Bench Memos


Gloves are off. That did not last long. He’s talking about the administration allegedly “sponsoring torture” and “spying on its citizens” and saying perhaps Pres. Bush has nominated Judge Alito because he’s a “cheerleader for an imperial presidency.” Plus the usual stuff about how he expects judges to be cheerleaders for “reproductive freedom.” Mischaracterizing Judge Alito’s record on race. Baldly misstating the facts. And he’s still has the chutzpah

– or something — to attack Judge Alito’s “ethics” for ruling in the Vanguard case, even though every reputable legal ethicist has dismissed this as bunk and the ABA conducted an ethical review of Judge Alito and gave him its highest rating.

Most Popular


White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More