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The Future of the Supreme Court (Page 18)
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OreoCookie
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Feb 9, 2022, 08:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is in the zone.

Wanted to note I haven’t replied because I’m thinking things through, not ejecting from the discussion.
No problem, take your time.
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subego  (op)
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Feb 11, 2022, 11:17 PM
 
So, I’ve been trying to more precisely define what boundaries should be placed on the CDC.

What I don’t want them to do is have a public, moral stance on guns.

I want them to collect whatever data they want, and I have no issue if the results imply a moral stance. Further, I can even brook them intentionally focusing on studies they think will confirm what they privately believe from a moral standpoint. I just don’t want them going the extra step to say the country should adopt those morals.

To me, and perhaps this is an overreaction, the CDC proclaiming they want the American public to think of guns like cigarettes is going that extra step.

I’m not asking anyone to adopt this position, but I am curious how unreasonable it appears as compromises go.
     
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Feb 11, 2022, 11:56 PM
 
[QUOTE=subego;4423706]So, I’ve been trying to more precisely define what boundaries should be placed on the CDC.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
What I don’t want them to do is have a public, moral stance on guns.

I want them to collect whatever data they want, and I have no issue if the results imply a moral stance.
I think this is at the core of the confusion: summarizing the scientific state-of-the-art is not taking a moral stance. Even when scientists have a moral stance, the data is the data and as long as their analysis is correct, then the studies show what they show. Obviously, all studies have weaknesses and strengths, points they emphasize and de-emphasize. But that can be dealt with by doing more science — not less.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To me, and perhaps this is an overreaction, the CDC proclaiming they want the American public to think of guns like cigarettes is going that extra step.
I think this is a mischaracterization, though: it isn’t that guns = cigarettes, but that issues surrounding guns can be investigated with the same tools from epidemiology that you can investigate a whole host of other societal issues including leaded gasoline, leaded pipes, pandemics and yes, cigarettes.

Before you think that epidemiological studies = studies of bad things, I think you can look at studies about drug laws and drug use. Full decriminalization of use (like in Portugal) has had a very positive impact. You can also think of marijuana, which is less harmful to society than alcohol or cigarettes.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’m not asking anyone to adopt this position, but I am curious how unreasonable it appears as compromises go.
I think this stance is extremely harmful to both sides of the argument. No good can come from putting a muzzle on scientists. Have a look at other instances where “morals” are overriding good scientific judgment: drugs, especially marijuana. It is extremely hard to get studies funded in many countries (not just the US, my native Germany is the same), because you need all sorts of permissions to acquire and store drugs, pretending that products with THC and other active ingredients in them are as dangerous as heroin. Many of the laws implicitly or explicitly assume, wrongly, that hemp-related products have no medicinal value and/or are as dangerous as they make it out to be. And with a lack of scientific studies — including epidemiological studies — you have no proof that about the efficacy of cannabis products for certain diseases — you arrive at a circular argument.

Proper studies could inform politicians to craft targeted laws that help mitigate some of the problems with firearms while making sure that gun owners are not subject to onerous restrictions.
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subego  (op)
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Feb 12, 2022, 12:05 AM
 
How much of a muzzle am I putting on them when I’m explicitly allowing them to collect whatever data they want report the results?
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 12, 2022, 12:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I think this is a mischaracterization, though: it isn’t that guns = cigarettes, but that issues surrounding guns can be investigated with the same tools from epidemiology that you can investigate a whole host of other societal issues including leaded gasoline, leaded pipes, pandemics and yes, cigarettes.
Here’s the interview which got them in trouble back in the day. I earlier identified it as the head of the CDC, but it was a head of one of its subagencies.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...-5ceb4fa43cf4/

Mark Rosenberg, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention, discussed the use of epidemiological methods to analyze gun violence, which I don’t object to, but he also said the following, half as a direct quote, and half as summary by the interviewer:

”We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. It used to be that smoking was a glamour symbol -- cool, sexy, macho. Now it is dirty, deadly -- and banned." Rosenberg's thought is that if we could transform public attitudes toward guns the way we have transformed public attitudes toward cigarettes, we'd go a long way toward curbing our national epidemic of violence.

