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In the first of his Supreme Court picks, Barack Obama has given the nod to the early favorite, Bronx-born Sonia Sotomayor. My take on the pick is up now at The Daily Beast. In past years, Supreme Court nomination battles have focused on the hot button issues of the Religious Right: abortion and gay marriage, among other things. More recent polling shows public interest in those issues fading away, while most Americans now pick runaway powers exercised by the Executive as their biggest legal policy worry. On that point, Charlie Savage recently noted that Sotomayor is something of a mystery—the Second Circuit rarely gets this sort of case. Charlie’s piece is excellent, but I’m not so sure about his conclusions on Sotomayor. In the tough way she approaches prosecutors who appear before her, I see a judge who believes that those who wield executive power have to be held to account for it. That should add to her appeal to civil libertarians, who are generally disappointed with many of Obama’s recent calls on national security issues.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Average number of bacteria living in a pound of U.S. mud:
Canadian doctors saved a baby from drowning in his own drool by using Botox on his salivary glands.
In North Korea, a missile capable of striking U.S. bases overseas blew up immediately after a test launch, and in North Carolina, a G.O.P. headquarters was firebombed.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”