Law school exam season is upon us. One more to go for me. This spoof from LSU’s Assault and Flattery will either give you a little hope or extinguish it entirely.
The Eighth Amendment of our Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Aside from the jurisprudential gloss the phrase has acquired over time, it’s an odd one. Sure, let’s prohibit needlessly cruel punishments but only if they’re unusual? Why carve out constitutional protection for time-honored methods of torture but prevent innovations in cruelty? Rob Cottingham provides an excellent example:
If you’ve sat through enough of these, there’s no doubt that powerpoint can meet the cruelty prong and yet it’s the sheer ‘usualness’ of it, the part that makes it so intolerable when yet another deer-in-the-headlights presenter nervously recites to us every line of their godforsaken slides, that allows powerpoint to continue its reign of terror.
According to Adams these cartoons will never make the newspapers, not because they’re any less funny than the ones that will, but because the newspaper pipeline is simply too slow and cumbersome to accommodate comics based on today’s lighting-fast news cycle.
Lessig’s powerpoint is truly a marvel; his take on the consequences of Citizens United is both accessible and insightful.
07 April 2010: The Hugo Black Lecture at Wesleyan. This talk addresses Citizens United and the relevant speech interests that should justify campaign finance regulation. But given the Court’s judgment, these justifications must await constitutional revision.