Sunday, 31 July 2005

Silly question of the day

For reasons I don’t fully understand, I’m watching the Baseball Tonight Trade Deadline special (never mind that it isn’t “tonight” yet anywhere west of Greenland at this point of the day), and Karl Ravech and Harold Reynolds are wearing basically the same pinstripe jackets. Don’t they have wardrobe people to catch this sort of stuff?

Related: The Road from Bristol continues in the second round.

Saturday, 30 July 2005

Longhorn: Christmas 2006

Ars Technica reports that Microsoft Windows Vista, the operating system formerly known as Longhorn, will make its debut in time for the 2006 holiday shopping season. Mind you, nobody—not even Microsoft—seems really sure what will actually be in the OS, so this may all turn out to be a massively-hyped non-event, something not entirely unfamiliar to observers of the computer industry.

Was Adama right to remove Roslin?

Timothy Sandefur tentatively says no. I tend to agree; however, Roslin’s decision to send Lt. Thrace (Starbuck) back to Caprica on a secret mission at the very least violated the military chain of command.

The proper response, however, is not a coup. In the grand scheme of things, Roslin’s action did not lead to the sort of imminent danger that would justify bypassing civilian procedures; presumably, the Quorum of Twelve can impeach and/or remove the president, or there is a civil judiciary that can exercise that authority.

The larger political mess is that Adama’s incapacitation has left Colonel Tigh holding the bag for this decision, and he neither has the wherewithal or the gravitas to resolve things the way Adama might have been able to do.

Thursday, 28 July 2005

It's all about Coach O

Via EDSBS: New Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron calling out the whole team in his first team meeting using language that might even make a sailor blush—and, to top it off, challenging the whole team to a fight. The more amusing anecdote:

Lane was out passing with another player, and Coach O apparently ran up to him, tackled him, stripped the ball, and took off running down the field.

Meanwhile, Rick Cleveland reports that the SEC may need to hire some Cajun interpreters if they want to produce accurate transcripts of Coach O at media days. And, the once and future quarterback Micheal Spurlock goes all Xtina and Lil Kim on his critics.

San Andreas fault

Think a little bit of pseudo-porn would keep Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas off the shelves at Wal-Mart? Think again:

Not really pulled

I took this picture this morning while my car’s oil was being changed at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Madison, Mississippi. So, kiddies… rush up there and pick up a copy before Mr. Sam’s minions wise up!

The 50% solution

Former Mississippi governor Bill Waller is playing at being a reformer, but he’s only got the solution half-right:

Former Gov. Bill Waller Sr. says Mississippi should reduce the number of state legislators and limit lawmakers to two terms.

Waller spoke today at the Neshoba County Fair. He was one four former governors to speak in Founder’s Square along with incumbent Gov. Haley Barbour.

Waller, a Democrat who was governor from 1972–76, urged lawmakers to streamline state government.

“It has been obvious for years that we have too many members of the Mississippi Legislature and the numbers should be reduced in both the House and the Senate,” he said in prepared remarks. “Only 11 states have larger legislatures and most of those are much more heavily populated.”

Waller also said Mississippi would benefit by limiting terms for lawmakers.

“A two term limit on a smaller number of legislators would give the best and most modern state government of all 50,” he said.

I’m all in favor of halving the size of the legislature, but pretty much everyone who’s studied the issue of term limits seriously finds that the effects of term limits are pretty much the opposite of those promised by proponents: instead of producing “citizen legislators” who aren’t beholden to parties or organized interests, it produces a legislature full of political novices who have to rely on unelected party leaders and lobbyists, since they lack the political expertise and experience necessary to exercise good independent judgment.

A far better method for producing an accountable legislature is to ensure vigorous competition for seats, which suggests that Mississippi would be better served by overhauling the gerrymandered monstrosities we call legislative districts than selecting a fresh batch of mediocre politicians every eight years from constituencies that are the result of racial and partisan redistricting.


Duke trivia fact of the day: faculty and staff members can go to all the football and womens’ basketball games they like for $60. Which sport is functioning as the loss-leader for the other is left for reader speculation. Mind you, $60 to see both FSU and Virginia Tech in person from good seats isn’t a bad deal at all… particularly if you don’t much care whether the home team wins.

