Weekly Roundup 4/2/2012

White Until Proven Black: Imagining Race in Hunger Games
Anna Holmes, The New Yorker blogs, Mar. 30, 2012

Synopsis: On Twitter, some young filmgoers are expressing dismay that a popular character in the new movie Hunger Games is played by a black actress, even though the popular young-adult novel on which the movie is based clearly depicts her as black.

Takeaway: “Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the little blonde innocent girl you picture,” ran one tweet. "The phrases 'some black girl' and 'little blonde innocent girl' are ringing in my head ... as are thoughts about how the heroes in our imaginations are white until proven otherwise, a variation on the principle of innocent until proven guilty that, for so many minorities, is routinely upended," remarks Holmes.

For material about American attitudes on race, see the following CQ Researcher reports: Race in America (July 11, 2003); Shock Jocks (June 1, 2007, updated Oct. 14, 2010); Debating Hip-Hop (June 15, 2007), Race and Politics (July 18, 2008), and Affirmative Action (Oct. 17, 2008).

--Marcia Clemmitt, Staff Writer


The Future of Health-Care Law – and Politics: Several Views

In Health Case, Appeals to a Justice’s View of Liberty
Adam Liptak, The New York Times, March 30, 2012

ObamaCare and the 2012 Election
Karl Rove, The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2012

Could defeat for Obamacare mean victory for Obama?
Mark Penn, The Washington Post, March 31, 2012

Synposis: Supreme Court justices are deliberating on President Obama’s health-care reform after an extraordinary three days of arguments last week. The New York Times’ Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak analyzes how the case may look to the pivotal justice: Anthony M. Kennedy. Karl Rove, Republican politico and White House adviser to President George W. Bush, sees pitfalls for Obama’s re-election whatever the court decides. But Democratic pollster/political consultant Mark Penn says Obama could claim victory with a ruling to uphold the law or turn a ruling to strike it down against his Republican opponent by depicting the GOP as having no alternative plan to increasing access to health care.

Takeaway: Liptak says the evidence from the justices’ questions on the court’s likely ruling in the case was “mixed.” The decision is not expected until late June.

For my coverage of the Supreme Court arguments, see entries on the CQ Researcher blog on March 26, 27 and 28; for my analysis, see Health-Care Economics Too Hard for Some on High Court, Jost on Justice, April 1, 2012.

--Kenneth Jost, Associate Editor/Supreme Court Editor, CQ Press