This is at least approaching guns = cigarettes territory, no?
     
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Feb 13, 2022, 12:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How much of a muzzle am I putting on them when I’m explicitly allowing them to collect whatever data they want report the results?
First of all, it is not up to what you or I want, but what is presently happening. And that seems to be quite clear: getting public funding for epidemiological research on firearms in the US is hard, because of political reasons.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is at least approaching guns = cigarettes territory, no?
No, I don’t read that passage the way you do. And you are conflating scientific consensus with moral stance, and the stance of an individual with the scientific state-of-the-art. I would say that in many respects the state-of-the-art is that the presence of firearms in one’s home increases the risks of the people in that home in various ways. And if that information is what informs your conclusions and opinions on what to do, that makes you anti-gun like knowing about the risks smoking carries with it makes you anti-tobacco.

Furthermore, even if you disagree with me and maintain that science has an “anti-gun bias”, I would still think this is an important contribution to the discussion. Because clearly, you’d also have lots of advocacy in the other direction (which has had a string of successes for what, 20–30 years now?). And elevating this discussion to a scientific level would force other voices to elevate their arguments, too. You think good guys with guns can help? Ok, let’s dig into the statistics and investigate. Don’t come with anecdotes, come with data.

To me the reason of objecting is simple: the scientific state-of-the-art comes to conclusions that many people don’t like and agree with. The FUD that comes attached is wildly blown out of proportions: even if firearms were as detrimental to public health as smoking (and I am not claiming it is), there are tons of people right now who smoke despite being aware of the risks. The firearms community in the US has grown smaller over time (in that less people own guns now that one or two generations ago, and those who do own a lot more on average), but much more paranoid even though there was no serious firearms regulations bill since the 1990s and a long string of victories at the Supreme Court.
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Feb 18, 2022, 10:05 PM
 
Sorry again for the delay!

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Furthermore, even if you disagree with me and maintain that science has an “anti-gun bias”
Science is unbiased. Practitioners of science are biased. All of them.

If I believe the capacity to end the life of another human being is a virtue, will I not draw a different conclusion from unbiased science than a person who finds that idea utterly revolting?
     
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Feb 19, 2022, 10:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Science is unbiased. Practitioners of science are biased. All of them.

If I believe the capacity to end the life of another human being is a virtue, will I not draw a different conclusion from unbiased science than a person who finds that idea utterly revolting?
That seems to crystallize very nicely where I think you are wrong: you transfer the bias* of the scientist to the scientific work. That’s where you are in my opinion wrong. Science is a method by which you can arrive at conclusions supported by evidence established independently of the persons doing the research. Bias of scientists can lead to bad science, meaning studies and works that are flawed as a result of the bias. But that is something other researchers can identify and work out. If a scientific result holds up to scrutiny, any and all biases of the researchers involved do not matter. What matters is if your work was done correctly, and whether it holds up to peer review and further studies. That’s why over the long term science has led to tremendous advances despite the fact that revolutionary insights often initially had an uphill battle to fight.

So if epidemiological studies come out that show ways how firearms negatively impact public health, I’d welcome scrutiny if I were working in the field. Take my study apart, allow me to sharpen my arguments. But do that on the basis of data and facts, not opinions.

I put an asterisk next to the term bias, because there are many ways to understand this. In the political arena, it is an easy tool to dismiss factually correct scientific studies by vaguely inferring a political persuasion, at least on average. Many people seem to think that colleges and universities are dominated by liberals (a gross oversimplification that is even wrong in some subject areas), so that rough observation simply allows them to dismiss scientific studies. Guns aren’t the first topic here, global climate change in the US is another.

Bias can and does play a role, but I think that enters in a much, much more nuanced way. And I think in many cases I wouldn’t even call it bias, but perspective. An urbanist has a different perspective than an architect. An epidemiologist has a different view on the Covid-19 pandemic than a virologist or a researcher on vaccines. I wouldn’t call these points of views biases. Likewise, someone who wants to study effects of firearms with epidemiological means doesn’t have a bias in the way the word is commonly understood, it is rather a different perspective. And usually these experts don’t claim “their” perspective is the only valid one, but want to contribute to the bigger picture.

