutional say on any matter in our system.

You want the President or Congress to decide what is moral? Seriously?

Moreover, do you really think abortion opponents would settle for a majority vote on the issue of abortion? If 51% of the vote went to keep abortion legal, do you really think that they wouldn't keep appealing to courts and fighting to put justices on courts to rule it illegal?

No matter HOW you think more questions ought to be decided, the reality is that people are going to keep sueing in court when they think something morally wrong is happening. And they are going to keep trying to stack the court with judges that agree with them. So these questions are always going to be decided by the courts regardless, because most people fundamentally do not think that moral matters should be decided by majority vote.

You want the President or Congress to decide what is moral? Seriously?

I have news for you, Hazel. A penal code incorporates a conception of what is moral. Regulatory statutes commonly do.

Yeah, and when people think the penal code is wrong, they sue, in court.

If the legislature passed a law legalizing rape, do you think there wouldn't be court challenges?

There is no constitutional provision which dictates the content of the penal code, Hazel, except to preclude legal proscription of certain acts because legal penalties for such acts would contravene personal liberty.

You're terribly confused.

So it some state passed a law legalizing rape, you don't think that's a proper question for the Supreme Court to rule on? They should defer to the state legislature, because theirs no constitutional provision which dictates that rape must be illegal?

And you think that people would be fine with that?

There is nothing on which to rule, Hazel. If something isn't defined as a crime under the law, you might have a tort claim against that individual, contingent upon the statutory law of the jurisdiction and the status of common law therein. You don't have a claim against the state.

I think you're just flat out wrong on this

I think I'm totally 100% right, and everyone else is just being completely retarded. I don't know why, maybe they're just biased to agree with whatever Megan McArdle says. Or they think that anything the left does is automatically bad and stupid, and so are biased to agree with any critique of anything the left ever did, no matter how dumb it actually it.

I don't think it has anything to do with Megan McArdle or even left/right at all. I think the whole concept that 9 tyrants should form a moral cabal and control every aspect of our lives because democracy can't be trusted is disgusting and extreme. You should take a hint that nobody agrees with you.

You're insane. That's not what I'm suggesting at all. Go back and read my comments.

You said that you think a majority of 9 supreme court judges should decide all moral questions because no one believes moral questions should be subject to a majority vote.

And by the way, maybe you should try controlling your overactive disgust mechanism, so you won't have these hysterical overreactions to what other people are saying.

You haven't made one remark in this thread Hazel that isn't obtuse and ill-informed. Of course he's disgusted with you.

Lincoln was smarter than you and realized the outrageous implications of your support for judicial supremacy:

"At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. "

I realize it's a roundabout system but the people do elect the guy that makes Surpeme Court appointments, and they also elect the people that confirm them.

Unless the Senate is run by the other party. Then you don't get to make SC appointments.

Hazel: As a libertarian, I don't believe that my rights ought to be put up to a popular vote. ... The determination of what rights people morally ought to have is *correctly* seated in the Supreme Court, because morality is not determined by popular opinion.

As a libertarian, you may end up questioning your stance when universal single payer healthcare is repackaged as a right*, and a liberal leaning Supreme Court takes it into its power to legislate towards this 'right'. Or a basic minimum income.

Separating law into inalienable rights exempt from control by the legislature and subject only to the judiciary, and those over which the legislation has power must be used very sparingly, because you will otherwise encourage everyone who wants a certain policy to enter into this "Game of Rights" where they attempt to define what they want as a right. Which in most cases can be done with sufficient verbal dexterity.

Or to define what they don't want as being outside of rights. Hence the current debacle where the "social justice warrior" minority are trying to argue that speech rights being limited to freedom from government censorship, not guarantee of neutrality by private monopolies, because the private monopolies seem to support their ideology and seem to be willing to censor on their behalf.

This is why better regimes than the United States have generally defined civil rights through legislation passed in the legislative body, not through judicial statute.

*This is presuming you're any sort of person that meets any sort of even typical minimal libertarian ideology, which sometimes admittedly does seem open to doubt.

Dude, we already have a "right" to social security and medicare and health care and tons of other stuff, and those weren't created by the courts, they were created by Congress. It's Congress that has the incentives to pass out free shit and raid the public coffers. Nine people with lifetime appointments have a lot less incentive to buy the favor of the voters.

I’m glad you put “right” in quotes. The SCt has, in fact, held there is no right to social security. What Congress gives it can also take away. See, Fleming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603 (1960).

Great, see? the court is on my side.