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Thank god for myths

Michelle Dion and Paul Brewer are discussing whether or not there are benefits that accrue to professorship. Michelle writes:

[A] positive externality of being a professor is that most people believe professors are smart, honest, and responsible people. The reputation associated with professors is a positive externality of the profession.

“Smart,” “honest,” and “responsible” are three adjectives that do not immediately spring to mind when discussing the professoriate; perhaps too much exposure to the Ward Churchills, Shelby Thameses, John Lotts, and Michael Bellesiles of the world is an explanation.

The discussion has subsequently devolved to the topic of dating; my small-n anecdotal experience is that of the four single professors who started here a year ago, the two female ones are no longer on the dating market while the two male ones still are. Mind you, we don’t have strong controls here: differential attractiveness may be a key determining factor in these outcomes.

Tuesday, 26 July 2005


This weather is obscenely hot and miserable. All I want to do these days is curl up next to an air conditioning vent and sleep.

Getting in the way of that plan: I have to teach, pack, and apply for jobs. Yes, you read that right: even though I have a perfectly good job that I’m not starting for another month, I’m already applying for jobs* starting in the fall of 2006. Academe (particularly, but not exclusively, political science) is insane.

Monday, 25 July 2005

Quote of the day, academic edition

Alex Tabarrok:

Scholars seek the truth, activists already know the truth. Activists don’t like questioning, debate or independent research.

Roe and Roberts

Jon Rowe on the right to privacy:

I’m more concerned with the Griswold line of privacy/liberty cases in general than Roe in particular. Abortion deals with the moral question of whether and when a fetus is a human being with civil rights, and obviously government has a legitimate interest in protecting the life of innocent
human beings.

Lawrence and Griswold, on the other hand, deal with what consenting adults do behind closed doors. And that certainly is none of government’s business and proscribing such is not a legitimate function of government.

I give an exercise to my Business Law students every semester on Roeand Casey and I can attest that many ordinary, average folks don’t understand these cases; they think that if Roe were overruled, automatically all abortions would be illegal. No, it just means that states would decide the issue and certainly many states would indeed illegalize abortion (Alabama, and a few other southern and Midwestern states). But many states, particularly in the Northeast, would retain the legality of abortion. If someone from one of the illegal states were really desperate for an abortion, all they’d have to do is travel to one of the many states, like NJ, Mass, Conn., where abortion would remain legal.

Finally, I’m not saying that I’m in favor of overturning Roe or Casey; I’m just noting that if Roe were overturned, it wouldn’t mean the end of all abortions in the US and that in many states, probably most, abortion would remain legal.

Except for the “all they’d have to do is travel” argument (I could see some particularly conservative states attempting to criminalize interstate travel to obtain an abortion, particularly without spousal consent), and the open question of how many states currently have abortion statutes on the books that would presumably go into effect again if Roe were overturned, I’m pretty much in agreement.

Mind you, it’s possible that if I did have a uterus I might feel differently about this. And, as a matter of public policy (rather than a matter of constitutionality), I think that further restrictions on abortion would be a bad idea.

Incidentally, Jon has moved to Jason Kuznicki’s Positive Liberty along with Timothy Sandefur and Ed Brayton; I look forward to seeing good things from these folks.

Friday, 22 July 2005

Tastes great, less reading

Today’s Clarion-Ledger does some hard-hitting reporting on the responses of the state’s 3 I-A schools to an NCAA mandate requiring them to trim their football media guides down to a measly 208 pages.

Thursday, 21 July 2005

The Grand Theft Auto wars

Hei Lun Chan, on the brouhaha surrounding the videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:

I know those against government regulation will rightfully say that it should be up to parents, not the government, to determine what kids play. But if you want parents to be involved, you have to give them an accurate ratings system, since you can’t expect them to research every game’s content. And if the industry isn’t even competent enough to do that, then they really don’t have much to complain about.

The larger sociological questions—why we would rate a game that rewards extreme anti-social behavior as merely “Mature” and worthy of being sold at Wal-Mart, while adding a bit of simulated sex to it makes it “Adults Only”—are a bit beside the point; the ratings system exists, Rockstar Games was supposed to comply with the system, and the company didn’t.

Update: More common sense from Michele at ASV.

