Hello! I’m Gabriel Roth, in for Rebecca Onion, here for the penultimate time to highlight the sharpest pieces from Slate and around the web.
The Supreme Court heard a major abortion case Wednesday, and the court’s three women justices made their presence felt. “It felt as if, for the first time in history, the gender playing field at the high court was finally leveled,” Dahlia Lithwick writes. As Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, and Ginsburg pounded away at the attorney defending Texas’s tough restrictions on abortion clinics, “One senses that the chief justice, two weeks into this new post-Scalia era, is worn out just trying to keep the women at bay.”
Donald Trump came under fire Sunday for refusing to distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan—a name that conjures up some of the darkest associations in American history. But what is the Ku Klux Klan in 2016? Is it still a meaningful part of the country’s white-supremacist movement? Leon Neyfakh investigated, and found that “‘the KKK’ no longer really exists, at least not as the monolithic group of vigilantes it once was. Today, it’s a collection of 30 or so independent groups made up of small local chapters that embrace the KKK ‘brand’ and some of its traditions as a means of appearing more formidable than they are.”
The latest twist in this strange campaign was the sight of the previous Republican nominee launching a blistering attack on the likely next one. Jamelle Bouie was not impressed. “Hillary Clinton must not become president,” Mitt Romney said this morning, “but a Trump nomination enables her victory.” Anti-Trump Republicans such as Romney, Bouie argues, shouldn’t subordinate the moral case against Trump to the political one. “If Trump is more than a threat to the GOP—if he, as Romney says, would lead this nation ‘into the abyss’—then Republicans need to say they’re willing to lose the election, and hand the Oval Office to Hillary Clinton, if it means stopping Trump.”
Daniel Gross finds resonance in the life and death of fracking pioneer Aubrey McClendon. He compares McClendon to the title character of Hamilton: “Relentlessly aggressive, self-made, brilliant, a balls-out risk-taker even when he had it made, tolerant of big losses, able to pick himself up immediately after getting knocked down, a man of large appetites. And, also, it turns out, a little crazy.” On Tuesday, McClendon was indicted on charges of rigging bids; on Wednesday he died in a fiery car wreck.
A year ago, a photo of an ambiguously colored dress went as spectacularly viral as anything has ever gone. What happened next may, in fact, surprise you: a ton of scientific research about why we can’t agree on what color it is. “Since arriving last year, the meme has inspired a flurry of experiments, and later this year, the peer-reviewed Journal of Vision will publish a special issue devoted to the dress,” writes psychologist Pascal Walisch. “This was the first time that a colored image had yielded radically distinct interpretations, and the very fact that such a thing is possible raised an important research question: What determines which colors a given person saw?”
Just for fun: Jurassic Park with the dinosaurs removed, or, Park.
White and gold for life,