A Loyola School of Law Faculty Progress Report

George Anastaplo

This memorandum is in response to a request for accounts of faculty works-in-progress that may be useful for the Dean’s Annual Report.

My work this summer was anticipated by a talk to a Chinese Reunification group here in Chicago last spring. I expressed on that occasion reservations about the vigorous expansionist tendencies of the current regime in China, especially with respect to Tibet and other regions to the West of China and with respect to Taiwan and other islands to the east That talk and related materials which bear on the matters referred to below have been posted by a conscientious colleague on the anastaplo.wordpress website.

My work this summer has included a talk about various Conspiracy Theories with respect to the September Eleventh World Trade Center disaster. That talk and related materials should be available on the wordpress website. The often fanciful comments widely circulated about this dreadful matter can be instructive about the character and challenges of public opinion and law enforcement in a technological age. My work this summer also includes three Ad Hoc Seminars, for interested students, on the Declaration of Independence on the Constitution of l78Z and its Bill of Rights of l79l, and on the Confederate Constitution of 1861. The talks prepared for these occasions should also be posted on the anastaplo.wordpress website.

I hereby extend to the School of Law faculty at large the request I made at the faculty noontime Workshop on July 17: what experiences have there been by us with the Roma (Gypsy) communities in this country (people who are said to number here as many as a million)? It was evident on that faculty workshop occasion that there is among us little general awareness of these communities in this country, which is quite different from the experiences Americans along with others routinely have in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

Three texts are being worked on fairly steadily by me these days. The first is my second Abraham Lincoln book, which is currently being reviewed by a publisher. The second, tentatively entitled Leo Strauss and the Would-be Straussians, has aroused the interest of a university press director. The third draws on my essays about Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannos and Greek tragedy.

Then there are, of course, the three extensive collections I have been developing during the past decade. The first collection draws on conversations I had in 2000 with a Holocaust survivor, a distinguished mathematician from Lithuania. Those conversations are being published as appendices to my books or as separate law journal articles. Some three hundred typewritten pages are now in print (which may be about half of the total). It remains to be seen whether a publisher will ever want to do the complete collection, entitled Simply Unbelievable: Conversations with a Holocaust Survivor. (Part of this material has been posted on the wordpress site.)

My second collection is the series of responses by me to the September Eleventh attacks. Four installments of these responses, in some five hundred pages, have been published in law journals (two in the Oklahoma City University Law Review and two in the Loyola University Chicago Law Review). My earliest September Eleventh comments (in the form of my September l2, l3 and l7, 2001 letters to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and in the form of my talk here at Loyola on September l2, 2001 [entitled “A Second Pearl Harbor? Let’s Be Serious”]) have been posted on the wordpress site. (Ramsey Clark, a law school classmate, hopes to do a Foreword for the entire collection.)

My third collection, which is on constitutional matters, is projected as a ten-volume set of reflections (made up of what I have called “constitutional sonnets”). Four of these volumes have already been published (with these titles: Reflections on Constitutional Law [2006], Reflections on Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment [2007], Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution [2009], and Reflections on Slavery and the Constitution [2Ol2]. A fifth volume, Reflections on Religion, the Divine, and the Constitution has been accepted for publication. Two more, Reflections on War & Peace and the Constitution and Reflections on Race Relations and the Constitution are now well in course of preparation. (Discussions in my Loyola constitutional law and jurisprudence seminars have contributed to the development of the material in these Reflections volumes.) It remains to be seen, of course, whether I will be able to complete the ten Reflections volumes I have mapped out. (My Roma inquiries bear on the projected Race Relations volume as do other inquiries I have been making about the Chicago homicide rate.) All this can be said to have been anticipated by the comments on my constitutional studies by one of my law school teachers, Malcolm P. Sharp. See, for example, his l973 article, “Crosskey, Anastaplo and Meiklejohn on the United States Constitution” (available on anastaplo.wordpress).

I spoke a few months ago, on “Justice and Community, Ancient and Modern,” at a conference at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. (That talk, too, may be found on the wordpress website.) A particularly instructive moment for me on that occasion was upon encountering a son of the executed spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. We have met only once before, during a broadcast here in Chicago, several decades ago. The first thing he said to me, upon identifying himself, was, “You were right! The issue was the severity of the sentence, not the question of guilt or innocence.” Are there not here lessons for those of us who hope to train lawyers who are sensible in how they can argue with a view to advancing the cause of justice?

Suggestions, including corrections of what I have already presumed to publish, would be welcome, especially as they bear on the work I still have in view. I recognize, that is, that I am in need of whatever guidance I can get from learned colleagues far more experienced than I will ever be in the practice of law. My limitations here and elsewhere are recognized in the generous remarks about me recently posted on the Opus Publicum website by “Modestinus” (whoever he may be) and earlier by others in the University of Chicago Magazine (March-April 2012, May-June 2012, and July-August 20l2).

Chicago, Illinois

July 24, 2012

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