Online Opinion Outpost: April 14, 2015


The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Served on Facebook
— Danny Cevallos, CNN

Recently, a New York judge issued an opinion authorizing service of divorce papers on a husband completely via Facebook.
What exactly is “service of process”?
Serving people with legal papers is an industry and its own body of law premised on one guiding principle: if you are going to sue someone, you should at least let them know about it.
At first blush, the idea of service by Facebook seems to offend traditional notions of ensuring notification of a defendant of a case against him. When it comes to serving papers, however, “traditional” doesn’t necessarily mean “good.” Service by publication or nailing paper to the door of an empty apartment is hardly reliable; it’s just service of last resort.
For those people who are concerned that being served papers will become a Facebook announcement in a news feed, along with the photos of dinner or kittens, to be “liked” by all your gawking “friends,” we’re not quite there … yet.


Protecting pregnant women?
— Deborah Tuerkheimer, The New York Times

In the wake of a savage attack on a pregnant woman and the removal of her fetus, Colorado lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that would criminalize fetal homicide. If the bill passes, the state would join nearly 40 others that make fetuses a distinct class of victims. (The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 similarly makes it a crime to kill or injure a fetus in certain circumstances.)
This would not be the first time that lawmakers exploited an extraordinary incident of violence against a pregnant woman to promote the rights of fetal victims. In 2009, Indiana, for example, passed a draconian fetal homicide law after a horrific shooting of a bank teller who was pregnant with twins.
This type of legislation, however, is not about protecting the rights and well-being of the pregnant woman. Rather the reverse: The risk is that, without statutory reform, the pregnant woman as a category of victim will remain overlooked, while the fetus gets special protection.


Clinton’s video
—  Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post

The more I watch Hillary Clinton’s announcement video, the less I like it. This may be putting it mildly.
I understand what Clinton & Co. were trying to do: Make the moment less about Hillary, more about the voters. Downplay the sense of Clinton as inevitable juggernaut and entitled successor to the dynastic throne.
Clinton’s 2007 announcement was all Hillary, all the time. She wanted to start a conversation with voters – “Let’s chat,” she said, if unconvincingly — but she also wanted to make clear: “I’m in, and I’m in to win.”


Paul’s war on Washington
— Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner

Rand Paul launched his presidential campaign Tuesday, skewering the “special interests that use Washington D.C. as their own private piggy bank.” His campaign home page blared the headline “Defeat the Washington Machine.”
This sort of campaign against Washington is a cliché these days, but for Paul, it’s a real thing. He’s been fighting this fight since he entered politics. And that’s why the Republican Party needs him today.


Rubio running
— Patrick O’Connor, The Wall Street Journal

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told donors on Monday that he will run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, joining an increasingly crowded race that has potential to recast the GOP in the eyes of voters.
Mr. Rubio’s statement to donors, confirmed by a person on the call, came in a conference call hours ahead of a planned rally at which he was expected to announce his candidacy publicly.


NFL transparency
— David Pettit, The Los Angeles Times

The decision to put NFL stadium proposals on the ballot, first in Inglewood and now in Carson, may seem noble. After all, at the center of our democracy is the right of the people to vote. But this maneuver is not about letting the public have a say; it’s actually a shortcut to avoid public scrutiny and California’s environmental laws — as became clear when the Inglewood City Council chose to bypass the electoral process and approve a stadium directly. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that the Carson City Council and the developer there will do exactly as Inglewood did — an electoral and environmental bait and switch.

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