September 9, 2018

Posted by orrinj at 7:05 PM

<20% AND DYING OFF:

Anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats gain strength, winning almost 20pc of vote (AFP, 9/09/18)

The Alliance opposition bloc, composed of the Moderates, the Christian Democrats, the Centre party and the Liberals, looked set to win 40.1 per cent.

The nationalist Sweden Democrats were on track to get 17.8 per cent, up from 12.9 per cent in the previous vote. The results are partial and may differ slightly from the final outcome.

That looks to be the ceiling for this racism-based politics, with Donald's numbers very similar.

Posted by orrinj at 6:26 PM


Posted by orrinj at 1:46 PM

IT'S A RICO CASE:

George Papadopoulos Says He Lied to Protect Trump After Being 'Pinned' Between POTUS and DOJ (Alberto Luperon, September 9th, 2018, Law & Crime)

"At the time of my interview with the FBI, I think three or four days before that, I was at the inauguration attending parties with senior level transition officials," he said on Sunday's episode of ABC's This Week. "I understood that there was an incipient investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and I found myself as somebody who worked incredibly hard over the past year in the campaign to actually have candidate Trump be elected. And I found myself pinned between the Department of Justice and the sitting president, and having probing questions that I thought might incriminate the sitting president."

"You were trying to protect the president?" asked host George Stephanopoulos.

"Of course," said Papadopoulos.

Posted by orrinj at 12:01 PM

JURY SELECTION:


Posted by orrinj at 11:56 AM

PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HOLD HIS BREATH:

It is Serena Williams who owes an apology to umpire Carlos Ramos (Richard Ings, 9 September 2018, Sydney Morning Herald)

Even four decades of distinguished professional umpiring experience would not have prepared Ramos fully for what was about to happen. I should know, as the memories and scars of my own welcome-to-the-job match are fresh even more than 30 years later.

It happened at the 1987 US Open. I was the chair umpire for the fourth-round stadium court match between John McEnroe and Slobodan Zivojinovic where I issued a warning, point penalty and a game penalty against McEnroe.

The game penalty, for a string of obscenities directed and me, came at 4-5, costing McEnroe the set and making the match one set all.

Posted by orrinj at 11:44 AM

ALWAYS BET ON THE dEEP sTATE (profanity alert):

"HE'S DESTROYING YOUR PRESIDENCY" (GABRIEL SHERMAN, SEPTEMBER 7, 2018, Vanity Fair)

"He's punch-drunk," one outside adviser said. "He's been hit so hard this week he doesn't know what to do." Another outside adviser to the White House added, "He's not happy he has saboteurs of unelected people trying to pull off a coup d'etat."

With Trump so far unable to execute a strategy to stanch the drip-drip-drip of damaging disclosures, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have taken the lead in getting control of the crisis. (The Washington Post reported that Trump said the only people he could trust were his family.) Earlier this week, they told Trump they were deeply troubled by the accounts in Woodward's book and blamed Chief of Staff John Kelly for many of the leaks, an outside adviser close to them told me. "'He's destroying your presidency,'" Ivanka told her father, the outside adviser, who was briefed on the conversation, said. Their hunt for the author of the Times op-ed may bring them into the final chapter of their long-running feud with Kelly.

According to three sources, Jared and Ivanka floated a theory on Wednesday that Kelly could be behind the Times op-ed. Under this scenario, the sources said, the op-ed was written by Zachary Fuentes, the deputy chief of staff, at the direction of Kelly. Jared and Ivanka have told people they suspect this because Kelly is the only one with an ego so large as to have convinced himself that he's saving the country from Trump, which was one of the op-ed's principal arguments. On Wednesday night, Ivanka and Jared laid out for Trump the theory that Fuentes might be the author, an outside adviser with knowledge of the conversation told me.

It's vital to keep ginning up new suspects to maximize the paralysis.

Posted by orrinj at 9:05 AM

JUST RENAME IT THE "TRUMP PWNED THE MUSLIMS DEAL":

How We Got the Iran Deal: And Why We'll Miss It (Wendy Sherman, September 2018, Foreign Affairs)

In the international negotiations that resulted in the 2015 agreement to limit Iran's nuclear activities, I led the team of American diplomats representing the United States. During the talks, my Iranian counterparts would occasionally ask how they could be assured that any deal we struck would be durable. Most Republicans opposed it, and looking at the forthcoming 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Iranians wondered what would happen if the GOP took the White House. I would answer by asking them a similar question: "What if hard-liners opposed to the deal regained power in Iran?" It usually ended the discussion, as I thought it should: after all, I always expected that the greatest challenge to the deal's success would be violations by Iran, not the political machinations of the president of the United States.

