All posts tagged: John Denvir

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 […]

China Has Big Plans for Your Future

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Democracy's Constitution / lawyers without borders

When I first visited China in the 1980’s, the tallest building in Shanghai was the fourteen story Peace Hotel; when I returned a few years later, there were over fifty skyscrapers over fifty stories. So China’s economic miracle is no  surprise to me.  But up till now, it has consisted mostly of  supplying low price goods to Western consumers at very competitive prices.  Now  China is planning to provide over a trillion dollars of  capital […]

What it Means to”Think Like a Lawyer”

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Heroes

I have always been puzzled by the venerable phrase “thinking like a lawyer.” What does it mean and should we take it as a  compliment or a put-down? I think the idea is  best captured by a metaphor trial lawyers sometimes  use to describe the craft of a colleague they especially admire or an adversary they fear — he or she can “see out the front.”  It means the ability to look over a complex […]