Mensch tracht, un Gott lacht

Friday, June 29, 2018

I trust science. Scientists, not so much.

On a major Vision of the Anointed, anthropomorphic
global warming climate change, a Nobel laureate in physics includes himself out:
Dr. Ivar Giaever, a former professor with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, Sept. 13, from the premier physics society in disgust over its officially stated policy that “global warming is occurring.”
The official position of the American Physical Society (APS) supports the theory that man’s actions have inexorably led to the warming of the planet, through increased emissions of carbon dioxide.
Giaever was cooled to the statement on warming theory by a line claiming that “the evidence is inconvertible.”
“In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?”
Now, I’d like to use a “mainsteam” source for this instead of Fox, but a google doesn’t show any of them reporting it yet. Perhaps The New York Times will mention it in its own good time, but regardless, we should not expect a fawning tribute to Dr. Giaever in the NYT Magazine, as the brave rebel who gave the intellectual finger to the reigning academic Powers That Be.
The Leviathan of the Anointed has two heads, the academic establishment and the traditional media, a synchronized one-two bite that’s impressively deadly to its foes: one plays the game and the other prints the box scores, where the good guys always win.
I had an interesting exchange with an academician recently, the author of a new book for the Harvard University Press presumably on history, but really appears to be a Coulter-style polemic [sans wit and originality] against the fundamentalist Religious Right, therefore against the right, therefore against the GOP, therefore Vote Democrat. We Anointed-watchers are already familiar with this script. Even street-fighter James Carville knows the lines by heart:
“…these creationism-loving, global-warming-denying, immigration-bashing, Social-Security-cutting, clean-air-hating, mortality-fascinated, Wall-Street-protecting Republicans running my country.”
The rhetorical tactic is that creationism [on which the academy is surely correct] is leveraged into the self-evident truth of the academy’s other left-liberal positions on everything else: ecology, sociology, sexuality, history. Policy.
I recently declined an invitation into the tall weeds of the AGW debate; two commenters accepted it and spent hours and hours of research and cut-and-paste to the net effect of zero. So I decline again–my point then and now is that the Anointed have squandered the public trust on all these issues, with their claims that “the case is closed” and the strong-arming of their critics under cover of scholarly authority.
No surprise, then, that one recent poll found “69 percent of those polled believe it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs. Just 6 percent felt confident enough to report that such falsification was “not at all likely.”
Another poll found that 57% of Americans trust the media to report “fully, accurately and fairly” not very much or not at all. The Great Unwashed may be dumb, but they ain’t blind.
Our civic problem remains epistemological: that’s why we can barely have an adult discussion across ideological lines anymore. It’s my opinion that the Anointed of the academy and the media have betrayed their trust by their tactics. Whether or not that opinion is true, what’s a fact is that they have lost their trust and authority with a strong majority of the American public, and that’s the name of this tune.
Me, I don’t think academic alphabet soup after one’s name or a byline in the NYT liberates anyone from the bias and shading of the argument that we’re all prone to.
Because The Anointed are human beings, too. Sort of.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Post "demolishes" a Trump immigration claim Trump never made

“If you get people asking the wrong questions, you don’t have to worry about the answers” --Hunter S. Thompson  

I see the Washington Post's "Wonkblog" has set out to "demolish" the Trump position that immigration is associated with crime. Right from the start, "demolition" seems a curious goal for a "wonk," by the name of Christopher Ingraham, whose interest is supposed to be about facts and figures. Yet Mr. Ingraham don't even begin with numbers. What instead is his purely factual starting point? It is Trump's "notion that immigrants here illegally commit more crime." This "notion," of course, is the Post's headline, not Trump's actual words. What is the source of the Post's claim about Trump's "notion"? It is the White House's "alarmist accounts" and "exaggerated [] threat[s]," including about MS-13. 

If you're like to accept the Post's framing of the question then you don't even need to hear the answer. 

Anyway, the Post wonk sets out to "demolish" Trump's supposed "notion" by positing immigrants commit far fewer crimes than native-born citizens. 