Of course, I was wrong. In May of this year, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to pull the United States out of the agreement and reimpose the U.S. sanctions on Iran that the deal had lifted, a move that will go down as one of the worst foreign policy blunders in U.S. history. The Iran deal was not perfect; no deal ever is. Nonetheless, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is formally known, offered the best possible assurance that Iran would never obtain a nuclear weapon.

I don't know if the Iran deal can survive the reinstatement of sanctions, which the United States set aside in exchange for the Iranians' pledge to vastly reduce their uranium enrichment, produce no weapons-grade plutonium, and allow international inspectors to rigorously verify their compliance. The JCPOA's restrictions close every possible path for Iran to obtain fissile material for a nuclear weapon. Although some of the restrictions that the deal places on Iran end after 10, 15, 20, or 25 years, its prohibition on Iran's obtaining a nuclear weapon never ends. So far, the Iranians have stuck to the terms of the deal.

Trump's decision has shaken the world's faith in the United States' commitment to multilateral diplomacy. No matter how much Trump derides the deal, the JCPOA stands as a model for combining the threat of sanctions and continued isolation with the hard work of negotiating, even between countries whose relationships are shaped by conflict and distrust. Before Trump undercut it, the JCPOA was advancing U.S. interests and making the world safer. Far from being "the worst deal ever," as Trump likes to say, it represents a model that his administration should emulate as it negotiates with North Korea over its nuclear arsenal. In that situation, Trump has relied mostly on threats, bluster, and rosy pronouncements. But as he and his team are learning, direct talks with adversaries are difficult. They require courage, persistence, and a realistic sense of one's own power.

Posted by orrinj at 8:58 AM

IT'S OUR PARTY, NOT THE NATIVISTS':


Posted by orrinj at 8:46 AM

SECRECY IS CERTAINLY WORSE THAN ANONYMITY:

President Lyndon Johnson: The War Within (RICHARD N. GOODWIN, 8/21/88, The New York Times)

Late that spring, alarmed at what I perceived to be the President's increasingly irrational behavior, I began to study medical textbooks. I learned that the paranoid personality may pass relatively undisturbed through a long and productive lifetime, manifesting itself only in subtle traits of behavior: a somewhat excessive secrecy and suspicion, a need for control over the external world. Because particular displays of these traits nearly all have some basis in reality - there are real adversaries, real reasons for an ambitious man to seek control over people and events - they are ordinarily perceived more as personal eccentricity than as a failure of reason or a distortion of reality. To the gifted few they may even be a source of strength, increasing their ability to achieve mastery over that always treacherous world they inhabit.

Yet if control is threatened, mastery undermined, enemies increasing in number and moving beyond reach, the mental apparatus so carefully constructed to transform potential weakness into external strength can begin to falter. The latent paranoia, liberated by the erosive pressures of misfortune and sensed helplessness, can take occasional control of the conscious mind, thereby transforming the most highly developed faculties into instruments of willed belief, even delusion.

Something like this began to happen to Lyndon Johnson during 1965, when he found himself - for almost the first time - surrounded by men and events he could not control: Vietnam and the Kennedys, and, later, the press, Congress, and even the public, whose approval was essential to his own esteem. As his defenses weakened, long-suppressed instincts broke through to assault the carefully developed skills and judgment of a lifetime.

It was during this period, in the spring of 1965, that I first noticed Johnson's public mask begin to stiffen. In his public appearances, the face seemed frozen, the once-gesturing arms held tightly to the side or fixed to a podium. Protective devices proliferated - Teleprompters, a special Presidential rostrum that traveled with him, even the careful excision of colorful or original language -all, I now believe, designed at least in part to guard him from spontaneously voicing inner convictions that he knew, in that part of his mind still firmly in touch with reality, would, if voiced, discredit him. ''You know, Dick,'' Johnson once told me. ''I never really dare let myself go because I don't know where I'll stop.''

