Nathan on His Soapbox

Friday, March 18, 2005

Nathan on His Soapbox

I wrote yesterday about the court decision that struck down New York City's requirement that city contractors offer equal benefits to same-sex partners of employees. In the course of that post, I linked to a couple of posts Nathan Newman has done on related topics.

Now Nathan has weighed in himself with a post that takes that decision as a point of departure. But the theme of his post isn't how great the city's law was or how awful it is that the city is being forced to give its money to businesses that it considers discriminatory (the latter being what I wrote about). Nathan's larger point is that courts striking down laws enacted by elected legislatures doesn't help liberals as much as we (and our right-wing adversaries) think it does. In fact, Nathan claims that on balance liberals would be better off if the courts just butted out of all of it--including abortion and gay rights.

Regular readers know that I'm quite skeptical of judges striking down laws, but next to Nathan I look like William O. Douglas. He is about as radical an opponent of aggressive judicial review as I've seen on the left, unless you count historical examples from before the Warren Court. This subject is one of Nathan's pet topics, and I recommend his current post as a concise and persuasive summary of the argument.

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