There are ways where ideological or other biases have led to bad science, e. g. phrenology or studies on cognitive differences of races were based on bad science. You can also think of more subtle ways, e. g. studies paid for by the tobacco industry on the health effects of smoking. That’s why it is important to disclose conflicts of interests so that you know you have to subject these studies to extra scrutiny. But that is very different from what I think you have in mind.
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subego  (op)
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Feb 20, 2022, 12:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Science is a method by which you can arrive at conclusions supported by evidence established independently of the persons doing the research
Absolutely. This is what I called the “unbiased science”.

A quick google informs me in scientific circles, the term “conclusion” means “summary”. Apparently, the correct term for what I’m calling the “conclusion”, or at least closer to what I mean, is “discussion”.

So, to rephrase the question from my previous post, if we take the unbiased science (results/conclusions), will not people with widely differing biases take widely different approaches to discussion?



Edit: As an aside, we already have a term for summary, which is… summary. I don’t understand the thought process behind using a word other than summary to mean summary.
( Last edited by subego; Feb 20, 2022 at 03:43 PM. )
     
OreoCookie
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Feb 20, 2022, 08:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
A quick google informs me in scientific circles, the term “conclusion” means “summary”. Apparently, the correct term for what I’m calling the “conclusion”, or at least closer to what I mean, is “discussion”.
Conclusion, summary, discussion, these are all used in my neck of the woods.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
So, to rephrase the question from my previous post, if we take the unbiased science (results/conclusions), will not people with widely differing biases take widely different approaches to discussion?
No, the approaches to the discussion will be broadly the same independent of the field.
Certainly you shouldn’t imagine that two researchers with very different backgrounds may come to opposite conclusions. That is not the same as saying that everyone will agree or find a study equally persuasive.

There are several levels: one is whether the data is valid. Outright fraud (like in one of the oft-cited Covid-related Ivermectin studies) is rare, but it does happen. There could be more subtle problems with the data (e. g. lackluster protocols or problems with sampling). Then there are trade offs and strengths and weaknesses of the study itself. I separate trade offs from weaknesses explicitly, because in many studies you need to find a compromise between depth and breadth. For example, sports or nutrition science come to mind, you can either subject a small number of subjects to a very controlled diet for a short period of time. Or you can study a larger number of people for longer, but you don’t have the same control over what people eat.

Assuming the data and other evidence checks out, sources for disagreements are usually much more subtle. Has the study included or controlled for all the relevant variables? One example I think I have mentioned already was that Japan’s initial Covid-19 response was formulated by medical doctors, i. e. people who treated individuals. It was aimed at smaller pandemics like the original SARS pandemic where only a handful of people in Japan get infected. But for SARS-CoV-2 this was not the right approach on the scale of the entire population. Neither was wrong, it is just that medical doctors emphasized the perspective of the individual while epidemiologists focussed more on the population.

There is an interpretative part, too, which is more subjective. For example, what level of evidence do you need before, say, you recommend a change in therapy or action? One example comes to mind was a study that found that babies who slept on their stomach are more likely to suffer from crib death. Even though the evidence was (in the hierarchy of different studies) very weak, because the remedy was simple and with no counter indications, and studies which provided better evidence (say, a randomized control trial) unethical, they implemented the change. This is the bit where I think the most subjectivity lies. But this is quite rare.

Lastly, one thing the “critical” part of the public doesn’t think about when it comes to science is how vigorous (and at times vicious) scientists can be to other scientists when they think others are wrong. We are trained to look for weaknesses, and while we can steel our arguments as much as possible, it is still easier to find gaps in the works of others. And that’s good. But it is very different from what many people think, namely that all scientists in a field are part of a cabal that just produce mutually reinforcing works in order to get jobs and grant money.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Edit: As an aside, we already have a term for summary, which is… summary. I don’t understand the thought process behind using a word other than summary to mean summary.
Science lingo. I don’t use summary and conclusion synonymously in my works.
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subego  (op)
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Feb 21, 2022, 01:49 PM
 
If two people have diametrically opposed morals, they’ll have different responses to the same input. In this case, the input we’re discussing is the “unbiased science”.

I originally used the phrase “draw different conclusions”. What phrase should I be using?
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 21, 2022, 04:48 PM
 
To expand a bit, let’s say the unbiased science shows a gun is more likely to maim or kill someone other an imminent threat. IIUC, this is indeed what the unbiased science shows.

Person A is bothered by this, so they draw the conclusion “this is a reason to regulate guns”.

Person B is not bothered by this, so they draw the conclusion “this is not a reason to regulate guns”.

At the least, is it clear the science isn’t what’s being debated? No one in this scenario is challenging the science.
     
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Feb 21, 2022, 07:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If two people have diametrically opposed morals, they’ll have different responses to the same input. In this case, the input we’re discussing is the “unbiased science”.
Are you talking about two people not involved in the scientific process? And what do you mean by response?

I’d say that first of all, I don’t think people have “diametrically opposed morals”, it is not as if the pro gun crowd is ok with killing innocent people and people who want more gun control are not. Secondly, yes, you can react differently to facts. The only thing I’d object to is that opinions aren’t facts. So if scientific research consistently shows one thing, you cannot continue to claim that the opposite is true, because that is more consistent with your ideological beliefs.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I originally used the phrase “draw different conclusions”. What phrase should I be using?
I was under the impression that you were talking about two researchers, not about two regular people.
I think you are using conclusion in different, confusing ways. In a scientific work, the conclusion summarizes the results and puts them into context of other research. That is quite narrow in scope and highly specialized. It has very little to do with how non-experts would react to the same scientific results, because their knowledge, scope and experience is very different. And drawing conclusions means something else in the context of non-experts, too.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To expand a bit, let’s say the unbiased science shows a gun is more likely to maim or kill someone other an imminent threat. IIUC, this is indeed what the unbiased science shows.

Person A is bothered by this, so they draw the conclusion “this is a reason to regulate guns”.

Person B is not bothered by this, so they draw the conclusion “this is not a reason to regulate guns”.

At the least, is it clear the science isn’t what’s being debated? No one in this scenario is challenging the science.
As I have written before, science should inform policy, and I know pretty much no large-scale example where science writes policy. In your example, I don’t see any contradiction to anything I have written. If Person B acknowledges the extra harm caused by firearms, but is ok with it, then this is an expression of their values. Person A can find this reprehensible, but this discussion is outside the scope of science. The only thing I’d object to is if Person B would hypothetically continue to claim something that has been disproven by science (in your example that guns make it less likely to maim or kill someone other than an imminent threat).

We are bound by facts. Politicians can e. g. make laws that pi = 3, that global climate change isn’t happening and that the Covid-19 pandemic has become endemic. Facts don’t care about feelings, ideology and morals. And science is a method to get closer to the facts.
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subego  (op)
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Feb 23, 2022, 10:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
In your example, I don’t see any contradiction to anything I have written.
Exactly!

That’s the point I’ve been trying to make the last few posts. There’s no contradiction there because I’m not contradicting you.
     
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Feb 24, 2022, 12:26 AM
 
So let’s circle back and hopefully close this bracket: your point as I understand it is that non-scientists can use data in different ways and come to different conclusions when it comes to translating scientific facts into political action. Yes, and I think this is great, exactly as it should be! Wouldn’t that apply to epidemiological studies on firearms, too?

Like I wrote, I can’t help escape the conclusion that a big part of the motivation is that some people are afraid of the outcomes of such studies, i. e. that because there is clear data that in many situations firearms are actually harmful, there will be regulations addressing this.
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subego  (op)
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Feb 25, 2022, 10:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
So let’s circle back and hopefully close this bracket: your point as I understand it is that non-scientists can use data in different ways and come to different conclusions when it comes to translating scientific facts into political action. Yes, and I think this is great, exactly as it should be! Wouldn’t that apply to epidemiological studies on firearms, too?
Yes, this absolutely applies to to epidemiological studies on firearms.

Do not scientists also count as “people” in terms of translating scientific facts into political action? To be clear, just like in my previous example, the science isn’t in question or being challenged.

I want to address the point you make after this paragraph, but wanted to make sure we’re on the same page with this part first.
     
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Feb 26, 2022, 04:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Do not scientists also count as “people” in terms of translating scientific facts into political action? To be clear, just like in my previous example, the science isn’t in question or being challenged.
Yes, but I think it matters greatly who is speaking (expert vs. non-expert) and who is listening.

