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Monday, May 8, 2023


I feel myself to be very much in a holding pattern with regard to the events taking place in the larger world. I wait for jury deliberations to begin in the E. Jean Caroll case, I wait for the inevitable indictments in Fulton County, Georgia, I wait for the next revelation of Supreme Court corruption. At night, I lie in bed rehearsing extended speeches about “tactical nukes” and “the immigration problem,” on both of which topics I have somewhat unusual views. I rehearse my formal analysis of the central argument in John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice.


Yesterday I had a lovely email from a young man in India who is studying philosophy at a University there. He had watched my YouTube lectures on Ideological Critique and The Thought of Karl Marx and wanted to let me know what he was studying now.  I confess I am old enough to be astonished by the reach of the Internet.


It has been obvious for a while that we desperately need to enlarge the Supreme Court, but there seemed to be absolutely no taste for this move in the White House or in the Senate Democratic leadership. Then the revelations began to appear of corruption and questionable actions not only by Clarence Thomas but also by Neil Gorsuch and the Chief Justice. It is just barely possible that that may open the way to Supreme Court reform.


I thank all of you for your kind comments about my rather self-indulgent remarks concerning my physical problems. I have lived for much longer than I had any right to expect, and my problems, while debilitating, are not at all painful. I have matched the donations you have alerted me to 2 to 1, and if I do not hear from any more of you in the next few days I will simply send the rest of my $2000 to the DLCC.


s. wallerstein said...

I didn't find your remarks about your physical problems to be "self-indulgent".

We aren't the Marine Corps or the Stoa here.

Most of us are concerned about your health. Please keep us posted about it.

Marc Susselman said...

On tonight’s PBS broadcast of The Antiques Roadshow, I learned some interesting information about Albert Einstein and his involvement in the Civil Rights movement. In 1946, he was offered an honorary degree by Lincoln College, a traditionally Black college which had been attended by Thurgood Marshall and Cab Calloway. The wife of the photographer who photographed the occasion had three photographs taken by her husband, one of which was signed by Prof. Einstein. In 1946, Einstein was in frail health, and was declining all honorary degrees offered to him. However, he decided to accept the invitation from Lincoln College and during his speech he decried racism as the White man’s disease. The President of Lincoln College was Lincoln Bond, and present at the presentation was his son, Julian Bond. After the presentation, Prof. Einstein said to Julian, “Don’t memorize anything which is already written down.” Einstein then conducted a class at the college, during which he explained his Special Theory of Relativity.

It was also revealed that when the singer Marian Anderson visited Princeton, Einstein was incensed that she could not find lodging, so he invited her to stay at his home in Princeton.

aaall said...

"It has been obvious for a while that we desperately need to enlarge the Supreme Court..."

As well as general reform of the other Article III courts and term limits.

This may be of interest. I'm sure six of the Supremes will love it - bad history and sophistry:

Marc Susselman said...


Thank you for that link.

The link is to an emergency amicus brief filed with Justice Barrett seeking an injunction against the enforcement of an assault weapon ban which has been enacted by the City of Naperville, Illinois, as well as the State of Illinois. The amicus is the National Association for Gun Rights, and has been filed to overturn the decision of J. Virginia Kendall, of the Northern District of Ill., in the case Bevis [yes, Bevis] v. City of Naperville. J. Kendall denied a petition for a temporary restraining order and an injunction filed by Mr. Bevis, who owns a gun shop in Naperville. Judge Kendall concluded her decision denying the petition stating:

“Neither the balance of equities nor the public interest decisively favors the plaintiffs. … Illinois and Naperville compellingly argue their laws protect public safety by removing particularly dangerous weapons from circulation. The protection of public safety is also unmistakably a ‘public interest,’ one both laws further. … Therefore, the plaintiffs have not made a ‘clear showing’ that they are entitled to the ‘extraordinary and drastic’ remedy of an injunction.” You can read J. Kendall’s decision at the link below.

I doubt that Justice Barrett will grant the petition. The case will be appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is a fairly liberal court, which will likely affirm, and from there to the S. Ct.

LFC said...

I've glanced quickly at the brief linked by aaall. It would seem to concern a case called Barnett v. Raoul, not Bevis v. City of Naperville. Bevis doesn't even appear in the table of cases. However, I only glanced through it so I may be missing something.

The lead lawyer on the brief, Paul Clement, is a former Solicitor General and probably the most prominent Sup. Ct. practitioner representing right-wing causes. He argued the cases challenging the ACA (Obamacare), among many others. I think he might have argued Heller, but I'd have to check.

Nicholas Thorner said...

If you haven’t exhausted your 2 for 1 donation funds yet, I just sent $33 to Adam Schiff, another $33 to Maxwell Frost and, picking up the extra dollar, $34 to Jamie Raskin. The last-named has such solid support in his Maryland district that I believe he uses most of the donations made to him to support the campaigns of other Democratic candidates.

David Zimmerman said...

From the NYT:

"Jury Sides With Writer Who Says That Trump Sexually Abused Her
"Six men and three women found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll but rejected her rape accusation."

5 million dollas to E. Jean Carroll

Marc Susselman said...


David Zimmerman said...

To Marc:

Why liable for sexual abuse but not rape?

Marc Susselman said...

I agree.. The verdict is inconsistent. She insisted that she was raped, which requires penetration. If you disbelieve she was penetrated, why believe anything else she claimed?

aaall said...

I see Santos has been indicted - what a day!

Marc Susselman said...

Conclusion: It was a compromise verdict in order to avoid a hung jury.

s. wallerstein said...

Can Trump appeal?

David Zimmerman said...

Yes, Trump can appeal.... and Tacopina says that he will do so.

Marc's hypothesis is plausible--- we are told that there was at least one MAGA voter on the jury: it is a reasonable supposition that he could not bring himself to vote for liability on rape.

We still don't know what Santos was indicted for.

s. wallerstein said...

Just so that you all don't fall into the illusion that the rise of the extreme right is just a U.S. phenomenon, on Sunday we voted for a new constitutional convention to replace the 1980
constitution drawn up during the Pinochet dictatorship.

The extreme right got 35% of the vote, the mainstream right got 21%, the left got 29% (my vote), the mainstream center (like Biden or Clinton) got 9% and a totally populist party got

That means that the extreme right and the mainstream right will write the new constitution, which will face a plebiscite in Dicember, where it could be rejected and may be, given that the mass of people seem to be more "against everything" than in favor of the extreme right.

aaall said...

It just gets better - at the victory parade in Moscow today there was just one tank - and that an AT-34

As the appeal proceeds, Trump will also be dealing with the NY indictments and likely ones from Jack Smith and Georgia.

aaall said...

s.w., I hope your new convention goes for serious change instead of pie in the sky. Dumping the presidential system and bicameral legislature, etc. Any chances?

s. wallerstein said...


No way. The right likes the current constitution. They will only make cosmetic changes to it.