FROM Margaret Talbot
Tradition of Marriage on Trial in a Federal Courtroom In a San Francisco federal court this week, a witness testified on tape that, if California’s ban on same-sex marriage is repealed, “children would suddenly find homosexuality irresistible.” The lawyers who want the ban overturned really wanted the judge to hear that. Is same-sex marriage banned because of ancient tradition or because of discrimination against gays and lesbians? What’s it like for gay and lesbian parents, and their children, to have their legitimacy challenged in such a public forum? Are the courts being asked to rule on broad social issues rather than questions of Constitutional law?
On Trial in a Federal Courtroom: The Tradition of Marriage The US Supreme Court says the trial on Proposition 8 , California's same-sex marriage ban cannot be televised . Is that a clue as to how the case might finally be decided? Is same-sex marriage banned because of ancient tradition or because of discrimination against gays and lesbians? What's it like for gay and lesbian parents, and their children, to have their legitimacy challenged in such a public forum? Are the courts being asked to rule on broad social issues rather than questions of Constitutional law?
Brain-Booster Drugs "Every era…has its own defining drug." In the 60's, LSD and other banned substances were supposed to expand the mind. Now, just as athletes use steroids to make them more competitive, college students and white collar workers turning to so-called "neuroenhancers" -- prescription drugs that are being used for purposes different from those approved by the manufacturer of the FDA, to speed up their minds. That's according to Margaret Talbot in the current issue of New Yorker magazine.
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.