Rent-seeking, Starkville style

Mississippi’s catfish farmers have their panties in a bunch after a Mississippi State University study found that Vietnamese basa catfish taste better than the state’s native product:

A study that suggests the Vietnamese basa catfish are as safe and taste better than domestic farm-raised catfish is now being called “preliminary” by Mississippi State University officials who say the issue warrants a more comprehensive analysis.

The study, which was made public Monday, has caused a stir among catfish farmers across the Southeast, especially in Mississippi — home to more than 100,000 acres of catfish farms. It has also drawn sharp criticism from Mississippi-based Catfish Farmers of America, a group that pushed for tariffs on the Vietnamese basa.

Another day in the life of Moscow on the Mississippi…

Bethany flip-flops on Catholic ban, blames “misunderstanding”

According to today’s Clarion-Ledger, the local chapter of Bethany Christian Services has reversed its policy barring Catholics from adoptions.

Rather than anti-Catholic animus, the agency rather bizarrely pins the blame on its misunderstanding of Catholic Charities’ adoption policy:

McKey said the agency’s past policy of excluding Catholic parents was “unintentional on our part” as Bethany had assumed Catholic Charities gave preference to Catholic couples seeking to adopt.

I must have missed the passage in the Bible where it says it’s OK to discriminate, but only as long as you think other people are doing it too…

Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Euphemism of the day

The new term for failure: “deferred success.”

My observation: in some students’ cases, their success seems to be deferred post mortem. Following this logic, we can also call dropouts “deferred graduates,” which should at least swell alumni association membership rolls.

Tuesday, 19 July 2005

Choose life, just not if you're Catholic

Tom Traina notes some old-style anti-Catholic bigotry going on in my backyard: a “Christian” adoption agency is denying prospective Catholic adoptive parents carte blanche on the basis of a policy that is, on its face, not inconsistent with Catholic beliefs.

To their credit, Choose Life Mississippi is investigating the allegations, which may encourage Bethany to rectify its policy. On the downside, the national Bethany organization is apparently A-OK with local chapters deciding which denominations are “Christian enough.”

Does this mean I'm going to marry an alien chick?

Seen at Planet Debian:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I am John Sheridan, although I don’t have the thing for quoting Lincoln and Tennyson he has apparently. A related discussion is going on here; I’m sure Dan is very confused about who this “Zathras” character is, though.

Mr. Justice Roberts

Just in: the nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court is John G. Roberts, a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Orin Kerr, at least, is very impressed with the selection; I don’t know that much about Roberts myself, but he seems to have quite an impressive resume. Despite Kerr’s assessment that Roberts is respected by both Republicans and Democrats, Steven Taylor predicts a fight nonetheless.

Meanwhile, SayUncle is quite disappointed that Roberts doesn’t have a vagina—at least, none that we know of.

Longhorn faster than XP, claims M$

Microsoft claims that its upcoming Longhorn operating system will outperform Windows XP in a number of areas, including startup and application launch times. While XP’s boot times are not terrible, the area that really needs work is desktop login times; admittedly, most of the crap that slows down login is third-party junk (spyware and virus checkers, “quick launch” tools), but getting that stuff to start faster would be much more helpful than getting me to the login prompt more quickly.

þ: Ars Technica, who are also somewhat skeptical.

Appoint this

The Supreme Court nominee is going to be announced tonight by President Bush, according to various news outlets. I won’t bother repeating the speculation seen elsewhere, although I might have something substantive to say once the nominee is announced.

þ: OTB and many others.

Monday, 18 July 2005

Vote for the most annoying ESPN personality

I’m tempted to vote early and vote often in this elimination tournament. My money is on an overall victory by Stephen A. Smith, although Jim Gray may be the “Cinderella” of the tourney and all-around talent-free hack Stuart Scott is surely going to make a run deep into the bracket.

þ: The Baseball Crank.

The Deion Effect

Steven Taylor on Plamegate and politics as a spectator sport:

We too often treat politics like a spectator sport–everything is seen in terms of whether it helps our side move the ball forward or not. If our side says it, it is good; if the other side says it, it’s bad. Such thinking diverts us from genuine, efficacious public dialogue. We altogether seem too interested in making sure our side scores (or, at least, that the other side doesn’t) than we are in actually having a worthwhile discussion about what our national priorities should be, and what solutions are needed to address them.

