Latest Supreme Court Items
Barack Obama received the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America last week. Both the likely Democratic nominee, Mr. Obama, and the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain, are flip-side versions of one another on the abortion issue: Each man's rhetoric (or lack thereof, in some cases) does not match his record.
Sen. John McCain saluted the Constitution's checks and balances and repudiated multiple Bush-Cheney usurpations on May 15 in Columbus, Ohio. But whether the salute will prove more than a restricted railroad ticket good for this day and train only remains uncertain. McCain, nevertheless, deserves applause for spotlighting the greatest threat confronting the country: executive despotism facilitated by secret government.
The nation's fittingly tough 2003 child-pornography law is safe thanks to an equally tough 7-2 Supreme Court decision yesterday. Since its passage, the PROTECT Act has drawn fire for the five-year mandatory prison sentence it sets for not only possessing pornography but also for "pandering," which includes falsely promoting or claiming to possess child pornography (a means of luring other predators). Some had the teremity to suggest that this standard is "vague" and poses First Amendment difficulties — up to and including a threat to films such as "Lolita" or a bathtub photo. The court rightly rejected that exquisite argument.
The Metropolitan Police Department says officers will start receiving assault rifles this summer as scheduled but the weapons will be unsecured in vehicle trunks until the locking devices are installed.
The Supreme Court yesterday rejected without comment an appeal from a District-based advocacy group that promotional ads for its 90-minute political documentary critical of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are protected by First Amendment rights and, therefore, exempt from campaign-finance laws.
Evangelical Protestants don't have a monopoly on the religious right. Conservative Catholics belong there, too, said Deal W. Hudson, author of a new book on the political power of evangelicals and Catholics.