Thursday, October 14, 2010


I need some help. I really enjoyed this conversation between Justice Breyer and Justice Scalia on how to judge, their philosophies on how to interpret statutes and the Constitution. Naturally, as I'm of a more liberal bent, as well as being on the flexible and pragmatic side, I find Justice Breyer's philosophy more compelling. But Justice Scalia has some interesting things to say as well.

In fact, I enjoyed this debate so much I want to write a paper on it for my political science class. To do so, however, I'd like to have a complete transcript of the conversation. So far, I've completed the first three substantive chapters — I've skipped the Introductions chapter, and completed transcribing Holmes or Hand, Conflicting Ethics and Constraining Personal Views — and I'm working on chapter 5, Purpose.

It would be of tremendous value to me if anyone would help me transcribe the program. Please note who is speaking, and throw in some time tags, so readers can easily find the actual conversation in the video.

I'll offer the completed transcription first to the Federalist Society for inclusion on the website; if they permit it, I'll publish it here for strictly noncommercial use. I'll also email the complete transcript to each person who helps.

If you'd like to help, reserve a chapter in the comments here, transcribe it and mail your transcription to me at lrhamelin (at) gmail (dot) com or post it here in the comments. If you'd like individual credit, please let me know in the email whether and how you'd like credit. I'll also generically credit my readers.

Update 11/1/10: Some progress!

Chapter Status

01: Introduction: skipped/available
02: Holmes or Hand: complete
03: Conflicting Ethics: complete
04: Constraining Personal Views: complete
05: Purpose: complete
06: A Living Constitution: in progress: Larry
07: Conflicting Text of the Constitution
08: History
09: Active Liberty
10: School Voucher Case
11: Q
12: Q1 - Intent of Founders
13: Q2 - Pragmatism: in progress
14: Q3 - Activist Judges: complete
15: Q4 - Supreme Court Criticism: complete
16: Q5 - More Unanimous Decisions: complete
17: Q6 - Boldness: complete
18: Q7 - Morrison v. Olsen: complete
19: Q8 - A New Justice Makes a New Court: complete


  1. Hi Larry,

    When would you need to have this done, and received by you, by? If I can get the time and opportunity to help do a section, I would be happy to.



  2. Whenever you can. I'll keep the status up to date as I or others begin new sections.

    I appreciate your help.

  3. Alright. This weekend I will work on the "activist judges" portion.



Please pick a handle or moniker for your comment. It's much easier to address someone by a name or pseudonym than simply "hey you". I have the option of requiring a "hard" identity, but I don't want to turn that on... yet.

With few exceptions, I will not respond or reply to anonymous comments, and I may delete them. I keep a copy of all comments; if you want the text of your comment to repost with something vaguely resembling an identity, email me.

No spam, pr0n, commercial advertising, insanity, lies, repetition or off-topic comments. Creationists, Global Warming deniers, anti-vaxers, Randians, and Libertarians are automatically presumed to be idiots; Christians and Muslims might get the benefit of the doubt, if I'm in a good mood.

See the Debate Flowchart for some basic rules.

Sourced factual corrections are always published and acknowledged.

I will respond or not respond to comments as the mood takes me. See my latest comment policy for details. I am not a pseudonomous-American: my real name is Larry.

Comments may be moderated from time to time. When I do moderate comments, anonymous comments are far more likely to be rejected.

I've already answered some typical comments.

I have jqMath enabled for the blog. If you have a dollar sign (\$) in your comment, put a \\ in front of it: \\\$, unless you want to include a formula in your comment.