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The conference was really good; I strongly recommend it if you’re interested in such things. I was on a panel about anti-judicial backlash with the Reva Seigel, Robert Post, Roger Wilkins and Jeff Rosen, moderated by Edward “Closed Chambers” Lazurus. Although frequently timorous in social contexts I’ve rarely been at all nervous about public speaking, but given the shockingly large crowd (at academic conferences, I’m used to more like 5 audience members, and which as you can see was certainly not because of my presence!) and the high-wattage co-panelists it was a humbling experience, but I think a productive one. It was also filmed for C-SPAN, so it will probably be shown on a weekend late night so that the alcoholics, angry loners, and/or unemployables in our audience will be able to judge for themselves.

I will have more later, but the most important thing to note is that the Post-Seigel paper on backlash in available online. It’s brilliant, rich stuff. Two points worthy of emphasis: 1)in addition to the many empirical problems with the judicial backlash claims, it’s not clear why conflict avoidance should be such a high priority, and 2)claims made by people like Falwell about having been changed immediately by Roe tend to be retrospective projection, not supported by contemporaneous evidence. (The second point was also made recently by Michelle Goldberg.)

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