Wednesday, February 22, 2006

News about the future

So much of what is reported as news is really about events that have not yet occured. Here's an example. Abortion Case to Test New Justices
The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether a 2003 federal ban on the procedure that critics call 'partial birth' abortion is constitutional, setting the stage for its most significant ruling on abortion rights in almost 15 years.

Without comment or recorded dissent, the court granted the Bush administration's request to review a lower court's ruling striking down the law, which passed Congress overwhelmingly but has yet to be enforced.

The case will test the new balance of abortion opinion on a court whose membership now includes two Bush appointees, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Given their conservative leanings and the court's past vote count on the issue, the federal ban's chances appear strong.
I don't think that any of the preceding is newsworthy. What is newsworthy is the following paragraph.
Arguing that an appeals court's invalidation of an act of Congress was worthy of the court's attention, the Bush administration persuaded the justices to take the case without one usual criterion for doing so -- a division among lower courts. Since the first appeals court struck down the law last year, two other appeals courts have followed suit.
But the article said nothing more about this. Do we know anything about how and why they decided to accept it? If so, that might be news. But the two column story as published, isn't.

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