FDR's justices were allies while he was alive, but after he died, they developed four totally different theories of what the Constitution is, two of which are considered conservative and two of which are considered liberal.
The Mormons' passage from bugbears of the Republican Party to its stalwarts may be analogized to a similar move among middle-class white Southerners, to whom the Republican Party was anathema until the 1970s and '80s, after which it became almost the sole representative.
How can you have the religion of the sovereign be the religion of the state if the sovereign belongs to many religions? And it's at that point, I think, historically, that you start to see people saying maybe the state should not associate itself with any religion. Maybe there shouldn't be any official religion.
William O. Douglas married not one, not two, not three, but four hot blondes. He was not faithful to any of them, not even the last, and each was younger than the previous woman... But after his personal life began to actually fall apart, he developed a set of values about the Constitution that turned out to maximize our autonomy and freedom.
The rise of the presidency began with the Louisiana Purchase, which in 1803 doubled the land mass of the United States. History taught the framers that, just as Rome changed from republic to empire with conquest of new lands, territorial acquisition would lead to the centralization of political power.
The world is littered with constitutions that have written guarantees of rights but that don't actually deliver rights. What differentiates the ones where rights are real from where rights are fake is that it's in the initial interests of the majority to actually deliver these rights.
What is driving the tendency to discount Joseph Smith's revelations is not that they seem less reasonable than those of Moses; it is that the book containing them is so new. When it comes to prophecy, antiquity breeds authenticity. Events in the distant past, we tend to think, occurred in sacred, mythic time.
An empire that extends itself selectively is just being prudent about its own limitations. A republic that supports democratization selectively is another matter.
The great difficulty with Guantanamo is it was perceived correctly as being a place where people were not being detained subject to rules. I don't think the world thinks that you can't detain suspected terrorists - the world thinks you can do that, but you have to do it pursuant to rules and to clear charges.
Prisoners, according to the law, who are non-U.S. citizens and are detained outside the U.S. - including in Guantanamo Bay - are denied 'habeas corpus.' They are also denied the right to claim the Geneva Conventions confer certain rights on them.
To hear both critics and defenders talk about the fitness of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, you'd think the most successful Supreme Court justices had been warm, collegial consensus-builders. But history tells a different story.
When we put our trust in diplomacy, it is not because it is an inspiring or uplifting discourse or because it helps us see the common humanity in others. The stylized circumlocutions of diplomats can make them seem ridiculous or irrelevant: they never seem to be talking about what is really going on.
Our post-denominational age should be the perfect time for a Mormon to become president, or at least the Republican nominee. Mormons share nearly all the conservative commitments so beloved of the evangelicals who wield disproportionate influence in primary elections.
Cyber attacks are not what makes the cool war 'cool.' As a strategic matter, they do not differ fundamentally from older tools of espionage and sabotage.
From a constitutional standpoint, the religion of a candidate is supposed to make no difference. Even before the founding fathers dreamed up the First Amendment, they inserted a provision in the Constitution expressly prohibiting any religious test for office.
The modern presidency, as expressed in the policies of the administration of George W. Bush, provides the strongest piece of evidence that we are governed by a fundamentally different Constitution from that of the framers.
The 1994 elections that brought Newt Gingrich to power in the House decisively shaped the remaining years of Bill Clinton's presidency, pushing him further to the right and bringing out his latent tendency to govern every day as if an election were being held the next.
Marriage is the most obvious public practice about which information is readily available. When combined with the traditional Jewish concern for continuity and self-preservation - itself only intensified by the memory of the Holocaust - marriage becomes the sine qua non of social membership in the modern Orthodox community.
For Mitt Romney, the complex question of anti-Mormon bias boils down to the practical matter of how he can make it go away. Facing a traditional American anti-Catholicism, John F. Kennedy gave a speech during the 1960 presidential campaign declaring his private religion irrelevant to his qualifications for public office.
Iraqi national identity under Saddam Hussein never truly incorporated Shiites or Kurds. Sunnis, who identified most closely with the Iraqi nation, remain in some ways disenfranchised relative to the other groups, or at least they perceive themselves that way.