Monday, February 28, 2011
Here are a few that you might not want to miss.
Food Fight, March 1, 6.30 pm, organized by the law review at City University of New York School of Law, raising First Amendment issues such as "veggie libel laws" and campaign finance.
Rehabiliating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights against Progressive Reform, March 1 [and subsequent dates] sponsored by The Federalist Society. David Bernsetin will be speaking about his forthcoming book at various venues throughout the month.
Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice, March 3, 5.30 pm, organized by the Faculty of Law at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, delivered by Ruthann Robson.
Citizens United and Corporate Speech, March 4, 8.30 am, hosted by The John Marshall Law Review and Steven Schwinn at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, featuring a keynote by Thomas E. Mann of the Brookings Institute and panelists such as Geoffrey Stone, Atiba Ellis, and Monica Youn, director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
Writing a Brandeis Biography, March 7, 3pm, at the Oklahoma University College of Law, by Melvin Urofsky, author of notable biography of Justice Louis Brandeis. Urlovsky will also speak at a Faculty Colloquim at noon on "“Dissent As Form of Constitutional Dialogue."
Justice Clarence Thomas: 20 Years, March 11, 9.30am, at the Detroit Athletic Club, hosted by the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review. The morning panel is devoted to individual liberties and the afternoon panel focuses on governmental powers.
Moral Imagination in Judging, March 11, noon, at Washburn University School of Law, by Susan Bandes (pictured right) delivering the annual Foulstein Siefkin Lecture, organized by the Washburn Law Journal.
Boundaries and Enemies, 2011 Conference of The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, March 11 - 12, at University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law, organized by the association. Two packed days of panels and events.
Official Wrongdoing and the Civil Liability of the Federal Government and Officers, March 18, 9am, organized by the law journal at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis. The afternoon panel is entitled "Constitutional Claims: Bivens Suits."
Perspectives on Prerogative, March 24-26, The LeFrak Forum and the Symposium on Science, Reason, & Modern Democracy, Department of Political Science, Michigan State University, will "examine an especially troubling form of executive power: "prerogative" or "extra-legal" or "extra-constitutional" power."
Other events for which there is some information include two at Chapman University School of Law: Randy Barnett on March 8 discussing the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and Eugene Volokh on March 16 on "The Mechanisms of the Slippery Slope," and at Loyola Law School- New Orleans, on March 11 at noon, Calvin Johnson and Steven Willis on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, moderated by Cynthia Lepow.
and in April .......
Constitutional Law Symposium: Debating the Living Constitution, April 2, 8.30 am - 12.30 pm, organized by the Center for Constitutional Law at Drake University College of Law, Iowa, featuring speakers such as Rebecca Brown of USC School of Law.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Hillary Clinton, speaking as US Secretary of State, condemned violence against members of the press in Egypt, noting that "freedom of the press" is one of the pillars of an "open and inclusive society."
Meanwhile, in the United States itself, a complaint in federal court has been filed this week against former president Jimmy Carter and Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Carter's book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. The cause of action is noteworthy: consumer protection statutes in New York prohibiting deceptive acts in the conduct of business and trade. The complaint alleges:
5. Plaintiffs wish to be clear about what this lawsuit is not about. It is not in any way an attempt to challenge Defendant JIMMY CARTER's right to write a book, or Defendant SIMON & SCHUSTER's right to publish a book which serves as a forum for Carter to put forward his virulently ant-Israeli bias or any other agenda he or his financial backers wish to put forward. Nor do Plaintiffs challenge his right to use falsehood, misrepresentations and omissions, misleading statements, or outright lies, all of which characterize this book, to further his agenda. Indeed, Plaintiffs fully recognize that, such an agenda from Defendant JIMMY CARTER should come as no surprise, given his well known bias against Israel and the interests of Israel's sworn enemies who have given millions of dollars to support the Carter Center and Defendant JIMMY CARTER's work.
