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Why is this mandate different from all other mandates?

One of the central concerns that conservatives have about the individual mandate is that it would lead to unlimited federal authority over our individual lives. If Congress can require us to purchase health insurance, conservatives sometimes ask, can’t it require us to purchase cars or broccoli or cell phones? Defenders of the mandate have been […]

The Founding Fathers and Health Care

Revised version of an article published in The Philadelphia Public Record, March 15, 2012 under the title The Founding Fathers and Health Care Later this month the Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There is a narrow question concerning the Commerce Clause and the individual mandate. Most lawyers who […]

The New Sexual World We Have Made and the Return of the Culture Wars

The transformation of sexuality In the last fifty years, we have seen a dramatic transformation in both relationships between the sexes and our relationship to sexuality. No one thinks that there is any likelihood that we will return to traditional practices and beliefs. But in the last few months Republican candidates have tried to reignite […]

In Philly, we need transparency in criticism as well as budgeting

Some critics of Mayor Michael Nutter are calling him out for hiding a real estate tax in his new budget since the budget proposes that after the new market based system of setting property values is put in place, tax rates will be set so that the city takes in an additional $90 million in […]

Why the debate about contraception is so important

I’ve heard from some people in the last few weeks who have asked me why I’m so focused on issues like contraception when we are in the middle of a titanic struggle over economic inequality in this country. This is what I tell them: Two hundred years from now, when the historians write about the time […]