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First: In honor of Mother’s Day, which is this Sunday, my colleague Kathleen O’Brien has collected some of the best Times columns and op-eds about motherhood over the years. I’ll take this chance to recognize my own mom, Joan Alexander Leonhardt, who — among many, many other things — taught me how to write a clear sentence and how to listen to people. Thanks again, mom.
I hope all of the other mothers reading this also enjoy the weekend.
One person, one vote. Yesterday brought some good news on voting rights. The Louisiana House of Representatives — which is controlled by Republicans — passed a bill that would restore the voting rights of tens of thousands of people who are on parole or probation and have been free from prison for at least five years. The bill now heads to the State Senate.
“If this were to pass, it would make Louisiana the only Southern state to enfranchise people on probation or on parole,” Daniel Nichanian of the University of Chicago wrote. African-Americans make up more than half of Louisiana residents whose rights would be restored, according to Nichanian. By comparison, only 31 percent of the state’s voting-age population is African-American.
Most Americans support the restoration of voting rights for people with criminal convictions, notes Karina Schroeder of the Vera Institute of Justice. The Times editorial board has made the case for restoration in a couple of pieces.
Voting rights continue to be under attack in some states, as I’ve written before, but there are also signs of progress — in Virginia, Florida, New York and elsewhere. Adding Louisiana to the list would be a big deal.
The I.D.W. The most-read Times Opinion piece this week was by my colleague Bari Weiss, on the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web,” composed of mostly right-wing writers who focus on topics they feel lie outside of mainstream discourse.
Among the many reactions to the essay: “You can doubt whether they needed to leave academia or the mainstream media to defend their views,” Slate’s Will Saletan wrote. “But the fact is, they left. That’s a problem. It’s a sign that something is wrong in our public square.”
In National Review, Jonah Goldberg wrote: “This I.D.W. thing isn’t actually an intellectual movement. It’s just a coalition of thinkers and journalists who happen to share a