I am a law professor. Which is to say, I am a lawyer who now teaches law, and who researches, writes, and speaks in my chosen legal fields. Those fields include Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Constitutional Law, with a special focus on Federal Criminal Law, the death penalty, and the ways in which American politics intersect with my areas of interest. I practiced law for several years, and have taught for several years, both in law schools and in a graduate program in Government.
So my wife thinks I should have a blog. She has been especially adamant in recent months. For years, I have politely resisted. First, after wondering whether it was still 2006, I thought, hmmm . . . a law professor with a blog about law and politics? Sure, because no one has thought of that yet. Next, there are just too many blogs out there, some of them very good and written by people far smarter and better at this kind of public communication than I am. No one will pay attention to me, and for someone as insecure as me, that’s a problem. Moreover, I have long been critical of the prevailing social media culture in which many people feel compelled to share their every thought with the world – as if the Earth will turn no more if some random celebrity does not share his thoughts about the Iran nuclear deal on Twitter. So, for me, The Facebook, The Twitter, and The Blogs just did not make much sense as places to express myself. Finally, I tend to be grumpy and gruff and generally negative and un-optimistic, and I wonder how those traits will affect my ability to do blogging well. But, my beautiful and ever-thoughtful wife seems to think that I have something to say that might matter to someone, and, in light of her persistent flattery (which I am too eager to accept), I have concluded that perhaps it is time to at least give it a try.
Here, then, is my compromise: I shall take blogging out for a spin, see how it handles, but I will resist any temptation to share my every passing thought. I will endeavor to confine my observations to matters of interest to an audience bigger than myself and on issues of some public importance — chiefly criminal justice (especially at the federal level), the Constitution, and politics. Oh, perhaps every now and again I shall post something on more trivial pursuits, but those times will hopefully be rare by comparison to posts on more important matters. This site will not be for everyone, and will not be a home for insults or incivility or general hating on lawyers or law professors. There are plenty of other places to go for that. Perhaps it will be too boring here, and perhaps my observations will be of little interest or use. I suppose I won’t know until I try.
So consider this my birthday present to my wife. Yep, this is all she gets this year. Happy birthday, sweetheart.
— J. Richard Broughton