Feliz cumpleaños, Don Quijote

What’s up, doc? The first edition of Book One of Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote (El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha), the first modern novel according to Harold Bloom, was published on this day in 1605 in Madrid.

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Domestic Constitutional Violence

Update (1/17): The paper is now posted on SSRN.

That is the title of my most recent scholarly paper, which I am currently in the process of editing and which will be published in a symposium issue of the Arkansas Law Review this spring. I will be posting an open-access draft of my paper on SSRN (and on this blog) later this week, but in the meantime, here is my abstract:

My paper reframes the 1957 Little Rock Crisis as a paradigm case of domestic constitutional violence, i.e. the power and duty of the president to use military force to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. First, my paper revisits two obscure Little Rock cases that unsuccessfully attempted to challenge the legality of President Eisenhower’s decision to send paratroopers to Arkansas to desegregate Central High School. Although neither case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, they pose important questions about the legality of domestic constitutional violence in disputes over the meaning of the Constitution. Next, my article explores some potential sources of law authorizing the use of constitutional violence. In brief, there is an over 200-year body of law regulating the use of domestic constitutional violence. On the one hand, the Constitution itself anticipates the possibility of “domestic Violence”; on the other, the Congress has delegated a specific set of powers to the president to deal with certain classes of domestic dangers. Lastly, I conclude by proposing that we call this body of law “the laws of national necessity.”

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Democracy (Twitter edition)

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Source: Axios

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When books update our priors

Cartoon: book (medium) by Medi Belortaja tagged brain,plants,book,irrigation,educatin

Credit: Medi Berlortaja (h/t @pickover)

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Books about books

Librairie Book Shop, 823 Chartres Street, New Orleans

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Hierarchy of reasons

Credit: Paul Graham; hat tip: @AdamMGrant

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New year, old books

And two old scholarly papers! Here is what I am reading to begin the new year:

  1. Biography/Chess: Tim Crothers, The Queen of Katwe (2013).
  2. Biography/Religion: Fiona MacMath, editor, The Faith of Samuel Johnson (1990).
  3. Comics: Corban Wilkin, Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea (2011).
  4. Ethics: Edward J. Gracely, On the Noncomparability of Judgments Made by Different Ethical Theories, Metaphilosophy, Vol. 27, no. 3 (1996), pp. 327-332.
  5. History: Robert W. Coakley, The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1789-1878 (1988).
  6. Law: John Leubsdorf, The Surprising History of the Preponderance Standard of Civil Proof, Florida Law Review, Vol. 67, no. 5 (2015), pp. 1569-1619.
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