Hmm. Two responses – a single question and another small set of questions – well, it’s a start and a welcome one at that. These are questions I wouldn’t have thought to ask myself or address overtly in the blog. I don’t know if I have permission to name my questioners’ names, so I won’t; but you have my thanks nonetheless.
Is H. your girlfriend?
I don’t anticipate writing in detail about my “personal life” on the blog. But no, H. is not my girlfriend – she’s a very old friend of mine from High School. We’re the last two of our social circle left in Connecticut, although T-Rex will be visiting this summer, which will bring the count to three dinosaurs. There’s also a chance Elegante will visit, bringing the count to 4 (briefly). I haven’t written about Elegante yet, but she and I used to be an item in college – afterwhich she and H. lived together as roommates for a long while. Elegante is not a middle of the road person – H. is a goddess and I am (now) a devil. I had thought we were on moderately good terms, but the more time that passes the more devilish I become. So it should be interesting. I may have to surrender H. to Elegante for the duration of her visit.
H. and I have very strong overlapping areas of interest and in other areas we’re more or less completely opposed. This dynamic tends to make our time together very structured. This summer, I’ll be spending a lot of time with H. because she’s interested in doing some serious bike-riding (for several reasons) and I’m also trying to get back on the saddle more consistently than I have these past few years. We drink beer and talk and play scrabble and bitch to each other – for me it’s a very comfortable and valued relationship. We also have a music/poetry overlap (there are parallels) – but this summer I’ll be learning (I should write, I am learning) the cornet, and I plan to draw heavily on H.’s knowledge. She’s a music teacher and a pretty bang-up trumpet/flute player. In August she’ll be touring with a band in Australia, and I’ll be headed down to D.C.
Do I subscribe to any particular theory of jurisprudence?
Not so’s I could be articulatin it. In fact, one of the benefits I hope I’ll garner from the first year of law school is that I’ll gain the terminology to more effectively express my thoughts on the law (which I’m sure will change as I grow in understanding.) I can say that I tend to view political, economic, and sociological issues from a very liberal/leftist end of the spectrum, although my personal conduct ranges between stolidly conservative on some issues and shockingly liberal on others. I can also say that I view American law as a flexible social construct that changes over time and which has core pillars that have been bent nearly sideways at points. But that’s the great thing about American law. It’s a wonderful tool to shape and define society. And I do think society needs to be shaped and defined as it progresses; while I have libertarian leanings, history is filled with too many examples of the strong persecuting the weak, especially in the “grey areas” created by new technologies (“BigFood says DDT is good for you – whoops!”) and political reconfigurations. So I guess it’s fair to say that I see the legal system as the battlefield on which the various political ideologies clash. While a lot of that clashing is tied up in and driven by economic/monetary issues, I think the potentially socially transformative issues/areas are: the war on drugs and the prison population/system, the environment, health care, educational access, labor issues, and the graying of America.
Who's your favorite Supreme Court justice ever?
Well, although I don’t agree with a lot of the stances he took, I do have a soft spot for Holmes, based in large part on his writing style. I’ll also confess that I get all misty over Earl Warren and Harry Blackmun for developing hearts and being guided by a sense of justice and equity.
Who's your favorite justice on today's court?
Tough one. I like Steven’s quirkiness and independence, but I’m closest to Ginsberg politically. I really enjoy Scalia’s histrionics – they’re funny till I remember that his vote counts.