Author & Speaker

Archive for May 2008

The Silliness Sets In

I’m going to do in one post the “bottom 90” of Professor Robert Blomquist’s “100 Most Creative Moments in American Law” (having dealt with the top 10 in the last two posts). I still applaud the professor’s enterprise: it’s a provocative activity, and a useful one. With the bottom 90, though, things get a bit…

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The Second Five: Creating American Law

I’m still chewing over Professor Robert Blomquist’s fascinating paper, Thinking About Law and Creativity: On the 100 Most Creative Moments in American Law. Approaching his Moments 6 through 10, I begin to have more bones to pick with the rankings. 6. Marbury v. Madison: No argument here. Chief Justice John Marshall’s classic passive/aggressive decision stands…

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Top 100 Creative Moments in American Law!

A professor at Valparaiso Law School, Robert Blomquist, has produced a fascinating list of the 100 most creative moments in American law. To compile the survey, he solicited submissions from over 400 teachers of American legal history. It is a fascinating effort, and one sure to provoke barroom arguments — or perhaps wine bar arguments…

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Making the Most of May

Slightly late, I am struck by the coincidence of anniversaries in the month of May which play a central role in my two books. For The Summer of 1787, May 14 was the date when the Constitutional Convention was supposed to convene. But only two state delegations were present in Philadelphia on May 14, Virginia…

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The Myth of Voter Fraud

The Supreme Court recently ruled that it’s okay for states to require voters to show official identification papers before they are allowed to vote. The case, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, came from Indiana. Some predict now that the voter identification requirements will spread like wildfire and become more restrictive. Full disclosure: I helped…

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The Groaning Bookshelf

After a few years in the Writing Game, people start to send you books as they come out, which is mostly good. Sometimes, though, the pile begins to overwhelm. I am in such a period right now. To motivate myself to get under way on these, I offer a quick spin through the goodies brought…

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Debut on You Tube!

The American Constitution Society posted some excerpts from my appearance with them a week or so ago. Next time I’ll sit up straighter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMkDuNJt01I

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They Carry Too Much Weight?

So, I was reading the memoir of Benjamin Perry at the Library of Congress today. Who? He was the first post-Civil War governor of South Carolina, appointed by President Andrew Johnson in the summer of 1865. According to Perry, Johnson explained that he picked Perry because he was from the part of South Carolina (the…

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Understanding George Washington

I just finished Joseph Ellis’ His Excellency, George Washington, a book I had dipped in and out of for research purposes without reading cover to cover. It is a worthy effort but one that seemed not as good as some of Ellis’ other excellent books (Founding Brothers, American Sphinx). Some of the problem, I think,…

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