Pardon me, that is not quite right. The precise conclusion of the Cato study covered in the piece is that fewer immigrants were "convicted" of crimes in 2015 in Texas. Apparently researchers looked at data submitted by Texas prosecutors about their criminal cases. But do we know how many total victims there were? Do we know how many charges were successfully prosecuted against each criminal? Do we know how many victims each crime created? The wonkperson's reporting does not indicate. 

Obviously, innocent citizens have as much to fear from a single criminal who perpetrates multiple or repeated crimes than multiple offenders who perpetrate a single crime on a single occasion. Moreover, certain groups can be particularly victimized: Brussels Jews had their Purim festival canceled in 2016 because of security concerns. Such measures might help keep immigrant crime stats down, but where on the ledgers are these special costs entered? Without it, there is no way to "demolish" citizens' fears, or Trump's prescriptions for them. It seems "demolition" may need to wait. 

And what do we know of the number of immigrant crimes that are reported -- or underreported? I see this question has been vexing research of the issue for many years, confounding attempts to understand the issue. The MS-13 gang began as an outgrowth of underreported immigrant crime: Los Angeles immigrants from El Salvador in the 1980s formed the gang to protect themselves from fellow-immigrant predators there. And how have law enforcement attitudes changed since then? Just a New Year's celebration ago the world saw that a mass sexual assault could be covered up by every organ of the state. If that's progress, say the half of America that elected Trump, include us out. 

Despite the sympathy of the host country's leadership to immigrant communities, PolitiFact tells us our "overall understanding of immigrants and crime 'remains confused.'" We still don't know how often immigrants fail to report crime, or why. PolitiFact also tells us "incarceration rates are a poor way to measure links between immigrants and crime." 

The sappers may need to resolve this internecine feud before they get to work "demolishing" the President's claims. 

Back to the Post piece. Immigrants, whether documented or no, according to studies that apparently focus on the number of criminals rather than the number of crimes -- and which apparently do not account for underreporting -- are actually more law-abiding than native-born citizens. Is this meant to be any more surprising than the well-accepted assumption that airline passengers are more law-abiding than the general population? And yet to my knowledge the Wonkblog has never undertook to demolish policies for airline security or chastised "alarmist accounts" of terrorists' attempts -- successful and otherwise -- to hijack and blowup planes. To the contrary, it is firmly accepted that criminals who get on airplanes are punching above their weight. Why isn't it even considered remotely plausible, let alone accepted, that foreign criminals who cross our border are punching above their weight? On what purely scientific basis is immigrant crime deemed to be no more frightful or alarming than native-born crime? 

How do we check the fact-checkers' values? 

Perhaps it is plausible that, if we assume the immigrant is law-abiding, the immigrant will remain law-abiding: why make the arduous journey only to piss it away on a life of crime? But it is equally plausible that, if we assume the immigrant is, say, an MS-13 gang member at the time of entry, we might likewise presume the immigrant will remain a criminal menace once here. MS-13 produces many more victims, and with much greater brutality, than the average native-born criminal does. This would suggest the conclusion it may well be reasonable to conduct some sorting before allowing in an undifferentiated mass of people, even assuming they are on average a more law-abiding bunch than the current cohort. We have no less need to sort immigrants than we do airplane passengers. Assuming the average decency of a cohort of people does not excuse us from preventing the great risks that may be created by a small subset. 

So the most we can conclude so far from the Post piece is that an effective open-borders policy does not create a greater number of criminals, even if it tells us nothing about the total effects these criminals are having on Americans. 

And what about the immigrants' children? PolitiFact also tells us crime does spike among the children of immigrants. A state official concurs: 

""We're talking about third- and fourth-generation [immigrants]; these youngsters are born in Belgium, even their fathers and mothers are born in Belgium, and still they are open for these kind of messages. This is not normal -- in the U.S., the second generation was the President; here, the fourth generation is an IS fighter -- so that is really something we have to work on."" 

