Amherst Magazine

Verbatim

A compilation of recent remarks made at Amherst.

“When judges overstep their role and interpret the Constitution broadly or stretch the meaning of statutes to favor policy outcomes, they act outside of the very laws that they must uphold.”

Chief Judge John Mercer Walker Jr. of the Second Federal Circuit Court in New York, in a talk on whether judges themselves can violate the Constitution. Part of the Colloquium on the American Founding.
Sept. 29, 2007, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons.

“My explanation is not that they were soft on issues of public safety, but that they were overwhelmed by nationalism.”

Michael Marrus, the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto, on a Parisian jury’s 1926 acquittal of Scholom Schwartzbard in the shooting of Symon Petlura in retaliation for Petlura’s role in Ukraine’s anti-Semitic pogroms. Schwartzbard had turned himself in for the crime, but his lawyer presented him as a hero upholding French notions of justice.
Oct. 16, 2007, Pruyne Lecture Hall.

“A regional deal to stabilize conditions almost necessarily implies the need to negotiate with Iran and to recognize the extent to which they’re holding the winning hand. We’re going to have to make concessions to Iran. (We can argue about what those concessions are going to be.) They’re not going to play nice with us unless they get something in return.”

Retired U.S. Army Col. Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations at Boston University, whose son was killed in Iraq this year, discussing the war in Iraq and the surrounding region.
Oct. 4, 2007, Cole Assembly Room.

“We were going in for one of [our son’s] early conferences, and the teacher said, ‘Well, we’re having a problem with Andrew reading aloud. … We’re really encouraging him, at the end of every sentence, to take a breath, and at the end of every paragraph, to take a longer breath.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, well, Iwonderwherehegetsthatfrom.’ ”

Associate Professor of Psychology Catherine Sanderson, a notoriously fast talker, in a Homecoming weekend discussion of her new book, Slow and Steady Parenting.
Oct. 19, 2007, Cole Assembly Room.