Stephen L. Carter is a professor of law at Yale, where he teaches courses on contracts, professional responsibility, ethics in literature, ...
March 6, 2015
Put aside the overheated spat about the wisdom of inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress this week. The deeper constitutional issue involves the insistence by President Barack Obama that the House and Senate have no business floating sanctions bills that might upset the administration's negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.
February 16, 2015
We always got the easy parts, we clever teenagers. We knew that the Jester was Bob Dylan, and that "Jack Flash sat on a candlestick" referred to the Rolling Stones playing Candlestick Park. "Eight miles high and falling fast" was trivial. There were always a few kids who attached a deep theological meaning to "no angel born in hell" — surely not the Hell's Angels and the murder at Altamont in December 1969, that was too easy! — but the rest of us were smugly certain. The best way to start an argument, though, was to present some confident thesis on what was meant by "for 10 years we've been on our own" or who was singing "dirges in the dark."
December 24, 2014
Not long after some grumpy administrative Grinch at the University of Maine warned employees against the placement of "religious-themed" decorations on campus including candy canes, NASA announced that Christmas lights have become so bright that they are visible from outer space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration released satellite imagery, both still and video, to show how much U.S. cities glow during the holidays.
August 1, 2014
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which led to the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which led to the escalation of the Vietnam War. It's a history worth remembering at a moment when the United States faces so many crises in so many corners of the world.
July 21, 2014
It's been weeks since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the contraception-mandate case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, but the pace of urgent fundraising appeals has barely slackened. Several times a day, another pops up in my email inbox. Some are from politicians; some are from advocacy groups; some are from various organs of the Democratic Party.
July 1, 2014
I don't know how to express the delight I felt when Cheng Zhi showed up just before the 48-minute mark of the recent episode of "24: Live Another Day." There we were, getting toward the end of the "8 to 9 p.m." hour, only two episodes left in a down-and-up season, and, at last, an actual villain emerged. My joy in seeing Cheng stemmed from the fact that he is neither an insane schemer (see: Margot Al-Harazi, who died last week) nor a craven mumbler (see: Adrian Cross, who died this week). Cheng, instead, is implacably evil.
June 20, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week that it will hear the appeal of one Anthony Elonis, a Lower Saucon Township man who is serving a 44-month federal prison sentence for posting on his Facebook page threats against his ex-wife.
May 29, 2014
Talk about deja vu. The doctrine laid out in President Barack Obama's commencement address Wednesday at the U. S. Military Academy sounded eerily familiar. Obama insisted upon our willingness to use force to deter our adversaries, and, when necessary, to strike them before they strike us. He then had this to say:
May 16, 2014
Members of the Class of 2014, I salute you. My warmest wishes on the occasion of your graduation from this fine institution.
April 24, 2014
Reading the Supreme Court's decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, I couldn't help thinking of Thomas Piketty's controversial new book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." Where would Piketty stand on affirmative action?
April 4, 2014
Suppose nobody votes this year. On Nov. 4 the doors to the polling places are thrown open, and there isn't anyone in line. No absentee ballots are filed. No one litigates, charging either fraud or discrimination, because there weren't any voters.