May 24, 2012
Legislating Holy Scripture in Ohio >> The Revealer

My latest article for The Revealer:

Ohio just keeps embarrassing the buckeye out of me (and that’s only on Jezebel). I can’t get a break. This week, however, it’s more of a middling sigh-and-shake-my-head feeling than an outright pounding in my temples.

The culprit? Anti-abortion demonstrators protesting at the state Capitol. What are they protesting? The fact that the Republican-controlled state Senate won’t consider a measure effectively banning all abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

No, you read that correctly. Republican-controlled. Won’t pass. Fetal heartbeat abortion ban.

Read the full article here.

May 22, 2012
Put on your Sunday (Law)suit >> The Revealer

My latest post for The Revealer:

22 May 2012

Ashley Baxstrom: In squint-at-the-screen-to-be-sure news, The Raw Story reports that a church in Oregon is suing a woman for posting negative reviews on Google.

Of course it’s more complicated than that. To review: Julie Anne Smith left the Beaverton Grace Bible Church a few years ago. She claims she and her family were shunned by church members at the direction of Pastor Chuck O’Neal. Smith responded by posting negative reviews of BGBC on Google and DEX. (A Google search for reviews found over 600, many of which have been posted since the article broke.) “We do it with restaurants and hotels and whatnot, and I thought, why not do it with this church?” Smith told KATU.

The church is suing Smith, her daughter, and three other commenters for $500,000, claiming defamation over the use of words like “creepy,” “cult,” “control tactics” and “spiritual abuse.”

Now my immediate reaction, early in my own reading of this incident, was that the church needs to calm the heck down and can’t sue somebody for saying what they think. Get over yourselves – freedom of expression – et cetera.

But. That would be me leaping to conclusions. Silly me! Nothing is ever so simple!

Read the rest of the article here.

March 26, 2012
Marbury v. Medicine

Supreme Court hears Affordable Care Act arguments: John Roberts could convince his fellow justices to avoid making a decision. - Slate Magazine

Fast-forward to our own era’s great confrontation between the president and the Supreme Court, the constitutional challenge to Barack Obama’s health insurance reform act, which will be argued over the next three days. Much ink and many pixels have been spilled over whether the act’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance oversteps Congress’ power to regulate “commerce … among the several states.” But today’s opening argument in the case will be devoted to a more modest issue that, as in Marbury, could end up deciding the case: the question of the court’s jurisdiction.

Good article, great title.

Read the rest here

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