Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Re: Ball of Confusion


Something tickled the back of my brain about Charles Fried’s confusion of Kansas and Nebraska in that NYT op-ed of his.  Not only are they next door to each other, but they are famously associated in American history in one of our most infamous pieces of legislation.  So what was it that seemed so perfect about Fried’s confusion?  Then it hit me.  Of course.  I expect Charles Fried, had he lived in 1854, would have supported Sen. Stephen Douglas’s Kansas-Nebraska Act, opening the territories of those future states to the introduction of slavery.  After all, we wouldn’t want a “violent unsettling” of the nation’s accord on this controversial issue.  Would we?


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