Wednesday, 2 March 2005

Ars gratia artis

Tonight I went to see an interesting slide show of installation art and sculpture by Renee Una.* The more I think about it, the more I realize that the only adjective I can apply to it is interesting; I’ve seen art by friends that I can say is “good” or qualitatively “better” than their other art, but I was unable to provide any sort of evaluative statement about Ms. Una’s art. Does art have to be good or bad, or can it just be interesting?

* I’m told she has a website, but Google isn’t finding it.

Roper (not the guy who replaced Siskel)

Unlike my co-blogger, I tend to think that the Supreme Court’s decision in Roper v. Simmons was the morally correct one—in general, I am suspicious of the death penalty not for legal or practical reasons, but philosophical ones; namely, that the state should not have the power to kill its own citizens, whether or not they are of some arbitrary age. Having said that, like Will Baude, Steven Taylor, and James Joyner I am deeply skeptical of any form of legal reasoning that relies on state legislatures to decide the constitutionality of various actions. I may have more coherent thoughts once I’ve actually sat down with the opinion… which comes at a fortuitous time, as we will cover the 8th amendment on March 16th in my con law class.

In other judicial news, I tend to think the Padilla case was correctly decided (both on the legal merits and the moral ones), following most generally from Hamdi (particularly Scalia’s partial dissent, which I think articulated the correct standard) and Ex parte Milligan.