September 11, 2001: First person from the US Supreme Court to Law Now
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AbstractWhile I was waiting at a traffic light, I heard "a late-breaking story" on the radio's soft rock station. "This just in. It appears that a small airplane has hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. A few minutes later another larger 737 plane then hit the other tower. They are saying there is a lot of debris. We don't have any more information right now." A succession of superlatives followed, like "America is the greatest country", "we are now at war", and "Osama Bin Laden dead or alive". President Bush even promised to "rid the world of evil", possibly unencumbered by the Rule of Law. This language issued to comfort nerves jangled by genuine fear and anger that few foreigners can fathom. Americans took the attack against their country personally. Ongoing events remind me of the words over a generation ago of the late Chief Justice Earl Warren. He confided that he "always turn[ed] to the sports pages first." His reasoning? "... they record people's accomplishments; the front- page, nothing but man's failure."
Article deposited after permissions was granted by the editor of LawNow magazine, 06/28/2010.