Entries by William C. Duncan

Proximate cause and the Planned Parenthood ruling

Two of three judges on a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled this week that the state of Utah could not cancel contracts with the Utah affiliate of Planned Parenthood. The dissenting judge pointed out that the majority relied solely on “circumstantial evidence” in determining the governor was trying […]

Creating room for accommodation

With a certain logic (since the sexual revolution is primarily a revolution against natural constraints), the topic of the moment has become the appropriate policies that govern the use of segregated school shower, locker room and restroom facilities by members of the opposite sex. This had not been a topic because the 1972 Title IX […]

Qualms about the Little Sisters case

It is, of course, great news that a unanimous Supreme Court vacated lower court decisions that would have allowed the federal government to use the insurance plans of some religious organizations to advance its purpose of disseminating free contraceptives. This despite the organizations’ objection that requiring them to participate in the scheme was inconsistent with […]

Legal backgrounder: The Obama administration’s attempt to rewrite Title IX

When Congress enacted Title IX in 1972, it did not intend to give the president or executive agencies a blank check to write dramatically new social policy. That, however, is precisely what the administration is doing today by announcing that it has reinterpreted that statute to require schools to create new policies on restroom use, […]

Crying bigot

There is, sadly, far too much of bigotry today. Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary defines a bigot as “one obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices.” The way we usually use the word, however, is more negative. It encompasses strong antipathy and hatred; a bigoted person is someone who targets another group for […]

An ominous argument in the religious liberty debate

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a set of cases challenging the Obama administration’s policy of requiring employers, including religious schools and other nonprofits (but excluding lots of enormous secular companies, like Exxon and Boeing) to purchase insurance that includes contraceptive and abortifacient coverage for their employees. While houses of worship are exempt, many religious […]