Hello! Welcome back to The Newsletter Once Known as “Today in Slate.” In its new form, The Angle will share the most interesting ideas about the news each day, highlighting thought-provoking pieces from Slate as well as other fascinating stories from around the Web.
How will Antonin Scalia’s absence affect the Supreme Court? That has yet to be seen, writes Mark Joseph Stern, but on Monday—the court's first day of oral arguments without the recently deceased justice—things looked decidedly different.
Sarah Sternlieb and Susannah Weaver interviewed doctors from across the country while writing an amicus brief for the Supreme Court’s upcoming case Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, which challenges so-called TRAP (Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers) laws. Their takeaway: States with the most restrictive anti-abortion laws aren’t the only ones where women’s ability to find a doctor that will perform an abortion safely is threatened. “TRAP laws undoubtedly affect some women far more than others,” Sternlieb and Weaver write. “But pro-choice women should keep in mind that abortion restrictions affect women in every city and every state.”
The Oscar-nominated documentary Amy, about the singer Amy Winehouse, solidified Brian Palmer’s skepticism about the effectiveness of rehab centers (which Winehouse, her 2006 hit notwithstanding, checked into twice). “Her death stands for how little we understand about substance abuse and recovery,” Palmer writes, describing a hodgepodge treatment system based on little data and subject to minimal accountability.
The Bachelor's Ben Higgins is obviously an evangelical Christian, Ruth Graham writes. Why won't the show let him talk about it on air? “Religion intersects with values, culture, and intellectual and social interests—all things a person might hope to share with a spouse,” Graham argues. “Presumably Ben and his final three women have talked about this stuff by now. What could be more ‘authentic’ than letting viewers in on the conversation?”
It’s time to retire “-splain,” Katy Waldman slangsplains. “ ‘-splain’ should be about the marriage of two concepts: irony and information asymmetry,” Waldman writes, but it’s been woefully overused. RIP, good and faithful suffix: “-splain tried to contain too many ideas and popped like a balloon.”
For fun: Comedian Bill Hader tells Hazlitt’s Kathleen Hale about all the books he reads, and they are Many and Various.