links for 2009-06-02

  • "In a 1992 reminiscence, Justice O’Connor wrote that Justice Marshall was “constantly pushing and prodding us to respond not only to the persuasiveness of legal argument but also to the power of moral truth.” She recalled the moving stories Justice Marshall would tell to support his view that racism played a pernicious role in the administration of capital punishment.

    It is not clear, though, that any of those stories caused Justice O’Connor to change her vote. “Justice O’Connor was not nearly as sympathetic to racial civil rights claims as she was to gender claims,” said Lawrence Baum, a political science professor at Ohio State."

  • "[Sergio] Garcia, 18, spent most of his years at Fairfax openly gay and wanted to be part of the Los Angeles school's prom court — but not as prom king. He felt that vying for prom queen would better suit his personality, so he decided to seek that crown, running against a handful of female classmates."
  • "The best teachers tend to leave when their schools experience an influx of African-American students, according to a study of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school district published today.

    C. Kirabo Jackson, an associate professor of labor economics at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., studied patterns of teacher movement in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools between 2002 and 2003, which was when the 137,000-student district ended its long-running policy of busing students to keep schools racially integrated. His results, published in the Journal of Labor Economics, show that, at all levels of schooling, high-quality teachers—both black and white—were more likely to switch schools as the policy change began to take effect and student populations shifted."

  • "I just finished Paula Hyman's fantastic Gender and Assimilation in Modern Jewish History. Although this was technically orals-lists reading, it ended up having more immediate relevance: helping to understand why all three of the sample Jewish jokes in a NYMag feature on the End of Jewish humor are less about Jewish self-deprecation than about hatred of Jewish women."
  • "Now, the 46-year-old actor is considering offers to play Tonto as a shrewd man behind the legend in a remake of the "The Lone Ranger."

    Tonto needs to be in charge," says Depp, who is part Cherokee Indian. "The Lone Ranger should be a fool, a loveable one, but a fool nonetheless."