Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Follies

Three different topics today, starting first with the question everyone wants an answer to: to "bailout" Wall Street or not? While the deal seems to be stalled at the moment, most experts agree that "something" will be done relatively shortly.

Yet there are real questions of responsibility being asked before we cut a check for $700 billion. While many have defended Wall Street workers, this WSJ story regarding how the economic downturn is "plaguing properties in the $2 million to $10 million range, a market often sought by Wall Street workers," seems almost hard to swallow.

It's also a great juxtaposition with the picture of the guy above. Maybe the naysayers and skeptics are right; maybe most people aren't very happy about being left on the hook for another $700 billion due to corporate malfeasance.

Next, I came across an interesting piece in the NYT Sunday Magazine by Noah Feldman on the role of the Supreme Court and foreign policy. It's a great examination of the conservative v. liberal outlook regarding the U.S. Constitution and its role in both domestic and international policy (and makes a great companion piece to Adam Liptak's article from last Friday).

And finally, new research on the constitutionality of faith-based prison programs in this week's SSRN. The author tackles the legal aspects of these programs, rather than success or recidivism measures, and comes to the conclusion that these programs may in fact pass constitutional muster.

Of course, bypassing any "dissection" of the actual results of these faith-based prison programs skirts the most important question: do they work? As I wrote last November, while the research is thin, there are troubling questions about the efficacy of these programs, and while figuring out if the programs pass constitutional muster is fine, it's still only half the picture. Constitutional correctional panaceas are still panaceas nonetheless.

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