A Letter to Op-Ed Editors

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

March 10, 2011

Dear Editor:

 I write to learn whether you would be interested in an Op-Ed article by me that may have something useful to say about constitutional processes and the duties of citizens.

April 24, 2011 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the decision of the United States Supreme Court affirming in 1961 the decision of the Illinois Supreme Court to deny me admission to the Illinois bar because I had refused on principle to answer questions put to me, by the bar’s character committee, about political associations (including with the Communist Party and the Ku Klux Klan).

One consequence of the Court’s decision was the dissent by Justice Hugo L. Black, a statement which is considered among his most memorable. He himself selected the closing passage of his dissenting opinion to be read at his funeral at Washington Cathedral. The closing line of that dissent (“We must not be afraid to be free”) has recently been used for the title of a book published by Oxford University Press.

Among the discussions of my case over the years was that in a cover story in the Chicago Tribune Magazine of November 26, 2000.

The enclosed material (“A Half-Century Commemoration of Related Events (1961-2011”)) includes the conclusion of Justice Black’s dissent and my subsequent (unsuccessful) Petition for Rehearing, which wrapped up this decade-long litigation. [This and other related material may be found at http://www.anastaplo.wordpress.com.] I append as well a list of books I have published.

I write, therefore, to learn whether you are interested in an appropriate Op-Ed article by me to be published on or about April 24. Mine has long been a career that has attracted some attention, and may even be said to be summed up in a much quoted observation by Professor C. Herman Pritchett (a Past President of the American Political Science Association):

On 24 April 1961 the Supreme Court of the United States, by a vote of five to four, affirmed the action of the Illinois Supreme Court which, by a vote of four to three, had upheld the decision of the Committee on Character and Fitness of the Illinois bar which, by a vote of eleven to six, had decided that George Anastaplo was unfit for admission to the Illinois bar/ This was not Anastaplo’s only such experience with power structures. In 1960 he was expelled from Soviet Russia for protesting harassment of another American, and in 1970 from the Greece of the Colonels. As W.C. Fields might have said, any man who is kicked out of Russia, Greece, and the Illinois bar can’t be all bad.

Please let me know if you should be interested.

Respectfully yours,                                                                                  

George Anastaplo, 

Professor of Law,   Loyola University of Chicago:

Lecturer in the Liberal Arts,    The University of Chicago

Professor Emeritus of Political Science   and  of   Philosophy,  Dominican University

 Office telephone:  312/915-7146;  No e-mail no email eception                                                       

                                                      APPENDIX: Books by George Anastaplo


The Constitutionalist: Notes on the First Amendment (1971, 2005)

Human Being and Citizen: Essays on Virtue, Freedom, and the Common Good (1975)

The Artist as Thinker: From Shakespeare to Joyce (1983)

The Constitution of 1787: A Commentary (1989)

The American Moralist: On Law, Ethics, and Government (1992)

The Amendments to the Constitution: A Commentary (1995)

The Thinker as Artist: From Homer to Plato & Aristotle (1997)

Campus Hate-Speech Codes, Natural Right, and Twentieth-Century Atrocities (1997, 1999)

Liberty, Equality, and Modern Constitutionalism: A Source Book (1999)

Abraham Lincoln: A Constitutional Biography (1999)

But Not Philosophy: Seven Introductions to Non-Western Thought (2002)

On Trial: From Adam & Eve to O.J. Simpson (2004)

Plato’s “Meno,” Translation and Commentary (with Laurence Berns) (2004)

Reflections on Constitutional Law (2006)

Reflections on Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment (2007)

The Bible: Respectful Readings (2008)

Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution (2009)

The Christian Heritage: Problems and Prospects (with a Foreword by Martin E. Marty) (2010)

Simply Unbelievable: Conversations with a Holocaust Survivor (Prospective)

Further Thoughts on Abraham Lincoln (Prospective)


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