Not a Baby or a Fish: Gutting Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Courts as Non-Static Institutions


Headline reading is fascinating, fun, and maddening . . . but what I notice most with my own headline data-mining is how the news travels from East to West — the English-speaking news that is, much of which is controlled (as we all know) by one individual’s empire. So in the empire’s origin — Australia — the U.S. “clings” to affirmative action; whereas in New Zealand it’s more accurately “struck down,” and then by the time you reach London it’s “gutted.” But affirmative action is not a baby, or a needy dependent, or a fish – and history is not just what happened over 50 years ago. It’s all about IMPLEMENTATION — the title of Aaron Wildavsky’s famous book that I read decades ago and never forgot . . .

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About Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see

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