Friday, February 13, 2009

The Teaching Assistant

It's time for the Teaching Assistant.  Here are a few stories that you might be interested in this week.

The Washington Post reports that the Obama Administration will expand the scope and duties of the National Security Council.  According to the article, "New NSC directorates will deal with such department-spanning 21st-century issues as cybersecurity, energy, climate change, nation-building and infrastructure."

A pending lawsuit is attempting to force courts to reconsider the "soft-money" limits on campaign expeditures imposed by the McCain-Feingold Act.

Here are two stories on abortion:  First, the Chicago Tribute reports that twelve states - are proposing laws that would mandate ultrasounds prior to an abortion procedure.  The proposals range from requiring that a woman be offered an ultrasound, requiring that an ultrasound be performed without requiring the woman to view the image, requiring that the ultrasound be performed "in a way the pregnant woman may view the[ images]," and finally, requiring that the woman actually view the images.  As I've frequently written in this space, such laws could run afoul of the Casey standard depending on the level of the requirement imposed by the legislation.  Critique of these laws can be found here.

Second, Glamour magazine (yes, a fashion magazine has a link to Con Law, I promise) ran a surprisingly insightful piece about women's abortion experiences.  Rather than focusing on the legal aspect, the magazine interviewed a number of women about their abortion experiences.  It's a wide ranging piece with a number of different women with different reactions.  The piece is helpful to professors and students of Constitutional Law, as it is easy to get lost in the legal discussion and to forget that real people are impacted -daily - by these laws. 

That's all for this week.  See you next time!


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