Do you object to my citing the Belgian Interior Minister? Why? Do you assume immigrants are unequal in their capacity to become good citizens? Do you assume that countries are unequal in their ability to assimilate immigrants? One of the greatest experimental scientists of Francis Bacon's time, William Harvey, said science was more than merely making observations -- "the vital factor of judgment [is] about what to observe and what to pay attention to." Are the Washington Post or other mainstream news sources providing reporting that meaningfully probes these basic assumptions underlying immigration? Or do you think they are leaving out something important? And do you think this omission is sending readers to other sources, including President Trump, to support these plausible and existentially relevant assumptions? 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Leo Strauss vs the Modern Future

THE OCCASION WAS LEO STRAUSS’ [1899-1973] years-long correspondence with the brilliant and mercurial Hegel scholar Alexandre Kojève [1902-1968], contained in the volume “On Tyranny.” The Google books preview is HERE.
Kojève is fascinating, one of those major figures in philosophical-political history you never seem to hear of. [Hell, James Madison doesn’t have a memorial, isn’t on a coin or anything anymore since they killed the $5,000 bill. But we digress.]
Alexandre Kojève invaluably got the European Union started, and Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History, was his student.
Was Kojève cool or what? If you threw Sartre, Michael Caine and Woody Allen in a blender, you’d get Strauss’ “Dear Mr. Kojevnikoff.”
By contrast, Uncle Leo had a visage like a potato.
uncle leo strauss
Although the cigarette holder is a nice touch. But we digress yet again. Dang us!

The “End of History” is the not-unlikely prediction that human progress will one day yield something resembling today’s Western World, a bourgeois liberal democracy where everyone’s material needs are met and political division is quieted by the rise of a Universal and Homogeneous State. There will be nothing left to fight about.
Philosophy becomes democratized, the parable of Plato’s cave rendered un-egalitarian and therefore obsolete—if not obscene to modern sensibilities.
Strauss, faced with an effective rebuttal by Kojève of Strauss’ original essay about trying to advise tyrants not to be so tyrannical, on Xenophon’s “Hiero,” was obliged to write a “restatement.” The story is here.
Ah, I’ve taken too much of the gentle reader’s time with preface. I did want to convey the gravity and historical importance of the philosophical issues, laid bare in the Strauss-Kojève correspondence—the clash of the classical and modern worlds played out in the EU/UN/and America’s own left-right context. Hope it enhances the below Strauss excerpt, the final paragraphs near the end of his Restatement.
NB: Although he was an "admirer" of the American liberal system, Strauss is quite the Platonist. He mocked Wilsonianism, and wouldn’t be caught dead in a field with messianic democracy.
TO BUSINESS, THEN, as Strauss assays Kojève’s Brave New World:
“There is no longer fight nor work. History has come to its end. There is nothing more to do.” This end of History would be most exhilarating but for the fact that, according to Kojève, it is the participation in bloody political struggles as well as in real work, or generally expressed, the negating action, which raises man above the brutes. The state through which man is said to become reasonably satisfied is, then, the state in which the basis of man’s humanity withers away, or in which man loses his humanity.
It is the state of Nietzsche’s “last man.” Kojève in fact confirms the classical view that unlimited technological progress and its accompaniment, which are the indispensable conditions of the universal and homogeneous state, are destructive of humanity. It is perhaps possible to say that the universal and homogeneous state is fated to come. But it is certainly impossible to say that man can reasonably be satisfied with it. If the universal and homogeneous state is the goal of History, History is absolutely “tragic.” Its completion will reveal that the human problem, and hence in particular the problem of the relation of philosophy and politics, is insoluble. For centuries and centuries men have unconsciously done nothing but work their way through infinite labors and struggles and agonies, yet ever again catching hope, toward the universal and homogeneous state, and as soon as they have arrived at the end of their journey, they realize that through arriving at it they have destroyed their humanity and thus returned, as in a cycle, to the prehuman beginnings of History. Vanitas vanitatum. Recognitio recognitionum.
Yet there is no reason for despair as long as human nature has not been conquered completely, i.e., as long as sun and man still generate man. There will always be men (andres) who will revolt against a state which is destructive of humanity or in which there is no longer a possibility of noble action and of great deeds. They may be forced into a mere negation of the universal and homogeneous state, into a negation not enlightened by any positive goal, into a nihilistic negation. While perhaps doomed to failure, that nihilistic revolution may be the only action on behalf of man’s humanity, the only great and noble deed that is possible once the universal and homogeneous state has become inevitable.
The Chief of the universal and homogeneous state, or the Universal and Final Tyrant will be an unwise man, as Kojève seems to take for granted. To retain his power, he will be forced to suppress every activity which might lead people into doubt of the essential soundness of the universal and homogeneous state: he must suppress philosophy as an attempt to corrupt the young.
The philosophers in their turn will be forced to defend themselves or the cause of philosophy. They will be obliged, therefore, to try to act on the Tyrant. Everything seems to be a re-enactment of the age-old drama.
But this time, the cause of philosophy is lost from the start. For the Final Tyrant presents himself as a philosopher, as the highest philosophic authority, as the supreme exegete of the only true philosophy, as the executor and hangman authorized by the only true philosophy. He claims therefore that he persecutes not philosophy but false philosophies.
The experience is not altogether new for philosophers. If philosophers were confronted with claims of this kind in former ages, philosophy went underground. It accommodated itself in its explicit or exoteric teaching to the unfounded commands of rulers who believed they knew things which they did not know. Yet its very exoteric teaching undermined the commands or dogmas of the rulers in such a way as to guide the potential philosophers toward the eternal and unsolved problems. And since there was no universal state in existence, the philosophers could escape to other countries if life became unbearable in the tyrant’s dominions.
From the Universal Tyrant, however, there is no escape. Thanks to the conquest of nature and to the completely unabashed substitution of suspicion and terror for law, the Universal and Final Tyrant has at his disposal practically unlimited means for ferreting out, and for extinguishing, the most modest efforts in the direction of thought. Kojève would seem to be right although for the wrong reason: the coming of the universal and homogeneous state will be the end of philosophy on earth.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

