Here are some summaries of articles I retweeted this week that I thought were pretty interesting, along with a few of my own thoughts on them. This might turn into a weekly post if I can keep up with it.
“The Russians Are Coming” | via Foreign Policy
The author spews out 10 reasons why we shouldn’t believe Vladamir Putin’s promise to President Obama that he is not going to invade the Ukraine. Most of the reasons seem to revolve around the author’s belief that the Obama Administration is at fault, i.e., Putin revels in embarrassing the administration, the foreign policy circles in the United States have publicly stated either that Russia is not violating international law (this is an argument I strongly disagree with; Russia’s actions are a flagrant violation of international law and the laws of war – a full blog post on that is coming soon), and the U.S. government continues to sit and watch Russia’s incursion on Crimea unfold.
However, the author does not shy away from Russia’s responsibility for its untrustworthiness. He notes that Russia has consistently lied about what is going on in Crimea, as well as its own involvement in other international crises, such as the war raging in Syria.
Ax These Terms From Your Legal Writing | via ABA Journal
Did you know that courts in both England and the United States have addressed the question of whether the term “and/or” is a word? Well, they have, according to this article. And they have unanimously answered in the negative. The Illinois Appellate Court went so far as to describe “and/or” as a “freakish fad” that is “an accuracy-destroying symbol.” So, in other words, it’s too vague for legal writing.
Other words that courts have either declared vague or at least open to several specific interpretations include “herein,” “deem,” “provided that,” “said,” and “same.”
Is the Contraception Mandate Doomed? | via Slate
As you may know, Hobby Lobby filed a religious freedom claim asserting that it should not be required to provide health care coverage for specific contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Hobby Lobby is not refusing to provide for contraceptives altogether, but rather, is refusing to pay for specific contraceptives that its owners believe can cause abortions. This article explains how the case arose, and what exactly happened during the oral arguments presented before the Supreme Court of the United States earlier this week. It’s a fascinating read, and the author cuts through the legalese so that you can really grasp what the case is truly about.