Washington Lawyer


From Washington Lawyer, February 2016

lettersOn Magna Carta, Webster Writes Must-Read Gem 

President Tim Webster's short piece on the Magna Carta in the December issue of Washington Lawyer should be required reading for college and law school students starting a course on the Constitution-—in particular, his conclusion that "Magna Carta's . . . lasting contributions to our current legal system outweigh the dated, trite, and failed provisions." Equally valuable would be a similar analysis of the Constitution itself. Its lasting contributions are well covered already, but more discussion of its dated, trite, and failed provisions is called for;one or more follow-up articles could be considered. Perhaps the most obvious defect in the Constitution is the Electoral College, especially in the vast majority of states where electoral votes are cast as a block. This makes most individuals' votes meaningless except in a few swing states. A couple of states avoid this result by allocating electoral votes in proportion to the citizens' votes.
 —Brian A. Jones Brooklyn, New York

Stein, the Essayist, Draws Praise 

I see that Jacob A. Stein has retired from writing his monthly "Legal Spectator" column. Although Mr. Stein is certainly entitled to his well-deserved retirement, I will greatly miss, as your recent announcement says, "his unceasing insight, wisdom, and humor." Thanks to the D.C. Bar for giving Mr. Stein a forum for "Legal Spectator" over many years. As people in a profession that requires writing and speaking well, all lawyers can benefit from reading good writing, and Mr. Stein's columns were consistently excellent. In fact, I believe his columns can stand alongside the work of America's best essayists—fine company in which to be.
  —Timothy J. Lockhart Norfolk, Virginia