Marbury v. Madison was a landmark case, to be sure, but it was also a very political decision that played
fast and loose with the law. And while I suppose John Marshall was a kind of proto-activist, the fact is
every judge makes new law simply by interpreting existing law, and
even as "dead" a document as the U.S. Constitution (the preferred adjective of Antonin Scalia) has to evolve and adapt as the context for interpreting it changes. If nothing else, Lawrence Goldstone's snapshot of the legendary
Marbury case helps us to better understand the absurdity of "original intent" arguments of
interpretation: determining whose intent mattered, and what that intent actually was, is a doomed enterprise even for the sharpest legal and historical minds.
3: the site will be on hiatus
for a while.
20: added my review of David
Foster Wallace's Both
Flesh and Not
GoodReports.net (originally Alex Good's Book Page)
was originally launched as a personal home page containing some of my book reviews. The site in its current
form is still being maintained as a hobby and
labour of love.