Author: O, statua gentilissima

The states and grand juries, Part Two: Historical vignettes of grand juries under siege

Rather than give a comprehensive history of the victories of “reformers” who curtailed grand-jury rights in state after state, let me attempt to give some historical vignettes, and tie these vignettes together with some semblance of narrative coherence. Then later, I’ll give an account of the triumph of the reformers in their battle against the grand jury.

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The man who fought a blacklist and killed the First Amendment (it got better)

Things were different in many ways a century ago, but in one respect it was like all places at all times: there were insurance agents.   Robert T. Cheek of St. Louis, Missouri, was one of those insurance agents, selling policies in his hometown for the Prudential Insurance Company. In the 1910s, after many years of what he obviously considered faithful service, he left his job and began looking for work with another insurer. He asked his former employer, Prudential, for a letter describing his work and the reasons he left. Prudential refused to provide such a letter. Without...

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Separation of college and sex

I’ve just finished The Campus Rape Frenzy, by K. C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr. The subtitle – The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities – should dash any false hopes that this book is a STEVE SMITH adventure. It’s about how the federal government forced – or probably the right word is egged on – colleges to provide inadequate hearings for male students accused of sexual misconduct. The usual scenario is that Bob and Betty two hypothetical students at Hypothetical U, both drink a lot of booze, then get together and have sex. Later, sometimes much later, Betty decides that...

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