congress

Political Calculus and Secularism

Editors’ Note: Reposted from The New York Times, August 29, 2021.  As the nation’s population dynamics continue to reorganize electoral maps, other social forces shift and shape to affect political outcomes. By Ryan Burge There’s no more politically unified religious… Read More ›

Gerry’s Salamander

It’s been more than 200 years since the first sighting of the salamander in Massachusetts in 1812, foisted upon the public by Elbridge Gerry. Over those two centuries, the creature has consumed or created countless millions of useless votes by… Read More ›

Wei-Chi (Advance and Retreat)

By Frank Blechman Last week, the Virginia Supreme Court cleared the legal path for the Commonwealth to remove the last remaining Confederate statue (General Lee) on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. Also last week, US forces officially withdrew from Afghanistan. It is… Read More ›

Forever Wars

Editors’ Note: Reposted from The New York Times, August 10, 2021. Occasionally, a book reviewer will provide the kind of insight that inspires interest to acquire the book. At the same time, some reviews, in and of themselves, contain ideas… Read More ›

Virginiamanders

An innocuous phrase in the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 2) propels one of the most crucial aspects of the nation’s political dynamics. “The actual enumeration [of persons] shall be made…within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as… Read More ›

Common Sense Jurisprudence

Media accounts of decisions by SCOTUS concerning voting rights are often devoid of reference to the language of the statute under interpretation. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 (subsequently amended in 1982 and 2006) seems, on… Read More ›

Pure Pusillanimous Petulance

FILQUORA is the acronym for Fugitive Interstate Legislator Quorum Recovery Act, the brainchild of leading national and state GOP officials to stem the outbreak of a potential  virulent effort by Democrats to frustrate legislative processes and governance. House Minority Leader… Read More ›

Uncharitable SCOTUS

Sir Thomas Browne (d. 1682) is acknowledged to be the first to coin the expression into print form in 1642: Charity begins at home, is the voice of the world; yet is every man his greatest enemy, and, as it… Read More ›

Policing the Police

Civilian oversight of state and local law enforcement has largely been characterized by benign neglect. The United States has been debited by its English heritage with a significant social and cultural heritage with respect to the present relationship among law… Read More ›

An Exception to Exceptionalism

The history and timeline of slavery in the United States tends to be almost exclusively related to the diaspora of African people to the Americas beginning in 1619. The subsequent racist heritage spawned by the advent of Black slaves, in… Read More ›