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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Hello from America

Hello dear reader!

While you may be few and far between in these hot months of mental vacation (or pre-professional striving), I decided to say hello from the road. For those who don't know, I'm half way through a drive from NY to California and back. I'm writing from my house in California 20 states and 4 weeks into the trip with about that much to go. My adventures so far have included, in chronological order: drinking with a Ukrainian family in the suburbs of Chicago, befriending a guard at the State Capital Building in Madison, WI, getting in a fender bender (their fault) in purgatory, ahem, St. Paul, MN, betting badly on horse races in Des Moines, sneaking into a fancy hotel for a swim in St. Louis, amazing BBQ in Kansas City, a little league game in Nebraska, Mt. Rushmore and it's more impressive neighbor Crazy Horse, 65 mph winds while camping without a tent in the Badlands, cannonballs in the community pool in Salem, SD, shots with the bartender in Cooke City, WY, charging and swimming Buffalo in Yellowstone, kayaking in the shadow of the Grand Tetons, coffee in lovely Ephrata, WA, punk bars in Seattle, hippies on the porch of our Hostel in Portland, and so much more.

I could burden you with a thousand pseudo-profound half thoughts that I've come across in my travels, but I'll try to hold back until they make some sense. I hope you are all having similarly amazing, fascinating, challenging and enlightening summers. Relax, think, and prepare for the revolution.

Andrew

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Maybe Two?

Whispers are in the air that Rehnquist could announce his retirement within a week. I don't know how much weight to give to them, but it does present an interesting scenario. Thoughts welcome.

Personally, I tend to agree with those, like law professor Ann Althouse, who think that trying to tilt the court in a more conservative direction could make moderate/centrist Justice Kennedy into a more reliably liberal vote on the court. Then again, there's a good amount of conventional wisdom which suggests that it is sometimes hard to predict how a justice will vote once on the court. Case in point is Justice Souter (nominated by Bush I) and, to a lesser extent, Chief Justice Rehnquist, who was painted during his confirmation hearings as more conservative than he actually turned out to be in the long run (to be fair, when he was appointed it is likely that he was, in fact, the most conservative member of the court, whereas now it is arguable that Thomas and Scalia are to his right).

It is an understatement to say that the events surrounding any upcoming Supreme Court nominations will be interesting. Given that it's an off-year politically, expect to see a lot of fireworks on both sides of the aisle in the near future.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Finally...

A vacancy on the Supreme Court. Interest groups, start your engines...