A Stealth O'Connor or Souter After All?
bobsheridan at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 5 12:46:14 PDT 2005
I agree, in fact it's what I had in mind, that the ultimate
constitutional player is the person that constitutional law acts on, a
plain citizen, period, and further that it's easy to be mis-read when
list-serving, if that's a word. The earlier back-and-forth that called
a different commentator "arrogant" because he seemed to assume that
people who disagreed with him (or "drifted") had somehow lost sight of
the Truth, heightened my consciousness to possible meanings other than
the one written, perhaps unduly.
I do think it important to pay attention to people who've made a study
of a subject, but the subject we're dealing with happens to be fraught
with personal attitude, so that even acknowledged experts, such as
Supreme Court justices and nominees have to be looked at with the
question in mind, "Are we seeing law, here, or attitude (or both)?"
For a treatment of whether we're seeing law or attitude, see Stephen E.
Gottlieb's Chapter 14 "The Rehnquist Court, Radical Revision of American
Constitutional Law," in the 2005 "The United States Supreme Court,"
edited by Christopher Tomlins, Houghton Mifflin in cooperation with the
American Bar Foundation. It seems to me that he's maintaining that we're
seeing a lot of attitude made into law.
Prof. Paul Finkelman has an impressive chapter on the Taney court.
More consciousness raising.
Almost by definition, we can be a prickly bunch.
RJLipkin at aol.com wrote:
> Mr. Sheridan has misread my intention, doubtlessly due to a
> pure choice of words on my part. For me the ultimate constitutional
> player is a citizen, a citizen concerned about the Constitution and
> who becomes a federal judge. I'd be the last person to think it was
> possible, even if desirable, to designate some citizen's views as /a
> priori/ more worthy than other citizens. I'm not sure how Mr.
> Sheridan could interpret my admittedly poor choice of words in this
> manner given so many of my posts on other matters. But to clarify the
> situation, please permit me to rewrite the sentence in question to
> read "But I'd be at a loss to describe my method for using them, one
> that I think with only minor modification would be
> accepted by most concerned citizens."
> Robert Justin Lipkin
> Professor of Law
> Widener University School of Law
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