As private people they clearly have opinions, especially if they are intimately familiar with the subject matter. That isn’t unusual, farmers likely have domain knowledge on farm subsidies, and I know more about the health care system because my mom used to work in a hospital and was a member of the hospital’s employees’ council. For example, I think most people with a background in healthcare, virology or epidemiology were quite critical of how most governments have reacted to the pandemic, and my impression is that many of them would have been more conservative. My personal opinion is that we should listen more intently to people with expertise in a subject rather than dismiss them, because we don’t like the implications.

There are others settings when they speak in their roles as experts, and here I think the dynamics is quite different. Or when scientists communicate with the public.

Overall, though, I think the number of experts on a subject is quite small, and politicians are very good at ignoring them. (Most politicians still can’t seem to fathom what exponential growth is and how it matters during a pandemic, but I digress.)
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May 3, 2022, 12:40 AM
 
Looks to be they’re killing it.

I will eat any crow served for my incorrect prediction.
     
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May 3, 2022, 02:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Looks to be they’re killing it.

I will eat any crow served for my incorrect prediction.
I’m not surprised, this was literally decades in the making. If you make opposition to a woman’s right to an abortion a selection criterion, this is what happens.
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May 3, 2022, 02:40 AM
 
I guess I’m not really surprised, just holding out for a “happy medium”, which I saw as flipping the post-Casey decisions.
     
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May 3, 2022, 04:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I guess I’m not really surprised, just holding out for a “happy medium”, which I saw as flipping the post-Casey decisions.
The way I read the signs, that was never on the table. When the Garland nomination was blocked in the Senate by simply not holding any hearings and then appointing Gorsuch, I thought that within a few years they’d attempt a flip of Roe vs. Wade. That’s why many states made laws that were in straight violation of Roe vs. Wade and Casey rather than nibbling around the edges (e. g. requiring that corridors need to be even wider or some such). I’ve seen some quick analysis on Twitter, and at least the excerpts they quote don’t seem to be great arguments by Alito.

The excerpt I saw was in regards to Casey, and argued that Casey relied on precedents like the right to marry a person of a different race or of the same sex, or the right not to be sterilized without consent. That seems an unwise line of argumentation to make since all of those previous cases are things with support that ranges from almost universal to strong majority. Then Alito seems to suggest that it is a slippery slope and those arguments could lead to fundamental rights to using illicit drugs or be a prostitute. Moreover, Alito seems to pose — and then answer — the question of morality. If the draft is real and these bits make it into the final version, I don’t think they will age well. However, I will not spend any time on reading what is at best a draft, and wait for the final version. Moreover, if the court bases its arguments on the morals of the judges rather than judicial arguments, this will cause a big problem as the Justices on the Supreme Court are on average way to the right when compared with American society at large.

Hypothetically, if I were in favor of reversing Roe vs. Wade and Casey, I’d focus on the weaknesses of especially Roe vs. Wade that’s been discussed to death (the privacy angle), and tried to establish what rights a fetus has when to prevent federal legislation.
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May 3, 2022, 08:42 AM
 
Here’s the Politico story. (Sorry about the amp link. The link to the non-amp page keeps crashing my browser)

Link to the leaked draft decision (pdf)
     
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May 3, 2022, 01:11 PM
 
Fuck Susan Collins and her belief in the nominees lies that they would respect established law. Also fuck McConnell, if he hadn't blocked garland RBG would have retired sooner and been replaced by Obama.
     
subego  (op)
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May 3, 2022, 10:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I’ve seen some quick analysis on Twitter, and at least the excerpts they quote don’t seem to be great arguments by Alito.
I skimmed the first few pages.

The plaintiff argued the Court must either reaffirm Roe and Casey or let the Mississippi law stand. They argued “no-half measures” are available.

Paint Alito into a corner like this at your peril.


Edit: I want to add as evidence in regards to how central this is to the opinion, it’s what Alito mentions right before he drops the bomb. We must either reaffirm or overrule Roe and Casey? We overrule.

