“I Think the Court Will Disappoint You”

Welcome to Politics Tuesday, where a revolving cast of Slate politics writers and editors brings Slate Plus members one special extra….
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The Harder They Fall

Who are the kids who get picked on by other kids—and who suffer most as a result? We are used to worrying about the socially isolated misfits, the tweens and teens who are far down in the pecking order and can’t really defend themselves. We should still worry about those kids, especially if they’re disabled, or gay at a school where that’s not accepted. But they are not the only targets of teenage cruelty. The surprising finding in a new study is that it’s kids with social clout—the popular kids—who report the most distress when they say they’re victimized by their peers.


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DuPont Heir Got Probation for Raping His Daughter. Judge Said He Wouldn’t "Fare Well" in Prison.

What is wrong with Delaware Judge Jan Jurden, who gave a DuPont heir, Roberts H. Richards IV, probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter? In her mind-boggling order suspending Richards’ eight-year prison sentence, Jurden gave one rationale that should launch a tidal wave of hate mail: Richards “will not fare well” in prison. To ask the obvious, so what?


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How to Write About the Law and Not Put People to Sleep

More than once, I’ve heard Slate editor David Plotz guess that the average Slate reader is a lawyer. And Slate is fortunate to have smart readers, many of them professionally accomplished lawyers, academics, or scientists. Sometimes these readers even become writers.


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In Defense of Religious Liberty

Lately, religious liberty has been looking like the freedom that eats everyone else’s for breakfast. In Arizona and other states, fundamentalists said they were acting in the name of religious liberty when trying to pass laws that would allow businesses to refuse to serve people based on theological or moral objection (people who just happened to be gay). And in the Supreme Court challenges to the Obamacare contraception mandate, two companies run by conservative Christians, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, argue that the government can’t require them to provide health insurance that covers birth control because that would violate the religious beliefs of their businesses. In other cases making their way through the courts, religiously affiliated groups like Notre Dame and the charity Little Sisters of the Poor are objecting to the form their exemption from the contraception mandate takes, because, again, of religion.


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