I'm not arguing that the congress can't define rights in law (for better or worse), but that it's a much more stable way to do that commands public respect than through the judiciary, and that talk of rights being solely the province of the supreme judiciary (as you do) is a way to set yourself up for a fairly destructive, contentious and specious game in which everyone jostling for power jostles to get their hand up the supreme legislature as their puppet and to define whatever they want as a "right".

Nine people with lifetime appointments have a lot less incentive to buy the favor of the voters.

Rather than this, they more disasterously do not have the incentive of having to manage the budget for that whatever they legislate. "May justice be done, though the heavens may fall". That'll do a lot more harm than your concerns about buying off voters, I'd wager.

Transactional politics has its limits, because your taxpayers are also your funding, in the longer term (and so we see austerity measures). Judicial activism has no check, because they're never responsible for budgets or taxation.

You worry about legislatures buying voters; but Hubris Syndrome ( and an obsession with judicial rectitude unchecked by the discipline of budgets seem to me more likely to be a concern.

Political elites (whatever their method of selection) unchecked by pubic opinion invariably will ultimately do more damage than those who seek to placate and please (who must seek to placate and please, for their survival) the public.

I'm not a natural rights person, but personally, I think individual rights shouldn't be up to the whim of whoever happens to control congress, or whatever a 51% majority of the population happens to think at the moment. There is actually some set of correct rights that should be granted universally, and not changed every few years. it is a slow, evolutionary process to determine what those rights ought to be. A process that requires a lot of deliberation. Having judges who are appointed for life, and consequently less incentivized to respond to the temporary demands of the voters, is a way better way to legally decide what those rights should be than legislation. I don't want the majority of the population putting my rights to a vote every few years.
You seem to be worried that SCOTUS is going to declare positive legal rights, and I'm telling you, that's never happened before.
But Congress HAS created financial entitlements, which already do threaten our financial stability. So I wonder why you think that deciding rights via the legislature is a superior system. It doesn't have a good track record, either on protections of individual liberty or fiscal sanity.

SC decisions certainly create legal entitlements (expanded eligibility, striking down tests and exenotions etc). Legislated rights do not "change every few years" (and there's no more reason to believe they would through legislative program than judicial whim). The discovery and definition of "natural rights", if they exist, happens in society and not judicial ratiocination.

"The determination of what rights people morally ought to have is *correctly* seated in the Supreme Court, because morality is not determined by popular opinion. "

So, opposed to Obamacare which expands Medicaid payments for birth and children, your moral values state:

When the economic cost of life in on the mother carrying the child who will lose her job in the libertarian world, the life is sacred and must be presserved.

But when born, the child, in need of medical care and housing and food beyond the means of the mother, is better off dead than a burden on those who value lives of only those whose lives cost them nothing.

Alabama has 660,000 children on Medicaid, but I don't think the white men voting to ban abortion have voted to expand Medicaid coverage of pregnant women and children who have been born.

Alabama does not have good health metrics for women or children indicating the state leaders actual place a high value on healthy children. Nor good education results suggesting they want well qualified and able workers.

#1...It's possible that the court should have left the issue alone, but they didn't. Now, it's been settled law for fifty years. Judicial activism would be to go back and pretend the earlier decision hadn't happened. If we can go back and forth on big decisions, then the Constitution is just politics.

Can nothing be done , then, if you oppose the decision? Well, the founders put in the possibility of the Constitution being amended, and, so, there's your answer. Amend the Constitution. No problem of unelected judges there. All you need is to have the backing of a sufficient part of the citizenry to get it done. If you don't, then maybe your position isn't as obvious as you believe. But, please, don't go on about unelected justices. Get out and organize for amending the Constitution.

No, a simple majority at the state level should be all that is required. 3/4 majority that would be required for a Constitutional Amendment is an unfair burden on abortion opponents.

That's an awful argument. It's too hard. It wouldn't be hard if you had the support necessary. This is about the Constitution, not a particular issue. Making it about a particular issue is special pleading, something not allowed by the Constitution.

Anon...Can you honestly say that, if the situation was reversed, you would hold a lower standard for making abortion legal?

Yeah it's hard and unfair. Abortion opponents shouldn't need to jump over an extra hurdle to overcome an unconstitutional court ruling. We should leave it to the people to decide. Don't worry though, I'm sure your position is so strong abortion will do just fine in the court of public opinion ;)

In the court of blue public opinion abortion will be legal, in the court of red public opinion it will be illegal. Yet another wedge between the two Americas.

Anon...I'm not taking a position on abortion, but on the Constitution. Amending the Constitution is leaving it to the people to decide.

No it will cease being a major wedge issue because the blue states will allow it and the red States will restrict or ban it, each in accordance with the preferences of their constituents and the prevailing local cultural norms. No one tells the other what to do.