Edit2:

“On the other side, the respondents and the Solicitor General ask us to…”

( Last edited by subego; May 4, 2022 at 12:55 AM. )
     
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May 4, 2022, 04:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Paint Alito into a corner like this at your peril.
I think this is a mischaracterization of what has happened. I don’t think people in favor of letting Roe and Casey stand were painting poor Alito into a corner. But rather states like Mississippi were teeing up perfect opportunities for Alito and the other conservative justices (save for perhaps Chief Justice Roberts) to strike down a woman’s right to an abortion. These state laws were crafted precisely to force SCOTUS to address the elephant in the room rather nibble around the edges. Several states have trigger laws in place already.

Sadly, I don’t think this will be the last of it. It seems some states are thinking about laws that will make it illegal for state residents to cross state borders for an abortion. Ditto for shipping the morning after pill by mail.
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May 4, 2022, 05:46 AM
 
And yet these are the same people who fight tooth and nail to resist government control over their bodies when they are asked to wear a mask.
Turns out taking over control of a woman’s reproductive organs is much less problematical
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May 4, 2022, 07:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Turns out taking over control of a woman’s reproductive organs is much less problematical
Evangelical women would gladly support taking-away women’s right to vote if one could convince them it was biblically mandated.
     
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May 4, 2022, 09:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I think this is a mischaracterization of what has happened. I don’t think people in favor of letting Roe and Casey stand were painting poor Alito into a corner. But rather states like Mississippi were teeing up perfect opportunities for Alito and the other conservative justices (save for perhaps Chief Justice Roberts) to strike down a woman’s right to an abortion. These state laws were crafted precisely to force SCOTUS to address the elephant in the room rather nibble around the edges. Several states have trigger laws in place already.
Is demanding all or nothing from the Court a wise strategy?
     
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May 4, 2022, 10:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is demanding all or nothing from the Court a wise strategy?
If you are in favor of reversing Roe vs. Wade and Casey, given the composition of the Supreme Court and the political climate, absolutely!

If you are against a reversal, I don't think you had any other choice, for these laws (I'm not just including the law under consideration, but similar laws in other states) are designed to directly violate clear precedent.
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May 4, 2022, 11:05 AM
 
There’s nothing stopping the Court from letting the Mississippi law stand by way of overruling only the relevant part of Casey, which is the pre-viability stricture.

Well, nothing stopping it other than the plaintiffs insisting it not happen.



That sound is the monkey paw finger closing.
     
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May 4, 2022, 11:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
There’s nothing stopping the Court from letting the Mississippi law stand by way of overruling only the relevant part of Casey, which is the pre-viability stricture.
Yes, and in principle there was nothing stopping SCOTUS to simply uphold precedent either.

Everybody involved knew and knows what is going on: after getting a conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court several states (including Mississippi) passed laws that clearly violate precedent, and the purpose was to give SCOTUS a chance to overturn Roe and Casey. SCOTUS decided to take the cases (they could have refused, too), and that was a clear sign that they'd at least reconsider current precedent. From the looks of it, supporters of a reversal of these precedents were quite right to wait until conservatives had a supermajority, because Roberts is apparently not supporting this majority opinion.*

I think both, from a moral and legal perspective, arguing that precedence should stand and by precedence, laws like the one in Mississippi are clearly unconstitutional is very clean, it is consistent with conservative legal philosophy. And you just gotta accept the cards you are dealt in this situation. Plus, this sort of puts the blame on strategic errors by the people defending Roe and Casey. I don't think a partial modification was ever in the cards with this Court.

* According to the last episode of What Roman Mars Can Learn About Con Law (Roman Mars is the brains behind 99 % Invisible, one of the most famous podcasts out there, and he got another podcast rolling with his neighbor who is a professor for constitutional law at UC Berkeley), the most senior justice of the majority assigns a judge to write the majority opinion. The reasoning is that if Roberts were among the majority, he'd get to pick and he would most likely opted to write the opinion of this landmark decision himself. Without Roberts, the most senior justice is Clarence Thomas, who has seemingly picked Alito.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That sound is the monkey paw finger closing.
Whose monkey paw?
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May 4, 2022, 11:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Plus, this sort of puts the blame on strategic errors by the people defending Roe and Casey.
Oh, I’m not sort of putting the blame on them.