In mid-June, Moyers entered the Oval Office to find Johnson holding a wire-service report torn from the teletype machine that stood close to the desk. The President said: ''Did you see this? Bundy'' - McGeorge Bundy, the national security adviser - ''is going on television -on national television - with five professors. I never gave him permission. That's an act of disloyalty. He didn't tell me because he knew I didn't want him to do it. Bill, I want you to go to Bundy and tell him the President would be pleased, mighty pleased, to accept his resignation.'' Johnson paused. ''On second thought, maybe I should talk to him myself. . . . No, you go do it.'' Then, as if responding to some sensed hesitation on Moyers's part: ''That's the trouble with all you fellows. You're in bed with the Kennedys.''

Moyers wisely ignored the President's order, and left the White House to go home. ''At midnight,'' I noted in my diary, ''Moyers called me to talk about Johnson. He said he was extremely worried, that as he listened to Johnson he felt weird, almost felt as if he wasn't really talking to a human being at all.''

The next morning when Moyers entered the Oval Office, Johnson looked up at him. ''Did you speak to Bundy?'' ''No, I didn't, Mr. President,'' Bill replied. Johnson grunted, and returned to the memorandum he had begun reading. Bundy was to last another year.

A week later, Moyers and I were talking with Johnson in the Oval Office when, provoked by nothing more than my comment that his education bill had virtually complete support from liberal organizations, Johnson proclaimed: ''I am not going to have anything more to do with the liberals. They won't have anything to do with me. They all just follow the Communist line - liberals, intellectuals, Communists. They're all the same. I detest the United Nations. They've tried to make a fool out of me. They oppose me.

''And I won't make any overtures to the Russians. They'll have to come to me. In Paris, Gagarin'' - Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut - ''refused to shake hands with the astronauts. I sent those astronauts myself, and what he did was a personal insult to me.'' (In fact, Gagarin did shake hands, but later declined to meet with American officials, which Johnson persisted in inflating into a personal affront.) ''I can't trust anybody anymore. I tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to get rid of everybody who doesn't agree with my policies. I'll take a tough line - put Abe Fortas or Clark Clifford in the Bundy job. I'm not going in the liberal direction. There's no future with them. They're just out to get me, always have been.''

I accompanied Moyers back to his office. ''We were both shaken, alarmed,'' I noted in my diary, ''not so much at the content of Johnson's statements - surely he didn't mean to halt all discussions with the Soviet Union or pull out of the United Nations - but at the disjointed, erratic flow of thought, unrelated events strung together, yet seemingly linked by some incomprehensible web of connections within Johnson's mind. He won't act on his words, but he believes they're true.''

On June 28, I recorded in my diary that Johnson had ''asked me and Bill if we thought Tom Wicker [ of The New York Times ] was out to destroy him, if Wicker was caught up in some sort of conspiracy against him. We said no, that he writes some favorable and some unfavorable stories, but we couldn't convince him. . . .''

GRADUALLY, AS Johnson moved closer and closer to the crucial decision of July 28 -when he would raise the number of American troops in Vietnam by more than 100,000 - circumstances began to overwhelm him, elude his grasp. The decision to transform the war, which he knew was potentially fatal to his public ambitions, could no longer be evaded or postponed. Increasing opposition from the press and critics on the Hill could no longer be controlled by his hitherto almost irresistible power of persuasion. The somewhat frightening, always puzzling outbursts became more frequent.

No longer satisfied with impugning the motives of his critics (''That Fulbright,'' he told me after Senator J. William Fulbright had joined the ranks of dissent, ''he never was satisfied with any President that wouldn't make him Secretary of State''), or attributing his difficulties to ''those Kennedys'' or ''those Harvards,'' Johnson began to hint privately that he was the target of a gigantic Communist conspiracy in which his domestic adversaries were only players - not conscious participants, perhaps, but unwitting dupes.

Sitting in the Oval Office on July 5, Johnson interrupted our conversation on domestic matters: ''You know, Dick, the Communists are taking over the country. Look here,'' and he lifted a manila folder from his desk. ''It's Teddy White's F.B.I. file. He's a Communist sympathizer.''

A few days before, I had been sitting in Bill Moyers's office, when Bill walked in, visibly shaken, his face pale. ''I just came from a conversation with the President,'' he said. ''He told me he was going to fire everybody who didn't agree with him, that Hubert [ Humphrey ] could not be trusted and we weren't to tell him anything; then he began to explain that the Communist way of thinking had infected everyone around him, that his enemies were deceiving the people and, if they succeeded, there was no way he could stop World War III.''

