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More diverse appointments are set to reshape America’s judiciary

DEMOCRATS ARE accustomed to feelings of despair about the increasingly conservative Supreme Court. But in the lower courts President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have wasted no time filling the federal bench. The 40 judges confirmed so far are the most at this point in a president’s first term since Ronald Reagan, and more than double the mark set...

Deadly blazes reflect America’s failure to adequately house its poor

THE SMELL of smoke hung in the air for days after the fire on January 5th that killed 12 members of an extended family. Philadelphia’s mayor called it “one of the most tragic days in our city’s history”. The burnt row house belonged to the city’s public-housing authority. Four days later in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, 17 people were killed...

As Austin thrives as a tech hub, will it avoid San Francisco’s problems?

ELON MUSK has predicted that Austin will be “the biggest boom town that America has seen in 50 years”. From 2010 to 2020 its metro area had the second-fastest growth in the country—its population expanded by a third. Already America’s 11th-largest city, Austin could soon displace Silicon Valley’s San Jose in the top ten. If the proliferation of oil...

As violent crime leaps, liberal cities rethink cutting police budgets

IN THE DAYS after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020, protesters took to the streets across America. They urged cities to “defund the police”, and politicians listened. Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, called for his department’s budget to be cut by up to $150m. London Breed, San Francisco’s mayor, announced...

Joe Biden was set up to fail

HAVE ANY voters demanded more of their leaders than modern Americans? The thought occurred to your columnist while listening to a group of eight Georgians, Ohioans and Pennsylvanians, all aged under 30 and college-educated, opine on President Joe Biden this week. It was not pretty. “Covid is the worst it’s been and the government is doing basically...

America resorts to remote learning, against pupils’ interests

GIVEN THE way the fight had been proceeding, it ended in a whimper. On January 10th a stand-off between Chicago’s teachers’ union and its mayor, Lori Lightfoot, escalated to personal insults. Jesse Sharkey, the union’s president, called Ms Lightfoot “relentlessly stupid”. She responded by calling him a “privileged, clouted white guy”. Hours later, the...

Native American chefs are cooking up a culinary renaissance

SEAN SHERMAN reckons he uses 25 pounds (11 kilos) of crickets a week: “Pretty much every table buys some.” His restaurant, Owamni by the Sioux Chef, opened in Minneapolis in July and serves Native American fare. Customers can feast on blue-corn mush and bison tartare. Though indigenous restaurants remain scarce, they are spreading. Recent openings include...

Can Mormonism thrive as a global religion?

ONE IS A small city of fewer than 120,000 people. The other is home to more residents than New York City and Chicago combined. Yet one thing binds Provo, Utah, and São Paulo, Brazil: both boast white temples with a single spire that reaches towards the heavens. One is surrounded by mountains and the other by palm trees, but the simple architecture of...

Trans ideology is distorting the training of America’s doctors

GENDER DYSPHORIA, the often agonising feeling that one has been born in the wrong body, is listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”. So Katherine (not her real name) was surprised, in her first week at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, when a lecturer told a class that gender...

Reforming the Electoral Count Act would help prevent another riot

FOR MUCH of the past year, Democrats in Congress have fitfully and unsuccessfully pushed various bits of voting-rights legislation. Whatever the merits of these bills, they are an odd first response to the insurrection of January 6th 2021. Record numbers of Americans voted in 2020. Long queues and pandemic-driven confusion notwithstanding, the problem...

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