Saturday, July 02, 2005


Call me "Quote-Meister"

Every now and then I have to do something to justify my self-identification on this blog as "a professor of Constitutional Law," and it was in that capacity that my name appears in today's My Town Daily Tribune weighing in on the Sandra Day O'Connor hoopla.

Talk about your fifteen minutes of fame: Saturday paper, page 7. (At least I'm above the fold. Well, right on the fold, actually.) I was called yesterday by a reporter doing a story on the O'Connor retirement and she asked, as is common in these interviews, to give a quote in response to another quote. The result came out something like this (exact quote modified to preserve my secret identity from those of you with access to Google):
"The supposed 'right to privacy' does not appear anywhere in the Constitution," said Dotty Niedermeyer, spokesperson for the Statewide Organization of Right-to-Life Nutjobs.

"Oh, I haven't heard that one today," said Oscar Madison, Professor of Constitutional Law and New York Mets fan. "Actually that's just a huge load of bushwah. The bundle of liberties that we Americans hold dear as vital to our freedoms and which are safeguarded among our constitutional rights include many rights that grow out of judicial interpretations of what the constitution says about rights, privacy being just one among them."
Okay, clearly I should have stopped at the word "bushwah," but I felt that my role as "professor of constitutional law" required more from me. Something analytical. More words, anyway.

Quote-meistertude is hard! Some people are good at slinging slogans off the top of their heads, but I have to think and plan for the 10-word answer. When Rehnquist quits, I'll be ready.


You are on page 5 of your town's other paper with the liberal editorial page.
Actually, "7" was a pseudonym for "5."
The Art of the Sound Bite or... "You Can Do It If You Really Want"

The secret, Professor, is brevity. As in:

"Johnson's war makes America puke." (ca 1967)

"Tommy Thompson's appointment to head HHS is the worst thing for the health of this country since the plague." (ca 2001)

"Like a ship deserting a sinking rat." (on Sen. Jefford's reincarnation as an independent)
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