Blog Posts



Memo To Angela Alvarado: The Constitution Has Not Been Suspended

One of the most startling emails I received during the current pandemic involved a class action lawsuit on behalf of inmates in a midwestern federal prison. The ACLU wanted prisoners released on a compassionate basis due to the threat of infection. What shocked me was that obesity was a...

The General Strike Theory of the Pandemic: Blame John Rawls?

New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo earned high marks early in the pandemic for declaring that he would not put a value on human life, and that he would spare no cost to save every life. Of course, he didn’t really mean it. He couldn’t mean it. Life is risk, and, sad but...

The Loss of Legitimacy -- Dystopian Jitters, IV

The pandemic has revealed the fault lines in American politics, we’re told. That’s probably true. Herewith a decidedly dystopian snapshot. Simply put, our communal ties are frayed, perhaps irreparably.
Cicero observed that a republic, or commonwealth, was...

Will The Coronavirus Kill Libertarianism?

I don’t doubt for a moment that social distancing, hand-washing and covering one’s mouth and nose while out in a crowd diminish the risk of my acquiring or spreading the coronavirus.
It’s good medical advice, offered with good intentions by medical...

Identity Taxation, Dystopian Jitters, III

A friend of mine plans to attend a rally in his state’s capital. “Open up the country,” he’ll demand. He’ll be marching in the name of liberty.
Loved ones counsel vigilance. Stay home. If you must go out, wear a mask and gloves. Wash your...

"Social Credit" Scoring in the U.S. -- Dystopian Jitters, II

In the last piece of this series on Dystopian Jitters, I wrote about how the COVID-19 pandemic has been used to foster tolerance of mass surveillance. (See, Mass Surveillance and COVID-19 – Dystopian Jitters, I) Given the imperative to survive, most everyone is willing to...

Mass Surveillance and COVID-19 -- Dystopian Jitters, I

I’ve got a serious case of the dystopian jitters, and I can’t tell whether the source of them is realistic or not. So, I share them with you, the better to reality test in these days of isolated anxiety.
What are dystopian jitters?
A fear...

Dear Gov. Lamont: It's A Virus, Stupid

Word has it that Gov. Ned Lamont is beside himself. The judiciary isn’t doing enough in this crisis, he is said to mutter. He is said to have ordered, or is contemplating ordering, judges to turn up at the courthouses, even if it is only to punch the clock. Courthouses throughout...

COVID-19: What About Cross-Examination Of Witnesses?

Cross-examination is the engine of our civil and criminal justice system. When there is a dispute about facts, witnesses are required. Fact-finders, whether they be juries or judges, then make credibility assessments, deciding whom to believe. Yes, mistakes are made – many a...

© Norm Pattis is represented by Elite Lawyer Management, managing agents for Exceptional American Lawyers
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