Eszter does it right. Rather than participate in the electronic equivalent of a chain letter and “tag” five people to spread a dare, she open sources it at Grab the nearest book.
As far as I know, no one has tagged me with this blog meme, but I’m still going to participate as it looks fun.
1. Grab the nearest book (that is at least 123 pages long).
2. Open to p. 123.
3. Go down to the 5th sentence.
4. Type in the following 3 sentences.
5. Tag five people.
Of course it helps that her book is cool.
Nearest book as I sit at my coffee table at home: The Chocolate Connoisseur by Chloé Doutre-Roussel.
Since I wasn’t tagged for this meme, I guess I don’t have to tag anyone else either although I invite people to grab the nearest book and post the specified three sentences here or on their own blogs.
Mine is much less cute. The nearest book to hand as I read Eszter's invitation was a collection called Rediscovering Fuller (Willem J. Witteveen and Wibren van der Burg, eds.). It is an impressive set of thoughtful essays by the likes of David Dyzenhaus, Frederick Schauer, David Luban, Joseph Vining and many others. I'm reading it because my Jurisprudence class is heavily influenced by Fuller's work and has several of Fuller's essays among the readings. So far, Rediscovering Fuller is impressively clear, which is never a given in jurisprudence.
Page 123 happens to fall on the concluding page of “Fuller's Faith” by Paul Cliteur. The essay helps flesh out what Fuller was doing in The Morality of Law, characterizing it as a modest but persuasive attempt to deal with the difficulty (impossibility?) of describing a full theory of justice by instead describing what systemic features tend very strongly to injustice. Cliteur paraphrases Fuller as saying, “I do not know exactly what justice is, but I have a clear idea about what it is not. There are some values we have to incorporate in every legal system. If we fail in this respect, justice fails and the system crumbles down.” (p. 115) Some people find this sort of thing to be thin gruel. I find it to be true. (These are not necessarily inconsistent positions.)
The fifth-seventh sentences of page 123 take us within one sentence of the end, so I've included a bonus sentence too. But I have to say that because the ending is in no way a summary, but just a final thought, it fails to capture the spirit of the essay,
He [Bentham] believed that a legislature chosen by the broadest possible electorate was the institution most likely to produce laws that served the public welfare. This would leave judges and commentators little discretion in their interpretation and application.
So everybody has his own faith. I believe that faith as expounded in Fuller's work is certainly neither the most naive nor the least promising as far as the search for the principles of good government is concerned.
Feel free to post yours in the comments, or elsewhere. But don't 'tag' anyone, please.
The book on Fuller sounds very interesting, Michael. Would you consider posting the table of contents? Amazon doesn’t allow “look inside” for it and though it gives a partial listing of the contents doesn’t give the whole thing. It’s too expensive for me to buy now and I have only limited library access right now so I doubt I’ll get it soon but it sounds interesting enough that I’d like to know all of what’s in it. I, at least, would certainly apprecaite that, if it’s not trouble.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface to Rediscovering Fuller
List of abbreviated publications by Lon L. Fuller
List of contributors
Willem J. Witteveen
Rediscovering Fuller: An Introduction
I. Beyond the Fuller-Hart Debate
Kenneth I. Winston
Three Models for the Study of Law
Fuller on the Ontological Status of Law
II. Moralities of Law
Means and Ends
Wibran van der Burg
The Morality of Aspiration: A Neglected Dimension of Law and Morality
Rediscovering Fuller’s Legal Ethics
III. Implicit Law
Peter R. Teachout
“Uncreated Conscience”: The Civilizing Force of Fuller’s Jurisprudence
Gerald J. Postema
IV. The Art of Institutional Design
Roderick A. Macdonald
Legislation and Governance
Willem J. Witteveen
Laws of Lawmaking
John W. F. Allison
Legal Culture in Fuller’s Analysis of Adjudication
The Conscientious Watermaster: Rediscovering the Interactional Concept of Law
A Social Science That Does Not Exist
V. Law’s Dialogue
Lon Fuller’s “The Case of the Speluncean Explorers”
Francis J. Mootz III
Natural Law and the Cultivation of Legal Rhetoric
Fuller and Language
Significant chunks appear to be online at Google Books
Thanks! (Since the closest book to me is 148 F.3d I decided not to take part in the game.)
I reached for the closest book (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage), and the results weren’t that interesting. The second-closest book was Adrian Vermeule’s Mechanisms of Democracy; ditto. But the *third*-closest book was Aleinikoff et al.’s Immigration Law casebook, and the excerpt there is timely. Speaking of a person involuntarily deprived of citizenship, Chief Justice Warren writes (in dissent, but later vindicated):
His very existence is at the sufferance of the state within whose borders he happens to be. In this country the expatriate would presumably enjoy, at most, only the limited rights and privileges of aliens, and like the alien he might even be subject to deportation and thereby deprived of the right to assert any rights. The government was not established with power to decree this fate.
And a smidge further down the page:
But the citizens themselves are sovereign, and their citizenship is not subject to the general powers of their government. Whatever may be the scope of its powers to regulate the conduct and affairs of all persons within its jurisdiction, a government *of* the people cannot take away their citizenship simply because one branch of that government can be said to have a conceivably rational basis for wanting to do so.
Matt- you missed a golden opportunity. It just so happens that page 123 of 148 F.3d is the key holding of a decision by Judge Calabresi in DIAMONDSTONE v. MACALUSO, 148 F.3d 113 (CA2 1998).
The headnote says:
And here’s the quote from p. 123:
From “A Conrad Argosy” (collection) p. 123 – “The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus'”
Mr. Baker could not speak, but found his voice to shout; and under the goad of his objurations, men looked to the lashings, dragged out new sails; and thinking themselves unable to move, carried heavy blocks aloft – overhauled the gear. They went up the rigging with faltering and desperate efforts. Their heads swam as they shifted their hold, stepped blindly on the yards like men in the dark; or trusted themselves to the first rope at hand with the negligence of exhausted strength.
The nearest book just had a map of Somaliland on page 123 so I grabbed the next one.
“By October, the Soviet defenses had been split into four shallow bridgeheads, with the front lines only 600 feet from the riverfront. The 187th Rifle Division moved into a riverfront factory with orders to hold it at all costs. Within three days, 90 percent of the division was dead or missing, a gruesome achievement for which it was redesignated as a Guards unit.”
When Titans Clashed by Glantz and House
(Just at the point when the whole war turned around)
Find another non-response here.
Bruce – I can’t get that link to work, it seems to be asking for your personal login?
this year the two dictionaries have been joined by —
– a phone book
[pg 123, names start with g],
– the audubon society field guide to north american birds, eastern region
[page 123 falls in the un-numbered pages of color plates, approximately in the duck-like birds; plate 123 is the lesser scaup], and
– step-by-step tai chi
[page 123 has only 6 sentences on it, describing the moves for the ‘bring the tiger and return to the mountain’ section of the small circle form]