Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

On the death penalty, Francis is going where no pope has gone before

October 18, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

Pope Francis set the cat among the pigeons last week, telling an audience convened to mark the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that "the death penalty is an inhumane measure . . . regardless of how it is carried out" and must be regarded as "contrary to the Gospel."

That got everyone's attention.

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If you can pay for aspirin, you can pay for birth control

October 11, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

IT HAS BEEN 52 years since the Supreme Court ruled, in Griswold v. Connecticut, that government may not ban anyone from using contraceptives. The freedom to use birth control is protected by the Constitution's "fundamental right" to privacy. That freedom is a matter of settled law, and hasn't been challenged in the slightest by President Trump or his administration.

But you wouldn't know that from the hysteria that erupted when the White House last week acted to uphold the conscience claims of employers who object to funding some types of contraception on sincere moral or religious grounds.

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Abusive gerrymandering can be stopped, but not by judges

October 4, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

Two of the oldest traditions in US political history are at the heart of Gill v. Whitford, a case now before the Supreme Court.

One of those traditions is gerrymandering — the mapping of legislative districts so that they become one-party monopolies. The other tradition is condemning such mapmaking as a cancer on American democracy.

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'Lies' in political campaigns should be refuted, not prosecuted

October 1, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

In a unanimous decision two years ago, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck down a state law that had criminalized the making of "any false statement" in a political campaign. Such a law was plainly incompatible with fundamental free speech rights under the US Constitution and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, and the SJC said so. The proper response to a political falsehood isn't to prosecute, but to counter the lie with the truth, the court held. In a democracy, it is up to voters to decide what is true and false in political rhetoric: "Citizenry, not government, should be the monitor of falseness in the political arena."

That case was styled Commonwealth v. Melissa Lucas.

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Let's stop taking the national anthem out to the ballgame

September 27, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

THEY DON'T sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" when the president delivers his State of the Union message, or when Congress convenes, or when Supreme Court justices assemble for oral arguments. The national anthem isn't played at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree or the awarding of the Pulitzer Prizes. It isn't sung at the opening of Broadway plays, or when the first voters show up on Election Day. Worship services in church don't include the national anthem. Neither do movies or Black Friday sales.

So what is it doing at sporting events?

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