Two Points on Law, one on ScienceOn the legal side, I wanted to point out an article written by Orin Kerr (of Volokh Conspiracy fame) which I read last night. It begins:
You may have daydreamed about it: some forgotten constitutional provision, combined with an obscure statute, that together make it possible for people in the know to commit crimes with impunity. Whether you were looking for opportunities to commit crimes or afraid that somebody else was, the possibility of a constitutional “perfect crime” was too compelling to ignore. This Essay represents the fruits of my own daydreams, combined with the fact that lately I have spent my lucid moments mulling over one particular forgotten constitutional provision: the Sixth Amendment’s vicinage requirement.
In other news, recently I have been catching up on the numerous issues of The New Yorker which have been infesting my coffeetable. In the 28 March 2005 issue, there is an insightful article on Justice Antonin Scalia -- highlighting his adherance to the constitutional philosophy of originalism (while also pointing fingers at how originalism cannot act as a basis for civil rights rulings). Instead of portraying Scalia as a crazy heartless conservative, as I have often seen, Margaret Talbot introduces us to a person who holds views contrary to our own. (It reminds me of what I constantly tell the students I TA: Instead of criticizing scientists from the 17th century for being stupid and using God in their scientific arguments, we should flip things around and ask how can a person who is obviously intelligent purport these views?).
Perhaps not coincidentally, Scalia spoke to the public recently on his view of the constitution (you can watch the clip here on CSPAN). There was also a recent broadcasted debate over the use of International Law with Stephen Breyer.(He may be using his recent public appearances as a political maneuver for the Chief Justice position when Rehnquist retires -- or so Talbott conjectures.)
The last thing from the New Yorker I wanted to point out was the "Back Page" from the 21 March 2005 issue, bearing Albert Einstein. It's incredibly funny -- if you're a big dork like me.