WASHINGTON — Governments routinely behave badly, but sometimes their mean-spiritedness comes to the Supreme Court’s attention. On Tuesday, it will hear oral arguments concerning the constitutionality of measures that California’s government has taken to compel pro-life entities to speak against their own mission.
There’s no mystery about the Republican agenda. For at least the past 40 years, the GOP’s central policy goal has been upward redistribution of income: lower taxes for the wealthy, big cuts in programs that help the poor and the middle class. We’ve seen that agenda at work in the policies of every Republican president from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, every budget proposal from party stars like Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House.
We get it that tech billionaire Vinod Khosla is annoyed that local authorities and the Coastal Commission demanded that he allow public access through his 89-acre beachfront property in northern California, continuing a nearly century-long practice of the previous owners.
The Trump administration’s answer to questions surrounding family planning and safe sex is to give preference for $260 million in grants to groups stressing abstinence and “fertility awareness.” Instead of urging at-risk members of the public to use condoms and other forms of protection, the administration favors far-less safe and effective measures such as the rhythm method.
I was thinking about the idea of arming classroom teachers well before President Donald Trump suggested the measure as a response to the terrible murders of 17 students and teachers last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.