Because the current story involves Karl Rove–a man greatly disliked by many in the press and in the Democratic Party and a man loved by many Republicans because he works for a Republican President–the story becomes a way to score points.

Think Dick Morris: he was hated by Republicans when he was helping Clinton formulate triangulation strategies, but beloved by many of the same folks once he started criticizing Clinton in newspaper columns and writing anti-Hillary books.

Meanwhile, Nick Troester thinks Democrats may have hitched onto a losing cause:

I think it’s a very, very good thing for the Republican party if Democrats and Democratic activists continue to harp on this issue: no one will really care unless the end result uncovers something massively criminal (and they may not care even then, e.g. Iran-Contra), but mostly it makes Democrats look like crazy loons who will tilt at whatever windmills they can find to out Bush’s (or Bush’s associates’) ‘criminal’ behavior. Did these people learn nothing from Monicagate?

I believe this is the first corrollary to Jane’s Law, simply stated as follows: “The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.”

Sunday, 17 July 2005

Galactica in the NYT Magazine

Via Slashdot: a feature article on the return of Battlestar Galactica to the airwaves, describing the roles of Ron Moore and Richard Hatch (not the nekkid guy from Survivor) in keeping the series alive. Probably not anything new for those fans of the new show who frequent the fan sites, but a good overview for those not properly initiated.

Crash this flick

My soon-to-be-ex-colleague Suzanne and I went to see Wedding Crashers on Saturday afternoon and laughed our butts off, followed by an early dinner at Amerigo, where I think Suzanne was disappointed by her meal and, while I enjoyed the lasagna, I tend to think that Old Venice and Bravo! are better choices for Italian in Jackson.

There's the beef

Good news for consumers: the ban on beef imports from Canada will be lifted this week, which should lead to lower prices for beef products on both sides of the border. As I discussed before and Pieter Dorsman mentioned Friday, the import ban had little to do with the risk of BSE (or “mad cow disease”):

More than anything it was a deliberate move influenced by US meatpackers to manipulate prices. Even in Canada prices somehow remained higher than where they should have been despite the glut of beef.

Reducing this sort of rent-seeking behavior is a very compelling argument for continued progress in dismantling trade barriers in food products.

Friday, 15 July 2005

Cancelled before their prime

Inspired by Alex Knapp: the top five TV shows that got canned before their time.

  1. NewsRadio
  2. Crusade
  3. Andy Richter Controls The Universe
  4. The Job
  5. Firefly

Honorable mentions: Big Apple, Now And Again, and The Ben Stiller Show.

Mississippi: now with less Klan!

Jerry Mitchell asks in this morning’s Clarion-Ledger whether the Klan is in terminal decline. One would hope so, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Sci-Fi Friday returns tonight

A reminder to all the sci-fi fans in the audience (Hi Dad!): Sci-Fi Friday is all-new starting tonight, with the season premieres of Stargate: SG-1 (now featuring Beau Bridges and Ben Browder), Stargate Atlantis, and the show all the attractive libertarian women are raving about, Battlestar Galactica. Good thing I have no social life, or otherwise I’d have to put it on hold for this event.

Your infrequent Plame saga update

Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy takes note of an AP article (gasp) leaking grand jury testimony from Karl Rove (also leaked to the ”New York Times, apparently) that indicates that Rove found out the name of covert agent/DC housewife/socialite Valerie Plame from syphilocon columnist Robert Novak—more or less the same way that Lewis “Scooter” Libby found out her identity.

Meanwhile, Steven Taylor works up just enough effort to care about the case, which I have to say is probably more effort than I could work up. But, you know, as the token Americanist blogger in the blogosphere, I guess I should at least pretend to care…

Update: This would tend to reinforce Jon Podhoretz’s theory of events (☣), although I don’t necessarily believe Judith Miller is the target of the investigation.

Thursday, 14 July 2005

More news nobody cares about

Unless you’re a resident of New York, Philly, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, or Boston (or one of those folks from that country north of the border), you probably don’t care that pro hockey is returning to the ice in the fall, which is just as well since all the teams not in those areas will probably not be around much longer either. More details (if you do care) at

Monday, 11 July 2005

Another Berman nobody likes

John Fund has an Opinion Journal piece explaining the unusual marriage of conservatives and minority interest groups who are upset with the Supreme Court’s 5–4 ruling last month in Kelo v. New London:

In 1954 the Supreme Court declared in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. But that same year it also ruled in Berman v. Parker that government’s power of eminent domain could be used to seize property in order to tear down “blighted” areas.

