Washington Times Opinion Piece, Editorial Discuss DOJ Nominee Johnsen

May 23, 2009

The Washington Times recently published an opinion piece and an editorial discussing President Obama’s nomination of Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. Summaries appear below.

~ Mickey Edwards/William Sessions, Washington Times: The Senate should “act expeditiously to approve” Johnsen’s nomination because “her views on the limits of presidential power are precisely what the Constitution envisions and conservatives have long championed,” Edwards, vice president of the Aspen Institute and author of “Reclaiming Conservatism,” and Sessions, a partner at the law firm Holland & Knight, write in a Times opinion piece. According to the authors, Johnsen “made her views clear” on the limits of presidential power when she joined a bipartisan group of lawyers that declared that the Office of Legal Counsel should promote “presidential adherence to the rule of law.” Edwards and Sessions write that Johnsen is being criticized for “being blunt, unserious and critical of presidential policies.” However, these attacks are unwarranted, they write, noting that in the legal profession, “a little blunt talk to a client — in this case, the president of the United States — might be required.” Edwards and Sessions continue, “What is needed in the Office of Legal Counsel is a person with the constitutional understanding to know that even presidents with whose politics she agrees must obey both the Constitution and federal statutes and who has the gumption to say so, even if the advice won’t be well received” (Edwards/Sessions, Washington Times, 5/21).
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Editorial Calls Supreme Court’s Pregnancy Leave Decision ‘Not Just’

May 23, 2009

“The Supreme Court keeps finding ways to deny women equal pay and benefits,” a New York Timeseditorial states in response to the court’s 7-2 ruling on Monday that employers are not required to award women credit toward pension benefits for pregnancy leave taken before Congress passed the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. According to the Times, the ruling reflects reasoning similar to the court’s 2007 decision in which it denied former Goodyear employee Lilly Ledbetter’s “claim for equal pay because it thought she waited too long to file it.” In Monday’s decision, the majority “reasoned mainly that the pregnancy leaves predated the 1978 law, and since the law was not retroactive, the discrepancy in benefits was the product of ‘past completed events that were entirely lawful at the time they occurred,'” the editorial states. It notes that the majority included “two generally reliable votes for equality, Justices John Paul Stevens and David Souter.”
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Pope’s Denunciation Of Condoms ‘No Help’ In Curbing Spread Of HIV, Washington Post Editorial Says

March 21, 2009

Although “[i]n a perfect world, people would abstain from having sex until they were married or would be monogamous in committed relationships, … the world isn’t perfect,” a Washington Post editorial states, adding that “neither is Pope Benedict’s pronouncement on the effectiveness of condoms in the battle against HIV/AIDS. The evidence says so.” The editorial asks, “Are condoms foolproof protection against infection by HIV, which causes AIDS? No.” However, even though condoms sometimes break or are used incorrectly, “doctors on the front lines of the fight against the AIDS epidemic established long ago that the use of condoms greatly diminishes the transmission of HIV,” according to the editorial. It says that it is “troubling” that Benedict “chose to question the value of condoms in fighting the nearly 28-year-old scourge while heading to the continent whose people are most affected by it.” Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 67% of people living with HIV in the world and 75% of all AIDS deaths, according to UNAIDS, the editorial states. It adds that “[h]eterosexual intercourse is the ‘driving force’ behind the epidemic.” According to the editorial, “To halt the march of HIV/AIDS, those who have the infection must be treated. Those who do not have it need all the information and tools possible to remain HIV-negative.” It concludes, “The pope’s denunciation of condoms is of no help” (Washington Post, 3/19).
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Obama Should Consider Canadian Health Care System ‘Hardships’ When Developing Overhaul Plan, Editorial States

February 12, 2009

President Obama and congressional Democrats last week took a “first step … toward government-run health insurance” with the enactment of a law to reauthorize and expand CHIP, but they should consider “Canada’s experience” before “proceeding further,” Nadeem Esmail, director of Health System Performance Studies at the Fraser Institute, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

He writes, “Health care resources are not unlimited in any country … and must be rationed either by price or time,” and as a result, when “individuals bear no direct responsibility to paying for their care, as in Canada, that care is rationed by waiting.” Esmail cites several “constitutional challenges” filed by Canadian patients placed on waiting lists for health care that “share a common goal: to win Canadians the freedom to spend their own money to protect themselves from the inadequacies of the government health insurance system.”
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Obama Should Consider Canadian Health Care System ‘Hardships’ When Developing Overhaul Plan, Editorial States

February 12, 2009

President Obama and congressional Democrats last week took a “first step … toward government-run health insurance” with the enactment of a law to reauthorize and expand CHIP, but they should consider “Canada’s experience” before “proceeding further,” Nadeem Esmail, director of Health System Performance Studies at the Fraser Institute, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

He writes, “Health care resources are not unlimited in any country … and must be rationed either by price or time,” and as a result, when “individuals bear no direct responsibility to paying for their care, as in Canada, that care is rationed by waiting.” Esmail cites several “constitutional challenges” filed by Canadian patients placed on waiting lists for health care that “share a common goal: to win Canadians the freedom to spend their own money to protect themselves from the inadequacies of the government health insurance system.”
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* Editorial: Is Steve Jobs’ Health Fair Game? *

January 17, 2009

Is Steve Jobs' Health Fair Game? *

The subject of Apple CEO (and Messiah) Steve Jobs has been in the news quite a bit lately. It’s nearly making me sick, the nonstop debate — not about his health, but rather, about whether or not it’s okay to discuss his health in the first place. I’m here to tell you: it’s perfectly fine. Long ago, Steve Jobs forfeited his right to any privacy on this matter. Read on and I’ll tell you why.

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Obama ‘Must Not Bow’ To Demands Of Abortion-Rights Supporters, Editorial Says

January 16, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama was “largely hesitant” to discuss abortion rights while campaigning, and he “had good reason to be apprehensive,” a Washington Times editorial says, adding that abortion-rights groups “want to pull out all the stops, and their wish list has no bounds.” The editorial states that abortion-rights advocates are lobbying Obama’s transition team to “remove all restrictions on abortion instituted by President Bush and Republican-led Congresses over the last eight years.”
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