Readers on Slate's predictability

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Oct. 23 2002 3:05 PM

Barry-ing the Lede

The Fray finds Slate's World Series coverage predictable.

(Continued from Page 5)

Ms. Bazelon suggests that employees of state universities are in the anomalous position of having less protection against gender discrimination than employees in private enterprise.

Bad example. She is assuming that the only kind of "protection" is litigation in federal court. In fact, employees of universities in particular have the far more efficient protection of organizational culture: one sure way to stop any university administrator dead in his (or her) tracks is to holler "sexual discrimination!" Instantly the action is put on hold, inquiries are initiated, committees are appointed, articles are written, meetings are called, banners are printed, and whatever the university may have contemplated, rightly or wrongly, is halted forever.


Duckrabbit: UnderlyingBazelon's article is a longstanding debate over the purview of the 11th Amendment: Why should it apply to suits by a citizen against her own state? Beverly Mann offers her usual witty clearheadedness here, where she indicates that she just can't find the "hidden picture." In previous posts, though, both Dilan Esper and Taxlawyer explain how the prohibition can seem so obvious. For DE here, there was no federal question to begin with because when a citizen sues her own state there is no diversity of jurisdiction. Taxlawyer contends here that the fault does not lie with the Rehnquist court:

Bazelon writes, "In the last few years, the five most conservative justices have used the 11th Amendment as a weapon against Congress by arguing that it bans citizens from suing even their own state," as if we're supposed to be shocked by this. Well, it's been true for over 100 years—the Supreme Court held this in 1890, in the case of Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1 (1890) ... I'm no fan of this Supreme Court either, but let's not blame them for things that they didn't dream up ... 1:15 p.m.


Thursday, Oct. 17, 2002


Some 'splaining: The Explainer Fray is awash in posts because the quesiton "Is the D.C. sniper a serial killer or a spree killer?" is on the home page. The best of these is Caliban Weeps' early bit of stream-of-consciousness here:

We want to know, are the authorities going to catch this killer before more people die? Are the hated conservatives or the despised liberals are going to win or lose in the upcoming election? Are we going to go to war? Is the stock market ever coming back in my lifetime? Should I crouch down when filling my tank? Am I going to lose my job and where can I get a job if I've already lost it? How am I going to make my alimony payments? Is the child support check going to be late again? Do I really have to eat broccoli and if butter and eggs aren't as bad as we thought for a while, what are the chances bacon can be rehabilitated?

Serial or spree? Don't care.

But the Fray is also discussing (in more muted tones) the issue of military recon help in the search for the sniper. The logjam has turned the Fray into a catch-all for those who with theories about the sniper (with, obviously, very little "proof" of one theory or the other).

Jumping update:Eric's post on writing the de-funding amendment that the Supreme Court discussed yesterday has now caused the stir it should. Loran (who made an nifty analogy in an attempt to show Dahlia Lithwick's bias here) attacks here:

Rather than make the tough decision on the merits of a law with the accompanying record of that choice, our slippery public servants instead chose an indirect method to throw the hounds off their trail, thus neglecting, one more time, the legislative branch's task in the making of law and forcing the judicial branch to cover their ass. Congratulations on your role in this.

Ruf Ruf defended Eric before Eric did, and his post  pushed the debate forward. There are a surplus of excellent posts.

Eric returns to defend himself here. One part of his reply that directly addresses Loran:



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