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

Cleon, Trump, and the Goodness of Demagoguery: An Exchange

There are times that the exchanges in the comments section are sufficiently interesting as to become worthy of their own post. I thought this exchange is one of those. The exchange is between Fred Baumann, who wrote this essay for us previously, and Bernard Dobski about Dobski’s essay. It’s unfortunate that more of our intellectual debates don’t have this character: Baumann: “In view of the fact that Trump, in my view at least, attempted usurpation of power through the Eastman memo and the pressure on the Vice President not to register the legally certified results of a national election, associating … Continue reading Cleon, Trump, and the Goodness of Demagoguery: An Exchange

Dobbs, Civic Education, and Judicial Supremacy

The Dobbs decision has divided our nation–perhaps even more than it was already divided. The pro-lifers have celebrated the decision, while the pro-choicers have bitterly denounced it. Many pro-lifers have celebrated a decision that they think has made abortion illegal nationwide; pro-choicers denounce it for the same reason. But the decision hasn’t actually affected the nation, as a whole. Instead, the Supreme Court majority has reversed Roe by returning the decision about the legality of abortion to the states, where, as the dissenters in Roe itself argued, it always belonged. The question in Dobbs is not whether legalizing abortion is … Continue reading Dobbs, Civic Education, and Judicial Supremacy

Lara Logan’s Brain Disease and the Discrediting of All Opposition

I don’t watch all that much television news and I stay even further away from the 24-hour News Stations like Fox and MSNBC, so I didn’t really know who Lara Logan is. This article, by Jeremy Peters, about Lara Logan did recently cross my Twitter feed. Peters chronicles Logan’s “fall from grace.” Once the up-and-coming Mike Wallace or Dan Rather, she now associates herself with Fox News and with far right causes like the denial of the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Although I have strong objections to the election denials and other right-wing causes Logan has associated herself with, … Continue reading Lara Logan’s Brain Disease and the Discrediting of All Opposition

The Abortion Decision and Civic Literacy

I had the purely coincidental experience of teaching today both Roe and Casey in my Constitutional Experience course required of all Baylor students, so there are 250 of them in my class. That in combination with my browsing of Twitter (I’m on it too much now) convinces me that this decision illustrates well that we have a profound civic literacy problem. Many on Twitter and many in my class (apparently I haven’t taught them well) seemed to think that the decision would mean the immediate stoppage of all abortions nationwide. Some on Twitter worried that this decision would have an … Continue reading The Abortion Decision and Civic Literacy

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

The District Court’s Nationwide Injunction Against Mask Mandates

In a far reaching decision, a District Court in Florida ruled today that President Biden did not have the statutory authority to issue his mask mandate for all travelers nationwide. In doing so, the Court claimed that its ruling had to include an immediate injunction against the nationwide enforcement of the mandate. In other words, its ruling does not just apply to the specific case arising between these plaintiffs who object to the mandate and the government that seeks to enforce it. As the reasoning in the case itself shows, it would have been conceivable for the District Court to … Continue reading The District Court’s Nationwide Injunction Against Mask Mandates

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