My Contribution to the Conlawprof Listserv

Re: Leader Uber Alles: Responding to Professor ABC & Professor XYZ

Professor ABC: “El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago has systematically destroyed the western alliance that has prevailed since the end of WWII ….”

The original rationale and the traditional rationales for U.S. participation in NATO included: [1] Europe was broke after WWII (including the European nations among the allies which won the war); [2] Europe was fractious and disorganized; and, [3] a disunited Europe faced a unified (atheist and communist) Soviet Union (and later Warsaw Pact bloc) with designs on dominating (at least) Western Europe. That world is gone, and with it, the original and traditional rationales for continued U.S. participation in NATO. 

Today, Europe is not broke. Today, Europe is not disorganized (e.g., Council of Europe, EU, etc.) And today, the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact, and expansionistic atheistic world communism are no more. It is true that Russia is a great regional power, and it is a real threat to its neighbors. But Russia is a threat which Germany and France, in cooperation with one another and with other European countries, can defend themselves from. Russia is only an American problem is you adopt the near messianic mission that the U.S. defense perimeter must include each and every nation of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe—including nations spun out of the former Soviet Union. If, in Professor ABC’s words, “El Caudillo” shifts the burden of defending Europe from the U.S. onto Europe—i.e., onto Europe’s soldiers and taxpayers—that might be a yuuge win for the United States—and the U.S.’s soldiers and taxpayers. It strikes me as the sort of policy difference that is part-and-parcel of “normal” democratic politics (as opposed to “El Caudillo” politics). Nor should Trump’s position come to us as a total surprise. This issue was contested during the presidential election. See Again: all normal politics. Given the all too recent destruction of the Libyan state, under NATO auspices, by a joint adventure of the U.K. and France (with a green light from the U.S.’s State Department under Secretary Clinton), a serious unwinding of America’s defense commitments to NATO (and, perhaps, elsewhere) might put a needed damper on other such misadventures.

Professor XYZ: “Our Allies are being alienated while Putin gloats about the destruction of the European Union.” The United States has no tools to control Putin’s gloating, or the future of the EU. The dissolution of the EU, its continuation in its current form, or in some different future form—is not anything the U.S. can meaningfully control. (Unless, of course, one has a near messianic vision of America’s role in the world ... but I repeat myself.) 