The wedge is the tool that separates things that are joined. There are already many things different about blue and red states, now add this one to the pile. The wedge grows.

So, if a red state becomes a blue state, it can simply change the law to what it wants, based on prevailing cultural norms?

After Roe is overturned, yes.

1. Government becomes fraught when it is tied to religion, and especially one-truth fundamentalism. Citizens in a democracy can generally work with each other on fuzzy issues, but it gets hard when some of those citizens think they have a TRUE opinion which should apply to ALL PEOPLE.

A little more agnosticism would help here. We might have an idea about the truth, but we should be open to the possibility that someone else (a pregnant woman?) might have an idea about the truth as well.

Of course all the above might be a bit more compatible with the California electorate than those in Alabama.

Once the Republicans blocked Garland to get their 5-4 majority, this was always the endgame. Red states will outlaw abortion, the SC will overturn Roe, and that's that. Republican lawmakers who knock up their staffers will now have to fly them to the nearest blue state to take care of things.

A part of the journey is the end.

Once the Republicans blocked Garland to get their 5-4 majority,

Neil Gorsuch replaced Antonin Scalia. There was no change in the distribution of perspectives on the court.

Garland was going to replace Scalia, until the Republicans flouted the Constitution and wouldn't allow him a vote. Gorsuch would then presumably have replaced Kennedy. And Roe would be safe.

Traditionally, a lame duck is not allowed a pick. This goes back in history quite a ways.

Yes dumdum....Like Anthony Kennedy?

If you're a second-term president, you don't get to make SC appointments? I never knew.

I thought 'lame duck' was the period between the election and the end of your term 2 months later.

Congress rejected one of Reagan's nominations and Reagan felt compelled to withdraw another. No one insisted at the time that the Senate was obligated to approve any nominee, but somehow this obligation appears when it's Obama being frustrated.

The Senate can vote down whomever it pleases. They cannot refuse to even consider a nominee. That's in the Constitution. Garland was entitled to a Senate vote, got nothing to do with which party was in the White House.

They cannot refuse to even consider a nominee. That's in the Constitution.

It's in the Constitution of your imagination, not the Constitution that is.

Article Two of the United States Constitution requires the President of the United States to nominate Supreme Court Justices and, with Senate confirmation, requires Justices to be appointed. This was for the division of power between the President and Senate by the founders, who wrote:

he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the supreme Court...

The Constitution was never flouted, except in the mind of partisan Democrats who fancy 'the Constitution' means 'whatever the Democratic Party wants'. The Senate was under no obligation to confirm any of Obama's nominees. Since Harry Reid made use of parliamentary maneuvers to keep Bush nominees to appellate courts locked up for years on end, it's hard to see what's objectionable about McConnell declining to schedule hearings for a 10 month period. As ever, behind every double-standard is an unconfessed single standard.

Wait, I mean stupid try. No one is saying the Senate has to confirm anyone. They do have to vote on whomever the president nominates.

This also applies if in early 2024 RBG finally dies and President Trump nominates someone for a Democrat controlled Senate to confirm.

They do have to vote on whomever the president nominates.

There is no constitutional provision which requires it and the Senate has sat on nominees as a matter of routine.

You're lying, unless you can show proof. The Constitutional provision was delineated above.

#1 Let's thank Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King for the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Or else you would still have laws passed in Alabama to reenact segregation and challenge the Supreme Court.

How is this relevant to the discussion at hand?

Same situation. White men in Southern states passing laws to deprive other people from the full control of their bodies and destiny.

Tell that to 2 million Vietnamese rice farmers.

Against my better judgement I actually read the Roe v. Wade article, the first McArdle article I've read in some time, and it immediately reminded me that she's one of the authors that TC recommends not because she makes compelling arguments but because he likes her personally (Douthat is another one). Two of the articles she links to actually contain information that refutes the point she's trying to make by linking to them, but of course we can't expect her to read the full article before she uses it as a source!

No, he links to her because she's at the top of her trade, and has retained an independent voice at every venue she's worked at.

And nothing refutes her point. Her point is correct.

Her point is incorrect, as it is based on nothing but unfounded conjecture about what might have happened if the Supreme Court hadn't ruled on abortion in 1973. Plus the baseless assumption that there is something wrong with how things are going now. Of course people are going to have confrontations over deep moral questions and they're going to fight over Supreme Court appointments. So what? That's politics. If you asked liberals if they had to choose between Heller and Citizens United and Donald Trump and not having Roe, I think a lot of them would still say they would rather have Roe. It's hardly like there is some sort of consensus out there that things have turned out badly. (And personally, I don't think Roe is in nearly as much danger as some people think it is.)

