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Bench Memos

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Justice Kennedy’s Reading List



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Justice Kennedy recently developed and distributed his own list of selected readings for young people, pompously titled “Understanding Freedom’s Heritage: How to Keep and Defend Liberty.” Without peeking, see if you can guess which of the following is not on his list:

Pericles, Funeral Oration (431 B.C.)

Magna Carta (Articles 39 and 40) (1215)

William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice (Portia’s speech) (1596-98)

Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence (1776)

Preamble, The Constitution of the United States (1787)

Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address (1863)

Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address (1865)

Winston Churchill, We Shall Fight on the Beaches (1940)

Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream (1963)

Lawrence v. Texas (2003)


Well, I’m told that it’s temporarily very complicated to hide things below the fold, so I have to provide the answer here: Yes, I tricked you. All of them are on the list. The foolish prating knave (to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare) has had the gall to place his opinion in Lawrence v. Texas in the company of these greats.



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