An empire of contributors…

by kris bishop on June 1, 2009

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FULL LIST OF EXCERPTS:

Languages of Politics in America, Jebediah Purdy, p. 13
“This political language [of recent presidential inaugural addresses] is remarkable for its remoteness from distinctly political questions, those about the purposes and limits of the unique power of the state.  How did we come so far from those?…We are living in the remnants of a collapsed rhetorical tradition.  Our intensely personal language of political community, composed in the absence of political vision, is what we have left.

Democracy and Prophecy, M. Cathleen Kaveny, p. 35
“In my view some forms of prophetic rhetoric are necessary, on some occasions, to the moral health of the American polity…At the same time, however, this kind of rhetoric is also dangerous to the bonds of civility that allow diverse groups to live peaceably together as one people.”

Ennobling Politics, Robin West, p. 86
“Of late, adjudicated constitutionalism’s increasingly isolated high-mindedness, its overwrought identitarianism, and its distorted sense of American exceptionalism, have conspired to make our Constitution look just a tad trashy.”

An Oresteia for Argentina: Between Fraternity and the Rule of Law, Martin Bohmer, p. 89
“Argentina’s own rendezvous with the empire of force can be described in the peculiar, already canonical language of post-Holocaust western thought as an event of radical evil.”

Moral Disagreement in a Culture of Certainty, Howard Lesnick, pp. 126, 146
“The unholy trinity of much public discourse today is liberalism, secularism, and relativism… However, it is not beyond hope to look toward a lessening of its intensity and hostility and a greater recognition of the compatibility between a proper continuing assertion of what one believes to be the Truth, and a genuine (yet bounded) receptivity to pluralism in the setting of social policy.”

The Resilience of Law, Joesph Vining, p. 167
“Work in law has even an element of the frightening in it, which must be handled in some way. Just as there is Biblical awe, dread, and fear, so too it can be positively frightening to think that what is necessary to authenticity of any kind at any level–and therefore necessary to authority and therefore to law–runs straight up to a transcendent dimension of the universe.”

Justice Jackson’s Republic and Ours, Barry Sullivan, p. 197
“Justice Jackson recognized both the complexity and the moral quality of adjudication. Judging is not accounting and it is not mechanical. It is creative in the best sense: human, personal, and engaged.”

Privacy’s End, Jed Rubenfeld, pp. 206, 213
“How fragile a thing, law. Constitutional principles that took root over centuries can wither and die in a few short years… Fourth Amendment norms became increasingly understood to replicate against state action the privacy norms that apply more generally throughout the private sphere.  So conceived, the Fourth Amendment loses any distinctive political valence — any specifically political meaning.  It is, precisely, privatized.”

Anti-Social Behavior Orders in the United Kingdom, A.W. Brian Simpson, p. 236
“Are we at the start of a new revolution, in which preventative control replaces regular trial and punishment? In the words of the ongoing “war against terror”–as it is ludicrously called, meaning non-state terror–there are calls for preventative detention, and to some extent it already exists. Is this all part of a pattern?”

Conscience and the Constitution, John T. Noonan Jr., pp. 239, 244
“How do conscience and the Constitution relate to each other? … No question of responsibility can be explored without recognition of the role of role.  Roles create and assign responsibility, create and limit power.  Stepping beyond his assigned role or robe, the judge becomes an ordinary citizen without responsibility for injustice before him and without power to effect a different result.  Does recognition of his role relieve his conscience?

Law as a Tool, H. Jefferson Powell, p. 262
“If it is true as Justice Jackson said–and I believe it is– that ‘men have discovered no technique for preserving free government except that the Executive be under the law, and that the law be made by parliamentary deliberations,’ the law cannot become a mere tool without the idea of free government becoming a bitter joke.”

Law, Economics, and Torture, James Boyd White, p. 279
“The spring from which all these evils flow, including our incapacity to resist them, is the fact that at some level we know that we in this country are running an empire–an external one as well as the internal one. And we know, I think rightly, that it is not possible to run an empire on the assumptions and aspirations of democracy under law.”

Click here for more info on Law and Democracy in the Empire of Force.

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