Roundup: Another Look at McCain’s Speech on Judges

McCain would dramatically alter balance of court, gay marriage in Mass four years later, 90% of teenage girls are harassed.

In McCain’s Court Jeffery Toobin of the New Yorker offers a thoughtful look at John McCain’s May 6 speech on his views for the judiciary should he be elected president. Toobin begins by noting that:

Successful politicians know how to attract attention, and how to avoid it, so
it’s worth noting that John McCain chose to give his speech about the future of
the judiciary on May 6th, a day when the political world was preoccupied with
the Democratic primaries in Indiana and North Carolina.

Indeed McCain’s tactic worked for the most part as the important discussion that should have ensued for several days afterward was drowned by what has turned out to be, finally, something like a decisive win in the Democratic primary. Toobin continues by meticulously and very usefully decoding the language of McCain’s seemingly vague speech to find substantial hints as to what a McCain presidency would look for in what could be the several Supreme Court appointments it makes. The article’s conclusion is begun by quoting Justice Stephen Breyer:

It’s difficult to quarrel with Justice Stephen Breyer’s assessment of his new
colleagues: “It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so

And it’s true, talk about ‘activist judges.’ And, making its point very clear, the New Yorker sums it all up:

For all the elisions in John McCain’s speech, one unmistakable truth emerged:
that the stakes in the election, for the Supreme Court and all who live by its
rulings, are very, very high.

Simply Wrong on Sex Education Cristina Page has a letter to the editor printed in The Progress-Index (and may appear elsewhere as well). The letter is a clear and concise indictment of failed federally funded abstinence-only sex education programs in our nation’s schools and I highly encourage a read.

90% of Teenage Girls Report Harassment A University of Kentucky study (via Feministing) of 600 girls between the ages of 12 and 18 released late last week reveals that:

Ninety percent of girls reported experiencing sexual harassment at least once.
Specifically, 67 percent of girls reported receiving unwanted romantic
attention, 62 percent were exposed to demeaning gender-related comments, 58
percent were teased because of their appearance, 52 percent received unwanted
physical contact and 25 percent were bullied or threatened with harm by a male.
52 percent of girls also reported receiving discouraging gender-based comments
on the math, science and computer abilities, usually from male peers, and 76
percent of girls reported sexist comments on their athletic abilities, again
predominantly from male peers.

Legal Gay Marriage Stregthens the Institution Bruce Wilson at has a great post that, complete with extensive evidence, charts and a Daily Show clip to assist in making his case, sucessfully counters the right’s argument that legalizing gay marriage will destory the institution of marriage and the family. Wilson points out that, four years after leagalizing gay marriage in Massachusetts, the state ranks 49th in average number of divorces and 50th in teen pregnancy rates. Whereas,

gay marriage-unfriendly, abstinence-only
sex-ed reliant Texas
now leads the nation in both teen pregnancy and repeat
teen pregnancy
, and Gonorrhea,
Syphilis, Chlamydia in Texas have continued a multi-year rise
according to
official TX 2007 statistics.