On the first day of the new term, the Supreme Court revisited the question that undid Lani Guinier: How much racial gerrymandering does the Constitution permit, and the Voting Rights Act require? In her opaque majority opinion in Shaw v. Reno last June, Sandra Day O'Connor flirted with, and then retreated from, the argument that the Constitution always forbids states from carving out black and Hispanic electoral districts, even as a remedy for past discrimination.
A few days alter the president nominated her to the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg received a fax from a member of the Rotary Club in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Ross Perot lives on Strait Lane in a world of his own. On the most exclusive street of millionaires in North Dallas, he has surrounded himself with alarms and sensors, fences and security guards. He has frequently deployed private investigators to uncover personally discrediting material about competitors. Those determined to humiliate and destroy him, he has explained, publicly and privately, include terrorists, drug lords, the CIA, and a criminal cabal of high officials in the Reagan and Bush administrations in which the president of the United States is complicit.
In 1968 a documentary producer at CBS News had the idea of creating a television show that would resemble Life magazine. The result was “60 Minutes,” the most popular TV news program in history. Its success transformed the television magazine from a conceit into a familiar journalistic form. Today these “magazines” include, in addition to “60 Minutes,” “20/20” on ABC, “1986” on NBC, and “West 57th,” a sort of yuppie cousin to “60 Minutes,” on CBS.
There was always a special patriotism to the speeches of Martin Luther King. No other American orator could bring audiences to their feet by reciting three full stanzas of "My Country, Tis of Thee." From there he often soared across the American landscape in perorations calling on freedom to ring "from the granite peaks of New Hampshire . . . from the mighty Alleghenies of Pennsylvania . . . from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado . . . from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee! Let it ring . . .
Back in 1931, a magazine called Contempo appeared in Chapel Hill, N.C. By 1934, it had disappeared, but during its brief life it baited the literary establishmentwith Conrad Aiken, Faulkner, Kay Boyle, Pound, Wallace Stevens and D. H. Lawrence. Recently, through the offices of the Kraus Reprint Corporation, a company that specializes in out-of-print periodical publishing, Contempo achieved a belated karma, along with 26 other experimental magazines that include The Dial, Laughing Horse, Little Review and Pagany.
The Supreme Court during its present session has the opportunity to strike its mightiest blow against racial prejudice. The nine justices must decide whether segregation of Negro and white pupils in the public schools violates the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment.