The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
legal rhetoric


Prop. 8 Supporters Don't Want Publicity?

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 12, 2010 - 3:21pm

Apparently not. They're scared that gay marriage opponents may be made open to abuse! The case for televising here. Day Two continues with cross-examination of women's historian Nancy Cott.


Perry v. Schwarzenegger

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 12, 2010 - 12:29am

I don't know if Justice Kennedy did the right thing by putting a hold on YouTube coverage of the trial, but here's an ongoing liveblog. Ted Olson is going right to the John Hart Ely account of judicial review--courts exist to protect minorities when they get systematically closed off from the political process.


Oh wow. . . .

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 3, 2010 - 4:48pm



Too Many Catholics?

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 11, 2009 - 5:34pm

A thoughtful article by Dahlia Lithwick on the fact that we now have 6 Catholics on the Court. Missing, I think, is the cynicism of the Bush Administration in appointing 2 Catholics for no other reason than partisan politics. I hadn't been aware of the fact that Scalia is boycotting the U of Chicago law school because of Geoffrey Stone's (to me, accurate) remarks on the impact of the Catholic justices.


Clause-Bound Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Round II

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 10, 2009 - 4:49pm

The First Amendment, like much of the US Constitution, presents later interpreters with a puzzle. How do the rights of free speech, assembly, press, non-establishment, and free exercise relate to one another? Is religion mentioned first because the right of private conscience is the first liberty out of which the others flow? Does the text clearly distinguish "free speech" from religious speech and conduct? (It appears to, rendering problematic the courts' persistent expansion of the speech clause since at least Tinker v.


Uganda and the Wages of Evangelical Christianity

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 8, 2009 - 2:25pm

Uganda is fixing to execute gay men and lesbians. CNN asks "Why?" The "why" is that American evangelicals have been using Uganda as a testing ground for their real agenda. Pastor Rick doesn't have an opinion, though.


"Don't Poke Scalia!"

Submitted by Jim Aune on November 20, 2009 - 10:40am

My Ph.D. student Ryan Malphurs has an excellent co-authored article on Supreme Court oral argument here at The Jury Expert.


Clause-Bound Constitutional Jurisprudence

Submitted by Jim Aune on November 16, 2009 - 2:19pm

The non-Establishment principle trumps student free speech. And I am puzzled, but I haven't read the briefs yet. I can't help but think that a valedictorian's message is not the school district speaking, and that, yet again, we don't really understand how to make the First Amendment *mean* rhetorically in the absence of lawyerly clause-bound readings:


Murdering for Jesus in Texas

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 12, 2009 - 1:17pm

Listening to heavy metal music can get you the death penalty in Texas. As I always say to my friends outside the state, it really is worse than you imagine. Surely, even if you support the death penalty under certain circumstances, you can recognize a legal travesty when you see one? It's all about feeding the base with blood.


Nino on Symbolism

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 8, 2009 - 3:10pm

Scalia just doesn't get it, does he? From Dahlia Lithwick's article on today's oral arguments: