New ABA Journal Piece – October 2010 Issue

Posted in Non-justiciable, Vox Populi by Mike Sacks on September 21, 2010

The ABA Journal has just published on their website my feature essay, “By Dawn’s Light,” for the October 2010 print issue.  The piece is a retrospective of my experiences on the Court’s sidewalk through this past winter and spring.

From my first morning on Jan. 11 until my final overnight on June 27, I witnessed relationships and communities being formed among men and women whose personal engagement with the American system of government transcended their political differences.

I wasn’t always first in line, despite my aspirational title (I was six for 10, for the record), but whether I was first in line, second, third, fifth or 34th, I found all around me new friends cutting through the cold by the warmth of each other’s company.

Loyal F1@1F readers will find some familiar tableaus in the story, but it serves as a good refresher on what’s to come this next term.  I invite new readers clicking over from the essay to plumb F1@1F’s archives for my real-time reflections and photos on the days of my campouts.


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  1. AD said, on September 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    This article highlights what I think is the most important part of your project: real human interaction. True, we read about it only through the internet, and the interactions take place through the lens of specific Supreme Court cases, but what you’re getting at (indeed, participating in) is personal, physical civil discourse.

    Relative to most Court reporters today, your project is progressive– you’re interviewing a new set of subjects, telling a story that includes multiple voices, and therefore speaks to a new (and probably more diverse) audience.

    Taking a step back, though, this is a more conservative effort. You’re only able to do this sort of reporting because of old-fashioned, face-to-face interaction. What you do with that information (telling a multi-voiced story in a significant part of which the Court is only indirectly approached) is what makes the project interesting and unique. But I think you’ve stepped back from the precipice of a purely electronic, online, social-media-driven “discourse,” and I think that’s a good thing, because I think we lose meaning and value as we become physically distant from each other. (I’ve written a very little bit about this idea, at least tangentially, here:

  2. Donna said, on September 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Way to go, Mike! I look forward to more keen observations and reflections this season!

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