The only viable strategy was for the plaintiffs to load Roberts up with ammo so he could pick-off one of the new judges with a plea for stare decisis. Not only did the insistence by the plaintiffs there is no middle ground fail to give Roberts ammo, it stripped him of it.
     
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May 4, 2022, 12:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don't think a partial modification was ever in the cards with this Court.
Is this a valid reason to explicitly remove the option from the table?
     
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May 4, 2022, 07:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The only viable strategy was for the plaintiffs to load Roberts up with ammo so he could pick-off one of the new judges with a plea for stare decisis. Not only did the insistence by the plaintiffs there is no middle ground fail to give Roberts ammo, it stripped him of it.
I think that’s your opinion that this is the “only viable strategy”, but that’s clearly not the case. We don’t have to agree on what the best strategy is, but denying there is more than one is narrow-minded and factually not correct.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is this a valid reason to explicitly remove the option from the table?
I think this is a judgement call. On a superficial level it may sound smart to keep all of your options open, but very often what ends up happening is that your arguments lose logical cohesion and each of the individual options is less forcefully and convincingly argued than if you focussed on one. Simplifying your arguments to make the ones you focus on more persuasive is an essential skill as a lawyer (and any writer who wants to convince others).
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May 4, 2022, 10:39 PM
 
Why would I pursue a strategy of demanding total reaffirmation if I think even partial affirmation is not in the cards?

I overstated my last case. My strategy is not the only one, it is just one that is superior to demanding all during negotiations when I know in advance my opponent will most assuredly reject that option.
     
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May 5, 2022, 01:06 PM
 
“Senator Susan Collins’ frequent expressions of ‘disappointment’ and ‘concern’ over the unsurprisingly extreme actions of her own party are so commonplace that they have become a meme among liberals,” wrote Benjamin Hart. “At times, the Maine Republican seems to be either living in an alternate political universe or playing the role of a well-intentioned naïf on purpose.”

Collins herself is keeping quiet on the topic. She has refused multiple interview requests, referring reporters to her Tuesday statement when asked questions about how she plans to protect the abortion rights she supports if the draft opinion becomes final.

When pressed, Collins’ spokesperson sends reporters to the bill that she introduced this year to codify the protection of Roe v. Wade. That bill, the Reproductive Choice Act, lacks the 60 votes needed to survive a Republican filibuster, which Collins refuses to vote to overturn.
So Susan has introduced a Reproductive Choice Act, but is doing nothing to ensure it will do anything. Why bother?

Note I only pick on Susan so much compared to other R who voted Kav and Amy in, because she used to be better. Didn't she?
     
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May 5, 2022, 03:34 PM
 
If Roe and Casey are flipped, that law would probably be unconstitutional.

Along those lines, I find the “Democrats had time to pass a law” argument to be bullshit. Unless it was an amendment, the Court could flip that too.


Edit: as could a differently aligned Congress.
     
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May 6, 2022, 11:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Along those lines, I find the “Democrats had time to pass a law” argument to be bullshit. Unless it was an amendment, the Court could flip that too.
Agreed. Plus, a majority in the Senate is not enough, they would have needed 60 votes. I don’t see that happening. Perhaps they could have gotten 52 or 53, but not more than that.
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May 8, 2022, 04:05 PM
 
The Democrats had 58 plus two Independents in 2009, but it was quite the herd of cats. Even Rahm couldn’t keep these fuckers in line.
     
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May 8, 2022, 08:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The Democrats had 58 plus two Independents in 2009, but it was quite the herd of cats. Even Rahm couldn’t keep these fuckers in line.
True, but I reckon they thought back then that abortion was settled and they didn‘t need to touch it. Likewise, Republicans in Congress also made zero effort to introduce abortion-related federal legislation when they had the trifecta. One reason was, of course, that their strategy was to go through federal courts and the states, but another that they wanted to keep that carrot to rally their voters.
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May 9, 2022, 01:23 AM
 
The highest number of seats Republicans have attained since 1970 is 55.
     
