With the nomination clinched by Obama, it’s time to move on to the next stage of “journalism”: speculation! What lies ahead? What can we expect from a President Obama? Well, it’s hard to say, right? “Change.” “Hope.” That’s good. But will it be enough to corral the bitterest of Hillary’s supporters? I doubt it. There’s only one issue that win the hearts and minds of the Hillary’s most devoted dead-enders: Judges.
“I vote on only one issue,” a moderate Republican friend tells me. “The Supreme Court.” That’s why he’s been voting Democratic the last few elections, and why, I’m guessing, he’ll be in Obama’s corner this fall. Not because McCain isn’t moderate, but because there can be little doubt that his judges wouldn’t be. Judges, for the activist Christian Right, are one of the key litmus tests of a candidate. McCain can play maverick all he wants if he just stacks the bench.

What would Obama do? Who knows. There hasn’t been a president with roots so progressive as Obama’s in my lifetime. (Carter, remember, came from the conservative side of the Democratic Party.) That’s why I’m fascinated with this question posed by Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the University of Southern California, who’s writing on a question of courts, morality and meaning that’s making waves in France right now. “What to do when God’s law contradicts man’s law? Who wins, but maybe more important, who gets to decide?”
What’s the story about? The French “virginity lie” case. Writes Diane:

If, like me, you have been unaware of this oh-so intriguing story, here’s the recap: A French Muslim couple sought a civil annulment when the husband discovered his wife was not a virgin. His legal grounds were that she lied about an “essential quality” (i.e. virginity) necessary for marriage. French law permits annulment if one partner hides an “essential quality,” but, in the past, these have been more akin to a criminal record or a past marriage.

Read more about it at Diane’s excellent website, an essential resource, at least, for those interested in the intersections between religion, media, and politics.
And with this fascinating case in mind, consider Justice Scalia’s latest salvo, an answer of sorts to Diane’s question.

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