Today in the News, 2.25.09

  • “But these academics and the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center, which filed a brief in the case, have not suddenly taken up the Second Amendment cause, Charlton Heston-style. Rather, they joined the case to urge the court to adopt a new way of making the rights protected by the federal Constitution apply to the states (a process known as ‘incorporation’).” Tony Mauro of Legal Times discusses CAC’s brief in McDonald v. Chicago. (More coverage of our privileges or immunities work from Mother Jones blog, ACSBlog, and — from the conservative side — Reason Magazine.)
  • “Some Congressional Democrats plan to reintroduce soon legislation that would effectively nullify the Supreme Court decision.” NY Times covers the intensifying debate over whether the Supreme Court’s preemption ruling in Riegel v. Medtronic last term should be addressed by Congress, following a St. Paul judge’s recent decision to dismiss hundreds of lawsuits against the manufacturer of a faulty medical device.
  • “I think a judge should try to the greatest extent possible to separate constitutional interpretation from his or her own values and beliefs. In order to accomplish this result, the judge should look to constitutional text, history, structure, and precedent.” President Obama’s nominee for solicitor general, Harvard Law dean Elena Kagan, responds to written questions (pdf) regarding constitutional interpretation submitted by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). (More from BLT here.)
  • “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Finally, on this day in 1913, Secretary of State Philander Knox officially proclaimed that the Sixteenth Amendment had become part of the Constitution, thereby allowing Congress to introduce the progressive income tax.