Philadelphia

Mies and the Mastodon
August 06, 2001

Coming to grips with the master architect's politics.

Still His Party
August 07, 2000

The quest to venerate Ronald Reagan began ignominiously. In the early '90s, conservatives set out to convey Reagan's greatness to future generations by constructing a gleaming new government building in downtown Washington, D.C. But plans for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center went comically wrong. Construction ran hundreds of millions of dollars and several years over budget, and, once completed in 1998, the building was so manifestly useless that federal agencies had to be coaxed to move into it.

Warming Up
November 08, 1999

Gregg Easterbrook: The real way we know the earth is warming.

Second Thoughts
July 12, 1999

So what does the Second Amendment mean? A lot, says the National Rifle Association. Not much, say gun-control groups. Until recently, it didn't much matter who was right--on all but the mildest of measures, the NRA had the votes (and the cash), and that was that. Then came Littleton. Now proposals for serious federal gun controls are in the air. Thus far, the House and Senate have failed to agree on any specific gun measures, and whatever Congress ultimately decides in conference promises to be modest at best, targeting only gun shows and youngsters.

Second Thoughts
July 12, 1999

Akhil Reed Amar examines what the right to bear arms really means.

Dual Sovereigns
July 28, 1997

Since the Progressive era, this magazine has argued for judicial restraint as part of a broader argument for liberal nationalism. Judges should defer to the prerogatives of Congress and the president, the argument goes, so that popular sovereignty can serve as the engine of national unity.

Zoned Out
March 31, 1997

Spring fever is in the air at the Supreme Court as the justices prepare to hear arguments about the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act on March 19. To familiarize themselves with the technological obstacles to finding pornography in cyberspace, some law clerks have obtained lists of especially salacious addresses on the World Wide Web and diligently browsed at their leisure.

The Bloods and the Crits
December 09, 1996

During the past decade, an academic movement called critical race theory has gained increasing currency in the legal academy. Rejecting the achievements of the civil rights movement of the 1960s as epiphenomenal, critical race scholars argue that the dismantling of the apparatus of formal segregation failed to purge American society of its endemic racism, or to improve the social status of African Americans in discernible or lasting ways. The claim that these scholars make is not only political; it is also epistemological.

The end of obscenity
July 15, 1996

On June 11, three judges in Philadelphia struck down parts of the Communications Decency Act. The decision, ACLU v. Reno, is being justly celebrated as the New York Times v. Sullivan of cyberspace, an occasion for dancing in the chat rooms. The three judges understood how the old First Amendment battles are being overtaken by new technologies; and in an endearingly self-dramatizing touch, they had their separate opinions distributed on floppy disks.

The Air Around Tom Paine
April 24, 1995

Thomas Paine: Collected Writings edited by Eric Foner (The Library of America, 906 pp., $35) Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom by Jack Fruchtman Jr. (Four Walls Eight Windows, 557 pp., $30) Thomas Paine: A Political Life by John Keane (Little, Brown, 644 pp., $27.95) I. Every twenty-ninth of January, Thomas Paine's admirers assemble at his old farm in New Rochelle, New York, to celebrate his birthday and to lay a wreath on his monument.

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