Various items that recently caught my eye:
0. A friend of mine recently had this Letter to the Editor published. He and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but my hat’s off to him for this one.
1. I’m inclined to agree with this post by Eugene Volokh, which concludes:
[I]t seems to me to actually be safer — not just better for First Amendment principles, but actually safer for Americans — to hold the line now, and make clear that American speech is protected even if foreigners choose to respond to it with murder. That would send the message, “murder won’t get you what you want.” Not a perfectly effective message to be sure, but a better one than “murder will get you what you want.”
Volokh also had an interesting post discussing how the Founders’ notions of free speech & free press were not absolute. I don’t find that conclusion surprising; but then, maybe I’m just overly influenced by Leonard Levy’s argument that the First Amendment initially permitted seditious libel prosecutions.
2. Lawfare Blog recently featured some interesting discussion of the Hedges v. Obama ruling regarding the 2012 NDAA’s detention provision. Benjamin Wittes wasn’t impressed with the decision. Raha Wala was somewhat less unimpressed. Steve Vladeck discusses how Hedges relates to the “Feinstein Amendment” of the NDAA, and tries his hand at rewriting the decision. Most interesting to me was this three-way discussion by Wittes, Vladeck, and Robert Chesney of how the NDAA’s “substantial support” provision relates to notion, in federal criminal law, of “material support” for terrorism.
3. Speaking of Lawfare, a while back Kenneth Anderson was nice enough to post this convenient collection of links to speeches and writings by various Obama administration officials discussing (inter alia) the legal aspects of targeted killing. I remembered this post when I read co-blogger DADvocate’s statement that “Obama has a kill list, which has included Amrican citizens, [sic] that he’s never fully explained the criteria for being on the list or the constitutional authority that allows it.”
4. On a largely-unrelated note, I recently stumbled across this discussion of how the Constitution requires the President to prioritize certain types of federal expenditures (HT Mike Rappaport). Since I touched on this issue last year before the debt-ceiling crisis, I expect I’ll find this essay interesting. YMMV.
5. On a totally-unrelated note, the Marine Corps Times recently linked to this 2008 story regarding the decline of the term “Devil Dog” among Marines. Frankly, I found the story quite surprising, since I don’t recall observing such a decline in my Marine experience. Then again, the scope of that experience was quite limited; and I can be somewhat oblivious on the best of days.
6. I find the subject matter of The Duffel Blog consistently hilarious.