Weekend Reading: “Interpretive Jiggery-Pokery” Edition


Happy weekend, ProfHackers! This week’s subtitle is thanks to Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent against the Supreme Court’s vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act. More on that decision and others below.

*When I initially drafted today’s Weekend Reading, I had a paragraph with links about the Confederate Flag and the ongoing discussions about it’s place (or lack thereof) in American culture. In light of today’s Supreme Court decision legalizing gay-marriage across the United States, I’ve decided to relocate that paragraph about hate and dissonance to the end of the post after the video. Those issues aren’t, unfortunately, going away any time soon. Instead today, I choose to focus on more positive subjects.

On a related note, if you haven’t seen this interactive map tracing the history of the Atlantic slave trade published in Slate, you need to stop whatever else you are doing and check it out (hat tip to ProfHacker guest writer Jason Heppler).

In happier news (for some of us at least), the Supreme Court voted on Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act in a 6-3 decision. The court also, according to The Atlantic upheld the Fair Housing Act, though this vote was much closer (5-4). While Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent yielded nothing so delightful as the phrase “jiggery-pokery,” it did use the NBA as an example of favorable racial disparity.

And breaking: SCOTUS upheld the the right to same-sex marriage in a 5-4 vote. From the majority opinion: “”No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its
fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.” Here is a link to President Obama’s response from the NY Times.

Our own Chronicle  featured a post in Lingua Franca this week musing over “The Most Beautiful Word of All.” Unsurprising, at least to those of us obsessed with who have watched Donnie Darko, “cellar door,” gets a fair share of attention. But this piece went to press before Scalia’s hyperbolic masterpiece was issued. The comments section for this one are filled with people’s favorite words and phrases–this is a feed worth checking out if you’re a logophile, or person who loves words.

Video of the week is from the Jimmy Fallon show: “Kid Theater with Channing Tatum”

[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user John Haslam]


*In the last seven days, the United States has faced some difficult conversations as calls to #TakeItDown have grown louder and louder. The Confederate flag has been removed in Alabama and removal is under discussion in South Carolina. Amazon, Wal-Mart and NASCAR have also moved to distance themselves from the symbol. Apple has pulled apps that use the Confederate flag. And in case you haven’t studied history lately, you might check out this piece from CNN, “Confederate Battle Flag: Separating Myth From Facts.” Finally, as Nicholas Kristof, writing for the NY Times reminds us, “Tearing Down the Confederate Flag is Just a Start.”

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