6. Rather, Plaintiffs bring this action to challenge Defendants' actions in deceiving the public by promoting and selling this Book as a factually accurate account in all regards of the events its purports to depict, rather than truthfully and accurately promoting and selling it as the anti-Israel screed that it is, intentionally presenting untrue and inaccurate accounts of historically recorded events, as witnesses to and participants in such events pointedly have come forward to declare. This lawsuit challenges the Defendants actions in attempting to capitalize on Carter's status as a former President of the United States to mislead unsuspecting members of the reading public who thought they could trust their former President to tell the truth.
7. The Plaintiffs are members of the reading public who thought they could trust a former President of the United States and a well-established book publisher to tell the truth and who paid to get the truth from the Defendants, but were deceived when they learned that the Book is characterized instead by falsehoods, misrepresentations, misleading statements,omissions of material facts, and outright lies designed to mislead and misstate the facts concerning the important subject it purports to address and the underlying historical record.
The Complaint then proceeds to list specific instances of facts as portrayed in the book and seeks to refute those facts. A representative from Simon and Schuster, via the Washington Post, characterized the complaint as "a chilling attack on free speech that we intend to defend vigorously.”
North of the US Border, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the companion cases of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2011 SCC 2, and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v. Canada, 2011 SCC 3, which involve "the interrelationship of freedom of the press, the open court principle and the fair administration of justice." At issue in the Attorney General appeal was the constitutionality of rules prohibiting broadcasting recordings of hearings and on conducting interviews, filming and taking photographs in court; the other appeal involved a prohibition on broadcasting of a video recording tendered in evidence at trial. A good discussion of the cases is available from our colleagues at the Canada Supreme Court blog. In both cases, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the constitutionality of the banning of the press:
The right to freedom of expression is just as fundamental in our society as the open court principle. It fosters democratic discourse, truth finding and self‑fulfilment. Freedom of the press has always been an embodiment of freedom of expression. It is also the main vehicle for informing the public about court proceedings. In this sense, freedom of the press is essential to the open court principle. Nevertheless, it is sometimes necessary to harmonize the exercise of freedom of the press with the open court principle to ensure that the administration of justice is fair. . . . . this Court must determine whether certain rules are consistent with the delicate balance between this right, this principle and this objective, all of which are essential in a free and democratic society.
This balancing is familiar to US scholars as the First Amendment/ Sixth Amendment conflicts in landmark cases such as Sheppard v. Maxwell.
The continuing controversy surrounding Wikileaks tests commitment to freedom of the press in many nations. The Guardian of the UK, which has published much of the Wikileaks material, is an excellent source of updates and information. In a comment today, journalist Clay Shirkey notes the ways in which Wikileaks "freedom of the press" is a transnational phenomenon, not bound by specific national laws, and presumably constitutional norms. Both The Guardian and the New York Times have published books about the newspapers dealings with Wikileaks: The Guardian book is Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy, and is available as an ebook and forthcoming in paperback. The NYT book, Open Secrets: Wikileaks, War, and American Diplomacy, is available only as an ebook. The NYT Magazine published an adapted introduction to Open Secrets by journalist Bill Keller.
ConLawProfs teaching freedom of the press this semester should be able to use any - - - or all - - - of these situations to foster a great class discussion or a more focused class project.
February 4, 2011 in Books, Cases and Case Materials, Comparative Constitutionalism, Criminal Procedure, Current Affairs, First Amendment, Foreign Affairs, Fundamental Rights, International, Speech, State Secrets, Teaching Tips, Theory, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Shelley Evans-Marshall taught English and Creative Writing in high school, to ninth, eleventh and twelfth graders. She assigned Herman Hesse's Siddhartha. She assigned Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and to explore that book’s theme of government censorship, she developed an assignment based on the American Library Association's "banned books."
In its opinion the Sixth Circuit has rejected the teacher's First Amendment challenge. Applying Garcetti v. Ceballos, the court found that the teacher could not "overcome Garcetti": "When government employees speak “pursuant to their official duties,” Garcetti teaches that they are “not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes.”
