Monday, October 19, 2009

Eloquence and Reason Reviewed By The Weekly Standard

Kevin R. Kosar has reviewed Eloquence and Reason for The Weekly Standard. From the review:
Reading Robert Tsai's provocative Eloquence and Reason, I am reminded of the experience of losing my naivete in things legal. Tsai, a professor at the American University law school, depicts how the Court has transformed the nature of the First Amendment by pouring new meanings into its words. In a mere century, the Court has made stunning alterations to the freedoms of speech, assembly, and religious exercise, and transmogrified the Amendment's prohibition against making "a law respecting an establishment of religion." . . . The average reader might feel outrage at such legislating from the bench. Tsai, though, is untroubled. Not only is this the way the Court does its work, Tsai thinks that this is the way the Court should do its work. He makes an anthropological argument for a creative, activist Court: "Legal rights do not naturally occur; they are a creation of society to identify, particularize, and perpetuate interests deemed valuable to political self-understanding. In the absence of a culture of respect for such rights, they are worth no more than the paper they are printed upon."
The full review is here.

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