''Suppose he really does go crazy,'' I said. And then, answering my own question: ''I tell you what would happen if we went public with our doubts. They could assemble a panel of psychiatrists to examine the President, and he would tell them how sad it made him that two boys he loved so much could have thought such a thing, and then explain his behavior so calmly and reasonably that when he was finished, we would be the ones committed.''

Shortly thereafter, I talked with a psychiatrist who was also a close personal friend. After he agreed to treat our conversation as privileged, I described the President's behavior in detail as I had observed it. At the time, I did not even inform Moyers of this step; nor did he tell me, until years later, that he had independently followed the same course, speaking with two different psychiatrists.

All three doctors offered essentially the same opinion: that Johnson's behavior - if the layman's descriptions we provided were accurate -seemed to correspond to a textbook case of paranoid disintegration, the eruption of long-suppressed irrationalities. The disintegration could continue, remain constant, or recede, depending on the strength of Johnson's resistance, and, more significantly, on the direction of those external events - the war, the crumbling public support -the pressures from which were dissolving Johnson's confidence in his ability to control events. [...]

DURING THAT SUM-mer, Bill Moyers and I - often accompanied by one of Bill's assistants -met every few days to discuss the President's increasingly vehement and less rational outbursts. We agreed that Johnson was changing, that some invasive force was distorting his perceptions, infecting the entire process of Presidential decision. Although we were reluctant to acknowledge it, the signs of aberration were too obvious to be ignored or rationalized as typical Johnsonian exaggerations. [...]

On July 5, I made a diary note: ''It has been a wild and unbelievable week - dinner with Bill and his assistant and another long discussion of Johnson in which we agreed on his paranoid condition. I asked Bill if he thought I should talk to anyone before I left, perhaps to Bob McNamara,'' - the Secretary of Defense - ''whose position might let him keep things from getting out of hand. Bill seemed to think that it might be a good idea . . . But I don't know if we can trust McNamara. He is intelligent and skilled, could understand our fears, but is also very ambitious. . . .''

If the world was beginning to slip from his control, Johnson would construct a tiny inner world that he could control, barricade himself not only from disagreement, but from the need to acknowledge the very existence of disagreement except among the uninformed and the hostile.

In those days, Johnson's conversations with his Cabinet would often begin with: ''What are you doing here? Why aren't you out there fighting against my enemies? Don't you realize that if they destroy me, they'll destroy you as well?'' The meetings themselves, no longer a forum for debate, were largely confined to reports by each secretary on the affairs of his department. Questions about Vietnam were discouraged, and, if asked, went unanswered.

Nor could the National Security Council be trusted. ''Those National Security meetings were like a sieve,'' Johnson remarked. ''There's that Arthur Goldberg'' (then representative to the United Nations) ''with a direct pipeline to The New York Times. . . . And those fellows from Defense were the worst of all. . . . Every time I saw some Department of Defense official's picture in the paper with a nice story about him, I'd know it was the paper's bribe for the leaked story.''

Those who attended security council meetings were sometimes told they should not use the occasion to voice doubt or disagreement. The President didn't want to hear it. ''I know how you feel, Arthur,'' the faithful Robert S. McNamara told Ambassador Goldberg before one meeting, ''but it would be better if you didn't say anything. The President has already made up his mind, and you would only embarrass him.''

Gradually, all meaningful discussion and decision were confined to the small, carefully chosen inner circle: Secretary of State Dean Rusk; Robert McNamara; the Director of Central Intelligence, William F. Raborn Jr.; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army Gen. Earle G. Wheeler, and, occasionally, others who could be trusted to maintain complete secrecy.

Meanwhile, dissent from the outside - press or Congress or public - was discounted, rejected as the malignant tissue of ignorance, political ambition, disloyalty, or even a multiplying conspiracy. The only effective restraints were Johnson's judgment of the limits of public and Congressional tolerance, and his fears that certain uses of American military force might precipitate Soviet and Chinese intervention.

Later, after he had left the White House, Johnson spoke of ''secret treaties,'' formal documents committing the Soviet Union and China to go to the aid of North Vietnam should the United States transgress defined limits. ''I never knew when I sat there approving targets one, two, three, whether one of those three might just be the one to set off the provisions of those secret treaties. I kept asking myself, what if one of those targets you picked today triggers off Russia or China?'' There was, of course, no evidence that any such treaties existed. But Johnson needed them to justify his acts, and so he believed in their reality.

