It is an inadmissibly narrow conception of American constitutional law to confine it to the words of the Constitution and to disregard the gloss which life has written upon them. — Justice Frankfurter, concurring opinion in Youngstown, 343 U.S. 579 (1952)
One of the many eye-popping numbers from a White House report on the government shutdown. More from Tamara Keith: http://n.pr/1es5vk1
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. —
My grandfather sent me this quote the other day. I’m taking a break from reading law textbooks to pick up a novel this evening, and it is such a great feeling to immerse yourself in another world for an hour or so.
The Senate is expected to vote for cloture to confirm Nina Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the next week.
Pillard is a well known litigator with significant Supreme Court experience, as well as a professor at Georgetown Law. President Obama nominated her to the court this summer, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination last month [source]. This is a crucial vote for the D.C. Circuit, which has more inactive judges and vacancies than judges at the moment.
Visit confirmpillard.com and help out by contacting your U.S. Senator to emphasize your support for Pillard!
Or check out Hoyas for Nina Pillard on Twitter; Facebook.
Too Close to Call
→ Last Weekend at Disney: the Florida Democratic Party Convention
→ Sink for Congress —- Alex Sink announced on Wednesday that she is running for Congress in Representative C.W. Bill Young’s old seat in Pinellas County. She lives about 45 minutes away in Hillsborough County, but plans to move to Pinellas soon. [Source: Tampa Tribune]. Democrat Jessica Ehrlich was already in the race and does not appear to be stepping aside for Sink, so there will be a primary election in January.
→ Marco Rubio’s failure of leadership —- the Senator has backed out of his past initiatives, making him look like a political weathervane tuned to the Tea Party.
→ Nelson supports ENDA —- Senator Bill Nelson came out in support of ENDA, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, this week. Way to go Senator Nelson! He was soon followed by Senators Joe Manchin and Mark Pryor. [Source: Miami Herald]
This is a hard problem for government because it’s not really a technology problem. It’s a self-image problem. Government constructs its self-image in terms of size. It thinks of itself as huge and big. I’ve been in D.C. and seen your buildings. They’re very big! The harsh truth for governments all over the world is that many digital public services could be developed at a fraction of the size of nondigital services, and they can be created by very small teams of people in an open way. —
—Mike Bracken, technologist who overhauled gov.uk for the British government
This article is the best analysis I’ve read about the problems with healthcare.gov. Without getting partisan, Ezra Klein looks at the challenges of bringing our government into the 21st century.
During my AmeriCorps service I built a website from within a state government bureaucracy, and it was a nightmare! The only reason I completed the project is because I found some loopholes to sneak around the IT department. The most frustrating part was a total lack of opportunities for collaboration: I couldn’t get feedback from the tech people, because then they would get upset and force me to jump through 10 hoops to accomplish anything. I also couldn’t talk with coworkers in the office, because they didn’t know anything about website design. I completely agree that small teams of people can be insanely productive.