Her point is incorrect, as it is based on nothing but unfounded conjecture about what might have happened if the Supreme Court hadn't ruled on abortion in 1973.

There is nothing unfounded about it. One can extrapolate from legislative controversies at the time and compare the resolution of this issue to other issues.

Plus the baseless assumption that there is something wrong with how things are going now.

There is no baseless assumption. It's an observation informed by certain value scales. Neurotypicals get it. You don't.

Judges don't make moral decisions, Hazel, not if they want to keep themselves from being impeached. They decide what is legal and what is not. Individuals, possibly aided by rabbis, priests, and ministers, but usually not, make moral decisions.

5. Yonatan Berman:
How does a distribution change over time? Each element has X and dX to deal with. The assumptions tell him the relationship between the two, and the assumptions seem good. (I read the paper). Recessions are about deciding which half of the workers get a raise.

How hard should it be to sever our bonds to others? What justifications are sufficient?

The common thread I see is that pro-life people seem to have a higher bar for when you can walk away from your bonds. Your average pro-life person is probably also more likely to be against easy divorce, even when it has nothing to do with fetal personhood.

The common thread on the pro-choice side seems to be selfishness. I want to walk away from my obligations to others when I decide they no longer suit me.

Everyone gets this. It's why it will never be a question legality. It will be a moral question. What kind of woman gets an abortion? We all know the answer. It doesn't reflect well on the woman. That's why it doesn't just need to be legal, it needs to be celebrated. It's why "safe, legal, rare" wasn't a stable cultural point. "Safe, legal, rare" implies getting an abortion is a bad thing, that the kind of people who get them are bad people. That was never going to stand.

How did you find so much straw?

Roe v. Wade, a badly decided (legally, not morally) US Sup Ct opinion, reminds me of fish eggs. Or fish sperm. +1 if you agree.

Bonus trivia: roe, delicious, no fight about it! fish sperm is also good (shirako); I've never had it. The founding fish! They tore down a dam in the Rappahannock to help.

Those who live at that latitude have a dominant ice gene and are an isolated genotype.

Or I could be speculating. But in the isolating genotype, each member would find all members of their group equally attractive, as they all have the gene for survival. They would marry younger, remarry when needed. It is the ice gene. Darwin would agree, it is the dominant surviving genotype, has no competitors and will be a fertle, and diminant, as can be.

Let us give this context. What is the difference between homo erectus and homo sapien ? Home erectus practiced rock throwing, could hit a square yard at 30 yards. Homo sapien was a homo erectus guy who lived in the snow, and he learnt to throw his standard distance and find an unobservable spot in the snow. That is abstract thinking, he is making part of his brain into a mechanical map ticker, he is making an abstract algebra tree from the set of neural columns use to throw rocks. He learned how to control neural columns using little Walmart checkout managers, altering firing rates to match neural columns . Snow people did that recent paragraph of evolution.

My work here is done.

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil."

Said Bonhoeffer, and that was true.

Thanks for reading.

"It is no small thing to be a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world."

You know who said that first?


with a little help from the good people of River City

"he gave the town" ...

"the picnic park"

"the gymnasium"

"the hospital"

look I am no great shakes as a human being but I have done some good things to balance out my lazy and selfish days but that being said I have never given a town

a picnic park
a gymnasium
and a hospital

(not to mention a library)

oh well these are the three things to remember




and the greatest of these is Charity

I remember.

when I said "my work here is done" I merely meant to say, humbly,
I was overjoyed to see so many comments written,
here today or tonight right here on this humble comment thread,
in defense of the innocent,
as good as, or better, than I could have written them.

"L'amitié c'est le plus beau pays"

"The greatest of these is Charity"

The greatest of these is Cuckoldry.

#5: "Individuals and families occupying the lower ranks of the income distribution have a higher probability of increasing their income over short time periods than those occupying higher ranks."

So how does this differ from regression to the mean?

NBA basketball players who in November have the lowest field goal percentages will at the end of the season on average have raised their FG% more than the ones who had the highest FG% in November. This effect is even stronger if one fails to correct for survivor bias (the badly shooting players who fail to raise their FG% find themselves out of the NBA entirely).

These patterns can be created by sheer randomness; without a more complete model they don't tell us anything about income mobility nor whether income inequality is growing or shrinking (nor about players improving their shooting ability).

Or to use the original example of regression to the mean: short parents are more likely to have children who are taller than they are. Vice versa for tall parents. Does that mean that height inequality is decreasing?

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