Category Archives: Politics

Earth Day, Dog Whistles, and Zero Sum Politics

The Supreme Court’s decision today in Schuette v. Bamn would seem to have little to do with Earth Day. The Court, in a fractured majority decision, upheld Michigan’s voter-enacted ban on race based affirmative action programs in state institutions, including … Continue reading

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Travels in America, Part One

I was on the Atlanta-Greensboro leg of a trip to Wake Forest University for a conference on Law and Violence.  The man seated next to me and I struck up a conversation, starting with the usual small talk. “What takes … Continue reading

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The Anthropocene: Everything and Nothing New

We have been kind of quiet here at brazenandtenured. Maybe it’s better that way. A friend of mine once disclosed that his goal as a professor was to write as little as possible as well as possible. Most of the … Continue reading

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The New Normal

So is this the New Normal?   The question gets asked about lots of things—Washington politics, the economy, terrorism, infrastructure, the financial markets.   And the question gets asked anxiously because as a normal—as a baseline—this new normal (whatever it may be) … Continue reading

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Notes in Support of the Liberal Arts Law School

Here are a few ideas for how law schools that are not in the top ten (or not in the fifteen that are in the top ten) might respond to the structural forces bearing down on legal education. For those … Continue reading

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Gun Culture, Part 2

The national spotlight is on Colorado, where Governor John Hickenlooper, a moderate democrat, has endorsed the idea of tightening gun control regulations. Hickenlooper and members of the democratically-controlled state legislature have indicated plans to introduce laws that would require universal … Continue reading

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The Great GOP Identity Search

In the wake of the great Republican defeat (and despite the distraction of the Petraeus Affair) pols and pundits continue to offer advice to the Republican Party as to how it might reform itself in order to…. well, do better … Continue reading

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We Built It (Part II–Factors of Production)

“We built it.”  So runs the mantra of the GOP.   To which there is only one possible response: Well, actually no you didn’t.   And let me explain why since it’s not addressed in my last post on this subject. … Continue reading

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Ryan’s Scariest Lie

I know sub-three hour marathoners, I am friends with sub-three hour marathoners, and I have run a sub-three hour marathon.  Paul Ryan, you are no sub-three hour marathoner. To many, Paul Ryan’s marathon lie is probably the most innocuous one … Continue reading

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Gun Culture

Whatever the Second Amendment means, the problem for our society is that we have internalized the notion not only that we have the right to own guns, but we all should actually own one.  The NRA’s political and legal successes have … Continue reading

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Tracking for Law Students: Solution or Abdication?

Professors, journalists, and, most saliently, students have raised national awareness about the steep rise in college and post-graduate tuitions over the last thirty years.  As someone who has a hard time remembering statistics, for me the easiest math on the … Continue reading

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Could the Gender Gap Save Affirmative Action?

Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas, Austin, arguing that UT’s admissions policies violate the Equal Protection Clause of the XIVth Amendment. Abigail Fisher is white. UT automatically accepts Texas residents who graduate in the top 10% of their high … Continue reading

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Santorum on Religion

On Sunday, Santorum gave what the NYtimes called a full-throated defense of religion in politics.   In particular, Santorum said that John F. Kennedy’s speech on separation of church of state made him want to “throw up.”  I quote: “To say … Continue reading

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If Satan is Coming, Should I Bother to Recycle?

Rick Santorum, in a speech at Ave Maria University in 2008, asserted that Satan had set his sites on America.  Santorum recently deflected questions about the speech by saying it was not relevant to his campaign.  But hold on.  If … Continue reading

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Santorum Rising

No, not that Santorum. Come on people. Senator Rick Santorum, who is taking his turn as the Not-Romney republican candidate du jour. If Santorum wins in Michigan, he may be more than just the Not-Romney of today; he could be … Continue reading

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The Monty Python Example No. 2 (With Special Reference to Constitutional Interpretation)

As suggested in a prior post, the British comedy troupe Monty Python is generally under-acknowledged for its jurisprudential insights.  Nonetheless, these are occasionally quite sharp.  Here, for instance, in the “The Argument Clinic:” we have a demonstration of a basic … Continue reading

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Gingrich Rising

Some days you just know it’s going to be a really good day:  The Sunday Times on the table.   Espresso frothing in the kitchen.  Sourdough pancakes on the griddle.   And Newt Gingrich winning in South Carolina… Could things … Continue reading

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Mitt Romney’s Product Placement

Legal education has its detractors, but most law schools would fare well when compared to Full Sail University, the for-profit school offering various degrees in the entertainment field. As reported in the New York Times, Full Sail U offers, among … Continue reading

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Indians and Jews in Italy

Playing Indian in Rome Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s iconic public spaces, was dressed down for Christmas.  The Piazza’s three renaissance era fountains, two designed by the incomparable sculptor Bernini, were overwhelmed by street vendors selling candy, t-shirts, fried dough … Continue reading

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The Iraq War is Over

It’s over.  And yet no one is talking about it much publicly. Perhaps it’s because it was never our war.   We were supposed to go shopping.   Remember?  It was Bush’s war.  And it was (like virtually all his lifetime … Continue reading

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Coase and “The Problem of Social Cost” (Again)

I don’t know if other academics experience this, but I find that, in scholarship, I am drawn to certain texts or problems over and over again for reasons that remain elusive.   And so here I am again, writing yet … Continue reading

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David Segal’s Paper Chase and Some Musings on Legal Education

Legal education has changed a lot since its depiction in The Paper Chase, in which the imposing Professor Kingsfield grilled James T. Hart into “thinking like a lawyer.” But you could be forgiven for thinking that all law professors stalk around … Continue reading

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Cain, Cows, the Economy and the Environment

Herman Cain unleashed an advertisement in Iowa, claiming that the EPA’s plans to regulate methane from cows and dust from farms would be the death knell for Iowa farmers.  Truth, or even truthiness, as Steven Colbert would say, do not … Continue reading

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The Economy versus the Environment? Not! (Or Why to Be Tigger Instead of Eeyore this Halloween)

Jobs versus the Environment.  It’s an old rhetorical battle that has recently acquired new life.  Here are some examples of its past.  In the 1970s and 80s, when the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed and initially enforced, … Continue reading

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Theoretical Unspecifiables (Theory Moves)

Theoretical Unspecifiable: [thee-uh-ret-i-kuhl un-spes-uh-fahy-uh-buhl] Noun Phrase In a theory or a mode of thought, an unspecified (and unspecifiable) term used to resolve gaps, contradictions, incommensurabilities and paradoxes.  A theoretical unspecifiable is conceptually nearly vacant (and inaccessible to theorization) but at the same … Continue reading

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