Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bill Blum on Scalia, Thomas and Alito missing the Pope's address to Congress

How many pope watchers and admirers, I wonder, noticed that only four of the high court’s members—Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor—showed up to hear the pontiff address a joint session of Congress last week? 
Among the missing were the tribunal’s three most conservative voices, all hard-core Republicans and ostensibly devout Catholics—Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. You might think they would have wanted in on the celebration to demonstrate their fidelity, to see history in the making, or perhaps just to receive a personal blessing or two. Then again, you might be wrong. 
So what gives? Was the nonappearance of the three judges a coincidence or the result of unavoidable scheduling conflicts? Or was the right-wing judicial troika sending a message of disapproval to Francis? After all, they’ve done much the same in recent years to President Obama by boycotting his State of the Union addresses.
-Bill Blum, "Supreme Court Preview: The Pope Casts a Long Shadow Over the New Term," September 29, 2015, Truthdig.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah 2015 UNGA Speech (English)

Zoom in on the Birmingham manuscript of the Qur'anic page

Thanks to my classmate Andrew for this!

[This is from this chapter of the Qur'an.]

Earlier in the summer, news about this made 'a big splash' in the New York Times as Prof. Cook said in class today, as this article was featured on the front page. According to Prof. Cook, there is no reason to doubt the writing of this manuscript as one of the Uthmānī codexes. The doubt of the Saudi researcher about the dots could be explained as something that was added [at a later time] on top of the letters.