The future of the EU is in the hands of EU institutions, its member states, and the people(s) of Europe. When President Obama visited the U.K. and urged its people to vote against BREXIT, he did so at the request of the elected Prime Minister, but a majority of U.K. voters voted otherwise, and Cameron resigned. Surely some U.K. voters and some U.K. government officials were alienated by the President’s intervention. Was our ally, the U.K., alienated by President Obama’s intervention? It is a tricky question. The same is true with regard to Trump’s policies which impact our allies. Maybe some officials in the governments of our allies are alienated by Trump’s policies: that is quite possible. But neither Trump nor those foreign officials will be in office forever. Asserting that our allies are alienated seems a bit premature.

Perhaps, one reason that some of our allies’ governments are “alienated” is that Trump appeared quite serious in telling our allies to meet their 2%-of-GDP defense commitment—a NATO policy. It is a policy which is only being met by about 5 of NATO’s 28 members. See It might surprise some on this listserv that some Americans are alienated by our forever footing the defense bill (including the all too real human costs) on behalf of the free riders of Europe. 


Seth Barrett Tillman, My Contribution to the Conlawprof Listserv, New Reform Club (June 13, 2018, 10:04 AM), 

Monday, June 11, 2018

What Is Going On At Student Law Reviews?

After hardcopy publication of Professor Victoria Nourse’s article in California Law Review (CLR”), and in response to my critique, the student editors at CLR removed these quotation marks from extant electronic reproductions of Nourse’s article. Nonetheless, the student editors refused to publish any response by me in CLR or in CLR Online. Furthermore, I have received no assurances that an errata sheet will be published in any subsequent issue of CLR. Finally, I have no idea if these post-publication changes to Professor Nourse’s article were made with her approval, and I have received not one word of explanation from Professor Nourse in regard to all these strange goings-on.

Seth Barrett Tillman, What Is Going On At Student Law Reviews, New Reform Club (June 11, 2018, 5:57 AM),

The passage above will appear in my next publication: Seth Barrett Tillman, The Foreign Emoluments Clause—Where the Bodies are Buried: “Idiosyncratic” Legal Positions, 59 S. Tex. L. Rev. 237 (forth. circa July 2018) (invited symposium contribution),

The passage is speaking to a recent publication by Professor Victoria Nourse. See Victoria Nourse, Reclaiming the Constitutional Text from Originalism: The Case of Executive Power, 106 Calif. L. Rev. 1 (2018),

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Tillman on the Conventions of the Constitution

Some years ago ... then Prime Minister Harper was strongly criticized in Parliament and in the press for giving advice to the Governor General to prorogue the national parliament. He did this to delay a vote of confidence. Most academics took strong exception to Harpers conduct. I did not. This is why. 

January 4, 2010

Dear Professor,

.... That said, let me tell you my key criticism of your article. I am doing this from memory; so don’t hold me to anything or show this e-mail to third parties. It is quite possible that in writing on the fly I might misstate the position you took in your article.

It seems to me that you need some normative model or guidance or test from which you could determine when a Prime Minister [here Prime Minister Harper] is acting in his own self-interest or that of his party as opposed to his best determination of the public good. There has to be some give here. A Prime Minister is not supposed to be a neutral bystander and he should be able to see the continuance of his Government in office as part (not the whole) of the public good. The next test ought to be—as you indicate—was Parliament granted a full, [fair,] timely, meaningful, and free vote to determine whether a Prime Minister and his cabinet should continue in office, but a full, fair, timely, meaningful, and free vote requires a normative basis to make that judgment. It is not the Westminster tradition that a timely vote means whenever the opposition can muster sufficient votes to bring down the Government. Just as the Government can set the election date, it can, consistent with practice, set the time for confidence votes. Such votes should not be delayed indefinitely, i.e., until the next election. But they need not be tomorrow or on one day’s notice either. As I understand it, what Harper did was delay that vote. There was no allegation of offering opposition members personal benefits to get their votes. If the delay was used to go out to the people to explain the Government’s position (i.e., meaning that the Government put forward its view of what an all-opposition cabinet would mean for the country), then that seems consistent with democratic norms. Indeed, that is consistent with what I believe to be the highest aspirational norms of the Anglo-American tradition. In doing so, a Prime Minister isn’t bringing Parliament to “heel”—I think that was your expression. Rather, such a Prime Minister is making Parliament, including the opposition, accountable. It is true that a delay gives a Prime Minister [and his Government] some benefits—a lack of accountability during the time Parliament is prorogued. But it comes with substantial costs too. During that time, the Government loses the opportunity to move its legislation forward and the delay is seen as weakness on the floor of the House [and across the country at large].

