ntk-logo2013-0104-EPPC-Portraits-Ed-Whelan-0131-300x300-150x150Ed Whelan, sage of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and creator of Bench Memos, joins us to talk gay marriage, Justice Ginsburg’s ethics, and constitutional interpretation.

Jay and Mona then chew over the whole “if you knew then what we know now” way of evaluating public policy. They go on to consider the question of racial and ethnic quotas in university admissions. A consortium of Asian American groups is suing Harvard and other schools for discrimination. Also, are kids from Harvard et al really noticeably smarter?

Talk roams to Mozart, Anthony Hopkins, and more. Do join us.

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There are 18 comments.

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  1. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @SaintAugustine

    “Ed, can you think of any examples of judges or justices who have liberal views but nevertheless show integrity and refuse to impose their views under the guise of a living Constitution?”

    Here’s one who was in the minority.  Furman, vs. GA, 1972:

    MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN, dissenting

    . . . I yield to no one in the depth of my distaste, antipathy, and, indeed, abhorrence, for the death penalty . . . .

    . . .

    . . . until today capital punishment was accepted and assumed as not unconstitutional per se under the Eighth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment. . . .

    . . .

    .  . . There – on the Legislative Branch of the State or Federal Government, and secondarily, on the Executive Branch – is where the authority and responsibility for this kind of action lies. The authority should not be taken over by the judiciary . . . .

    . . . Our task here, as must so frequently be emphasized and re-emphasized, is to pass upon the constitutionality of legislation that has been enacted and that is challenged. This is the sole task for judges. We should not allow our personal preferences as to the wisdom of legislative and congressional action, or our distaste for such action, to guide our judicial decision in cases such as these. . . .

    . . .

    Although personally I may rejoice at the Court’s result, I find it difficult to accept or to justify as a matter of history, of law, or of constitutional pronouncement. I fear the Court has overstepped. It has sought and has achieved an end.

    • #1
  2. Tahadden Member
    Tahadden
    @Tahadden

    The Roosevelts also have two Congressional Medal of Honor

    • #2
  3. raycon and lindacon Member
    raycon and lindacon
    @rayconandlindacon

    It’s hard to believe that Justice Blackmun delivered the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade

    • #3
  4. Mona Charen Contributor
    Mona Charen
    @MonaCharen

    Tahadden: Right you are.

    3. Theodore Roosevelt is the only U.S. president to have received the Medal of Honor, which he was awarded posthumously.

    When the Spanish-American War broke out, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt famously quit his job to lead a volunteer regiment known as the Rough Riders. Roosevelt and his men played a decisive role in the Battle of San Juan Hill and took part in other confrontations in Cuba. In 1916, less than three years before his death, the 26th president was nominated for the Medal of Honor, but the Army passed him over, citing a lack of evidence for his heroic actions at San Juan Hill. President Bill Clinton posthumously awarded him the decoration in 2001. Roosevelt’s son, Theodore Jr., who served in both World Wars, also received the Medal of H

    I had not known about Clinton’s posthumous award.

    • #4
  5. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @SaintAugustine

    raycon and lindacon:It’s hard to believe that Justice Blackmun delivered the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade

    Yeah, I don’t have that one figured out.  It’s weird.

    • #5
  6. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Augustine:

    raycon and lindacon:It’s hard to believe that Justice Blackmun delivered the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade

    Yeah, I don’t have that one figured out. It’s weird.

    If you think of liberty as essentially individual & separate it from the human concern with being together, he was merely preparing the world for the future. Think of something like the willing enslavement to beauty in love–take that out of the human being, look at what’s left…

    The child of Roe, Casey shows you more clearly where things were going in the first place. Love it or not, it is the pink police state. Justice Kennedy, America’s least favorite, most accurate prophet, is not betraying Roe in Casey’s teaching that America’s future is the pink police state, so they should get ready to populate it. He certainly was not thinking any thoughts when he wrote about man defining the meaning of existence–he simply was voicing out the consequences of Roe in a world where Roe was accepted, but not understood.

    Being is being alone & that is unbearable unless one gets to decide what one is. Every man becomes a blind demiurge–& SCOTUS apparently takes on the task of teaching them that. A lot of people might be ecstatic about being taught the part about the demiurge, but not a lot of people are enthusiastic about the blindness… You could call it a bait & switch; or growing up; give me liberty & give me death!

    • #6
  7. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @SaintAugustine

    Titus Techera:

    Augustine:

    raycon and lindacon:It’s hard to believe that Justice Blackmun delivered the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade

    Yeah, I don’t have that one figured out. It’s weird.

    If you think of liberty as essentially individual & separate it from the human concern with being together, . . . .

    dig.

    The child of Roe, Casey shows you more clearly where things were going in the first place. . . .

    Again, I dig.

    Justice Kennedy . . . . certainly was not thinking any thoughts when he wrote about man defining the meaning of existence–he simply was voicing out the consequences of Roe in a world where Roe was accepted, but not understood. . . .

    Every man becomes a blind demiurge–& SCOTUS apparently takes on the task of teaching them that. . . .

