12/01: 2010 Reading List
Each year, neat things happen, and important things are written. Here are some important writings from 2010 (or 2009) that I have gotten around to reading this year and which you might consider for yourself.
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
A solid victory for the Freedom of Speech, but hotly contested in the political arena, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is certainly one of the most important things to come out of this year. As I have told many, McCain-Feingold has been an irritant to me and was one of the primary reasons that I didn't vote for McCain, and even left the Republican Party (I'm currently an Independent, and no, I didn't vote for Obama). The main opinion has weaknesses, but the conclusion is solid. I couldn't concur more with Justice Thomas's opinion. The dissent of Justice Stevens struck a raw nerve. His dissent does a good job of exposing some weaknesses in the arguments of the majority, but he simultaneously expresses the very essence of what conservatives fear from government, and spends much of his 90 pages knocking down juvenile mischaracterizations of the majority position. It's 183 pages, but don't let that scare you off. After all, they use a large font. (Update: The opinion isn't on the Supreme Court website anymore. The currently linked version is formatted across multiple HTML pages and uses a different font. I don't know what the page count would be anymore.)
Salt Lake City City Code - 2009-63 and 2009-64 (Ch. 10.04 and 10.05)
These ordinances made the news due to the support they received from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They're anti-discrimination ordinances focused on gender identity and sexuality discrimination. I thought them worth looking at as examples of what exactly it might take to do anti-discrimination right. I think they were worth the review.
The Utah Compact
The Utah Compact was mentioned in the Newsroom of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during 2010. The Church officially supports the principles of the compact, and since immigration is such a big issue, I thought I would check it out. It's a tiny document. My initial impression is that I can't disagree with any of the points made, but that said I really think it misses some important points. This may be useful for addressing a general anti-immigrant sentiment, and maybe there is one in Utah, but my experience has not brought me into contact with a general anti-immigrant sentiment. The one thing that I think is useful here is the law enforcement section, because I believe the state/federal role in immigration is not fully appreciated in many quarters. (See: Harold P. Sturgeon v. William J. Bratton et al., Break the Cycle et al., Interveners and Respondents for more information.) However illegal immigration and the influx of people of ill will is what I think generally concerns people, and I don't think The Utah Compact, with all its hype, really does much to address these real issues. To me, it comes across as accurate in principle, but somewhat one-sided.