The court emphasized how Garcetti controls rather than Pickering v. Board of Education:
When Pickering sent a letter to the local newspaper criticizing the school board, he said something that any citizen has a right to say, and he did it on his own time and in his own name, not on the school’s time or in its name. Yet when Evans-Marshall taught 9th grade English, she did something she was hired (and paid) to do, something she could not have done but for the Board’s decision to hire her as a public school teacher.
Opinion at 11. As for any "academic freedom" argument, the panel opined that such a concept is limited to universities and does not extend to high schools. Opinion at 16.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Erwin Chemerinsky released his new book, The Conservative Assault on the Constitution, late last month. It's a highly accessible, often first-hand account (through his own cases, his own advocacy) of how a rightward shift in the composition of the federal courts has changed the Constitution.
Among the topics Chemerinsky examines: school segregation; executive authority; religion clauses; rights of criminal defendants; and access to the courts.
Chemerinsky identifies separation of church and state as a key issue--one that happens to be in the headlines today, after Republican and Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell seemed to argue in her debate with Chris Coons that nothing in the First Amendment compels such separation. Here's part of what Chemerinsky has to say about it:
A major concern of the right wing is the separation of church and state. For decades, it was understood that the First Amendment's prohibition on the establishment of religion meant that there was a wall separating church and state, a wall that kept American governments secular. But conservatives, especially starting with the Reagan presidency, have sought to eliminate any such notion. They argue that the government should have broad latitude to aid religion andto include religion in government activities. With the arrival of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, there now appear to be five votes for radically changing the law in this area in a manner that conservatives have advocated for decades.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Charles Fried, former Solictor General and ConLawProf at Harvard Law
and his son, Gregory Fried, philosophy department, Suffolk University, have co-authored Because it is Wrong: Torture, Privacy and Presidential Power in the Age of Terror. The book promises both a legal and philosophical discussion of torture and survelliance. From the publisher's description:
Can torture ever be justified? When is eavesdropping acceptable? Should a kidnapper be waterboarded to reveal where his victim has been hidden? Ever since 9/11 there has been an intense debate about the government’s application of torture and the pervasive use of eavesdropping and data mining in order to thwart acts of terrorism. To create this seminal statement on torture and surveillance, Charles Fried and Gregory Fried have measured current controversies against the philosophies of Aristotle, Locke, Kant, and Machiavelli, and against the historic decisions, large and small, of Jefferson, Lincoln, and Pope Sixtus V, among many others. Because It Is Wrong not only discusses the behavior and justifications of Bush government officials but also examines more broadly what should be done when high officials have broken moral and legal norms in an attempt to protect us.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The Berkeley County Detention Center in South Carolina has an exceedingly limited book and magazine policy, according to a complaint which quotes detention center personnel as writing:
Our inmates are only allowed to receive soft back bibles in the mail directly from the publisher. They are not allowed to have magazines, newspapers, or any other type of books.
The detention centerhouses detainees for extended periods of time: with many being confined for more than sixty days, and some being confined for more than one year or two years. The jail has no library, and also restricts mail to letters and three non-Poloroid pictures. The Plaintiff, Prison Legal News, alleges the detention policies violate the First Amendment's Free Speech and Establishment Clauses, as well as the Due Process clause.
We recently discussed the September 2010 opinion Couch v. Jabe in which a federal judge declared unconstitutional the Virginia prison policy which excluded Ulysses and Lady Chatterly's Lover.
UPDATE: See comments for discussion of "postcard only" policies.
Monday, October 4, 2010
This first Monday in October, the start of a new term of the United States Supreme Court, reminds us of all the other cases the Court has decided, including the many which have achieved iconic status. A relatively recent case in the "iconic" genre is Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393 (2007).
After all, a pretty good band (based on the music on its website) has taken its name from the case:
Bong Hits for Jesus is an eclectic mix of genres coming together in an all-out party of rock, funk, reggae and more. The name is based on a Supreme Court Free Speech case, and the band stands for freedom of speech, self-expression, and generally having a good time.
