Tuesday, July 13, 2010

YLPR Symposium on the State of the Union

Mark Graber

Inter Alia, the online edition of the Yale Law and Policy Review just published a symposium on President Obama's State of the Union Address. Bruce Peabody worries whether President Obama's criticism diminished the quality of political discourse in the United States (an extraordinarily difficulty task, in my opinion, given the remarkably low starting point). Douglas Edlin questions whether the State of the Union address is the proper forum to criticize Supreme Court opinions. Keith Whittington suggests that the State of the Union has become a political pep rally, where one increasing expects the sort of rhetoric typical of pep rallies. My essay focuses on whether the State of the Union address marked a shift to a more tougher and less bipartisan Obama Administration.

Balkinization readers will, I believe profit from the essays. Peabody and Edlin are two exceptionally talented legal scholars who tend to fly under the radar, in large part because they are political scientists teaching at small colleges. With some luck, persons who scan their short essays will be inspired to read their larger work. Whittington is widely regarded as the leading public law scholar of his generation, and the essay bears out his reputation for combining extensive knowledge of American constitutional development with a sensitivity for the political dynamics of our constitutional regime. My grandmother will appreciate your reading my piece as well.

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