Category «Politics»

Twisting the Family Tree

Opponents of same-sex marriage sometimes raise the specter of legalized incest. For example, in the federal court ruling that upheld Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban, Judge Martin Feldman writes: [M]ust the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? In a brief to the U.S. Supreme …

Evil in All Its Forms

The U.S. Supreme Court expanded exemptions to a federal mandate that requires employer health plans to cover birth control. The mandate already exempts churches and lets other non-profits file for a “religious accommodation.” The Hobby Lobby decision lets for-profit employers file, too. The Wheaton College ruling lets Wheaton, a Christian non-profit, skip filing the accommodation form—EBSA …

The Courage of One’s Convictions Corrections

Psychologists have raised doubts about whether we can reliably reason our way to true beliefs. Numerous studies suggest we’re prone to “motivated reasoning.” We sometimes argue against the facts due to unconscious goals that don’t aim at the truth. The New Yorker and Vox interviewed Brendan Nyhan and Dan Kahan, respectively, two researchers who study …

Stop Saying Money Isn’t Speech

In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down limits on the total amount an individual can contribute to political candidates, parties, and action committees. The 5–4 decision said that “aggregate limits” violate the First Amendment’s protection of political speech and political association. In contrast, “base limits” lawfully restrict how much an …