Perhaps of more interest to most ConLawProfs is a new book by James C. Foster, Bong Hits for Jesus: A Perfect Constitutional Storm in Alaska’s Capital.
Professor Foster promises an exciting tour not only of First Amendment doctrine but of the "story" behind the case and the strategies and theories of litigation - - - a real benefit when one is teaching the case. Here's the TOC:
Prologue: A Tale of Three Wars and Zero Tolerance
1. Harmonic Convergence in Juneau: [In]famous for Fifteen Minutes
2. The Tentative Tinker Rule
3. From Black Arm Bands to Colliding Tubas
4. A New Century, a Different Court
5. The Ninth Circuit Weighs In
6. No-So-Brief Battles, Not Such Odd Bedfellows
7. “Up in Smoke at the High Court”
8. Five Takes on a Single Event
9. Lost Opportunities and Failure of Imagination
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The last week in September is the American Library Association's "Banned Books Week": "an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment," which "highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States."
A classic example of the situation "banned books week" is meant to address occurred earlier this month when a school board in Stockton, Missouri unanimously banned Sherman Alexie's National Book Award winning novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from the school curriculum. Lists of the most frequently banned books (which almost always include the legal classic To Kill a Mockingbird) are available here.
Less usually understood within the purview of "banned books" are prison policies, but federal district judge James Turk's opinion in Couch v. Jabe declaring the Virginia prison policy unconstitutional is certainly in the same spirit. Judge Turk quotes Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and mentions many other classics, concluding that the prison book policy is not reasonable but an "exaggerated response" to prison conditions.
The Alaska Library Association is concerned library patrons might be denied access to art books like "The World of Picasso" by Lael Tucker Wertenbaker or the sex education classic "Our Bodies, Ourselves" by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective. . . . . David Cheezem of Fireside Books wonders if works like "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, which contains sexual references, will have to be removed from his website.
More information on the Alaska challenge, including the complaint, is available here.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Much of the discussion seems to be lifted directly from
Breyer's new book, Making Our Democracy Work, released today.
An exception is a discussion about the recent threatened Quran burning.
TERRY GROSS: The Florida preacher who threatened to burn the Quran, some people said well, that's his free speech right and then, but what about the rights of Muslims who would be offended to the core, outraged by that act? As a Supreme Court justice, I wonder how you looked at - if you're willing to talk about it - how you looked at that event and if there's the possibility that burning a sacred text of any religion would be considered a hate crime. Like, how do you balance all of the rights and positions involved in a situation like that?
Justice BREYER: Well, I don't look at those things that - issues and so forth -that might come up in the future, because if they do come up in the future, I'll have the issue in front of me and it will be very, very well briefed. They'll be lots written about it and I'll be able to form a more intelligent opinion. I would say that where you're talking about the freedom of speech and something like this preacher or anything like that, I would keep two cases in mind.
One is years ago, Justice Holmes said you cannot shout fire in a crowded theater because that could kill people. Very well. That sets limits to the freedom of speech. But the court also said where an American flag is being burned in protest, that the Constitution protects that because it is a purely symbolic action which is being done, despite how much people hate it, to express a point of view. So, we probably, were we to have such a case, we'd have to have a law in front of us, see what it says, see what the actions are. But I've given you an outline, which sort of sets boundaries.
Breyer makes a good interview subject, speaking in an accessible manner. Students will especially enjoy the interview.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sonia Sotomayor is "honored to be working with the distinguished publishing house of Alfred A. Knopf on the publication of my memoir,” according to Knopf, which has announced the signing of a contract for the as-yet-untitled memoir.
There is also no publication date, but for those who are anxious to read about Sotomayor, a new biography Sonia Sotomayor: The True American Dream has just hit the bookstores. The biographer is Antonia Felix, who has also penned the biographies Condi:The Condoleezza Rice Story; Laura: America's First Lady, First Mother, as well as biographies of Andrea Bocelli, Harry Connick Jr.; and Wesley K. Clark.
