Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Is it ethical to eat Chick-fil-A?

June 29, 2013

Dan-Cathy-Chick-Fil-A-DOMA-Tweet-520x400The other night I attended the grand opening of Westwood Village’s newest restaurant, a Chick-fil-A. C.R., the young owner (all, or most of the brand’s restaurants are privately owned), welcomed us with warmth and excitement at starting his own business in a friendly new—to him—city.

After speeches and music we were treated to a sampler of all the wares, from three kinds of chicken sandwiches to salads, yogurt parfaits, and finally the richest chocolate chunk (not measly chip) cookies to send us on our way.

But when I told my daughter Lisa about the event she scowled and proclaimed that she wouldn’t patronize a homophobic business like Chick-fil-A.

I protested that the views were those of the company president, Dan Cathy, not of the corporation, and I’d be shocked if individual store owners like C.R. harbored anti-gay sentiments.

But now I wonder, is it ethical to patronize a business whose owner promotes views that are abhorrent to me?

Cathy was brought up in the Bible belt with biblical warnings about the evil (more…)

Blame the Bill of Rights, not the Roberts Court, for allowing corporations undue influence on elections

January 5, 2012

 

Millions of Americans, especially on the Left, are scornful of the ruling of the Supreme Court in 2010 regarding Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that ruling the Court overturned the provision of McCain-Feingold barring corporations and unions from paying for political ads made independently of candidate campaigns.

The ruling opened the door to unlimited expenditures by corporations and unions on behalf of candidates for office. It’s opened the floodgates to anonymous negative ads, and the Left is in high dudgeon.They have mischaracterized the Court’s ruling as “corporations are people and have the rights of people.” This piece of fiction has been enshrined in the dogma of the Left by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Rachel Maddow.

What nonsense!


As much as one may hate the result of the Court’s ruling, one can’t get beyond the Court’s reasoning: The First Amendment to the Constitution is pretty straightforward:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble (more…)

Two ethicists consider Gov. Rick Perry, the audience at the Republican debate, and the death penalty

September 13, 2011


Jack Marshall raises an interesting ethics issue here, as he does so often in his Ethics Alarms. This time it’s the conflict between empathy and justice. He explains how the Golden Rule can get us into some uncomfortable ethical conflicts. He writes,

‘Empathy is considered an ethical virtue for good reason: it is at the core of the Golden Rule. A person without empathy is less likely to put himself or herself in the other person’s place. The criminal justice process, however, is not a good fit for the Golden Rule. In the place of a guilty criminal, I would still probably want to be pardoned, set free, and given a second—or third, or fourth—chance to be law-abiding.”

Marshall defends Gov. Rick Perry’s answer at last Wednesday’s Republican debate to moderator Brian Williams’s question whether Perry was troubled by the idea that there might have been some innocents among the 234 people executed while Perry was Governor. After the audience cheered the grisly tally, Perry answered:

“No, sir. I’ve never struggled with that at all. The state of Texas has a very thoughtful, a very clear process in place of which — when someone commits the most heinous of crimes against our citizens, they get a fair hearing, (more…)

Ethics Hero and Ethics Quote of the Week: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

July 22, 2010

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was the only Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote for the confirmation of Elena Kagan as Supreme Court Justice. I can’t improve on what Jack Marshall (who I believe to be a Republican) headlined and wrote in his EthicsAlarms.com blog. Anybody who hopes the American government can work again should read it.

“Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) delivered the following remarks as the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Obviously Ethics Alarms approves of Graham’s vote and reasoning, as it is consistent with what I believe is the most ethical, fair and responsible course for all Republican senators. His statement, however, is extraordinary in its appeal to the best instincts of ethical public servants, and rather than just a link (the text comes from The Hill), I think proper respect and admiration dictate a full presentation. It embodies fairness, civility, professionalism. respect and dignity, as well as the ideals of collaborative government.”

Here is the entire Marshall posting.

var sc_project=6152467;

var sc_invisible=1;

var sc_security=”2276aa67″;

counter for tumblr

Kagan was wrong to oppose military recruiting, her defenders are getting it wrong

May 11, 2010

President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan is expected to breeze through the Senate, largely because of the absence of a “paper trail” –written opinions that a nominee who is a judge would have left for inspection. For example Republican opposition to Sonia Sotomayor crystallized around her opinion in the New Haven firefighter suit, which was wrongly characterized as Sotomayor favoring unqualified minorities over hard-working qualified whites. Kagan has left no signed opinions to be swift-boated about.


Her only sin, it appears, is to have refused to allow Harvard Law School, which she headed, to cooperate with military recruiters because the military discriminated against gays with its “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy.


Administration officials give an energetic lawyerly defense of Kagan’s position: she didn’t draft the policy and it was in place before she became dean. The military was allowed to recruit at Harvard, they just couldn’t get help from the law school’s career services office.


Kagan explains that DADT discriminates against gays. Surely it does. She opposes it. So does JCS Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen and probably the 90 percent of the military under the age of 25. So do I. So what.


DADT is not—and never was—merely anti-gay policy of bigoted generals. It was the law of the land, enacted in 1993 to prevent President Clinton from allowing openly gay people to serve. When Harvard—and Kagan—opposed cooperation with military recruiters they were opposing legitimate national defense activity, being carried out in accordance with the law.


Or perhaps Harvard policy trumps law? I hope that’s not the explanation of a Supreme Court nominee. Stay tuned.

Read The Ethics Challenge: Strengthening Your Integrity in a Greedy World


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers