Living In Truth

As I was writing this column, a neighbor stopped her car to talk to my wife, who was pruning bushes in our front yard. The neighbor said “I am proud of you for putting up a Trump sign, it encourages me. But you should know that a lot of people in our neighborhood will have nothing to do with you from now on.” Every time I have driven through Oxford recently, a related thought has come to mind. I see Biden/Harris signs in front of every other house and not a single Trump sign. I know that there are Trump supporters in Oxford, but to avoid social ostracism, they conceal their preference. Recently a professor at Duke University, Timur Kuran, tweeted that “Preference falsification makes the 2020 election especially difficult to predict. It’s widespread among Republicans about Trump and in many groups about dealing with the police. Biden seems ahead but only some political undercurrents are working in his favor. Food for thought.” ... Read More

Thinking About Things: The Politicization of the American Judiciary

The death of a Supreme Court Justice has again brought forth uncabined forces of hypocrisy and bloviation. It is almost entertaining to see each side excoriating the other for doing precisely what they would be doing if the shoe were on the other foot. Yet beneath it all, there is a legitimate political reason for all of this hyperactivity: the American judiciary has become more powerful than many legislatures, and even a single judge with lifetime tenure and no political accountability can stop presidential action or legislative enactment in its tracks. This problem has been brewing for a long time and it will not go away for a long time. In a different context, I wrote about this back on March 3, just before The Great Lockdown began. The context then was a discussion about an extraordinary book by Jonathan Sumption, a retired British Supreme Court Judge: Trials of the State and the Decline of Politics. The context now is a vacant Supreme Court swing seat on the cusp of one of the most contentious presidential elections in American history. There are many depressing things to note about the current state of the American Judiciary and I will note but a few of them here. But there are also some relatively straightforward solutions to some of the problems and I will note them as well.... Read More