I was a guest earlier this month on Glenn Beck’s radio show to discuss the Oregon case (earlier) in which where kids were taken away from parents with low IQs (but high school diplomas) in the absence of charges of abuse or neglect.
The Blaze summarizes:
Essentially, the state doesn’t have to prove anything definite to take away a child; the argument is that they are going by the expert’s recommendation for what’s best just in case something could happen. In Fabbrini’s case, her estranged father has told authorities that she is an unfit mother; however, people closer to her have vouched for her ability to parent.
“If they [authorities] want to take your child, they’ve got him,” Olson said….
“It’s been called [‘worst-first’] thinking,” he explained. “If you’re in the child protection business, then, you know, everything looks like a danger. … You always think the worst possible thing could happen.”
During the show I mentioned the Chicago-based Family Defense Center, one group that brings legal help to parents in danger of losing children to the state. And Lenore Skenazy has done an incredible job at Free-Range Kids of collecting stories around the country where harmless mix-ups turn into long nightmares of involvement with CPS.
Yes, really; it’s from the Facebook feed of Florida attorney and political hopeful John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan, who has featured in these columns on various occasions over the years. More eclipse-chasing from the firm’s website: “If you’re an eclipse viewer and you’re hurt on someone else’s property, you could have a claim, depending on the circumstance.” [George Bennett, Palm Beach Post]
P.S. According to this Space.com account of the turbulence found on the sun’s surface, “These pockets, or ‘bombs,’ eject plasma.” So that explains it. The sun has deep pockets! (And welcome Ray Dunaway show listeners.)
Google Echo Chamber, or Google Hush? Cathy Young interviews now-ex Google programmer James Damore (earlier here, here, and here). Heather Mac Donald writes on how some workplaces are being remade in the image of college speech codes [WSJ] And my appearance last week on Guy Gordon’s WJR Detroit talk show is now online:
Nick Gillespie interviews me for the Reason podcast on the Google/James Damore story. I get to make a point there wasn’t space for in my USA Today piece: the indirect government pressure on employers to police speech to avoid litigation mirrors the pressure put on classroom content at universities under Title IX and similar laws.
I also appeared on Guy Gordon’s radio show on Detroit’s WJR, and wrote a piece for Cato at Liberty on a dispute between Google and the federal government on employment discrimination and employee privacy that would probably be getting more attention if the memo story weren’t consuming all the oxygen in the room.
Meanwhile, Conor Friedersdorf asks Google CEO Sundar Pichai: could you clarify which passages of the memo tripped the wire, and which were OK? [earlier] And a piece by Nick Wingfield in the New York Times recalls part of the backdrop to the memo dispute: years of callout campaigning in tech to force political dissenters off of boards and out of jobs.
“Typical medical malpractice reform efforts are aimed at lowering costs for physicians, but what if many problems associated with medical malpractice could be handled via contract?” In a new Cato Podcast with interviewer Caleb Brown, I discuss that subject and go on to talk about issues in malpractice reform, including arbitration and the “nod to federalism” in this year’s Republican medical liability proposal in Congress. Related: reasons why Cato adjunct scholar Jeffrey Singer is skeptical of federal reform.
On March 2 I hosted a Cato book forum for Jonathan Adler to discuss his recent edited volume Business and the Roberts Court. Andrew Pincus commented. For more about this book — featuring contributors such as Joel Gora on Citizens United, Brian Fitzpatrick on the Twombly/Iqbal pleading cases, and Richard Lazarus on the emergence of a specialized Supreme Court bar — see Jonathan Adler’s interview with Ronald Collins at SCOTUSBlog, his posts at Volokh Conspiracy here and here, and this Stephen Bainbridge post.
I wrote the new chapter on redistricting reform in the just-out 8th Edition of Cato’s Handbook for Policymakers. The issue continues to rise in visibility with new federal court rulings on the topic, notably in Wisconsin (Whitford v. Gill), and former President Barack Obama’s announced intention of being active on the topic.
Closer to home for me, the Maryland legislature will again consider Gov. Larry Hogan’s bill to create an independent redistricting commission to replace the state’s current insider-dominated method of drawing Congressional and state legislative district lines. Last month (see above) I joined WAMU radio host Kojo Nnamdi, former Del. Aisha Braveboy and Maryland GOP chair Dirk Haire to discuss the prospects for reform (audio link). Hearings are this Friday in Annapolis and I’ll be there, not wearing my Cato hat but as part of my civic involvement.
I joined Virginia Prescott for episode 4 of the interesting Civics 101 podcast series, hosted by New Hampshire Public Radio, this one covering the Article V constitutional amendment process. You can also find it at NPR and AudioBoom. Description:
It’s been 25 years since the last constitutional amendment was ratified. How hard is it to change our most sacred document? We discover that there are not one, but two ways to amend the constitution – and one of them has never been used. Walter Olson, senior fellow of the Cato Institute explains that the founders didn’t exactly spell the process out clearly.