    Again, I dig.  I presume you are referring to the infamous remark “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

    • #7
  8. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Augustine:

    Titus Techera:

    Augustine:

    raycon and lindacon:It’s hard to believe that Justice Blackmun delivered the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade

    Yeah, I don’t have that one figured out. It’s weird.

    If you think of liberty as essentially individual & separate it from the human concern with being together, . . . .

    I dig.

    The child of Roe, Casey shows you more clearly where things were going in the first place. . . .

    Again, I dig.

    Justice Kennedy . . . . certainly was not thinking any thoughts when he wrote about man defining the meaning of existence–he simply was voicing out the consequences of Roe in a world where Roe was accepted, but not understood. . . .

    Every man becomes a blind demiurge–& SCOTUS apparently takes on the task of teaching them that. . . .

    Again, I dig. I presume you are referring to the infamous remark “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

    Yeah, & unless he’s giving Buffy secret tips about driving stakes through the sweet spot, he’s lost whatever’s left of his otherwise unremarkable nous. Wait, he wasn’t on that show? Ok, go to backup-

    • #8
  9. user_473455 Member
    user_473455
    @BenjaminGlaser

    Theodore Roosevelt Jr.’s actions during D-Day are movie worthy. Just epic.

    • #9
  10. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @SaintAugustine

    Benjamin Glaser:Theodore Roosevelt Jr.’s actions during D-Day are movie worthy. Just epic.

    Is this a reference to the movie in which his actions are?

    Henry Fonda, I think: The Longest Day.  John Wayne was in it too.

    • #10
  11. Freesmith Member
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Augustine

    Harry Blackmun? You must be kidding.

    Please Google the phrase, “Tinkering with the machinery of death” to see how this justice’s personal distaste won out over his earlier constitutional scruples.

    So it was then. So it shall ever be with those who deem themselves superior to the people.

    • #11
  12. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @SaintAugustine

    Freesmith:Augustine

    Harry Blackmun? You must be kidding.

    Please Google the phrase, “Tinkering with the machinery of death” to see how this justice’s personal distaste won out over his earlier constitutional scruples.

    So it was then. So it shall ever be with those who deem themselves superior to the people.

    I’m not kidding that he said those wonderful things in Furman v. Georgia.  But that’s all.  Apparently he lost his way in later years; thanks for the tip.  How sad.

    For other readers, this direct link will get you to the rest of the sad story.

    • #12
  13. Capt. Spaulding Member
    Capt. Spaulding
    @CaptSpaulding

    For the benefit of our younger members deprived of a 1950s childhood, the unidentified exit music is “Fight Fiercely, Harvard” by Tom Lehrer, the satirical songwriter (and Ivy League mathematician). Its presence here is yet another tribute to the vast musical knowledge and unerring taste of Blue Yeti.

    • #13
  14. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Capt. Spaulding:For the benefit of our younger members deprived of a 1950s childhood, the unidentified exit music is “Fight Fiercely, Harvard” by Tom Lehrer, the satirical songwriter (and Ivy League mathematician). Its presence here is yet another tribute to the vast musical knowledge and unerring taste of Blue Yeti.

    ‘ivy covered professors in ivy covered halls’

    • #14
  15. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    @Capt. Spaulding: Thanks for the nice words, but Jay and Mona pick all of the music on their show. I have nothing to do with it.

    • #15
  16. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Mona Charen:Tahadden: Right you are.

    3. Theodore Roosevelt is the only U.S. president to have received the Medal of Honor, which he was awarded posthumously.

    I had not known about Clinton’s posthumous award.

    Has Obama apologised for this yet?   I mean there are two issues from a liberal point.  TR actions in Cuba had to be wrong and Clinton’s actions in honoring them has to be insulting.  Thus Obama can apologise to Cuba for two offenses.

    • #16
  17. user_233532 Thatcher
    user_233532
    @NancySpalding

    About admissions standards and African-American students in UC schools: I may seem to be parsing semantics on “serious students” but it is important; it is not just whether a student is willing to do the hard work, but more whether a student has the preparation to be competitive with the other students, and do the work at the same level, however hard they work. that is why students fail in greater numbers when they are affirmative action picks; they have been chosen on the basis of factors which are irrelevant to their ability to do the work, and then it is sink or swim, without even remediation based on their deficits.

    Affirmative Action “mascots” are exploited by these schools for their symbolic value, then thrown away.

    • #17
  18. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Nancy Spalding:About admissions standards and African-American students in UC schools: I may seem to be parsing semantics on “serious students” but it is important; it is not just whether a student is willing to do the hard work, but more whether a student has the preparation to be competitive with the other students, and do the work at the same level, however hard they work. that is why students fail in greater numbers when they are affirmative action picks; they have been chosen on the basis of factors which are irrelevant to their ability to do the work, and then it is sink or swim, without even remediation based on their deficits.

    Affirmative Action “mascots” are exploited by these schools for their symbolic value, then thrown away.

    I’m sure prestigious schools would be so good as to publish the data on the rate of graduation of their students-

    • #18