Category Uncategorized

The Ratings Are Through the Roof!

Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone. “But which is the stone that supports the bridge?” Kublai Khan asks. “The bridge is not supported by one stone or another,” Marco answers, “but by the line of the arch that they form.” Kublai Khan remains silent, reflecting. Then he adds: “Why do you speak to […]

Imagine A Boot Stamping On A Human Face, Occasionally

George Orwell once pointed out that fascism, in contemporary usage, no longer held any meaning beyond “thing I do not like.” He published that essay in 1944. Matters have not improved much since. To clarify for the record: Fascism was a European movement of the 1920s and 1930s, particularly in Italy, in part in Spain. […]

The Privilege or Immunities Clause, Originalism, and Gender Equality

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States . . . . U.S. Const., amend. XIV In 1873, in The Slaughter-House Cases and Bradwell v. Illinois, the Supreme Court took a sledgehammer to the idea that the Privileges or Immunities Clause of […]

“I Was So Much Older Then, I’m Younger Than That Now”

“Law is but the means, justice is the end.”[i] This is Georgetown Law’s motto. Consider also, however, this statement from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I hate justice . . . I know if a man begins to talk about that, for one reason or another he is shirking thinking in legal terms.”[ii] I’d like to […]

Federalism 2: The Revenge

In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Among its various initiatives, it provided for the creation of a national background check system by which to screen prospective gun purchasers. This created a dilemma, however: the United States is a mess of separate and overlapping jurisdictions, and most crime is dealt with at […]

Leftist Fundamentalism

There are liberals, and then there are leftists. Liberals, as the name suggests, are open-minded, willing to engage with ideas they might not agree with, appreciative of authentic pluralism, and capable of co-existence alongside individuals with whom they may not necessarily be ideologically, religiously, or morally aligned. Leftists, on the other hand, are rigid ideologues […]

Missing the Mark on Originalism (and Gorsuch)

I do not know David Rudenstine. According to the small biographical blurb appearing at the end of a National Law Journal article appearing yesterday, he is a professor of law at Cardozo. I am sure he is a good professor, well liked by peers and students alike. However, he evidently does not know much about […]

Dust to Dust – Ash Wednesday

“[Y]ou are dust, and to dust you shall return.” -Genesis 3:19 “We are made of starstuff.” -Carl Sagan **************************** As Reinhold Niebuhr once quipped, “the doctrine of original sin is the only empirically verifiable doctrine of the Christian faith.” It’s hard to go a day without being reminded of this truth. And it’s inescapable – […]

The Dangers of Democracy: Human Rights and Majoritarianism

Introduction Last week, on December 15, we celebrated the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. While many Americans find good reason to celebrate the first ten amendments to the Constitution, not as many pause to appreciate that it is the amendments’ anti-democratic character that makes them so effective. Democracy, after all, […]

The Nation Founder on the Decline of Liberalism

The Eclipse of Liberalism (1900)   by Edwin L. Godkin (1831-1902) As the nineteenth century draws to its close it is impossible not to contrast the political ideals now dominant with those of the preceding era. It was the rights of man which engaged the attention of the political thinkers of the eighteenth century. The […]