Today’s What We’re Reading features historians’ reactions to the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS ruling, the birthplace of plastic surgery, changes afoot at the Mellon Foundation, a medieval workout plan, and much more!
Guided by the conviction that history and historical thinking can help illuminate just about any contemporary discussion, Perspectives on History has, for three years running, invited historians to comment on significant Supreme Court decisions.
Just over one year ago, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling on the Affordable Care Act, and Perspectives on History organized its first AHA Roundtable, guided by the idea that history and historical thinking has something to offer just about any contemporary discussion on any contemporary topic.
Today’s What We’re Reading features the recent Supreme Court decisions, a new crowdsourcing project from the Chronicle aimed at tracking PhD placement, a new report on the health and vitality of national parks in England, and much more!
As we have often tried to demonstrate, we at the AHA believe that public discourse on any topic benefits from historical context and historical thinking. In that spirit, we’re rolling out a series of AHA Roundtables on two of the significant Supreme Court decisions handed down this summer. We have asked a group of historians to comment on these opinions, and we’ll be posting their responses over the next two weeks.
First up is Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
Through email conversation, from February 20-May 15, 2013, the Council of the American Historical Association made the following decisions:
The American Historical Association has joined a group of individual distinguished historians in signing an amicus brief in US v. Windsor, a case before the Supreme Court contesting the validity of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As is so often the case in legal contexts, the details can get lost in the swirl of broader issues and we want to clarify some important aspects of the AHA’s decision.
In light of the historic importance of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, and with the belief that history can help inform debate on any contemporary topic, we offer three commentaries from professors of history on yesterday’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
Alan Brinkley, Columbia University
Having prepared comments on the demise of the health care bill, I am happily surprised that the Court has sustained it. Over the months of waiting, I had thought that the only conservative justice who might support the bill would be Kennedy.