This and that...
McCain's Judges. One of the critical factors in anticipating future Supreme Court trends anymore is the demographics of the Court. When the next president is inaugurated, four of them will be over 70; two members of the liberal wing, John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who will turn 89 and 76, respectively, within a few months after that. The next president will have a substantial impact on the direction of the Court.
It's not surprising, then, that with John McCain's emergence as the front-runner for the Republican nomination has come attention to what kind of justices he might appoint. In an effort to assuage the base of the Republican party, which has serious misgivings about his positions on illegal immigration, ANWR drilling, the Bush tax cuts, and other instances of his deviations from conservative orthodoxy (click here for Ann Coulter declaring that she'd campaign for Hillary Clinton if McCain is the GOP nominee), McCain has declared that he will appoint justices "like Roberts and Alito."
As this post over at the Volokh Conspiracy points out, that poses a problem for McCain, because strict constructionist judges like Roberts and Alito are quite likely to find that one of the crown jewels in McCain's political career, the McCain-Feingold Act restricting campaign contributions and spending, is an unconstititutional limitation on speech. It's a good read, especially for those interested in political and politico-legal issues.
Bill Mason's next opponent? On Tuesday I mentioned the case of Ryan Frederick, who's been charged with first-degree murder in Virginia for shooting a police officer during a drug raid on Frederick's home; Frederick had fired through the door as the police were breaking it down, and claimed that he didn't know it was a drug raid. Courtesy of Radley Balko's site, we learn that the state has appointed a special prosecutor to handle the case: Paul Ebert, the Commonwealth DA for Prince Williams County. His constituents were so taken with him that the last time he ran for office (unopposed), they started a write-in campaign for a ham sandwich.
And you thought the Ohio legislature was goofy. Speaking of sandwiches, A Stitch in Haste offers his take on a proposed law in Mississippi which provides that
Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention...
Guess I'm not going to be buying that McDonald's franchise in Biloxi after all. Meanwhile, I can see this coming out of San Francisco, but Mississippi?