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May 9, 2022, 03:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The highest number of seats Republicans have attained since 1970 is 55.
True, but I think a few decades ago this was less polarized than now, i. e. there were a few pro-choice Republicans and a few anti-abortion Democrats. So just looking at that number likely does not reflect whether or not Republicans (or Democrats) would have had the opportunity to pass legislations through both chambers.
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May 9, 2022, 03:40 AM
 
I’m only making the point it was less than 60.

As an aside, the last time Republicans had 55 was 2007, so only a decade-and-a-half ago.
     
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May 13, 2022, 05:21 PM
 
There was a time, in the not too distant past, when the ruling party accepted that they were ruling for the benefit of the whole country, not just their base.

This has now changed, and the ruling party only seems interested in ruling for the benefit of their supporters, and part of that ruling appears to be actively working against people that didn't support them, to show the penalty for "disloyalty".
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May 13, 2022, 06:27 PM
 
My pet theory is the main driver of American unity in the second half of the 20th century was network television being the dominant communication medium.

In addition, the unity inspired by WWII defined the character of its ascendancy, and the polarization of 9/11 defined the character of its fall.
     
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May 13, 2022, 07:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by christ View Post
There was a time, in the not too distant past, when the ruling party accepted that they were ruling for the benefit of the whole country, not just their base.
My observations differ slightly. In the past, different sides were willing to reach compromises on most matters. Not everything. But after negotiation, a so-so bill would be passed that was at least useful. Most in Congress would vote for the compromise, even though it would have some things each member didn't like.

Today, the far-right looks upon compromise with disdain. Their way or the highway. And the left is learning that if they compromise, it's treated as weakness. So in the future, there will be less and less compromise.

Example: the infrastructure bill was supposed to be tied to Build Back Better. House progressives insisted on it, and voted for infrastructure on the promise they'd remain tied. After reaching the Senate, they were separated. Infrastructure was passed, BBB was shafted by Manchin and every single Republican. Show weakness, lose.
     
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May 14, 2022, 10:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
My observations differ slightly. In the past, different sides were willing to reach compromises on most matters. Not everything. But after negotiation, a so-so bill would be passed that was at least useful. Most in Congress would vote for the compromise, even though it would have some things each member didn't like.

Today, the far-right looks upon compromise with disdain. Their way or the highway. And the left is learning that if they compromise, it's treated as weakness. So in the future, there will be less and less compromise.

Example: the infrastructure bill was supposed to be tied to Build Back Better. House progressives insisted on it, and voted for infrastructure on the promise they'd remain tied. After reaching the Senate, they were separated. Infrastructure was passed, BBB was shafted by Manchin and every single Republican. Show weakness, lose.
That is another way of phrasing it. But it isn't only the right (I don't think that there is a "far-right" any more, what used to be the far-right is now mainstream right) that are unwilling to compromise: most of the progressive "left-leaning" policies are "my way or the highway" too: there is no such thing as a compromise on "gay wedding", or "gender fluidity" or BLM - anyone that disagrees with any of these things is (considered to be) just flat wrong, so how can a compromise be possible? So ruling without compromise has become the norm.
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"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
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May 14, 2022, 10:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by christ View Post
...most of the progressive "left-leaning" policies are "my way or the highway" too: there is no such thing as a compromise on "gay wedding", or "gender fluidity" or BLM - anyone that disagrees with any of these things is (considered to be) just flat wrong, so how can a compromise be possible? So ruling without compromise has become the norm.
That’s sort of a false equivalence, though. The things you point to as being “no compromise” to progressives pretty universally expand rights, which ultimately benefit all and harm no one. This is fully in the spirit of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

“No compromise” items for the right, on the other hand, almost universally involve revocation or limiting rights to select groups (usually non-white straight male christian) and have real negative effects on people’s lives.
     
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May 14, 2022, 02:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
which ultimately benefit all and harm no one
I understand what you’re trying to say here, but I do not see this a valid defense for legal abortions, which is the central policy under consideration.
     
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May 14, 2022, 03:28 PM
 
Why not? It’s a solidly libertarian approach to leave the decision to the person carrying the fetus, and not have the state force her to carry it to term regardless of her ability to care for the child. In no reasonable world should a week-old fetus overrule the rights and needs of the woman carrying it.

Of course, striking down Roe has nothing to do with any of that. It’s entirely theological, both political and religious.
     
 
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