Sunday, March 29, 2009
of Phillip K. Howard's book, Shall We Get Rid of the Lawyers? Lewis begins with a recollection:
Justice Hugo L. Black once told me that he thought all government departments and agencies should be abolished every five or ten years. Black was a senator from Alabama for ten years and a Supreme Court justice for thirty-four, and he knew just about everything there was to know about how government works. His startling idea—and I think he was serious—was his way of dealing with the encrustations of bureaucracy. Reading Philip K. Howard's book, I suddenly recalled Justice Black's remark. Not that their concerns are the same, just the sweeping character of their responses.
Lewis also opines on Caperton v. Massey, which we've most recently blogged here,
The Supreme Court evidently had difficulty deciding whether to hear the case, considering it at several conferences before granting review, and it is easy to understand why. Does the Court want to get into the business of deciding whether a state judge's refusal to recuse himself is a violation of the federal Constitution? How much of a campaign contribution should disqualify a judge from sitting on the contributor's case? If expensive judicial elections are allowable, where do we draw such lines? On the other hand, the claims of elementary justice here seem strong.
Lewis doesn't convince me that the book is worth reading; but I'd say Lewis' review certainly is worth a look.