When I was still practicing law, I would occasionally serve clients who had once practiced law but had since moved on to other pursuits. These clients never failed to surprise me with a trait they displayed: to a man and woman, they no longer thought like lawyers. I’m not sure I can easily summarize what […]
I know it can scarcely be believed now, children, but there once was a time when the federal government actively intervened to protect workers by assuring they were adequately paid. A time when our leaders cooperated in international prosecutions of war criminals, rather than shaking their hands at summit meetings. Even – contain your incredulity! […]
California voters’ recent recall of Judge Aaron Persky has provoked a lot of distress among those worrying about judicial independence and the possible politicization of the judiciary. California voters are not often moved to remove their judges; the last successful popular judicial recall in California had occurred 80 years ago. Persky had, however, given a […]
Along with most of my friends and most of the people I respect, I rejoiced in the result of the Supreme Court’s recent Obergefell decision, establishing same-sex marriage as a constitutionally protected right. Yet I realized as soon as I heard of that result, and even before reading Justice Kennedy’s opinion, that there was a […]
E.M. Forster famously wrote: “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” I was reminded of that line watching Amy Herzog’s 2010 play After the Revolution, now in revival at Center Stage.
In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Daniel Hannan posits that America is indeed exceptional, and that what makes it so is its adherence to law.
Sen. John McCain recently expressed surprise that young people see Edward Snowden as a hero. It’s surprising he’s surprised. When, thanks almost exclusively to Snowden, we have learned of the existence of huge government programs that impinge drastically upon everyone’s privacy (in their Internet communications, their telephone calls, their mail and their own computers), and we see the price[...]
On Nov. 22, 1944, the United States Army hanged Privates Arthur Davis and Charles Jordan for the crime of rape. They were likely not guilty. But they were African American. What happened to them happened to many others, their real transgression being soldiering while black, in a racist army, in a racist part of France. Mary Louise Roberts, who teaches history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison[...]
Last time I focused on two lawyers named Thomas; this time, on lawyers Thurgood and Perry.
Last November, Maryland had a referendum on same-sex marriage. In the run-up to the election, the Catholic archbishop of Baltimore wrote a letter effectively ordering the faithful to vote against gays and lesbians marrying, and directed that it be read aloud in every pulpit. A friend of mine, from a venerable and distinguished Catholic family, was in church that Sunday with her two teen-aged daugh[...]
Those of us who have been urging disclosure of the legal reasoning behind the Administration’s drone killings policy have received nothing but vindication from the vital debate that ensued after the leakage last month of the Congressional Briefing, the so-called Department of Justice White Paper culled from Office of Legal Counsel memoranda. Even though this was surely but a sampling of the OLC [...]
And why am I under arrest? Herr K asks in Kafka’s The Trial. That’s something we’re not allowed to tell you, the plainclothes arresting officer responds. This surprises K: K was living in a free country, after all, everywhere was at peace, all laws were decent and were upheld.