Author Archives: Matthew Dickinson

The Danger in the Kavanaugh Vote

If the executive summary of the FBI investigation released by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley accurately captures the underlying FBI findings, it appears that Judge Kavanaugh is on track to be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, consistent with what I suggested in my previous post. We may know more regarding how the remaining […]

The Truth About the Ford-Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

In response to multiple emails from current and former students, and others, here are some initial and admittedly impressionistic thoughts regarding the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.  As senators Feinstein and Harris were quick to remind Ford, and their audience, yesterday was not a criminal trial.  If it were, the proceedings would have ended quickly. There is […]

The “Gay Cake” Supreme Court Decision: Not A Judicial Masterpiece

Martin Naunov, Middlebury class of ’17, used the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in his senior honors thesis to explore the potential conflict between equal treatment of gays and lesbians in the marketplace, and the Constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty and free speech.  Here he reacts to the Supreme Court’s decision, handed down on Monday, in the […]

Mission Accomplished! But On Whose Authority, And To What End?

By now, most of you have heard that Great Britain, France and U.S military forces combined to strike three Syrian chemical weapons facilities earlier this morning (about 4 a.m. Syrian time).  The strikes were in response to the reported use of chemical weapons, most likely chlorine gas and the sarin nerve agent, by the Assad […]

On Presidents Day, We Celebrate The Guardian of the Presidency

It is Presidents Day – a time to repost my traditional column commemorating the late, great Richard E. Neustadt. This year the post seems particularly timely, given the controversy surrounding our current President – particularly the fear that his authoritarian tendencies will undermine the presidency and the Constitutional order.  As I hope becomes clear by reading […]

The State of the Union, According To Trump! Hallelujah (Sort of)!

The fact that the usual suspects responded in the usual ways to President Trump’s State of the Union speech does not make their analyses wrong – it just makes them predictable, and thus a less useful barometer for how the speech played outside the NYC-DC pundit beltway.  Initial polling by CBS suggests that it was […]

Can You Have Your Cake and Free Speech Too? The Supreme Court and the Masterpiece Bakery Case

Martin Naunov, Middlebury Class of ’17 and currently a Litigation Fellow in the Office of General Counsel at the Hearst Corporation, waited in line for several days three weeks ago in order to hear oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.   The case centers on whether compelling a cakeshop owner […]