It soon became clear that too often urban renewal really meant “Negro removal,” as cities increasingly razed stable neighborhoods to benefit powerful interests. That helps explain why 50 years later so many minority groups are furious at the Supreme Court’s decision last month to build on the Berman precedent and give government a green light to take private property that isn’t “blighted” if it can be justified in the name of economic development.

As always, the State of Mississippi (no stranger to “Negro removal”—ask Emmitt Till or Medgar Evers) is front-and-center as an example of eminent domain abuse:

Martin Luther King III, a former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says that “eminent domain should only be used for true public projects, not to take from one private owner to give to another wealthier private owner.” In 2001 he joined with the free-market Institute for Justice (which represented the Kelo plaintiffs) to stop the state of Mississippi from uprooting homeowners to make room for a Nissan truck factory. After he compared the state’s actions to “a giant stepping on a grasshopper,” public opposition to the taking mounted. The state finally announced that Nissan had come up with a way to redesign its facility so that the homeowners wouldn’t have to leave.

Fund’s example might have been slightly strengthened if he knew that the families being uprooted by Nissan were black, in a county rapidly being transformed into lily-white suburbia due to outmigration from Jackson.

Meanwhile, it’s good to see the Clarion-Ledger recognizing what side its bread is buttered on. Quick quiz: one of these things is not like the other; identify it.

But, without eminent domain, there could be no public works: no streets, highways, parks, public lands, city, county, state or federal land and water projects or, more locally and recently, for example, here in Mississippi, no Nissan automotive plant.

Because we all know that car companies can’t afford to buy their own land…

þ: Glenn Reynolds.

Puerto Rico considering no longer being “bi”

Puerto Rico had an “Anne Heche moment” today when voters approved a referendum that may eventually lead to another referendum that would amend the commonwealth’s constitution to get rid of one house of the legislature and create a unicameral Legislative Assembly starting in 2009.

While in the post-Wesberry v. Sanders era (the real “one man, one vote” case, rather than its predecessor Baker v. Carr) the existence of upper houses can be viewed as a vestige of an earlier era, nonetheless 49 states have retained an upper house, partly for reasons of inertia, but also (perhaps) taking heed of counsel from James Madison in Federalist 51:

In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches; and to render them, by different modes of election and different principles of action, as little connected with each other as the nature of their common functions and their common dependence on the society will admit. It may even be necessary to guard against dangerous encroachments by still further precautions.

State governments in general tend to be more legislature-dominant than the federal government—members of the judiciary in most states have to run for reelection, circumscribing their freedom of action, while the executive branch in many states is comprised of various (often competing) elected officials rather than a single governor heading an appointed cabinet—so the argument for Madison’s position in the case of states is rather sound.

þ: Steven Taylor, who notes a “pernicious Nebraska influence” going on here.

Joementum II: Luxembourg Nights

Ouch. You can tell someone’s suffering from Joementum when they’re making plans based on things that aren’t going to happen:

The Luxembourg vote, the 13th country to ratify the treaty, also gives renewed life to [Prime Minister] Juncker’s ambitions of high office in Brussels.

An influential figure in European affairs, the prime minister is thought to covet the role of permanent president of the European Council, representing the EU’s 450m citizens – if the post is created. [emphasis mine]

May I humbly suggest that Juncker go with the title Emperor Norton II?

Sunday, 10 July 2005

Textbook pricing sucks, news at 11

The Durham Herald-Sun must be short on story ideas, since a leading local story is that textbooks are overpriced:

UNC professor Hugon Karwowski is so exasperated with the state of textbook pricing these days that he no longer assigns a particular book for the 70 or so students in his introductory physics class.

Instead, he has told the students enrolling in his course this fall to go out in search of their own physics book. As long as it is at least 700 pages long and is a study of calculus-based physics, it’s fine with him.

“They can get one on the Internet for $20, or they can use the one their brother used five years ago,” Karwowski said. “If they’re so poor they can’t afford [it], I’ll give them a book.”

