Gregory J. Sullivan

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Guns Incorporated?

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review McDonald v. City of Chicago, a case that presents the watershed issue of whether the individual right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, established in 2008 in District of Columbia

Government by Judiciary
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Government by Judiciary

The two most prominent newspaper journalists covering the U.S. Supreme Court have written biographies of two of the most prominent justices of our time.  Predictably, Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times, who has written Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry

Habemus Papam
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Habemus Papam

In response to the badgering of reporters during the interregnum about whether the new pope would be a liberal or a conservative, Justin Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia responded that the next pope will be Catholic.  With the election of Joseph

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Solomons and Caesars

Karen Finley is a “performance artist.” Her performances are succinctly described by Judge Robert Bork in his new book Slouching Towards Gomorrah: “Before an audience, [Finley] would strip to the waist, smear her body with chocolate (to represent excrement) and

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Our Platonic Guardians

In 1986, Justice William Brennan delivered an address in which he called for “state courts to step into the breach” left by what he discerned as a federal contraction of rights and remedies. In other words, those who wish to

Parochial Formalism
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Parochial Formalism

Justice Hugo Black remains something of an anomaly in the history of the Supreme Court. A textualist who was contemptuous of the arbitrary mysticism of substantive due process, he nevertheless advocated the most extreme position on the issue of incorporating

Five Votes
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Five Votes

“Much law, but little justice.”
—Thomas Fuller

With five votes around here you can do anything,” Justice William Brennan told his law clerks, thus summarizing the quintessence of Brennanism. That constitutional law is not something derived from the text, structure,

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest
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Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest

There are two—equally indispensable—Paul Fussells: one is the erudite professor of English (at the University of Pennsylvania) who is the author of such brilliant studies as The Great War and Modern Memory; the other is the scalding critic of

Dionysus in the Trenches
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Dionysus in the Trenches

In his masterly Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver (who was fond of the long view) marked the decline of the West from the late 14th century with the development of William of Occam’s doctrine of nominalism. In the short

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Objection Sustained

The interdisciplinary field of law and literature is burgeoning, and various academics are making grandiose claims. “The field envisages,” says Richard Posner, “a general confrontation or comparison, for purposes of mutual illumination, of two vast bodies of texts, and of

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The Secular Imagination

Under the tyranny of ideology that is a grim fact of contemporary life in university English departments, it is tempting to reflect on the career of Lionel Trilling (1905-1975) with an uncritical wistfulness. It is to Stephen Tanner’s credit that

A Portrait of the Artisan as a Young Man
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A Portrait of the Artisan as a Young Man

“Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth “

—T.S. Eliot

Many 20th-century literary figures have undergone such exhaustive biographical treatment that a scholar wishing to venture into well-traversed territory is compelled to proffer a

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Criticism Lite

Any reader familiar with Martin Amis’ novels—especially his most recent, Money: A Suicide Note (1984)—will not be surprised by the relentlessly contemptuous tone of The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America, a collection of his essays and articles