Tonight: Qwertz on Gay Marriage & the Spousal Privileges at Philosophy in Action

Tonight, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh will interview me about "Gay Marriage and Spousal Privilege" on her live internet radio show, Philosophy in Action. This is the subject on which I wrote an unpublished Law Review comment many moons ago. It wasn't a particularly relevant topic back then, but a recent Supreme Court decision striking down §3 of the Defense of Marriage Act makes it vastly more likely that the

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On Amendment One and Obama's ABC Interview

On Tuesday, North Carolina voters approved Amendment One, which strips unmarried couples of all legal recognition of their relationships under State law. Billed as a simple gay marriage ban, the amendment actually goes much further, as Patrick at Popehat describes, and voids all other legal protections unmarried couples, gay or straight, might seek for themselves, including wills, adoptions, medical powers of attorney, and possibly even joint tenancy in realty. [Part 2 and Part 3 in

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On Gary Johnson

Former governor of New Mexico and best of all possible candidates for the Republican nomination for president Gary Johnson was so thoroughly and systematically excluded from the nomination process that he dropped out of it. This is disappointing on a number of fronts, one being Johnson's decision to instead seek the Libertarian nomination. This decision in particular has caused a great deal of consternation among those of us who supported Johnson enthusiastically as a Republican

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A Request

I have an opinion on the whole "Cordoba House" issue, but it isn't well informed. I'd like it to be. Therefore, I'm requesting reading material or other evidence on, among other issues, the nature of Islam and of this project. I also want a translation suggestion for the Koran (or however you care to spell it). Preferably a scholarly translation which takes the time in extensive footnotes to explain its word choices, and was not

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Goldwater on Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Remarks of Sen. Goldwater on the Limited Test Ban Treaty before the U.S. Senate, September 19, 1963.

Mr. President, after reviewing the remarks made in this Chamber, and the testimony regarding the proposed limited nuclear test ban treaty, I am impressed by three arguments--one in its favor, two in opposition. In favor of it, after all is said and done, is a hope, usually described as a faint glimmer, that this may be the
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Miss Manners on American Obeisance

[Royal personages] do not have the right to receive physical obeisance from American citizens. Miss Manners has had to issue the decree many times now that American ladies should not curtsy [ed: nor should American gentlemen bow] to royalty, and there are still those who do so at every available opportunity. They are in error, not only in the matter of world etiquette, but of geography, physics and ancient and modern history. . . . Bending
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FCC Ready to Kill Internet

According to Reuters, FCC commissioners voted 5-0 today to proceed with crafting a "net neutrality" rule, sending the current language (which would strip telecom companies of the right to control how they use their own property) to the printing office for public comment. Comments will be accepted until January 14th.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available online here [PDF].

You can upload your comments using ECFS here, using proceeding number 09-191. You can read

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And Maine Makes Five

Maine legalizes same-sex marriage

By legislative action, no less. Without a court telling them they had to do it. That makes Maine the second state to enact same-sex marriage without a judicial order to do so, and the first state to enact same-sex marriage without a judicial order to at least create a parallel licensing system (as the Vermont Supreme Court did back before that state created its civil union system). Also, the first state

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"Knock, Knock!"

"Who's there?"


"Orange who?"

"Orange you glad you didn't vote for McCain!"

I still say Stevens is due - he'll be 89 this year. And Ginsburg has health issues. Luckily all three are part of the liberal bloc and will be replaced with liberals - not likely to upset court balance.

I'm in the middle of finals week in my last semester in law school. Assuming I pass everything, I'll graduate on May 17th,

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<em>Gill v. Office of Personnel Management</em>

Complaint here. [pdf]

Various plaintiffs married to or formerly married to and now widowed by persons of the same sex under Massachusetts law after Goodridge filed suit in the United States District Court for District of Massachusetts yesterday (case no. 1:2009cv10309) directly challenging the constitutionality of § 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, Pub L. No. 105-199, 110 Stat. 2419 (1996) (codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7) under implied equal protection afforded

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Twilight of the West: Part 1

Things are . . . happening.

Bad things.

September 11

I thought about blogging on September 11, but I couldn't think of anything new to say. That's sad. Seven years, and nothing has gotten better. Nothing tall and shining has risen from Lower Manhattan except the same phantom lights that are dragged out every year to stand in for real honor. Politicians putting on a show, so they look like they're doing something meaningful. The

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More on Gay Marriage


Everybody's got their knickers in a twist over the California Supreme Court's recent ruling that Prop 22 (a popular initiative to enact a statutory ban on same-sex marriages) was unconstitutional under the California State Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. The court declined to reconsider, and also declined to issue a stay of its order directing state officials to stop denying marriage licenses to otherwise eligible same-sex couples. Apparently, same-sex couples started getting married a

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Sundae Specials (Initial Thoughts)

Gus Van Horn mentions the difficulty of arguing against the government's use of behavior-modifying techniques in mixed-government contexts:

Unfortunately, everyone is so used to the government owning the roads ... that few so much as bat an eye when they hear of the government looking for ways to psychologically manipulate people into doing its bidding. Indeed, in this limited context, it is hard to argue productively against the government taking advantage of such knowledge about human
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The Office of the President

The President of the United States is not a man, but an office occupied by a man. And the office carries only those powers enumerated in Article II of the Constitution of the United States.

§1 The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. . . . §2 The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of
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<em>Sterca Sanctus</em>

I expected Huckabee would turn out on top of the Republican caucuses in Iowa. He won't do so well in New Hampshire, at least.

I've always said Huckabee was more frightening to me for the ideological trends he represents, not for the possibility that he might be elected. And I still am not too worried about that.

What is interesting to me is Obama's victory in the Democratic caucuses.

The two most religious candidates won

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Things What Scare Me


It is difficult for me to express exactly how much this man scares me. Not just from a political standpoint, but as a person. Even the look of him portends terrible things. Perhaps he smells of doom.

It isn't even the possibility, however remote, that he might be elected that scares me. A theocrat at 1600 Pennsylvania couldn't do so much damage as, say, a theocrat at One

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"Socialized Medicine"

Why do Socialists (including the Left) hate this phrase so much?

More specifically, why do they accuse anyone who uses it of spouting "empty rhetoric?" As if the words don't have any meaning beyond their political history?

The phrase was coined by the AMA back in the '30s when it opposed Medicare. The AMA was a very strong opponent of Medicare, and (rightly) associated the program with Socialism. Socialism was, itself, deeply reviled at the

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Under Her Spell

From Drudge Report comes this lovely photograph of Female Democratic Presidential Hopeful.

Hillary’s Hat

Isn't she just precious? It's clearly an older photo, but I cannot find anything saying when or where it was taken.

Normally, I would have written a bit more, using the witch thing as an analogy for her politics. It would have been witty and insightful. But I'm busy, and I'm sure you can use your own imaginations well enough.

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Poor? Have a Baby!

Our Glorious American System of Welfare and Entitlement has been, in no small part and despite Bill Clinton's ineffectual efforts to the contrary, instrumental in increasing the size of the Welfare-dependent population of this country. If you're poor, one of the fastest ways to get money without having to do any [Ed: well, much] work is to have a baby.

Having more kids means you get more money from TANF, more food stamps from WIC,

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We Interrupt This Broadcast

I know you are all waiting with bated breath for my exciting new substantive post. Or at least, it amuses me to imagine so. But the Evil Cartoon Bird has struck again. So instead of our previously scheduled programming, we present more ranting about the evils of cable companies.

So Wednesday evening there was a storm. Internets go out. Which is dumb, because cable lines are buried. Oddly enough, the TV didn't go out. I

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