Post July4th Week

Very hot in the city. Iced coffee time. Me bouncing due to more caffeine. OOps.

NY Times reports a petition going on to get an express train on the F-subway line in Brooklyn – sign petition here I’ll get on the soapbox that MTA also ought to make a better W train, which is not a very useful line to that great an extent.

NY Times’ Linda Greenhouse on “On the Wrong Side of 5 to 4, Liberals Talk About Tactics.” She notes:

Exactly what that vision should encompass is now the question. It is easy enough to find consensus on a checklist that would include a robust reading of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights, including the notion that some rights are fundamental; a constitutional interpretation not tethered to a search for the framers’ original intent; invigorating the right to privacy to include personal privacy in the electronic age; restoring the shield of habeas corpus; and recapturing the government’s ability to intervene for the benefit of African-Americans and other minority groups without being constrained by the formal and ahistorical neutrality that liberals saw as the conceptual flaw in the chief justice’s opinion a little over a week ago invalidating two voluntary school integration plans.

The challenge for those inspired by such an agenda goes beyond the question of where the votes would come from on the current court. The notion that profound social change can be accomplished through judicial action has taken a huge beating, and even liberals, watching the political currents of recent decades, have come to doubt the ability of courts to change the world. The tension is acute between the vision of the Constitution as an engine of social progress, on the one hand, and the fear that harnessing it through judicial action to serve that role is, on the other hand, simply counterproductive. [….]

With a tide so long in the running, it is no wonder that some leading liberal scholars are looking to the far horizon. “The idea that one can regroup and come back at the court is not realistic for the foreseeable future,” Prof. Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard Law School said the other day.

Two years ago, Professor Tribe suspended work on the third edition of his monumental treatise on constitutional law, declaring that the moment had passed for propounding a “Grand Unified Theory.” His current ambition, he says now, is to “teach to the future,” in ways that will challenge the current climate and “make a difference 20, 30 or 40 years from now.”

Now there’s a plan.

I found this NY Times’ article about librarians as pretty cool – this might very well be the “it” profession, in terms of their ability and duty of gathering and accessing info for the public and just plain old knowing lots of stuff. Then again, I may be kind of biased, since when I was a kid, I kind of wanted to be a librarian, since they got to be among books all day long and tell people to shut up.

Harry Potter Returns in the Order of the Phoenix movie. OOh…