The incursions of paranoia - a kind of guerrilla warfare of the mind - are subtle, carefully establishing their chimerical, delusive outposts on still-firm remnants of reality. There was aggression in Southeast Asia, and opposition at home. These things were true. But the transformation of disagreement into disloyalty, political opponents into personal enemies, spreading dissent into a gigantic conspiracy, the rebels of Vietnam into the advance guard of world conquest, were the work of mental processes that bent and twisted the clay of reality into menacing fantastical shapes. [...]

Yet now this man of such intensely personal gifts was set at the head of a gargantuan bureaucracy, managed by people he could not know or observe; compelled to reach for his constituency while sitting in an empty office staring at the curved, blank lens of a television camera.

Often he would awaken in the middle of the night and -clad in pajamas, feet encased in thickly padded slippers -go down to the Situation Room of the White House, where he would sit for hours receiving the latest reports of bombing raids and missing planes, captured villages and fresh casualties, as if, somehow, in this way he could establish contact with the struggles, the secret desires, of living flesh.

But it could not be done. A master of men, the invulnerable genius of the small town had become the servant of technology. His perceptions confused, judgment distorted, no less shackled because he believed in the power of that technology, the mathematical accuracy of transistor computation, he even liked the machines with their illusion of control, but liked them as a small boy likes a mechanical toy - never fully trusting, but with no other choice. His increasingly angry, increasingly baffling frustrations were a manifestation of America's own transformation.

During the next few years, as I campaigned with Eugene McCarthy and then Robert Kennedy, I never disclosed -even to my closest friends and colleagues - the wild surmise that had preoccupied my final days in the White House.

Later, I was to question my failure to disclose what I knew of Johnson's mental condition: was I, through misplaced loyalty or personal cowardice, betraying my obligation to the country? Yet such disclosures would undoubtedly not have been believed. After all, what credentials did I have? I could not have proved my judgment then. Indeed, I cannot prove it now, although the subsequent escalation of an unwinnable war in Vietnam - an escalation fueled by self-deception throughout - added testimony far more persuasive than my own observations.

Still, to this day, I have never overcome the suspicion that my secrecy may have been a very large mistake of judgment or of timidity.



Posted by orrinj at 7:38 AM

FOREVER BLOWING UP BUBBLES:

No, Big Tech Isn't Silencing Conservatism  (Francesca Tripodi, 9/06/18, Medium)

People routinely put their faith in Google to find out about central political issues and decide who to vote for. Often, they search on political topics to validate or question news from other sources. They believe Google is giving them unbiased and accurate results, weighing facts instead of rank-ordering results that match the entered keywords. But they're wrong: Google doesn't weigh political bias; it weighs factors such as what words appear in the article or headline, how many people link to it, and what words people used in their search.

Whether the reader comes back and clicks on other links from the same search results also affects results. If more people click on the third link than the first or second, Google's algorithm will shift accordingly. Google's results are thus a kind of instant poll of public opinion about which news the public believes is most worthy of attention. That is not to say that this instant poll isn't problematic; it's simply indicative of the broader social structures that shape what we think we know about the world.

Phrasing matters. Take, for example, two very similar searches surrounding an advertisement paid for by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group funded by the Koch brothers. The ad that repeatedly aired on television and Facebook argued that the Democratic candidate for governor (Ralph Northam) was incompetent because he had "approved the spending of $1.4 million in taxpayer money to a fake Chinese company with a false address and a phony website."

My research demonstrates that Google can actually drive the public toward a silo of conservative thought.
If you Googled "Northam fake Chinese company" on January 25, 2018, you were provided articles from the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Washington Post that summarized the claims in the ad. But those more interested in fiscal responsibility might have focused on the monetary figure repeatedly used in the Republican candidate's ads and rallies.

By simply adding "$1.4 million" to the search on the same day, Google returned dramatically different, conservative-leaning content. The top result was an opinion piece by the Republican Governors Association; the second link was an op-ed by a conservative politician. A few hits down was a direct link to the organization that paid for the ad, and following that was a link to Fairfax Underground -- a forum that frequently claims the Democratic Party is trying to "break the back of white, middle-class America" by "importing millions of brown people to dilute white votes and remove Christianity from the public square."

If anything, this search leans conservative and verges on racist misinformation, burying liberal perspectives.

