Magazine November 15, 2010, Issue

The Race Exception

That originalism does not justify our civil-rights jurisprudence is no argument against originalism

Of our nation’s many accomplishments, its triumphs over slavery and Jim Crow have been two of the most important. Through a devastating war, followed by a century of legislative and judicial action, the U.S. put an end to two of its gravest sins. In modern discourse, these triumphs are rightly seen as unimpeachable. Anyone proposing a return to slavery, or celebrating racial segregation, would and should be drummed out of polite society.

This taboo, however, is overapplied. It protects not only the ends of America’s struggle against racism, but also its means. We assume that any measure we undertook to fight

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In This Issue



Politics & Policy

Red Scare

During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama’s most loyal and affectionate constituency was one that cannot legally vote in U.S. elections: foreigners. His campaign and subsequent election were celebrated in European, ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The Obama Vision

The charge by some conservatives that President Obama was and indeed still is a socialist has been met with disbelief or brushed aside as irrelevant by our liberal elites, most ...
Politics & Policy

Northern Light

In modern American liberal-arts colleges, the Scottish Enlightenment tends to get short shrift. Except in specialized courses focused on the intellectual history of the 18th century at the few institutions ...
The Straggler

Sad, Bad, Mad

Scowling out at me from my New York Post is Steven Hayes, recently convicted of an exceptionally vile crime in my neighbor state of Connecticut. With another man, not yet ...


The Week

The Week

Vice President Biden said, twice, that conservatives have spent $200 billion on political ads. He meant $200 million. Explains a lot about the last two years


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