Man reading newspaper in Cincinnati, OH, 1938. Photograph by John Vachon. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information.
“To pick up on almost any story in the news these days—political, financial, sexual, or environmental—is to be informed in the opening monologue that the rule of law is vanished from the face of the American earth,” Lewis Lapham writes in the preamble to our Spring 2018 issue, Rule of Law. “So sayeth President Donald J. Trump, eight or nine times a day to his 47 million followers on Twitter. So sayeth also the plurality of expert witnesses in the court of principled opinion (media pundit, Never Trumper, think-tank sage, hashtag inspector of souls) testifying to the sad loss of America’s democracy, a once upon a time ‘government of laws and not of men.’ The funeral orations make a woeful noise unto the Lord, but it’s not clear the orators know what their words mean or how reliable are their powers of observation.”
Listen to him read his essay about where the law is—or isn’t—below.
This recording is made possible by gifts from Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince and James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.
Read more on the law in our Spring 2018 issue, Rule of Law.