Showing posts from April, 2015

Oral Arguments on Gay Marriage in the Supreme Court: What Was and What Wasn’t Said

  Today the United States Supreme Court heard 150 minutes (60 minutes is the usual amount) of oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges , the appeal from the Sixth Circuit’s decision that upheld the right of the States of Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky to ban gay marriages.   For my discussion of that decision see .   The Court divided the oral arguments into two parts: 90 minutes on the question of whether the 14 th Amendment of the Constitution (equal protection, due process of the laws) requires the states to recognize gay marriages, and 60 minutes on whether gay marriages validly entered into in states recognizing such marriages (like my husband and my marriage in New York two years ago) must be honored in states that do not (like Ohio, where we live).   A bit of terminology: since those in favor of gay marriage lost in the court below they are “petitioners” in the Supreme Court, w

We All Are Brian Williams: Confabulation Muddles Our Stories

NBC News anchor Brian Williams has likely lost his job forever because when reporting a story on January 30, 2015, he referred to “ a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG.”   This was demonstrated to be false, and the next night Brian Williams himself apologized on the air, saying with amazement that his “own notes” showed he was in the chopper behind the one that was struck.   This incident caused commentators to report similar misstatements Williams had made about his coverage of the Katrina hurricane and the fall of the Berlin Wall.   Since a news anchor’s veracity is at the heart of the faith viewers place in choosing which newscast to watch, Brian Williams was suspended from reporting at all for NBC, and, far from being one of the most trusted persons in the country, he is now suspected of being at the best incompetent and at worst a compulsive liar. Poor Brian