All The Rage
July 16, 2007

It is not a virus. It is a plague. A few days ago, I posted in this space a note about some political science professor at the University of Minnesota who was eager to talk about Cindy Sheehan challenging Nancy Pelosi for her House seat. The announcement of this hot news came from the university itself, and it is apparently part of a rage whereby institutions of higher learning seek to prove to the "public" that teaching employees do, well, "public service." This morning I received an e-mail from the State University of New York at Albany.

Diversity In The Academy
July 12, 2007

By John McWhorter Since the Supreme Court last week decided against Seattle and Louisville, Kentucky's policies of assuring a certain degree of racial diversity in public schools, we have heard much about the undoing of Brown v. Board. However, I have a hard time mourning the decision, though the brute notion that we must ignore race to get beyond it is, surely, simplistic. Preliminarily, I think of the plethora of schools nationwide where all the students are brown and yet excellence is a norm.

The Future Supreme Court
July 12, 2007

By Richard Stern I enjoyed Cass Sunstein's recent speculations on the possible transition from the present conservative (rather than centrist) Roberts-led court to a liberal one of the sort over which Chief Justice Warren presided. My interest in court matter was ignited sixty-seven years ago when I read Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen's The Nine Old Men and wrote in my Hunter College Model School yearbook that I wanted to be a Supreme Court justice. The chief redeemers of that beknighted court, Brandeis and Cardoza, were Jews, as high as such people as I could go in that era.

What We've Missed About The Supreme Court
July 09, 2007

By Cass Sunstein According to conventional wisdom, the Supreme Court is equally divided between a conservative wing and a liberal one, with Justice Anthony Kennedy acting as the swing voter. But there is something extremely strange about this view of the current situation. By the standards of the recent past, the liberal wing isn't liberal at all. According to conventional wisdom, the Court has long been evenly balanced between left and right, and it has finally shifted a bit to the right under Chief Justice John Roberts. But there is something strange about this view as well.

On The Notion Of "crisis"
July 05, 2007

by Sanford Levinson A number of readers of my previous contribution to Open University have chastised me, some quite severely, for using the words "constitutional crisis" to describe the commutation by George W. Bush of I. Lewis ("Scotter") Libby. Part of me is tempted simply to plead guilty to engaging in a case of blogger's hyperbole and let it go at that.

Glasgow's Jack Bauer

In the aftermath of the thwarted attack on Glasgow airport, one man has emerged as the hero of the hour. Step forward baggage handler John Smeaton who, while enjoying a sly cigarete break, witnessed the attack and rallied to help the police take down the terrorists. You may well have seen him on CNN or Fox. A tribute become a phenomenon, attracting more than 500,000 page views. More than 1,000 people have each pledged money to buy a pint for Mr. Smeaton at the Glasgow Airport Holiday Inn.

In Today's Web Magazine

Sam Tanenhaus looks back at Whittaker Chambers, one of the founders of contemporary conservatism, who might not be so proud of George W. Bush; Benjamin Wittes says Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion in the Supreme Court's public school diversity plan case is one of the worst pieces of legal writing he has ever seen; Dennis Ross advises Tony Blair on what it will take to succeed as Middle East envoy; Suzanne Nossel argues that European foreign policy has become anti-Bush; and the Editors are excited by the prospect that the District of Columbia may finally get a vote in Congress.

In Today's Web Magazine

Michael Kinsley recalls the time Ronald Reagan invited him to lunch (or did he?); Cass R. Sunstein says the Supreme Court's rulings this week belie a fundamental disagreement between the conservative justices; Eve Fairbanks listens to House Energy Committee Chairman John Dingell rant and rave about environmentalists; and James Kirchick braves protestors and a would-be pipe bomber at Jerusalem's gay rights parade. --Alexander M. Belenky

What 'they' Call It
June 29, 2007

by Cass Sunstein In the midst of all the discussion of race-based pupil assignments and affirmative action, I've now received an Op-Ed from someone at the same institution as the person who sent me an Op-Ed on climate change. (Or was that a parody?) I print this one because it seems to me to capture some widespread views in the popular press and perhaps even to overlap, at least a little bit, with the Court's analysis yesterday. (Or is this a parody? What do you think?) "Reverse Discrimination" "They" call it affirmative action.

Photographing Israel
June 29, 2007

Just a while back, I commented in this space on an exhibition of Israeli photographs at the Jewish Museum in New York. I found its chosen subject matter so self-consciously focused on the Palestinians that it gave hardly a look at the Israel which lives an ordinary life beyond and aside from the conflict. Yes, Israelis are aware of the Palestinian predicament, and they are often rattled by Palestinian terror. Some Israelis also believe that great injustices have been done by their country to the Palestinians.