Way back in 2018, there was a meme going around that involved captioning a scene from the TV show American Chopper with high-brow, dialectical arguments. Perhaps my favorite work from this genre was from a friend of mine:

This past Wednesday, Jeff Sessions resigned as Attorney General. Immediately, the question on everyone’s mind was: what does this mean about the security of Robert Mueller in his role as Special Counsel? Will Mueller be fired by the new Acting Attorney General? Democrats in Congress immediately began advocating for a law that would give Special Counsel Mueller greater protection from the President.

I suspect that in the coming months, our political and legal systems will be faced with a situation in which Congress tries to prevent the President from perceived overreach, and the President will argue that Congress’s actions infringe…

With Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court, there is a lot of discussion of the future of constitutional jurisprudence — in particular the future of abortion rights in the United States. So, this is a good time to review why and how, exactly, fundamental rights are protected under our Constitution.

It’s not a straightforward story. It’s the story of a surprisingly ambiguous Bill of Rights, the polarized politics of Reconstruction, a Supreme Court that cared more about protecting the rights of corporations than of people, and jurisprudential knots the Court has tied itself up in to correct those earlier…

(Last updated July 7, 2018. Check back for updates!)


The Bosonid Claim (updated June 22)

The West Francian Claim (updated June 7)

The Unruoching Claim (updated June 16)

The Herbetian Claim (updated July 7)


I’m fascinated by royal genealogy. I always have been. Maybe it’s because I’m an American, and we’re naturally fascinated by royalty. And maybe it’s because I’m an Ashkenazi Jew who can’t trace back my lineage more than 4 generations in most directions. Whatever the reason, since I was a child, I’ve always found it entertaining to draw royal family trees.

So, recently, I thought about looking back at the progenitor of all these royal family trees: Karel de Grote. Carolus Magnus. Charlemagne. …

The Second Amendment is, to say the least, problematic. It sits in the Bill of Rights, our pantheon of liberties, alongside freedom of speech and due process of law. But like so many parts of our Constitution, it is a source of constant argument over its meaning. And it is particularly problematic for liberals, who interpret the Bill of Rights expansively but are disgusted with the consequences of the easy availability of guns in our country. So, I wanted to spend a little time tackling this troublesome Amendment, and understanding what it really means.

The first step to understanding the…

“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”

Despite it being a part of our culture for 40 years, there’s actually very little we know about the Force, as it exists in the Star Wars universe. The original trilogy† contains only a half-dozen lines that discuss the nature of the Force, and only a few of those are particularly enlightening. So we’re left with very little to work with in understanding this important part of the universe.

Lectern of the Jedi


So let’s start with the quote at the top. “[The…

About two years ago, I wrote a post on my blog about the King v. Burwell lawsuit. This was the second big challenge to the Affordable Care Act—the one in which the plaintiffs argued that people who signed up for health insurance through the federal Exchange were not eligible for the subsidies that would make their premiums affordable.

If the King plaintiffs had one, it would have been disastrous. Three-quarters of exchange enrollees lived in states utilizing the federal website, and more than 80% of them received subsidies. For these people, the end of subsidies would mean that buying…

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, everybody has been providing their two cents on why and how Trump was elected. So, while I do not expect that any of my thoughts will be revolutionary, I think it will be valuable to put a bunch of them together in one place.

The Future is Now

As I have written in the past, we have reached a new stage in modern society, a stage where, when it comes to work, “humans need not apply.

The mainstays of the American workforce in the mid-twentieth century —…

I’ve seen a lot of discussion lately about Ross Douthat’s latest column in the Times, “Clinton’s Samantha Bee Problem.” Douthat’s column is so bizarre — so full of misplaced responsibility and backwards causal arguments — that it’s hard to know where to begin.

But we must begin somewhere, so let’s begin with Douthat’s argument.

According to Douthat, Culture is being “colonized” by an “ascendant social liberalism.” The social liberalism of younger Americans is pushing the “race-gender-sexual identity agenda” into previously apolitical realms of late-night TV, popular culture, professional sports, and academia. …

“Crime… Boy, I don’t know.”

In the season finale of Season 3 of The West Wing, President Bartlet is having a private conversation with his opponent in the upcoming presidential election. When discussing a particularly tragic event, the opponent shakes his head, saying, “Crime… Boy, I don’t know.”

After the conversation, President Bartlet looks back at his opponent and says a line that has become a fan favorite: “In the future, if you’re wondering, ‘Crime… Boy, I don’t know’ is when I decided to kick your ass.

Bartlet’s cheap shot retort is almost certainly unfair to his opponent, but what…

Matt Samberg

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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