Daily Response: Feb 5, 2009

Daily Response is a new daily series I’m starting that will be hosted here on my blog and distributed via my Facebook Notes and also on my tumblr. Daily Response is my impromptu comments on any notable news I’ve come across during the day either in real life or here on the Interweb.

1. Michael Phelps being suspended from the U.S. Swim team is justice. The team has rules and it must respect and obey them. With this said, I believe marijuana should be legalized. We have bigger fish to fry than catching smokers.

2. There has been an unnecessary public discussion via school wide email today. The short of it is that a student took issue with the content of an email sent by an organization. Instead of addressing this privately, the student chose to blast the entire school with his thoughts. This prompted responses from others telling him to shut up. This is a waste of my email storage space.

3. This video, “Verizon Math Fail” is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time.

4. I hate that American banks are being federalized. That the federal government is capping executive compensation is disgusting. We have a capitalist economy. Some regulation is okay, but now we are going too far. These types of moves by the Obama administration make me question whether I should have voted for him to lead my country.

5. While making toast this morning an idea struck me. Toasters should be offset so that piece one springs up ten to fifteen seconds before piece two, thus allowing time to butter piece one before piece two starts to cool off.

Hogwarts Violates Equal Protection?

I’ve been reading Harry Potter lately. I’m not going to bother explaining it because if you haven’t heard of it you clearly don’t care. Harry attends a school called Hogwarts, which is exclusively for wizards.

To jump subjects for a bit, we are studying the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment in Constitutional Law. Today, we got to Brown v. Board of Education, a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case that held the “separate-but-equal doctrine” established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) to be unconstitutional.

When the Court approaches laws challenged with regard to race, they look first to see if there is a sufficient state interest, and if it is closely related to the purpose of the law. Very rarely to laws using race as a classification survive this strict scrutiny.

Jumping back now, I posit that Hogwarts may be violating the Equal Protection clause. This is a bit of a stretch considering that Hogwarts is in England and out of the jurisdiction of a U.S. court and the school is fictional. But… but… but…

The book sets up wizards to be a separate race from muggles, the later of which are non-wizards. And the school is exclusively for wizards. Muggles aren’t even supposed to know about wizards.

There are a myriad of issues here… just kinda interesting to think about.