The Call Up

The best of the internet as curated by me. Put me in coach.

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June 27, 2012 10:16 pm
"In February, 1803, when the Marshall Court finally met, it did something really interesting. In Marbury v. Madison, a suit against Jefferson’s Secretary of State, James Madison, Marshall granted to the Supreme Court a power it had not been explicitly granted in the Constitution: the right to decide whether laws passed by Congress are constitutional. This was such an astonishing thing to do that the Court didn’t declare another federal law unconstitutional for fifty-four years."

The story of the Supreme Court’s evolution from powerless to almighty. Utterly fascinating and terrifying.

(Source: newyorker.com)

April 30, 2012 7:02 am
"In the nineteen-sixties, gun ownership as a constitutional right was less the agenda of the N.R.A. than of black nationalists. In a 1964 speech, Malcolm X said, “Article number two of the constitutional amendments provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun.” Establishing a constitutional right to carry a gun for the purpose of self-defense was part of the mission of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which was founded in 1966."

In the wake of Trayvon Martin, it occurs to me that if you wanted the NRA to get behind gun control laws, we might do well to heavily arm all of the constituencies which oppose them.  There’s a line from a West Wing episode where a congressman says something like, I never understood why gun control supporters don’t all just join the NRA and change the organization from within.  Pie-in-the-sky perhaps, but not without some merit.

(Source: newyorker.com)

November 21, 2011 2:44 pm
"If a fertilized egg has constitutional rights, women cannot have equal rights with men. This, however, is what no one wants to talk about, because it’s complicated, and because it’s proved surprisingly easy to use the issue to political advantage."

No article has upset me more than this one. Both because the very existence of organizations like Planned Parenthood demonstrates how far we’ve come, and because the constant threats to defund and disband and otherwise neuter an organization devoted to serving women’s health is pathologically medieval.

(Source: newyorker.com)