I’d say that the observation that too many books are lightly revised and republished in barely-altered form is probably accurate; I’m at a loss as to how the calculus or Newtonian physics would change enough to justify a new textbook edition every few years (at least for an introductory textbook). In other disciplines, though, things change enough to justify new books—students would be suspicious of an American government textbook that was last revised in 1998 or so, and political science in general has to keep pace with history. To note a couple of examples, I’d have a hard time selling the Midterm Loss theory today, while a book covering Bowers v. Hardwick in constitutional law without Lawrence v. Texas would seem downright quaint.

My general observation is that students will almost always get most of their money back out of a book (particularly if it’s used) if the same course is being taught again the next semester by the same professor (and if the self-same professor has put in his book order in time!). Unfortunately, at small colleges that doesn’t happen much outside the introductory survey course (if I’d stayed at Millsaps, there’s a good chance I’d have had 3 new courses to prep for 2005–06), and even at the bigger schools most professors don’t want to teach the same damn course over and over again.

So, if you’re a student, my advice would be to hang onto your books if you aren’t getting most of what you paid for them back. Alternatively, check into selling them at the Marketplace and cut out the bookstore middleman—it’s almost guaranteed that someone will be using the same books somewhere in America next semester.

From a faculty member’s perspective, I tend to think that the cheapest readable textbook you can use is probably the best; four-color graphics of the Electoral College may be nicer than grey-and-teal to the Virgin Mobile generation, but my observation is that most of the four-color jobs are either written for idiots who shouldn’t be in college in the first place (condescending to your students with your choice of textbook—which they may very well see before they see you—is probably not the way to get off on the right foot) or otherwise bear the mark of writing-by-committee. Give me Fiorina et al. or Kernell and Jacobson any day.

Frogmarch hopes being dashed

The latest revelations in the interminable Valerie Plame saga don’t seem to be making things any clearer, although Joe Gandelman tries to read the tea leaves and forsees political problems for the White House, even though the odds of Rove having committed a crime (at least by revealing Plame’s name) seem to be getting slim.

Meanwhile, it’s still All Plame, all the time over at JustOneMinute, if you can’t get enough of this excitement.

Extraconstitutionality and democratic consolidation

Robert Tagorda is deeply concerned about events surrounding embattled Philippine leader Gloria Macapagal Arroyo:

I find Arroyo’s actions utterly problematic, and they likely warrant removal. But, on a more fundamental level, I’m once again disturbed with the way that the entire country is handling the scandal. Mass demonstrations, military pronouncements, church declarations—every major step is being taken outside the realm of the constitution.

The Philippines have had a relatively turbulent history of extraconstitutional turnovers in power, as the Washington Post account makes clear:

So far, street demonstrations called by opposition parties have failed to draw crowds of the size that have toppled two Philippine presidents. Peaceful protests brought Aquino to power in 1986. A similar “People Power” movement hoisted Arroyo, then vice president, into the top spot four years ago to replace President Joseph Estrada, who was facing impeachment on graft charges.

While most unbiased observers would agree that the first “EDSA Revolution” that brought down the Marcos regime in 1986 was a legitimate response in the face of an authoritarian regime, two successive transfers of power outside the ordinary democratic process would not be good for building Philippine democracy—even if, as seems to be the case, the presidents being toppled are corrupt.

Wednesday, 6 July 2005

Nap time

My apologies for the lack of posting (here and at PoliBlog); our second summer session started today at Millsaps, and I’ve been tied up with that. More posting tomorrow, probably.

Friday, 1 July 2005

Just call me Joan Rivers

At the invitation of Steven Taylor, I will be part of the illustrious group guest-blogging at PoliBlog next week while Steven takes a well-deserved vacation. During the guest-blogging stint, I’ll probably at least link to everything I post there from here.

For real, this time

For the second time in so many days, the Volokh Conspiracy is announcing the retirement of “Sandra O’Connor.” This time, however, it’s Sandra Day O’Connor, the associate Supreme Court justice, creating the first opening on the Supreme Court in 11 years—and also, more importantly, allowing me to test a theory of the justices’ voting behavior that’s been kicking around in my head (and which requires the end of a natural court to test).