1. I’m not a big fan of CNN but it occasionally produces an interesting piece. This one on a surrogate who rescued a baby with birth defects from the natural parents (or so she thought!) who wanted the baby aborted is a must-read and raises a lot of interesting questions about law and ethics. It also highlights how states are still relevant actors in our lives despite the encroachments of the federal government (and see #3 below).
2. One of the great benefits of government spending cuts (including the sequester) is that politicians and bureaucrats have to think more seriously about trade-offs. Of course, the sequester cuts are absolutely tiny – as Nick Gillespie at Reason nicely points out – and thus don’t pinch those folks enough. But this piece at the USNI site notes one potential benefit – the Navy may have to reduce its efforts in support of the drug war. Of course, the article makes it sound like the possible shift is a bad one but this is yet another war the US won’t be winning.
3. As citizens and visitors to the Tar Heel State know too well, North Carolina has a state liquor monopoly. In this white paper, lawyer Jeannette Doran of the NCICL “addresses whether North Carolina’s monopoly system violates the State Constitutional provision which declares and mandates: ‘monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free state and shall not be allowed.'” Here is a nice quotation from the conclusion of this short paper:
It is dangerous to permit the State to engage in monopolistic activity. To tolerate a government-sanctioned monopoly by any entity, including the State itself, is “contrary to the genius of a free state”, according to the common sense of our Constitution. If the State is given wide discretion to monopolize spirituous liquor sales on the justification that it is doing so to protect public health and safety, there is little constitutional barrier to the monopolization of other products and services.