2016 is Now About Replacing Scalia

This weekend the nation is mourning Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who died on Saturday at the age of 79. Scalia was one of the most influential legal thinkers and brilliant writers and personalities ever to serve on the Supreme Court. More than any other jurist, he was the one that did more to promote the idea of originalism — the notion that judges should interpret the Constitution as the Founders intended — and textualism – the idea that the words of the Constitution mean what they say. He was the intellectual leader and the backbone of the conservative majority that has prevailed in many cases in the last decades as well as the author of scathing and insightful dissents that may be remembered as long as his majority opinions. At the same time, he will also be justly celebrated as a man who was able to friends with liberal colleagues even as he engaged in spirited arguments with them. That is an example that more Americans should follow in a time of increased polarization.

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2016 is Now About Replacing Scalia

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Trump Breaks the Diplomatic Mold

Throw out the rule book.

There is perhaps nothing a global class of calcified diplomatic professionals appreciates more than subtlety and nuance. Donald Trump’s tour of the world’s three major religious capitals is about as unsubtle and unnuanced as you can get. To many seasoned diplomats, this administration’s naïve effort to forge peace in this fashion is downright dangerous—possibly more than the administration even knows. Maybe. Or maybe the president and his team are dispensing with ossified convention in a field that could desperately use some fresh thinking. With the first leg of Trump’s world theological tour complete, it is not impossible that something new is taking shape.

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Don’t Be Optimistic about Saudi Reforms

The Saudis aren't interested in reforms.

President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia highlighted not only the U.S. alliance with the desert kingdom but also Saudi Arabia’s deplorable human rights record and its much-publicized efforts to reform economically and socially.

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Trump Dances with Knives

Podcast: A new meaning for the phrase "diplomatic dance."

On this week’s first podcast, I join with Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman in examining the success of the president’s trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel (thus far) and ask whether this is the beginning of a new foreign-policy push that will seek to take advantage of Barack Obama’s failures—or will just evanesce. Also, we discuss Abe’s article “Is This the End of the ‘Free World?'” and Michael Flynn’s 5th amendmenting. Give a listen. And leave a review on iTunes. What, would it kill you to be nice?

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There Won’t Be Peace While the Power Is Out

Donald Trump and the mainstream press may act like enemies on many issues, but they are the closest of allies when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Trump spouts fantasies about making Israeli-Palestinian peace, and Western media dutifully fails to report any news that might disrupt these fantasies, such as what the Palestinians’ two rival governments are actually doing to their own people right now.

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A True Bombshell

The Russia investigation converges with the Comey scandal.

On Friday afternoon, two alleged “bombshell” reports were released regarding the scandal involving Donald Trump’s links to Russia. Only one of these reports, however, deserves to be called a bombshell, and it’s a doozy.

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