Sunlight as a Disinfectant: Justice Louis Brandeis

August 11, 2019

Sunlight as a Disinfectant: Justice Louis Brandeis


Louis Brandeis

Justice Louis Brandeis served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1916 until 1939. He was America’s great lawyer before he joined the Court and, always, a great writer. In Other People’s Money – and How Banker’s Use It (1914), he observed:

Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.

Our nation suffers from a social disease which has plagued us for its entire existence: racism. Wait. What? When we elected Barack Obama we got a post-racial America. Shangri-La. Right? Uh, not so much, for Mr. Obama handed over the keys

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Defrauding Voters and Campaign Finance Law Violations

December 9, 2018

Defrauding Voters and Campaign Finance Law Violations

campaign finance laws
President Donald Trump

Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos wrote Prosecutors Effectively Accuse Trump of Defrauding Voters. What Does It Mean? for the New York Times. By doing so, they helped me better understand why campaign finance law violations, as opposed “real crimes,” leave us so deeply dissatisfied. And how did they accomplish this task? By using the word fraud! (Truth be told, the Baker / Fandos piece wanders into deep rough, which happens too often when writers describe this disaster.)

Let me dispense, first, with some nonsense, brought to us by Senator Rand Paul (R – Ky.). Senator Paul tells us “incredibly complicated” campaign finance laws involve “thousands and thousands” of

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Ideological Purity is an Indulgence – Part 2

March 19, 2016

Warren Burger (Earl Warren). Harry Blackmun (Abe Fortas). Lewis Powell (Hugo Black). William Rehnquist (John Harlan; Warren Burger). John Paul Stevens (William O. Douglas). Sandra Day O’Connor (Potter Stewart). Antonin Scalia (William Rehnquist). Anthony Kennedy (Lewis Powell). David Souter (William Brennan). Clarence Thomas (Thurgood Marshall). John Roberts (William Rehnquist). Samuel Alito (Sandra Day O’Connor). These are the Nixon/Ford, Reagan, and Bushes, père et fils, justices, along with those whom they replaced.

Justice John Paul Stevens got almost everything right during his 30+ years at the Court. Others—Justices Harry Blackmun and Sandra Day O’Connor—are responsible for much that is good. Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts have also had their important and worthy moments. Nonetheless, this group of

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Ideological Purity is an Indulgence – Part 1

March 12, 2016

Call me old, but ideological purity in presidential elections is an indulgence we cannot afford. 33% of Sanders Supporters Will Not Vote for Clinton If She Wins Nomination prompted this piece, although concerns about ideolical purity have worried me for many years.

I know many people do not like Hillary Clinton … and then there are those who hate her. Friends who know her well tell me she’s charming, fun, brilliant, etc. Alas, her winning side is not always evident.

Now I suspect Secretary Clinton will win the Democratic Party nomination. I also believe Senator Bernie Sanders (S-Vt.) will support her with vigor, and that many Sanders supporters will come around. But I worry about that last part,

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