Bench Memos

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Kmiec and George Square Off


Some readers of this space may know about an exchange last month between Prof. Douglas Kmiec of Pepperdine (an Obama supporter) and Prof. Robert George of Princeton (an Obama critic), brokered by Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News, over the legal ramifications of the president’s executive order on the funding of embryonic stem cell research.  If you missed it, links are collected here at

That exchange ended with the open possibility of a face-to-face debate between George and Kmiec.  In the meantime, and preparatory to such a debate, Kmiec has posed a dozen questions to George, and George has provided his answers.  This latest exchange (again you can find links at ranges over subjects such as what science knows about when life begins, and what science, law, religion, and morality have to say to us about our obligations to respect human life.  It all makes you wish that the Supreme Court had thought this carefully about such matters when it was adjudicating Roe v. Wade.


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