Author: denvirj

Affirmative Action for White Kids?

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Democracy's Constitution / Repairing The Systen / The Supremes

A recent lawsuit against Harvard College alleges that its admissions procedures covertly discriminate against Asian-American candidates.  This lawsuit has national importance because the admission procedures at Harvard are very much like those used at other elite schools.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/us/harvard-trial-college-admissions.html?ref=oembed Discovery in  the case has revealed that there is more than one path to admission to Harvard College. There is the official  procedure that looks at a whole raft of factors (including race) in  judging candidates in […]

#Things Could Be Better

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Book/film List / Democracy's Constitution / Repairing the System

 Laurentiu Ginghina  works as a mid-level official in a local government housing office in Vaslui, Romania.  But to me, Laurentiu is much more than a bureaucrat– he’s  a prophet who shows us a new way to see the world. He is also the subject of the  clever new documentary  Infinite Football http://grasshopperfilm.com/film/infinite-football/ . Ginghina had played amateur soccer as a boy, but then a serious injury forced him to give up the game.  But rather than  […]

A Quiet Hero

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Heroes / Repairing the System

Dr. W. Melvin Brown is a Navy veteran who now practices medicine in his hometown, Charleston, South Carolina.  He is also an African-American, a fact that caused him to be a subject of controversy last month when some white friends urged him to apply for membership in the prestigious Charleston Rifle Club. Brown was literally “black-balled.”  In the election meeting  members place either a white or a black marble in a box assigned to the […]

Constitutional Math

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

ADDENDUM 12/11/18 — Several readers responded to this post by saying they thought it would be best if Chief Justice changed his votes, but didn’t speak publicly about his reason for doing so.  It appears that he is doing just that — aided by, of all people, Brett Kavanaugh.  See this NYT story. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/us/politics/planned-parenthood-supreme-court.html In a recent post I called for Chief Justice John Roberts to act.  I felt that the politicization of the Supreme […]

Saving the Supremes

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Democracy's Constitution / The Supremes

I was recently complaining to a friend about the Republican party’s successful efforts to politicize the Supreme Court, efforts culminating in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.  The “Federalist Five”– Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh– are expected to provide  a right wing majority for the foreseeable future. My friend surprised me by noting  that my criticisms sounded like  “sour grapes;” he wondered if I would be equally outraged if the Democrats had been clever enough […]

On the Road to Homeless

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Repairing the System / Untitled

  The true power of  Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning study of poverty in Milwaukee, comes from the individual stories it tells.  Arleen’s story is a good example. When we first meet Arleen (pseudonym) and her sons, Jori and Jafaris, they are moving into a new  apartment in Milwaukee’s inner city.  Arleen is busy  rearranging furniture and stacking  dishes next to her nice porcelain plates.  It’s a new […]

My Favorites

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Untitled

This month marks the 4th Anniversary of GuileisGood.com.   I have decided to celebrate this event by creating a new “page”  on  the blog–“My Favorites”. Its primary purpose is to provide new readers some sense of my interests and prejudices, but I hope long time readers might also enjoying taking a look.   Here are my personal favorite posts: 1.”What It Means to Think Like a Lawyer”  (1/04/2018) https://guileisgood.com/2018/01/05/is-it-good-to-think-like-a-lawyer/ 2. “What It Takes to be a Good Lawyer” (10/15/2014) https://guileisgood.com/2014/10/15/erin-brockovich-what-it-takes-to-be-a-good-lawyer/ […]

Contrition is Good for the Soul

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Guile is Not Always Good / Repairing the System

The cynical art of the “fauxpology” has entered the sacred precincts of the law.   Highly respected Judge Alex Kozinski of the prestigious Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was accused late last year by several former female clerks and interns of improper behavior that included unwanted touching and fondling.  Kozinski at first denied the allegations, but soon resigned his judgeship and issued this “apology”: “It grieves me to learn that I have caused any of my […]

How a Court Stops Being Supreme

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

The short answer is that the Supreme Court stops being  supreme when it allows a political party to dictate the substance of its judges’ decisions. Let me explain. A good place to begin might be 1990  when George Bush Senior appointed David Souter to the Court. Souter, a New Hampshire Republican, had served as a New Hampshire  supreme court justice before being appointed. Although he had a long judicial record, Souter had ruled on few […]

Guiled!

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The Sjupremes

Why did 81-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy, known best for his decisions protecting gay and abortion  rights,  choose to retire at the time that best enables Donald Trump to appoint a right wing successor who will most likely vote to reverse those decisions?  Adam Liptak and Maggie Haberman  of the New York Times give us the answer.  Trump  “guiled” him. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/28/us/politics/trump-anthony-kennedy-retirement.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news Liiptak and Haberman outline a  “flattery” campaign aimed at convincing Kennedy his legacy would be […]