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The California Recall Was a Warning

The California Recall Was a WarningGovernor Gavin Newsom of California defeated yesterday’s recall election by a large enough margin to squash earlier Republican threats to challenge the results no matter the outcome. But the proliferation of those allegations of voter fraud before the election, including ungrounded claims from former President Donald Trump that the contest was “rigged,” point toward an ominous future in which more GOP candidates challenge the results of any election that they do not win.Although Trump, Larry Elder (the leading GOP candidate to replace Newsom), and other Republicans had repeatedly raised unspecified allegations of fraud in recent days, those same claims were muted after the “no” position on the recall quickly established a commanding 8-to-1 advantage as the first results arrived last night. Elder, in his remarks to supporters, did not repeat any of his fraud claims and used the word “defeat” to describe the outcome. California…


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Just Give Every American an ID

Just Give Every American an IDDemocrats in Congress are considering a policy that was long unthinkable: a federal requirement that every American show identification before casting a ballot. But as the party tries to pass voting-rights legislation before the next election, it is ignoring a companion proposal that could ensure that a voter-ID law leaves no one behind—an idea that is as obvious as it is historically controversial. What if the government simply gave an ID card to every voting-age citizen in the country?Voter-ID requirements are the norm in many countries, as Republicans are fond of pointing out. But so are national ID cards. In places such as France and Germany, citizens pick up their identity card when they turn 16 and present it once they’re eligible to vote. Out of nearly 200 countries across the world, at least 170 have some form of national ID or are implementing one,…


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Is This How Democrats Break Their Midterm Curse?

Is This How Democrats Break Their Midterm Curse?The new Texas law that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected—and which the Supreme Court has so far declined to block—is an enormous blow to abortion rights in America. But Democrats, who tend to support abortion access, aren’t all doom-and-gloom about the measure. The thinking among some in the party goes like this: An abortion ban is terrible for women—but it’s great for ginning up voter enthusiasm.Democrats need the help. Republicans generally show up to the polls much more consistently in off-year elections, and next year, the primary target of Democratic voters’ ire—Donald Trump—won’t be on the ballot. Democrats have spent the past few months trying to decide how to zap their voters back to attention, and the party appears to have settled on a strategy of telling voters that Republicans are all extremists. They see the Texas abortion law as…


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Why the ACLU Flip-Flopped on Vaccine Mandates

Why the ACLU Flip-Flopped on Vaccine MandatesGetty; Adam Maida / The AtlanticA dozen years ago, a deadly virus was spreading around the world, and authorities in New York issued a mandate that all health-care workers in the state get vaccinated. The American Civil Liberties Union objected.Forced vaccination against the H1N1 flu, the ACLU wrote at the time, “was not warranted.” The organization’s New York chapter said that individuals “have a constitutional right to bodily autonomy,” and that ordering people to choose between a vaccine and losing their job “is coercive, invasive and unjustifiably intrudes upon their fundamental rights.”The limited vaccine mandates adopted during the H1N1 epidemic pale in comparison with the directives popping up now in response to the far more dangerous COVID-19 crisis. At the time of the ACLU’s 2009 statement, about 1,500 Americans had died from the H1N1 virus, compared with the approximately 650,000 who have died from…


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What Texas Abortion Foes Want Next

What Texas Abortion Foes Want NextSometimes, the Supreme Court does the most when it does nothing. On Wednesday night, the justices denied an emergency petition by abortion providers in Texas seeking to block S.B. 8, a law banning pregnancy terminations after roughly six weeks’ gestation. A 5-4 majority of the justices argued that they had no power to stop the law from going into effect, since none of the citizens who are now empowered under the law to sue abortion clinics for providing the procedure have yet attempted to do so. Legal challenges likely lie ahead. But abortion opponents see this as a victory, however temporary. For now, at least, abortion clinics in Texas are largely suspending their work and abiding by the ban.John Seago, the legislative director of Texas Right to Life, shepherded and supported the passage of this law. Just five years ago, his group and its allies…


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Justice Clarence Thomas: 2021 Tocqueville Lecture, Transcribed

Justice Clarence Thomas: 2021 Tocqueville Lecture, TranscribedOn Thursday, Justice Thomas delivered the 2021 Tocqueville Lecture at Notre Dame University. I’ve used Otter to transcribed the lecture here. There are many gems during the lecture, and the Q&A session. Here I’ll highlight one question about how he handles cases in which his legal views and policy views diverge. Thomas approaches the question with candor and grace. Question: Has there been times in your career when the legal questions you must resolve conflict with your Catholic faith? If so, how do you proceed? Justice Thomas: No, not really. I think if it did, if I think if it gets something conflict, that great. Where I fundamentally think it’s wrong, I would just go and do something else. The I’m at a point, you know, I said that early on, and I still believe that, but I have lived up to my oath….


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