I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:

· To post questions or comments;

· To follow up on class discussions;

· To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

The syllabus is at http://www1.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/JPitney/gov106-fall15.html


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thinking about the inside game

I was looking through some writing related to the Federalist Society and came across this passage. More than thinking about the Federalist Society specifically, it made me consider the crucial relationship between aspects of the inside game looking ahead to the judicial branch. Even though the executive branch is far less permeable than Congress, this passage from an article I looked through made me wonder if the inside game for the judicial branch is made more accessible by the executive branch via nominations for judges. Congressional approval would create a second way in which the judicial branch becomes more permeable. I was asking myself if it was healthy for government that there can be political movements within the legal system to influence or "take back control" over things like interpreting the Constitution. 

"Far more than Presidents Obama and Clinton, Presidents Reagan and both Bushes cared intensely about the selection of judges. Brett M. Kavanaugh, now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, said that George W. Bush “devoted more attention to the issue of judges than any other president.” Like his Republican predecessors, he promoted well-known legal academics who had been allies, and advisers, of the Federalist Society, although they came from different wings of the conservative legal movement and therefore sometimes disagreed about crucial agenda items. (The libertarian Anthony Kennedy, for example, parted company with the social conservatives Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in abortion and gay rights cases, while Scalia worried that the “constitutionalizing” of economic rights advocated by libertarians would resurrect the “liberal brand of judicial activism” he objected to in Roe v. Wade.)"


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