Sunday, June 9, 2013

'80s Own Captains Courageous, Scott Miller, Competing in the Bermuda One-Two Race

Scott Miller, skippering the "Resolute," is competing in the Bermuda One-Two Race from Newport, Rhode Island, to Bermuda. Miller writes, "The singlehanded race from Newport to Bermuda starts tomorrow (Saturday) mid-day; the doublehanded race back from Bermuda starts June 20 (probably late morning start).  The races should take me a bit more than 4 days to complete."

The site provides a tracking function (third link down on the left on the home page) so yachting fans can follow the progress. Miller's boat is the Resolute, leading the group in Category 1 as of late Sunday morning.

Cabell Chinnis Talks About Life as a Gay Supreme Court Clerk

The New York Times on June 9 featured a front-page story titled, "Exhibit A for a Major Shift: Justices' Gay Clerks." The article looked at the interactions of Supreme Court justices and their gay court clerks in the 1980s. One of the clerks interviewed was C. Cabell Chinnis, who clerked for Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. when Justice Powell was considering his crucial vote in the Bowers v. Hardwick case, involving a George law that criminalized sodomy. The article states,

C. Cabell Chinnis, a gay lawyer who practices law in Palo Alto, Calif., was one of Justice Powell’s clerks as the justice was struggling with how to vote in the Hardwick case. In an interview, Mr. Chinnis said his boss must have known about his sexual orientation. “He had met my boyfriend,” Mr. Chinnis said. 
Indeed, the justice sought him out for advice precisely because he wanted to learn about the mechanics of gay sex, Mr. Chinnis said, recalling an uncomfortable exchange on the subject. 
“This 78-year-old man is asking me about erections at the Supreme Court,” he said.
The conversation was unusual, as Mr. Chinnis was not the clerk who had been assigned to work on that case. But the two kept talking as the justice wrestled with the issues in the case. At one point, Mr. Chinnis recalled, he made a plea to his boss based on a comparison to a pending case about the right to vote in judicial elections. 
“It’s more important to me to make love to the person I love,” Mr. Chinnis remembered saying, “than to vote for a judge in a local election.”
Justice Powell initially considered striking down the law, but ultimately voted to uphold it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Anne-Marie Slaughter Considers Webs and Ladders

In a column posted on the Huffington Post today, "Do You See the World as a Ladder or a Web?", Anne-Marie Slaughter shared her perspective on web people and ladder people as ways of approaching life and work. She writes,

When I was a first-year law student in 1982 I read Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice, in which she studied adolescent girls and boys and concluded that girls were more likely to gravitate toward an "ethic of care" and boys were more likely to express an "ethic of justice." Gilligan's point, then and now, is that both perspectives are equally valid and equally essential to human existence. Her findings interested me. But what rocked my world was her description of two different concepts of power, contrasting a ladder and a web. As she explained, if you live or work in a hierarchy, then the position of greatest power is at the top -- the first rung on the ladder. On the other hand, if you live or work in a network or other horizontal community, the position of power is in the middle, the hub of the wheel or the center of a web. The two visions do not fit well together: being at the top of a ladder translates to being on the periphery of the web; being at the center of the web becomes the middle of the ladder. But each is unquestionably a power position in their respective environments.