The Legislature’s reckoning for transgressions by people in power against their underlings will not be complete until Californians know the scope of what has transpired. And we don’t.
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Erwin Chemerinsky: Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the gay wedding cake case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Is the right to discriminate in the Constitution? UC Berkeley’s law school dean says the answer’s a piece of cake.
Andrew Malcolm, McClatchyDC: Economic sanctions on misbehaving nations such as North Korea haven’t worked. So, perhaps more of them will. That’s pretty much where the Trump administration and its Asian allies are right now as they continue a decades-long international effort to halt that recalcitrant rogue regime’s rapidly-advancing nuclear weapons development program.
Foon Rhee: With his reckless and ridiculous tweets and statements, Donald Trump is diminishing the moral stature and integrity of the presidency. Yet Trump is also expanding the power of the office by going around Congress and the courts, issuing one executive order after another and reversing actions by Barack Obama. Viewing what Trump does on these two levels is a good way to make sense of this White House – and to not get distracted by the daily circus.
Jeff Adachi: Support is building for Senate Bill 10, which promises widespread release for all misdemeanors and low-level felonies, but with conditions to protect public safety. But now judges – the very people who set the high bail amounts that extort false pleas – want power over the bail reform movement.
Charlotte Observer: While the headlines focus on the fight for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau between Mick Mulvaney, who showed up at the bureau Monday morning with doughnuts, and Leandra English, who was named acting director by outgoing director Richard Cordray, there is more at stake. No matter who wins that legal tug of war, if the bureau’s power is gutted, it will be another promise Trump has broken to everyday Americans. That must not be allowed to happen.
East Bay Times: With the state Supreme Court considering the most significant public employee pension case in nearly three decades, it’s reassuring to see the governor come to the defense of taxpayers. For Jerry Brown, this case, a union challenge to portions of his 2012 pension changes, could determine his legacy on the issue. He will be remembered either as someone who put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound, $374 billion of retirement debt and growing, or as the leader who meaningfully staunched the bleeding of public money.
Orange County Register: Californians who support our state’s vast and storied public university system – and that means all Californians – are properly up in arms about the ongoing arrogance and lack of transparency coming from its president’s office. The circle-the-wagons approach toward any questions about what is after all a public institution has long been a hallmark of the UC administration through many university presidents, long before the installation of current President Janet Napolitano. But it must be said that the recent skulduggery by UC brass simply takes the high-handed hubris cake.
Los Angeles Times: Five years ago, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. told a university audience that the challenge for the Supreme Court for the next 50 years would be how to adapt old, established rules to new technology. On Wednesday the court will confront that challenge anew when lawyers for a Michigan man will argue that his 4th Amendment rights were violated when he was convicted of a series of armed robberies based partly on evidence from cellphone records obtained without a warrant. If the court is serious about protecting privacy in the digital age, it will rule that the government indeed violated Timothy Carpenter’s constitutional rights.
San Diego Union-Tribune: The bad faith shown by the California Public Utilities Commission in the aftermath of the 2012 shuttering of the San Onofre nuclear plant along the north county coast is difficult to exaggerate. Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric jointly own the plant, with majority owner Edison responsible for its operations. In 2014, the CPUC approved a plan under which Edison and SDG&E customers would pay $3.3 billion of the $4.7 billion cost of shutting down San Onofre.
Kansas City Star: We still hope to learn the intentions of the man in camouflage who was screaming and waving a gun around in the crowded Lenexa Costco on a holiday weekend before the off-duty police officer who happened to be there shopping shot and killed him. There are still so many unanswered questions about what happened before, during and after the shooting. We do know this much, though: A simple shopping trip or night at the movies can end in a massacre. Can and has, of course.
Raleigh News & Observer: North Carolina was proud of Charlie Rose. And Rose made frequent visits to his home state, including to a farm near Oxford he called a retreat. He also appeared at many university functions and other events that called for a celebrity with Tar Heel roots – a role that previously had been filled by the late Charles Kuralt, like Rose a native who conducted interviews that touched the head and the heart. Now, of course, Rose’s career has ended in flames after sexual harassment allegations from several women.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: Some liberals tend to minimize or excuse offenses against a few women in the broader cause of women’s rights. Some conservatives tend to minimize or excuse offenses against women in the cause of conservative governance. Both sides give personal failings less weight than a compelling public good. It is not always an unserious argument, but in this case, it is a cruel and dangerous one.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: The bill Republican leaders are trying to ram through this week without hearings, without time for even a basic analysis of its likely economic impact, is the biggest tax scam in history. It’s such a big scam that it’s not even clear who’s being scammed – middle-class taxpayers, people who care about budget deficits, or both.
David Leonhardt, New York Times: Republican senators are in a tough spot. They are philosophically conservative. They believe in low taxes and small government. Yet this tax bill also contains provisions that betray their stated principles.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: While most students in study abroad programs go to European countries, the percentage who pick Latin American destinations is rising fast. And among Americans who travel abroad for internships and volunteer work, Latin America already is the No. 1 destination.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The Trump administration is not the systematic move toward small government that conservatives have long sought. It’s a lurch toward bad government, inadequate government, incompetent government. In some cases, it’s driven by spite; in others, by sheer cluelessness.
“The only families Republicans value are rich ones.” – Powell Svendsen, Rancho Murieta