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  • A Cake is Food, Not Speech – But Why Bully the Baker?

    The conversation about a cake lasted less than a minute but will long reverberate in constitutional law. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear 60 minutes of speech about when, if at all, making a cake counts as constitutionally protected speech and, if so, what the implications are for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s contention that Jack Phillips violated the state’s law against sexual-orientation discrimination.

  • The Supreme Court Should Let States Set Their Own Sports Gambling Laws

    American democracy’s comic opera frequently features collaborations of “bootleggers and Baptists.” These entertainments are so named because during Prohibition, Baptists thought banning Demon Rum would improve public morals (oh, well) and bootleggers favored the ban because it made scarce a commodity for which there was a demand that they could profitably supply. On Monday, the Supreme Court will listen — with, one hopes, a mixture of bemusement and amusement — to arguments concerning another prohibition.

  • The NCAA Season Starts with Sleaze and Scandal

    Although it is plausible to suspect this, it is not true that the Crédit Mobilier scandal of the early 1870s (financial shenanigans by politicians and others surrounding construction of the Union Pacific Railroad) and the 1920s Teapot Dome scandal (shady dealings by politicians and others concerning government oil leases) were entangled with Division I college basketball programs. Back then, there were no such programs. About the 1970s Watergate scandal, however, suspicions remain.

  • Another Year of American Hilarity

    Tryptophan, an amino acid in turkey, is unjustly blamed for what mere gluttony does, making Americans comatose every fourth Thursday in November. But before nodding off, give thanks for another year of American hilarity.

  • 2018’s Most Important, Expensive and Strange Election

    This state’s story, which lately has been depressing, soon will acquire a riveting new chapter. In 2018, Illinois will have the nation’s most important, expensive and strange election.

  • Here’s an Idea, Republicans: Repeal and Replace the Tax Code

    The Republicans’ tax bill would somewhat improve the existing revenue system that once caused Mitch Daniels (former head of the Office of Management and Budget, former Indiana governor) to say: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tax code that looked as though it had been designed on purpose? Today’s bill, which is 429 pages and is apt to grow, is an implausible instrument of simplification. And it would worsen the tax code’s already substantial contribution to “moral hazard.”

  • New Democratic Spin Cycle: Launders Money, Gets Out The Toughest Sleaze!

    The Democrats have two very different profiles. One is their public face of absolute moral purity. They’re just better people than Republicans.