Felix's approach is generally not a critical one. The Sotomayor biography is likewise flattering. Steve Weinberg, reviewing the book in the Kansas City Star begins by saying:
Based on the research of Kansas biographer Antonia Felix, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor should perhaps be canonized.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
This panel discussion (evening of July 8 in NYC) should be of interest to ConLawProfs whose work includes notions of participatory democracy.
The fantasy of participation is a powerful one, postulating, as it does, the invitation and inclusion of everyone, everywhere. The Internet, we are told, makes this dream a reality, erasing borders and distinctions, smoothing out differences and hierarchies. We are all equal now, because we believe everyone’s voice can be heard. Political theorist Jodi Dean calls this “communicative capitalism,” an ideological formation that fetishizes speech, opinion, and participation.
With participation now a dominant paradigm, structuring social interaction, art, activism, the architecture of the city, and the economy, we are all integrated into participatory structures whether we want to be or not. How are artists and activists navigating the participation paradigm, mapping the limits of collaboration, and modeling participatory forms of critical engagement?
More information here.
If you can't make the presentation, there are a host of other events during the exhibit and you could (should!) add Professor Dean's website and books (especially Democracy and other Neo-Liberal Fantasies) to your summer reading list.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
In a movie review for his elementary newspaper, The Beaverboard, the twelve year old future-Judge Cooney assessed the classic film To Kill a Mockingbird with these fateful words: "Though the picture is overall OK, it's also kind of boring in parts." Not very good writing, even for a twelve year old, but it is the political import of the sentiment that sounds the death knell for Judge Cooney's nomination to the United States Supreme Court. As a Senator - who also happens to be a sworn presidential enemy who aspires to the high bench himself - phrases it, he could "not in good conscience bring myself to vote for someone who might show up at the Court on the first Monday in October wearing not black judicial robes but the white uniform of the Ku Klux Klan."
This is the opening of Christopher Buckley's novel, Supreme Courtship, published in 2008 and more timely than ever.
So far, no movie or book reviews from SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan's elementary school days have surfaced, although her senior college thesis, To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933, is making the rounds, garnering comments (NYT here) and is available here.
However, for those looking for summer reading of the more creative - - - and humorous sort - - - a better bet would is Buckley's novel. After the fictional Judge Cooney and another highly qualified nominee are nixed, the highly unpopular president nominates an unconventional choice - - - an exceedingly popular television judge, Pepper Cartwright. She's confirmed. The Court she joins is more diverse than our own, an interesting touch. But there's romance, politics, and skullduggery and a fairly fast-paced plot. It's not great writing, and nothing is lost by listening to it in its rendition by Anne Heche. [MP3 audio clip here]
All in all, the novel is a romp, but it's satire that isn't so far off the mark.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
When we think of so-called "states' rights" or the Tenth Amendment, we think of the current 50 states, or perhaps if we are more historically-minded, we think of the past, including the "original" 13 colonies/states. But what about the "other" states, the almost-states?
Transylvania? Texlahoma? Deseret? South California? West Florida?
And even - - - Long Island?
An NPR story asserts: "It's been over half a century since Hawaii joined the United States and the 50th star was added to the flag. And — except for the occasional discussion of Puerto Rican statehood — there hasn't been much serious talk about expanding beyond 50. As for unserious talk, that has never been in short supply."
The focus is Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It by Michael J. Trinklein. The just-published book is advertised to delight history buffs, but it should also provide fodder for theorists of federalism and of the Tenth Amendment.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Jeff Shesol, author of Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade, just published Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court.
Shesol, a Clinton speechwriter, tells the story of FDR's court-packing plan "with a novelist's eye, a historian's care, and a blogger's energy" (quoting Jeffrey Toobin's dust-cover advance praise).
Friday, February 26, 2010
The review in the NYT notes that "unlike some other commentators, Gormley allows for the possibility that even the most rabid-seeming players might have acted out of honorable considerations." Based on an interview with the federal district judge hearing the original sexual harassment lawsuit, Gormley also reveals that she contemplated finding Clinton in criminal contempt, which would have ended Clinton's political career in a "nanosecond." Yet the tenor of the 800 page book, at least according to the NYT review, is that the Clinton impeachment was all so unnecessary (quoting Starr) and diversionary.
