Friday, August 20, 2004

What I did during my summer vacation

Several of you have been kind enough to inquire after me because of the lack of postings for the past month. The truth is that I've been swamped with work. I'm simultaneously working on three different books slated for publication next year as well as about six articles, revising my Con Law casebook, plus the usual reviewing of manuscripts by other scholars, writing recommendations, running the Information Society Project (my Internet center at Yale), etc. At some point, the deadlines just pile up and I have to let go of something. In this case, it's blogging. (Nevertheless, I should point out that Mark Tushnet, who has been graciously guest blogging here on Balkinzation is doing about twice as much without breaking a sweat!).

In any case, in the next week or so I want to share some of the work I've been doing. In particular, last week I was down in Washington doing research on one of my books, in this case a book on Roe v. Wade, and I spent some time at the Library of Congress looking through the papers of Justice Harry Blackmun. Blackmun was a pack rat-- he saved *everything*-- and there are a fair number of letters between the Justices in some of the important cases of the 1970's and 1980's, and, in particular the abortion cases starting with Roe. As the author of Roe, Blackmun felt an almost proprietary interest in the fate of that decision, and his records of the deliberations in Roe, Webster, and Casey are pretty good. I also wanted to see if there was any connection between the decision in Roe and the Court's sex equality jurisprudence. It turns out, not much. But in the meantime I found some fascinating stuff on how the Court viewed the ERA as it was considering whether to create new doctrines enforcing sex equality.


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