Catalonia and International Law (as I understand it)

Tomorrow Catalonia either will or won’t succeed in holding a vote on secession from Spain. The referendum was duly approved by Catalonia’s regional parliament (albeit under somewhat sketchy circumstances), but is considered illegal by Spain’s national government and constitutional court. The national government’s response has been surprisingly harsh ("decisive," if you prefer), and it is…

In re Marriage of Black

The Washington State Supreme Court recently handed down a ruling – in re Marriage of Black – reversing a custody ruling involving a highly religious couple in which the wife of 20 years decides that she is a lesbian and leaves. The courts awarded primary custody to the father as well as all decision-making authority…

My Take on President Trump’s Immigration Order

There’s a lot of furore over President Trump’s temporary entry ban for people of certain (Islam-affiliated) nationalities. The controversial portion of it is that citizens of seven identified countries – whether or not they also hold citizenship from another nation – are not allowed entry visas to the United States for 90 days to ease…

Obergefell Might be an Equal Protection Case After All

I read the oral arguments, and I read the general media opinion that Obergefell v. Hodges is too close to call. But I think Dale Carpenter has it right that, pace almost every other commenter, we can make a good guess right now that Obergefell will end up requiring all states to recognize same sex…

The Water Ordeal Amendment

So, Indiana caved and amended its RFRA. It would have been one thing to have merely amended it to prohibit its use against local anti-discrimination ordinances (which, by the way, was actually done – not that anyone in the media chose to notice). Amending it to specifically list all the classes of people it can’t…

Your Feelings are not an Argument: Indiana RFRA Edition

One refrain in the uproar over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is that it’s motivated by anti-gay sentiment, and that this is somehow reason to oppose it. Case in point: Dale Carpenter writing on Volokh Conspiracy. But what I think the “nothing to see here” defense misses is the cultural, political, legal, and religious context…

Chomsky Tries Modern Feminism and Gets it Right

Noam Chomsky inadvertantly reminds us why people don’t trust feminism in his latest political article, called Magna Carta Messed Up the World, Here’s How to Fix It. Hey, don’t blame him for the title. Editors often write those things to get clicks, and that seems to be the case here as his article is clearly…

Birthright vs. Natural Born: Having some fun with Ted Cruz

Now that Ted Cruz is officially running for president, we get to go through the whole fun "birther" controversy again, because Like John McCain, Cruz was born abroad – in Calgary in his case (Panama in McCain’s). It’s a bit different from the Obama issue in that no one disputes the facts of Ted Cruz’s…

Did the 6th Circuit Leave Anything Out?

Ilya Somin’s analysis of the 6th Circuit Court’s recent opinion upholding state same-sex marriage bans and (finally) causing a circuit split on the issue has been receiving some praise – not the least from Ilya Shapiro at Cato – and I don’t really understand why. The analysis has a couple of obvious holes. Starting with…