For Harper to have violated a convention of the Constitution or to have given illegal advice to the Governor General [in regard to prorogation], you need to show (or so I believe) some sort of overreach beyond the norms of the [Canadian] Constitution. Such overreach might involve intentional actions by Harper out of self-interest, beyond merely seeking to extend the life of his Government. Such overreach would also include indefinite delay of a confidence vote. Finally, overreach would include seeking to check parliament through grants of lucrative office** to opposition members (or bribes paid by third-parties). [On the other hand], where the time of the delay is used to actively engage in politics, i.e. talking to constituents and the press, that isn’t abuse, that is virtue. You arrive at the opposite conclusion (as I understand your position) because your vision of Parliament is one of its having unchecked supremacy between elections—in that situation, the floor members are entitled to a free vote without notice [to the Government] and they should not be made to explain their positions to constituents outside of an [active] election contest. But if that is your position (and I could be wrong on that), then what is wrong (or so I believe) is your normative vision, not Harper’s conduct.

Finally, don’t the two recent Canadian by-elections, particularly BQ losing a seat to the Tories, indicate that Harper had sound prudential reasons for believing that the voters did not want an all opposition government?


Seth Barrett Tillman, Tillman on the Conventions of the ConstitutionNew Reform Club (June 6, 2018, 9:28 AM),

**I overstated the normative force of the convention in this particular sentence. 

Welcome Instapundit readers!

Monday, June 04, 2018

Professor Mark DeForrest, RIP

It is with great sorrow that we note the passing of our blogbrother, Mark DeForrest, who passed away at age 48 on June 2 after a brief illness. Since webpages come and go at institutions, it seems right to inter his CV, bio, and links to his most important legal scholarship here permanently at the New Reform Club, his home on the internet.

You are already missed, my friend. Already missed.

Mark DeForrest

Professor Emeritus

  • J.D. Gonzaga University School of Law, magna cum laude, 1997
  • B.A. History, Western Washington University, cum laude, 1992
  • Associate of the Arts Skagit Valley College, 1990


Mark DeForrest grew up on a small farm outside of Anacortes, Washington, about 90 miles north of Seattle, Washington. After high school, he attended first Skagit Valley College and then Western Washington University, graduating from the latter institution with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. After living and working in the Bay Area of California and Ketchikan, Alaska, he attended Gonzaga University School of Law as a Thomas More Scholar. While in law school he was a member of the Moot Court Council and an associate editor of the Gonzaga Law Review. He was also awarded a George Washington Fellowship from the Discovery Institute, a public policy foundation located in Seattle, Washington.
After graduation from law school, Mr. DeForrest was accepted into the Washington State Bar. He then clerked for the judges of the Superior Court of the State of Washington for Chelan County. In the course of his clerkship he worked on a variety of cases across the full range of both the civil and criminal dockets. He began his academic career in 1999 when he was appointed as a full-time lecturer in the Department of Law; Justice at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. He taught criminal procedure, family law, correctional law, and legal research to undergraduate students for two years.
In the fall of 2001 Professor DeForrest returned to Gonzaga Law School and began work as a legal research; writing instructor. After a year as a visitor, he was appointed as a regular member of the legal research; writing faculty. In 2003 he was promoted from instructor to assistant professor of law in the legal research; writing program. In 2010 he was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor. He has also taught First Amendment law, professional responsibility, sentencing; corrections, and jurisprudence at the law school.
Professor DeForrest is a member of the Washington Bar.


