Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.
--Daniel Patrick Moynihan

July 28, 2011

The Mosaic Theory

By David K. Shipler
(published on the Web site of the American Constitution Society)

The Supreme Court has an opportunity next term to play catch-up in applying the Fourth Amendment to the advanced technology of surveillance. The Court has granted the Obama administration’s cert. petition seeking to overturn a well-reasoned opinion by the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit requiring law enforcement to obtain warrants when secretly installing GPS tracking devices on vehicles.

This could be a mundane case or a landmark, depending on which way the justices go.

July 23, 2011

Raising My Debt Limit

By David K. Shipler

I have decided to raise my debt limit. After due deliberation, negotiation, posturing, and pandering, it has become clear that most of my needs can be paid for by somebody else so that I can reserve my money for my wants. Needs and wants are very different, although I often get them mixed up.

July 8, 2011

Constitutional Detours

By David K. Shipler
(adapted from The Rights of the People: How Our Search for Safety Invades Our Liberties, published in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, July-August 2011)

The glass through which Americans could see their Constitution was gradually losing clarity. Small, superficial cracks and microscopic crystals, discovered by National Archives technicians in 1995, would eventually bring opaqueness, and the hand-written codes of freedom would disappear from view.