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No, You Can’t Hail Cabs. But, Here, Have Some Contraception!

We commented before on Uber, the app that lets users quickly and easily hail cabs. After almost a year of delay, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission finally agreed on Tuesday to start a pilot program for the app. Now the NYT reports that, on Wednesday, a judge from the appeals court issued an injunction that will once again set back the innovative pilot program.

In the meantime, the blogosphere is abuzz with the news surrounding the Plan B morning after pill. Last month, a federal judge ruled that Plan B should be available to women of any and all ages, without an ID or a prescription. According to the WSJ, the Obama administration announced yesterday that it will challenge this ruling. But one day before,  the FDA, in an unrelated case, lowered the age limit for buying over the counter Plan B from 17 to 15.

Apparently, according to the US judicial system, 15 (or 14, or 13) year old girls who are too young under the law to consent to sexual activity should be able to buy morning after birth control pills without a prescription, while adults can’t use their smart phones to get cabs. No doubt this makes sense to somebody, but to us, it is the kind of absurdity to which massive regulation and an unhinged system of judicial review naturally lead.

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  • rheddles

    You’d almost think someone is trying to drive the country crazy.

  • Anthony

    Where “an unhinged system of judicial review naturally leads” indeed. Check out Bush vs. Gore Professor. It was one of the best examples of unhinged judicial review in modern history. Yet something tells me that Professor Mead thought that it was great.

    • qet

      Ah yes. Bush v Gore. The Left’s new favorite whipping boy, its talking points retort to any complaint of overjudicialization of this country. Never mind that a barrage of concurrent state and federal court lawsuits arguing numerous different claims were commenced by the candidates prior to the Supremes involving themselves. Never mind that the Democrat-weighted FL Supreme Court decided to permit selective manual recounts in heavily Democratic districts. Presumably a Democratic court assisting the Democratic candidate raises no concerns for the Left. In any case, the notion that all judicial review is alike, so that if one favors any single instance of judicial review he is forever foreclosed from complaining about the overjudicialization of this country, is absurd.

      • Anthony

        The majority opinion in Bush vs. Gore explicitly says that it is not a binding precedent for future cases. Can you name any other Supreme Court case in the last fifty years that does that?

        The idea that a decision by an appellate court cannot even be cited as authority in subsequent cases with very similar fact patterns runs counter to very idea of appellate judging itself. Basically, the conservative Justices on the court wanted to use the fourteenth amendment to allow Bush to win without endorsing legal reasoning that would expand it’s meaning. If that is not results oriented judging, what is?

        Furthermore, here is a revealing hypo for you. If the facts were identical, but Gore was placed in Bush’s position, and Bush was placed in Gore’s, do you think the result would have been the same? I have an answer for you: Not a chance.

        • edgehopper

          I assume you’re not a practicing lawyer, because appellate courts (if not the Supreme Court) do that all the time. In the Federal Circuit alone, hundreds of decisions are non-precedential, usually because the Court wants to shut down a very fact-specific error without accidentally creating rules that it doesn’t want to create. Bush v. Gore, being the rare Supreme Court case that was taken not because the Supreme Court wanted to make law but because it was a national crisis, is similar.

          Typically, when the Supreme Court wants to strike down a lower court decision without making law, they just issue a one sentence per curiam opinion. But I imagine you’d have been much more angry if the Court did that in Bush v. Gore.

          • Anthony

            Excuse me, the Supreme Court said that the Florida recount was a violation of the 14th amendment; the case was not disposed of on technical procedural grounds. The opinion states that, even though the fourteenth amendment supposedly forbade the recount in Florida, it did not in ANY subsequent cases. How can it be any clearer that the court just wanted to rule in favor of Bush, and was merely looking for an acceptable justification?

            You didn’t address the more damning accusation. Would the case have come out the same if Gore was in Bush’s position and Bush was in Gore’s? Of course it would not have.

            This is all the more appalling due to the fact that the Justices in the Majority in Bush vs. gore have screamed in our ears for the last fifty years about the pernicious effects of decisions that expand the meaning of the 14the amendment.

    • Corlyss Drinkard

      Unfortunately, your opinion may be yours, but it’s factually wrong, nonetheless. The Supremes merely corrected an stunning lack of legal competency on the part of Florida’s Supreme Court that didn’t have sense enough to stay out of a political question. The Supremes spent over a century fashioning the political question exception to cases ripe for adjudication, and the Florida Democratic bozos on their court couldn’t resist thumbing their noses at the exception.

  • Jim Luebke

    You’re never going to get Democrats to appreciate this sort of reasoning. Come on, join the GOP…

    • Andrew Allison

      I think that WRM’s point was that it is inane judicial review that is the problem. The left, unhappily, doesn’t have a monopoly on stupidity!

  • qet

    Hear Hear!

  • Felipe Pait

    Democracy, and the accompanying legal system, are messy and full of contradictions. One cannot expect coherence between a city’s taxi commission and the federal drug administration. For a coherent set of laws and regulations, a central legislative authority is necessary. Though not sufficient.

    • TheCynical1

      Agreed, let’s all admit that centralizing power is a necessary step for terminating the messiness of democracy.

  • wigwag

    Got it; Via Meadia thinks convenience in hailing a cab is more important that preventing teenage pregnancy. However muddled the court’s thinkng on Plan B may be, it is rivaled by the muddled thinking of Professor Mead’s post.

    • Tom

      And you completely misunderstood the point of the post.
      There was nothing there about which one was more important–the post was simply pointing out the utter derangement of a society that appears to believe that convenience is a good only in the field of avoiding the consequences of bedroom shenanigans.

      • Corlyss Drinkard

        Agree. The point was not the relative merits of apps and contraceptives. It was the quixotic nature of the modern administrative/regulatory state.

  • Anthony

    WRM, an outworn, patched political-economic system is cracking and palliatives are sought when and wherever for average citizen in disbelief – the causes may be cultural but conflating furthers disorientation and insufficiency remains.

  • benracer1

    …15 ( or 14, or 13) year old GIRLS who are…

    Shouldn’t the term be …WOMEN… If you want to discuss an issue, at least use words accurately. The reality of words matter in order to have clarity when attempting to discuss ideas in an informed and learned manner.

    • Larry J

      I’m sorry (no, I’m not), but 13, 14 or 15 year old females are still girls. They don’t become women until years later.

      • Corlyss Drinkard

        In view of the fact that brains don’t mature until the 20s, one could rightly claim that girls younger than that aren’t women yet, just as boys aren’t men yet.

      • benracer1

        Sadly, I agree. That is the point. When our society as a whole grants children access to “grown-up” world without a concomitant expectation of responsibility for their decisions and actions, we set them up to fail. This is so beyond the mechanics of sexuality and birth control. What about the emotional impact of being a sexually active “adult”, how to cope with the impact of other people’s opinion of your choices, the acknowledgement that the consequences may not become evident for many years? Calling these children “women” is just a blunt attempt to foster the conversation that legal access to adult things (smoking, drinking, sex) does not a well functioning mature person make. In fact, it just might be cruel. I don’t think supporters consider this much.

      • TheCynical1

        Let’s recognize and appreciate the humor of sarcasm and irony; why attack the original commenter when he’s agreeing with you.

  • Corlyss Drinkard

    When the pill came out, my mother’s bridge partner gave it to her daughter, telling her it was a vitamin pill. This was in the 60s. Parents are the source of a lot of this obsession with contraceptives.

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