Author Archives: Scott Johnson

CRB: When the going was good

Featured image This morning we continue our preview of the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books. Thanks to our friends at the Claremont Institute, I have read the new issue in galley to select three pieces to be submitted for the consideration of Power Line readers. As always, wanting to do right by the magazine and by our readers, I had a hard time choosing. You, however, can do your »

Dem comeback on hold in Minnesota

Featured image Donald Trump narrowly lost to Hillary Clinton in the contest at the top of the ticket in Minnesota this year, but in other respects Republicans had an astoundingly good year. They amplified their majority in the Minnesota House to an unprecedented number in a presidential election cycle, when the turnout advantage usually accrues to Democrats, and took the majority in the Minnesota Senate. Republicans haven’t held a majority in the »

CRB: The threat to liberty

Featured image You may have heard that our own Steven Hayward has a new book that is available now on Amazon. I read the book in galley and think it is the best book I have read since Philip Hamburger’s Is Administrative Law Unlawful? of 2014. Steve is a gifted teacher and a born storyteller, qualities that are prominently on display in his new book. The themes of Steve’s book culminate in »

Analyze this

Featured image Faceless bureaucrats in the intelligence and law enforcement community seek to take down the Trump administration on some pretext relating to Russia. That is my takeaway from the New York Times story “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence” by Michael Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzo. The Times story appears to be an extension of the covert campaign waged to cashier Michael Flynn noted by Eli Lake »

The case of Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick

Featured image Of course noncitizens never vote, a faithful reader sarcastically writes. Our reader practices immigration law and directs us to the Seventh Circuit opinion in Fitzpatrick v. Sessions, hot off the press yesterday in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Seventh Circuit opinion briefly summarizes the factual background: Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick, a citizen of Peru, had lived in the United States for three years when »

Flynn out

Featured image Paul speculated last night that Lt. General Michael Flynn’s days as President Trump’s National Security Adviser might be numbered and that the number might be low. It turned out that the number was zero. General Flynn submitted his resignation late yesterday after meeting with Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus. The Washington Post has been out front of this story. The Post’s Greg Miller and Phil Rucker report on Flynn’s »

The trouble with Calhoun

Featured image Having previously declared that the name of Calhoun College was to survive the grand renaming project undertaken by the university, President Peter Salovey was at pains to explain why the university had changed its mind. What was once Calhoun College is now to be Hopper College. What happened? Roger Kimball explores the question in the Wall Street Journal column “Yale’s inconsistent name-dropping” (accessible here via Google). In the column Roger »

Al Jarreau, RIP

Featured image I am so sad to observe the passing of the singer Al Jarrreau today in Los Angeles at the age of 76. Matt Schudel does a good job of paying tribute to Al in the Washington Post obituary . Margalit Fox provides a more ambivalent take in the New York Times obituary. I want to add a local note on Al’s death. Al was a native of Milwaukee. Once he »

Thinkin’ about “Lincoln” again

Featured image Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln seems to have dropped from our cultural consciousness. Perhaps the cognitive dissonance it induces on the left suppresses its memory. As we celebrate the anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday today, I want to take a look back at the film with the notes I offered at the time. I put just about everything important that I know about Lincoln into them. Until reading David Brooks’s obtuse »

Remembering Mr. Lincoln

Featured image Today is of course the anniversary of the birth of America’s greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. As a politician and as president, Lincoln was a profound student of the Constitution and constitutional history. Perhaps most important, Lincoln was America’s indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom at the exact moment when the country was on the threshold of abandoning what he called its “ancient faith” that all men are »

What was once Calhoun College is now…

Featured image Yale’s Calhoun College is one of the university’s venerable residential colleges. It’s named after the prominent alumnus John C. Calhoun. Calhoun served as Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and United States Senator. He was the also the leading Southern proponent of slavery until his death in 1850. Calhoun is most famous for his advocacy of slavery as a “positive good.” The man did a lot of damage. »

Martin Karo: Analyze this

Featured image It’s hard to keep up with the news in the early weeks of the Trump administration. Reader Martin Karo writes to note one story we have overlooked so far. He observes that the Daily Caller seems to be the go-to site on the story, with this excellent February 7 update as well as the February 4 report linked below. Mr. Karo titles this “We were in the very best of »

Berkeley then and now

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald must recently have visited the Berkeley campus of the University of California. In her Winter 2017 City Journal essay “From culture to cupcakes,” Heather takes note of two long quotations in Bauhaus-era typography that adorn the facade of Berkeley Law, as the law school now calls itself. On the left is a passage by Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, from a 1925 speech at »

Somebody get me out of here

Featured image The federal courts of appeals routinely operate in randomly assigned panels of three judges. Appeals from their decisions may be taken to the United States Supreme Court and are heard mostly as a matter of the Supreme Court’s discretion. When a federal appellate decision conflicts with a previous decision of the same court, or with a decision of the United States Supreme Court, or (more rarely) presents a question of »

Mrs. Warren’s profession revisited

Featured image Perhaps the main count in Elizabeth Warren’s indictment of the then prospective confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education was DeVos’s support for school choice. Warren charged that it may well even have “disqualified” DeVos from the position: Warren pointed to what she called DeVos’ “deep record of activism, bankrolling and lobbying for policies that would privatize public education” without meaningful accountability. “Your history of support for policies that »

A Ninth Circuit footnote [With Comment by John] [Updated]

Featured image The Ninth Circuit has ruled against the Trump administration’s motion for a stay pending appeal of Judge Robart’s order restraining the Trump administration from enforcing the executive order calling a brief timeout on the admission of refugees from seven designated countries (a/k/a “travel ban”) in the Ninth Circuit just concluded. This can’t be a surprise to anyone who tuned in to the oral argument of the motion. The Ninth Circuit »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll continues her post-election series in GET A GRIP! Part 3 – VIRTUE SIGNALING WITHOUT THE VIRTUE. She writes: One of the most unnerving aspects of the Great Democrat Freakout has been the astonishing level of nastiness unleashed. Like lynch mobs everywhere, the larger the audience, the more unhinged the behavior of individuals in the crowd. An aging, has-been singer shrieks her fantasy of blowing up the White House. »