“That’s one of the hazards here.”

From Marvin Olasky’s interview of Hadley Arkes:

hadley-arkes-facebook1[Olasky] What’s the major way students have changed in 50 years?  [Arkes] One notable change: They have trouble doing sit-down exams and giving an account of what they’ve read. They have not been required to read closely. How does the writer’s argument move? What are the supporting points of evidence? How does he reach the culmination? They can’t do that, except the very best.

Would both major presidential candidates get an F on one of your exams? I don’t think I could get from Donald Trump a precise account of anything he reads. Hillary Clinton would give me the party line: Whatever the subject, we need gun control.

You say we have a choice between “the brutal sure thing,” Hillary Clinton, and “the wild card,” Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton is not a question mark. For her and the left, the “right to abortion” is the first freedom, displacing freedom of religion and freedom of speech anchoring axioms.

You’re for the wild card, particularly because of Supreme Court appointments? I am, but it’s not merely about replacing justices. With Clinton, the lower federal courts that handle most of the cases—the points of first entry—will be filled with characters from the academic left who favor theories that ordinary folk take as bizarre.

*    *    *

Does [Trump] care about judges? I don’t think he cares overly much about the courts and the Supreme Court. He certainly hasn’t troubled to read much about them. He depends on other people. That’s one of the hazards here.

“Hadley Arkes: Life and politics” World (August 18, 2016) [link] (emphasis added).

I’m still not convinced — sounds more pragmatic than principled — but I have a good deal of respect for Professor Arkes (who has taught Political Philosophy at Amherst for 50 years).


issue_55f8274286f99 In post-Obergefell America, Evangelicals and other orthodox Christians will be unable to outrun our freakishness. That is no reason for panic. Some will suggest that a Christian sexual ethic puts the churches on the “wrong side of history.” Well, we’ve been on the wrong side of history since A.D. 33. The “right side of history” was the Eternal City of Rome. And then the right side of history was the French Revolution. And then the right side of history was scientific naturalism and state socialism. And yet, there stands Jesus still, on the wrong side of history but at the right hand of the Father.

Interesting article by Russell D. Moore in the current issue of First Things (“Evangelicals Won’t Cave: Why evangelicals will not be surrendering to the sexual revolution,” October 2015 (http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/10/evangelicals-wont-cave).

More worth reading

If you do not have the energy to sit down with the opinions in Obergefell v. Hodges yet (and you will need to try, people), here’s some “warmup” reading:

Amy Howe, In historic decision, Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage: In Plain English, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 26, 2015, 1:07 PM) (http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/in-historic-decision-court-strikes-down-state-bans-on-same-sex-marriage-in-plain-english/).

Emily Belz, Supreme Court: Marriage is between ‘two persons’, World (06/26/2015) (http://www.worldmag.com/2015/06/supreme_court_legalizes_same_sex_marriage).

Mark Galli, Six Things to Do after the Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage: Now is not the Time to Sulk, Christianity Today (June 26, 2015) (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/june-web-only/6-things-to-do-after-supreme-court-gay-marriage-decision.html?utm_source=ctweekly-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=15817700&utm_content=364591641&utm_campaign=2013).

Marvin Olasky, From Bible-blocker justices to the Daniel option, World (June 26, 2015) (http://www.worldmag.com/2015/06/from_bible_blocker_justices_to_the_daniel_option).

The Supreme Court, today


5-4 with Kennedy writing for the majority that states are required by the Fourteenth Amendment to license same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages performed by other states. Religious institutions have a right to speak against same-sex marriage.

Four separate dissents by Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito.

One more day or five . . .

“No matter how it rules, the Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges will go down as one of the biggest cases in recent memory.  There are actually two questions before the Court in the four cases, which hail from Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan:  whether the Constitution allows states to prohibit same-sex marriage; and whether states can refuse to recognize, or give effect to, the marriages of same-sex couples who were married in another state where same-sex marriage is legal.

Two years ago, Justice Kennedy joined the Court’s four more liberal Justices to strike down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage, for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs, as a union between a man and a woman only.  So all eyes were on him at the oral arguments in April.  He was hard to read, with tough questions for both sides, but supporters of same-sex marriage can take some comfort from the fact that he had virtually no questions during the section of the argument devoted to the question whether states have to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere – after all, that question only matters if the Court rules that there is no right to same-sex marriage.   Will Kennedy join the more liberal Justices again and solidify his position as an ‘unlikely gay rights icon‘ by ruling in favor of same-sex marriage?  We will know soon enough.”


The Court is expected to rule tomorrow or Monday.

The Supreme Court’s schedule

Just in case anyone is checking here rather than on the normal news sources, the Supreme Court did not issue the Obergefell v. Hodges opinions today, however, they announced that they will issue some more case opinions on Thursday at 10:00a.  They will also likely issue case opinions next Monday.

Apparently everything has been issued except the Texas Fair Housing Act case, the Arizona redistricting commission case, King v. Burwell, Michigan v. EPA, Johnson v. US, Obergefell v. Hodges, and Glossip v. Gross.

You may want to go to SCOTUSblog (http://www.scotusblog.com/) for additional detail and analysis.