  • In the Groove or in a Rut? Resolving Conflicts Between the Divisions of the Washington State Court of Appeals at the Trial Court Level, cited in 2017 by Washington State Court of Appeals, in In re Pers. Restraint of Arnold

  • Locke v. Davey: The Connection Between the Blaine Amendment and Article I, Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution, 40 U. Tulsa L. Rev. 295 (2004)
  • An Overview and Evaluation of State Blaine Amendments: Origins, Scope, and First Amendment Concerns, 26 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 551 (2003)
  • Teaching the Origins Controversy: Science or Religion or Speech? 2000 Utah Law Review 39 (2000) Third listed author after David K. DeWolf and Stephen C. Meyer.
  • Truth or Consequences, Part Two: More Jurisprudential Errors of the Militant Far-Right 35 Gonzaga Law Review 319 (1999-2000). First listed author before James M. Vache.
  • Civil Disobedience: Its Nature and Role in the American Legal Landscape Comment), 33 Gonzaga Law Review 653 (1997/1998).
  • Truth or Consequences: The Jurisprudential Errors of the Militant Far-Right, 32 Gonzaga Law Review 593 (1997). Second listed author after James M. Vache.
  • Just War Theory and Recent U.S. Air-strikes Against Iraq 1 Gonz. Int’l L.J. 8 (1997).

Other Publications

  • Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty in 1 Praegar Handbook of Religion and Education in the United States 86-88 (James C. Carper and Thomas C. Hunt, eds., 2009).
  • Thomas More Law Center in 2 Praegar Handbook of Religion and Education in the United States 441-42 (James C. Carper and Thomas C. Hunt, eds., 2009).
  • Religion’s Place in the Public Square, The Seattle Times, B-5 (Oct. 23, 1996).


  • There’s More Than One Way to Bake a Cake: Using Legislative and Regulatory History to Improve Rule Synthesis and Proofs in Legal Writing. Presentation at the Value of Variety Conference sponsored by the Institute for Law School Teaching, Spokane, Washington. June 25, 2012.
  • Adopting the Rombauer Research Method to Small-Firm Practice. Presentation to the Western Legal Writing Conference, San Francisco, California. August 27, 2011.
  • Using the Letter from a Birmingham City Jail to Teach Specific Strategies for
    Persuasive Legal Writing
    , Northwest Regional Legal Writing Conference, Portland, Oregon, August 29, 2009.
  • The Use of Legislative History in an Internet-Driven Research Environment. Northwest Regional Legal Writing Conference, Spokane, Washington, August 10, 2007.
  • Teaching Legal Analysis: the Early Years—From Deconstruction to Construction. Northwest Regional Conference of Teachers of Legal Methods, Writing, and Research, Seattle, Washington, September 9, 2005 (co-presented with Professor Cheryl Beckett, Director of Legal Research; Writing, Gonzaga University School of Law).

Law School and University Workshops

  • Writing a Law Review Comment. Annual workshop for the Gonzaga Law Review held each May, 2004-2006, 2008-present. Spokane, Washington.
  • Supras and Infras and Ids, Oh My! Resolving Short Form Citation Confusion Using the Bluebook. Presentation to the Gonzaga International Law Journal Associate Editors. Spokane, Washington, September 11, 2008.
  • Gender, Social Norms and the Culture of the Legal Profession. Central Washington University Women’s Studies Program. Ellensburg, Washington, May 15, 2001.
  • Domestic Partnership Rights of Same-Sex Couples Under Washington State Law. Panel discussion sponsored by the Central Washington University Gay and Lesbian Alliance. Ellensburg, Washington, March 8, 2001.
  • The Intersection of Law and Morality in the Works of Thomas Aquinas. Whitworth College Department of Philosophy. Spokane, Washington, February 15, 2000.

Teaching Areas

  • Legal Research and Writing
  • First Amendment
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Sentencing; Corrections
  • Jurisprudence

Sunday, June 03, 2018

CREW v. Trump (2d Cir. May 31, 2018): Plaintiffs second request for an extension--this time for a reply brief

Seth Barrett Tillman, CREW v. Trump (2d Cir. May 31, 2018): Plaintiffs second request for an extension--this time for a reply brief, New Reform Club (June 3, 2018, 12:00 PM),

Plaintiffs' document is here: Appellant's [sic] Unopposed Motion for an Extension of Time to File Reply Brief, CREW v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, No. 18-474 (2d Cir. May 31, 2018), ECF No. 129-2.