The political relevance of Gormley's book is obvious. But it also seems an essential sequel to Clinton v. Jones, in which the Court unanimously rejected Clinton's constitutional arguments to stay the trial until after his presidency had ended.
February 26, 2010 in Books, Cases and Case Materials, Executive Privilege, History, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Scholarship, Separation of Powers, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Bertha Wilson was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, sworn in on March 30, 1982, less than three weeks before the Charter of Rights and Freedoms became a centerpiece of Canadian Constitutional law. Wilson's career on the Court before she retired in 1991 would engage with many constitutional controversies in Canada.
Justice Bertha Wilson: One Woman's Difference is an important new anthology, edited by Professor Kim Brooks of the Faculty of Law at McGill University. Brooks' introduction to the volume is available on ssrn. The collection provides perspectives on Bertha Wilson's judicial career and explicit interrogations of the relevance of gender to the judiciary.
For Americans - - - the third woman on our United States Supreme Court having been appointed last summer - - - the Canadian experience provides a much richer data base for making arguments about gender on the Supreme Court. While Justice Bertha Wilson was appointed six months later than SCOTUS' first woman justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, the Supreme Court of Canada quickly surpassed SCOTUS in the number of women justices: Madame Justice Claire L'Heuerux-Dube was appointed in 1987, with woman justices appointed in 1989, 1999, 2002, and two in 2004. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada is now the Madame Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin and four of the nine justices are women. The ratio on Australia's High Court is similar.
Friday, January 15, 2010
The consensus seems to be that John Yoo bested Jon Stewart in Yoo's appearance on The Daily Show; even Stewart seemed to think so. As Christopher Beam says on Slate today, although Stewart may have apologized for not "nailing" Yoo: "Stewart was set up to fail. No matter what the question, Yoo was able to fall back on vagaries about constitutional interpretation, war and peace, and presidential power."
Beam contrasts the style of constitutional law professors (and lawyers) with comedians. Beam implicitly reveals the problem with assuming that Jon Stewart's The Daily Show - - - which is on the Comedy Central Network - - - is a substitute for serious news and commentary. Beam implies that Stewart's stock in trade is "damning witticisms." He states: "Stewart is effective when his opponent is making a foolish point, not when he has an unorthodox Constitutional interpretation. Which is why Stewart wasn't going to pin Yoo down."
Make your own judgment about the interview:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|John Yoo Pt. 1|
Yoo was on the show to promote his new book, Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush which he also did at a Federalist Society Luncheon today.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Rosen calls Biskupic's book "impressively balanced and well reported," which shouldn't be surprising to anyone who has read Biskupic's previous biography of Sandra Day O'Connor.
By letting Scalia describe himself in his own words, Biskupic offers a profile of a man who, at the age of 73, sometimes appears smug and self-satisfied — adjectives he has used to describe critics of using torture in the war on terror — but not especially self-aware. Scalia thinks of himself as a pleasant fellow, and Biskupic reports that he was dumbfounded when Jon Stewart, in response to a Daily Show guest who suggested that John Roberts was nicer than Scalia, replied, “Aren’t we all nicer than Scalia?”
The review is worth a read, and is persuasive that the book will likewise be worth a read.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
It is exam season for those of us in academia, whether we are in the northern hemisphere or southern.
A motivational carrot for me is listing books I'll read when the grading is finished. So, this review from NYT makes the new biography of Abigail Adams sound especially tempting; it begins:
Best known for reminding her husband, John, and his fellow revolutionaries in 1776 to “remember the ladies,” Abigail Adams made a far more rebellious statement 40 years later. At age 71, she wrote her will, ignoring the fact that the document had no legal standing whatsoever. Since husbands at that time controlled family property, she technically had nothing to bequeath.
I'll be reading it to think about Abigail's status as one of the "framers" and possible originalist arguments.