A Trump Inventory

Donald Trump’s outrageous misdeeds are so numerous that one tends to lose track of them. Part of his effectiveness as a demagogue stems from the normalization of these deeds and words — a process assisted by the prodigiousness of his malfeasance. So it is useful to occasionally remind ourselves of many of the low points of the Trump era. Jeffrey Isaac does that well in his recent piece here, at The Bulwark. Continue reading A Trump Inventory

Problem Judge

Following up on Ben’s post on the Florida District Judge ruling against the national mask mandate for public transportation, here is an illuminating analysis of her decision. This judge, nominated by Donald Trump, was confirmed after after President Biden was elected but before Biden was inaugurated. The ABA had deemed her “not qualified” for the federal bench. Although she held a number of clerkships, including one for Justice Clarence Thomas, she had never tried a civil or criminal case. She was 33 years old when confirmed. She now holds a lifetime appointment. Continue reading Problem Judge

Upcoming Event

An event of interest to readers of The Constitutionalist. h/t Jeremy Fortier On March 30th CCNY will host a forum over Zoom to discuss Danielle Allen’s contributions to scholarship and public life. Speakers are Ryan Balot, Susan McWilliams Barndt, Jamelle Bouie, Simone Chambers, Roosevelt Montás, and Deva Woodly.  Details and registration information are available at this link, in the event that it’s of interest: As the list of speakers hopefully indicates, the objective of the forum could be expressed by The Constitutionalist’s stated aim of “Using expertise in political philosophy, American political development, public law, and political culture and literature… to foster conversation … Continue reading Upcoming Event

Voting Rights or Bust!

The New York Times reports: “In an embarrassing setback for Mr. Biden, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, stunned her colleagues just hours before the president was slated to make his case to them in person at the Capitol by taking the Senate floor to declare that she would not support undermining the filibuster to pass legislation under any circumstances.” Senator Sinema disappointed colleagues and citizens who had hoped for progress on passing legislation to protect voting rights. But Sinema “was cheered by Republicans who credited her with nothing less than protecting the Senate.” Why has President Biden and Senate … Continue reading Voting Rights or Bust!

More on January 6

After his superb speech, President Biden was asked questions by reporters in the hallway of the Capitol. Some had questions born of Ben Kleinerman’s perspective. Ben praised the end of the speech where Biden called for unity and healing. A reporter asked whether that was inconsistent with the bulk of the speech. How can you ask people to heal and unify after you had skewered the former President? Biden’s response was that before one can heal one has to face up to the wound. The January 6 investigation in Congress, the Vice President’s speech, the President’s speech, the Attorney General’s … Continue reading More on January 6

Political Exhaustion

Recommended reading today is at The Bulwark, where Charlie Sykes has a nice piece on political exhaustion. He ably describes the state of being of many of us, and many citizens generally, who are attentive to the news. The Orwellian aspects of Trump-ism, combined with frustrations born of the seemingly endless pandemic, fuse to dishearten and disable public spirited people. Sykes identifies political exhaustion as not just our present condition but a phenomenon that needs to be understood and contended with along with more familiar political and constitutional categories, such as authoritarianism, patriotism, nationalism, white supremacy, fascism, etc. Sykes concludes … Continue reading Political Exhaustion

Not Right, Adam White

I know Adam White, admire some of his work, and like him personally. So I was very surprised to see his statement against reforms of the Supreme Court contained in a Report that had been submitted to the White House and released to the public. The Commission’s Report was approved unanimously by the Commission and released by the White House. The Report does not advocate positions but instead attempts to fairly present the array of views on each side of the reform issues and proposals. Some citizens have criticized the Report and the White House for avoiding hard political choices. … Continue reading Not Right, Adam White