It's hardly surprising that we old white men are tech illiterate.
Posted by orrinj at 7:13 AM

WORDS HAVE MEANING:

The Original Originalist: Thirty years after Robert Bork was denied a seat on the Supreme Court, his formidable legacy lives on. (Mark Pulliam, Summer 2018, City Journal)

As a stoical Robert Bork sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the morning of September 15, 1987, surrounded by reporters, klieg lights, and television cameras, the 60-year-old jurist could look back on an accomplished career. For five and a half years, he had served on the D.C. Circuit, considered the nation's most prestigious court other than the U.S. Supreme Court. Bork had also been a marine, a successful antitrust litigator, a law professor, solicitor general, and acting attorney general of the United States. But as he faced committee chairman Joe Biden and his hostile Democratic colleagues, including Ted Kennedy, Howard Metzenbaum, Robert Byrd, Patrick Leahy, and Paul Simon, the cerebral Bork was ill-suited--and disinclined--to duplicate the dramatic performance given in the same hearing room a few months earlier, when the telegenic Lt. Col. Oliver North parried with a joint congressional committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair. Against the urging of his handlers, and with his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan hanging in the balance, Bork made no attempt to emulate North, believing that such rhetorical flair was undignified for a judge.

Instead, during an unprecedented five days of grilling, Bork chose to answer the committee's questions "matter-of-factly" and to explain his view of judging "fully." The media coverage, featuring the judge's lengthy, dispassionate responses, failed to rally the American public in his favor, unlike North's gripping testimony. Ultimately, despite Bork's stellar credentials, the Senate voted him down, largely on party grounds--an outcome that coined the now-ubiquitous term "borking."

Bork's defeat was a watershed event in judicial politics, and reverberates still--it prevented a conservative realignment of the Court (due to the appointment of moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy in place of Bork) and forever transformed the judicial-confirmation process into an ideological gauntlet. No High Court nominee would ever again be as forthright, or be denied confirmation for such transparently ideological reasons. Ironically, the Senate's rejection of Bork--due to his steadfast advocacy of judicial restraint and sticking to the constitutional text--did not prevent the ascendancy of his brand of "originalist" constitutional theory and, in fact, may have bolstered it, by giving him a bully pulpit that he would use effectively for the rest of his life. [...]

Prior to originalism's triumph in the 1990s, these liberal constitutional theories held sway, and throughout the 1970s, Bork was their main antagonist. In a 1979 article in the Washington University Law Quarterly, Bork mocked the liberal position as seeking "to create rights by arguments from moral philosophy rather than from constitutional text, history, and structure. The end result would be to convert our government from one by representative assembly to one by judiciary." Some of the doctrinal innovations advocated by the Left--such as welfare rights, comparable worth, busing, and abolition of capital punishment--thankfully faded into oblivion along with other 1970s fads, including bell-bottoms, leisure suits, and sideburns. But many others remained, and continue to this day, as part of the Left's long march through legal academia.

Rejecting the idea of judges legislating from the bench, Bork believed that judges should instead play a limited role: to enforce the Constitution as written. This approach--often expressed as "judges should interpret the law, not make it"--has, over time, been referred to variously as strict construction, original intent, interpretivism, judicial restraint, textualism, and originalism. The labels, and even the fine points of application, are less important than the general orientation.

In Bork's view, the Constitution derives its moral authority, as law, from the fact that the states ratified it. Accordingly, its text should be interpreted as it was understood at the time of its adoption. Judges have no warrant to expand upon the constitutional text--or to invent new rights--just because they favor the result in a particular case. Judicial power, unless constrained by the Constitution's original meaning, will become excessive, usurping power properly reserved to the elected branches, or the people. When judges exceed their proper role, by recognizing "liberties" not credibly drawn from the constitutional text or history, they diminish citizens' most important freedom: the right to govern themselves in a representative democracy.

Bork's position, consistent with Alexander Hamilton's conception of the judicial role in Federalist 78, seems as though it shouldn't be controversial, but it directly challenged the dominance of the legal professoriat and the liberal interest groups that benefited from judicial activism. As Bork framed the issue: "Either the Constitution and statutes are law, which means that their principles are known and control judges, or they are malleable texts that judges may rewrite to see that particular groups or political causes win." While Bork was not the only conservative in legal academia, he was certainly the most influential--and articulate--advocate for originalism. From its inception in 1982, Bork was also conspicuously associated with the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization, both as a speaker and as cochairman of its board of visitors.