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Wednesday, April 04, 2007 

Greenburg on Bush v Gore and Justice Thomas

Jan Crawford Greenburg's book Supreme Conflict is high on my recommended reading list. Anyone who is interested in the modern Supreme Court should read it. I found these two clips on YouTube recently. They show Greenburg discussing a few of the topics in the book. First, she talks about the internal Court politics involved in Bush v Gore...

Second, Greenburg talks about the effect that Justice Thomas has had on the Court...

Just read the book already so I can stop trying to sell it to you.

Re Bush v. Gore, take a look at Althouse, The Authoritative Lawsaying Power of the State Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court: Conflicts of Judicial Orthodoxy in the Bush-Gore Litigation, 61 Md. L. Rev. 508 (2002) - I think that's a very good, fair summary of the litigation which carries the added benefit of coming from a Gore voter, who thus can't be accused of partisanship.

Thanks, Simon. I'll definitely check it out.

However, based on reading the comments on Prof. Althouse's blog, I'm sure that there are tons of people who would still accuse her of partisanship.

I have no doubt of that. ;) But this was published in 2002, so I'm guessing it was written back in 2001-2, when she was a lot more firmly in the Gore camp. But that said, my view is that regardless of political views, the difference between legal conservatives and legal liberals turns on whether they believe that the Constitution is primarily structural or primarily rights-oriented; much of Althouse's scholarship has focussed on showing that federalism and the structural constitution's pretty useful in protecting and vindicating rights, too. For example, she has a paper defending the anticomandeering doctrine (see Printz), which political liberals hated when it was decided, and Althouse's argument is that post-9/11, the same anticomandeering doctrine that frustrated liberal instrumentalism over guns can help liberal instrumentalism with their civil liberties concerns about the Bush administration. That's an oversimplification of the paper, but the cite on that one is The Vigor of the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine in Times of Terror, 69 Brook. L. Rev. 1231 (2004). So regardless of events since she's been blogging, she's long been an interesting scholar on federalism and federal jurisdiction. Well worth checking out if you only know her from her blog. There's a whole side to Ann Althouse that I suspect most of her detractors (and even many fans of her blog) have never seen.

Hey, I'm still not certain, but I'm more than likely to be in Milwaukee in May for the 7th circuit bar meeting - I think that's may 8th, maybe? It's a monday around that date. If you're going to be around, drop me an email, I'll buy you a coffee if there's time. :)

Odd that you should mention the 7th Circuit Judicial Conference. I was going to post about that tonight after class. The organizers planned it right in the middle of exams here at MULS. I'm going to have to do some creative scheduling in order to attend. I'll keep you posted.

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  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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