Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It turns out I don't get so worked up about things when it's not an election year, which means I'm obviously writing a lot less often. Of course, pressing issues worth commenting on do still come up from time to time. I can usually express my views in short sound bites, which I will first try to send as a letter to my local newspaper. When they don't print it, I will proceed to publish it here. So here are two letters I wrote recently:

On Judge Sotomayor and the Ricci case:

Legal precedent prior to Ricci v. Stephano was clear that in cases where an employment qualification showed disparate racial impact, the side arguing that it should be used anyway had the burden of proof to show it was fair. The New Haven firefighters certainly did not meet this standard. In its decision, the majority of the Supreme Court essentially chose to reverse this precedent, and put the burden of proof on the other side to show the measure was not fair. We can obviously argue over which is a more equitable standard, but there is no question that Judge Sotomayor was following established legal precedent when she issued her ruling. I find it interesting that conservatives are now arguing that she should have ruled based on her personal sense of fairness rather than on the legal precedent. Isn’t that what they used to call “judicial activism”?

And on healthcare:

I find it ironic that the Republicans are trying to raise the scepter of financial responsibility in their criticisms of the Democrats’ health care proposals. They clearly didn’t care about deficits during the eight years they were bestowing lavish government handouts on the very rich. But now that the government might do something helpful for people who actually need it, this we can’t afford?

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