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The Recent Unpleasantness: Understanding the Cycles of Constitutional Time by Jack M. Balkin :: SSRN
"This article, originally given as the 2017 Addison C. Harris Lecture at Indiana University, analyzes recent events in terms of three great cycles of change in American constitutional history. The first is the cycle of the rise and fall of political regimes. The second is the cycle of polarization and depolarization. The third is the cycle of the decay and renewal of republican government--the cycle of constitutional rot. Each of these cycles operates on a different time scale. Their interaction generates "constitutional time."
"Many commentators worry that the United States is in a period of constitutional crisis, or that American democracy is doomed. These fears, although understandable, are overstated. America is not in a constitutional crisis, although it is suffering from a fairly severe case of constitutional rot, connected to rising polarization and economic inequality. Our current difficulties are a temporary condition. They stem from the fact that the Reagan regime that has structured American politics since the 1980s is dying, but a new regime has yet to be born.
"This is a difficult, agonizing, and humbling transition; and its difficulty is enhanced by the fact that, unlike the last transition, it occurs at the peak of a cycle of polarization and at the low point of a cycle of constitutional rot. For that reason, the transition to a new political regime is likely to be especially difficult. But we will get through it. And when we get through it, about five to ten years from now, American politics will look quite different.
"Political renewal is hardly foreordained: it will require persistence and political effort. The point of this lecture is to offer a bit of hope in difficult times. If people misunderstand our situation, and conclude that American decline is inevitable, they may unwittingly help to make that fate a reality; but if they understand the cycles of constitutional time, they may come to believe that their democracy can be redeemed, and do their part to realize that worthy goal."

--- Balkin can be somewhat insane (he wrote a book about the I Ching, and has absorbed way more than the LD50 of French post-structuralist theory), but he can also be absolutely brilliant (as in his book _Cultural Software_), so who knows about this?
law  us_politics  our_decrepit_institutions  balkin.jack  via:?  to_read  to_be_shot_after_a_fair_trial 
12 hours ago by cshalizi
H.R.5515 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
H.R.5515 John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, sponsored by Rep. William M. Thornberry, became law on August 13th, 2018
law  Rep.  William  M.  Thornberry 
16 hours ago by sunlightfoundation
Did A Melatonin Patent Inspire Current Dose Confusion? | Slate Star Codex
MIT patented the proper dosage of a drug; the FDA decided to (not) regulate it as a supplement; and that is why all the stores carry an incorrect dose (even now that the patent has expired).
law  ip-law  patent  bureaucracy  via:SlateStarCodex  ScottAlexander  medicine 
16 hours ago by mcherm
Woman's ancient 'Clameur de Haro' rejected by Guernsey court | Channel - ITV News
"Rosie Henderson adopted the Norman ritual in an attempt to stop road works at Les Echelons. [...] It is described as a cry for justice and involves an aggrieved party, known as the ‘criant’, the alleged ‘wrongdoer’ and two witnesses."
law  history  language  nomic 
18 hours ago by kevan
The Recent Unpleasantness: Understanding the Cycles of Constitutional Time by Jack M. Balkin :: SSRN
"This article, originally given as the 2017 Addison C. Harris Lecture at Indiana University, analyzes recent events in terms of three great cycles of change in American constitutional history. The first is the cycle of the rise and fall of political regimes. The second is the cycle of polarization and depolarization. The third is the cycle of the decay and renewal of republican government--the cycle of constitutional rot. Each of these cycles operates on a different time scale. Their interaction generates "constitutional time." Many commentators worry that the United States is in a period of constitutional crisis, or that American democracy is doomed. These fears, although understandable, are overstated. America is not in a constitutional crisis, although it is suffering from a fairly severe case of constitutional rot, connected to rising polarization and economic inequality. Our current difficulties are a temporary condition. They stem from the fact that the Reagan regime that has structured American politics since the 1980s is dying, but a new regime has yet to be born. This is a difficult, agonizing, and humbling transition; and its difficulty is enhanced by the fact that, unlike the last transition, it occurs at the peak of a cycle of polarization and at the low point of a cycle of constitutional rot. For that reason, the transition to a new political regime is likely to be especially difficult. But we will get through it. And when we get through it, about five to ten years from now, American politics will look quite different. Political renewal is hardly foreordained: it will require persistence and political effort. The point of this lecture is to offer a bit of hope in difficult times. If people misunderstand our situation, and conclude that American decline is inevitable, they may unwittingly help to make that fate a reality; but if they understand the cycles of constitutional time, they may come to believe that their democracy can be redeemed, and do their part to realize that worthy goal. "
political-science  law  constitution  history  american-studies 
19 hours ago by tsuomela
Should Rivers Have Rights? A Growing Movement Says It’s About Time - Yale E360
"Inspired by indigenous views of nature, a movement to grant a form of legal “personhood” to rivers is gaining some ground — a key step, advocates say, in reversing centuries of damage inflicted upon the world’s waterways."
rivers  rights  nature  multispecies  morethanhuman  2018  personhood  chile  ecosystems  law  legal  jensbenöhr  patricklynch  indigeneity 
21 hours ago by robertogreco
S.2779 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
S.2779 Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Flake, became law on August 8th, 2018
law  Sen.  Jeff  Flake 
yesterday by sunlightfoundation

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