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November 26 2007 Legal Blog Roundup

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Legal Theory Blog has a fascinating post on an article written by George Mason University School of Law's Eric Claeys titled "The Private Society and the Public Good in John Locke's Thought" discussing Locke's revolutionary ideas on politics, ethics, and philosophy. The article discusses the very delicate balance between personal associations and convictions and the common public good — and which takes precedence over the other. An example: polygamy is legally banned in the United States because it devalues women, but should adherents of religions which permit polygamy (e.g., Mormon fundamentalism, Islam) be allowed to practice this largely disparaged social tradition? Locke answers "no" because it is antithetical to women's pursuit of life and liberty. But the debate doesn't end there, which Claeys goes on to examine in detail.

Before you read the article, consider this famous quote of Locke, which, while almost 400 years old, remains highly relevant to the modern legal and political debate: "The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom." Wotsay, Patriot Act?



He might be trailing Hillary in national polls, but Barack Obama has earned boasting rights to one of the most highly sought-after political endorsements: Borat's. He may not wield the journalistic leverage of Diane Sawyer or Bill Moyers, but that hasn't stopped the world's most famous and hysterically obtuse Kazakh journalist from weighing in on the 2008 presidential race.

The unabashedly misogynistic Borat declines to endorse Clinton for president because "in Kazakhstan, we say that to give a woman power is like to give a monkey a gun — very dangerous." He officially endorses her main rival by revealing, "I personal would like the basketball player Barak Obamas to be Premier." Read the entire insightful interview by clicking on the November 7 link at the Law Religion Culture Review.

Since this is a recap of legal blogs and the holiday shopping season has already begun, let's end on a litigious note for those of you fond of plastic money: Visa has settled an antitrust lawsuit from American Express with a settlement payment of $2.25 billion. $2.25 billion! If you feel that you've heard this before, it's because you have, only in separate instances. Both Visa and MasterCard have been on the receiving end of numerous antitrust lawsuits over the years, including big settlements in 1996, 1998, and 2004. Tsk, tsk...when will they learn? Read all the details at blogs.wsj.com/law/
2007/11/08/visa-and-mastercard-the-zeligs-of-civil-antitrust-litigation
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Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

    


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