Who Are You?

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Tell us a bit about yourselves.

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  1. Retired liberal Democrat, 78 ex farm boy, ex bureaucrat.

    1. Public defender for of small county in Illinois. Libertarian-ish, sort of

    2. Libertarian-leaning junior in college studying poli-sci and philosophy, aspiring attorney. Interested in appellate litigation and criminal law.

  2. Why, so I can be doxxed?

    Seriously, even though, autobiographical stuff occasionally comes out in comments I am not going to put it here except to say that my academic background is in political science and the Law & Politics field. This blog is the best to follow what’s going on in the news from that perspective, specifically 2nd Amendment issues, avoiding much of the dreck that constitutes political science.

    I’ve been reading since it was an independent website, by the time I felt up to speed enough to comment, the site went to the WaPo and there was no way they were getting a red cent of mine, so I am happy that you’re at Reason.

    1. The details of my life are quite inconsequential… very well, where do I begin?
      My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
      My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum… it’s breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.

  3. Retired (unwillingly) Millwright. Coolidge-Republican. 56 y/o. Serial refugee from two blue states: NJ and CA. Currently hiding out in Texas.

    1. I’m a former millwright. My steel mill closed down, so these days I’m a railcar repairman.

  4. Human resources desk jockey, living in Indianapolis suburb, divorced dad of aspiring youth hockey legend.

  5. Just a recent UVA Law grad reading the Volokh Conspiracy instead of studying for the Utah Bar like I should be.

  6. Retired chemist. Libertarian since 1974. Married, living on the Pacific coast in the redwoods.

  7. Former AUSA in EDNY, now an attorney in private practice in NY, NY. Been reading your blog for many years.

  8. Chief Justice of U. S., likes walks on the beach, casting swing votes on the Supreme Court, light bondage…oops, I think I’ve given too much information.

    1. Are you here through the weekend?

    2. I think not nearly enough! What’s your number?

  9. Practicing trial attorney for 27 years . Former Democrat, now Trumpish libertarian. Adjunct professor.

  10. I’m now a licensed attorney (passed the Georgia 2019 bar exam). Live near Augusta, Georgia. I read VC daily — it’s a been a valued resource for me for quite some time now.

    I just hung my own shingle but I haven’t quit my day job.

    1. Best of luck. A tough row to home, but potentially rewarding (perhaps not monetarily).

  11. Mechanical engineer approaching retirement. Formerly an activist in the LP, got out in the late 90’s when I figured out it was a dead end run by people who weren’t terribly serious.

    I’m a SC refugee from the 2008 crash in Michigan, my hobbies are robotics, (Used to compete in Battlebots.) carpentry, and homebrewing mead.

    1. My nephew just started in computer engineering/robotics at U of Michigan.

    2. Battlebots aren’t robots. They’re RC.

      1. So, it’s your mission in life to come here and piss on people’s comments? Seems that way.

      2. James Pollock, why don’t you tell us who you are? Here’s a starter for you: “I’m James Pollock and I’m a dickhead and a troll.”

        1. Your description of youself doesn’t fit me.

      3. Most battlebots aren’t robots, there was an autonomous division at the time. But yeah, my battlebot was just a tough RC car. I was just starting out then.

        Doesn’t stop me from being in hobby robotics, though. Battlebots is good experience for a hobby roboticist, in terms of motor control, drive trains, and so forth. Add some processing power and sensors, and you’ve got a robot.

        1. I’m was a long-time volunteer in robotics competitions for children… Coach, judge, referee. Then my daughter got involved in the same organization, and married a student engineer who was president of the university robotics club.

          1. Ended up donating my robotics equipment to a local First Robotics team when I moved down South, due to lack of shop space. I’m now having to rebuild from scratch, but I don’t regret it. I didn’t want all that stuff just gathering dust in a storage room.

            At the time I was interested in “remote autonomous” robotics, so the fact that my ‘bot’ was RC controlled didn’t bother me, I could have connected the IFI system to a desktop computer for serious computing, and it did have local processing power. Today, of course, it wouldn’t make sense to go that route, given how much processing power you can put in a mobile platform.

            In fact, my summer project with my son is going to be a balancing robot, and it’s going to double as his personal computer.

            1. One of the First levels of competition uses a cell phone for processing. I mostly worked with the Lego robots, which have a dedicated processor.

              1. They’re pretty cool, but I thought they were remarkably pricey. Besides, as a mechanical engineer, I enjoy the metal bending end of the hobby.

                1. You should see the creative ways the kids engineer things. FLL robots are cheaper to build than FTC, and WAY cheaper to build than FRC. Largely because of not having to bend any metal.

  12. 65 year-old semi-retired attorney, I’ve been practicing law for 37 years, primarily in commercial bankruptcy, commercial real estate and commercial litigation. Admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court. A Supreme Court geek, faithful follower of Scotusblog. Passionate about law, economics, science and math, Scuba Diving, and food, especially Mexican, Italian, and Thai. Member of Mensa and Triple Nine Society, confirmed libertarian. Hoping to retire to Cozumel, Mexico soon.

  13. Mostly retired several-time entrepreneur/small businessman. Some hits, some misses.

    Graduate work – no dissertation – in finance and economics. Bad at teaching, too little sitzfleisch for research.

    Serious tournament bridge player.

    1. A bridge player. Cool.

      I haven’t played in >30 years, but one of my proudest accomplishments was a passing unnamed mention in this NY Times bridge column.

      See if you can figure out who’s me.

    2. I also had occasion once to hire Jill Meyers in her capacity as a music consultant for a legal project. I never even mentioned that I knew and was in awe of her as a bridge player, much less that I had ever played.

      1. Hard to follow the column hand, Leo, given the way the deal is presented.

        Jill is a great player, though she and I had a bit of a run-in at the recent NABC.

        I think she will be representing the US in the world mixed teams championships.

        1. Yeah, the hands in the Times’ pre-digital archives are gibberish. Suffice it to say, the play was brilliant. (Here’s a Times column featuring Larry’s bidding. The gist of that one’s pretty clear even without seeing the cards.) Anyway, the hand is superfluous to my moment of glory, which is in the commentary:

          “[Larry] made his mark as a brilliant teen-ager but failed to rise high in the tournament world because his partners were rarely his equal in skill.”

          That’s me! I was one of his partners, and I really did suck! Larry, on the other hand was barely out of high school IIRC when he won the Blue Ribbon Pairs. He had no business playing with a hack like me, but he knew his time was short, and he preferred spending it with friends to striving to realize his potential.

          That was 1985 and he was my first friend to die of AIDS. I’m grateful for the memories.

    3. When I bid and made 7NT, I knew my Bridge life was complete.

      1. Dave, these threads could benefit from more of your contribution.

        1. I’ve made it, but I certainly did not bid it. Alas. I have no business talking bridge with serious players, though I do regularly play with a 97 year old woman who has played since she was five. She talks about playing with Bobby Wolff.

  14. New attorney and public defender. I’ve always been interested in the First Amendment, and I used your book in a First Amendment class in law school (that’s how I found the blog back when it was on WaPo).

  15. Mathematician, ex-academic (they offered me tenure, I thought about what I was putting up with in departmental politics, said “Hell, NO!”, gave two weeks notice and left); software engineer for environmental modeling for the last 30 years (wrote the programs that did the world’s first numerical air quality forecasting, as well as 1.200,000+ lines of production code), semi-retired. Needless to say, I have a deep interest in copyright and IP in general…

    1. Does you bio actually say that you wrote 1.2 lines of code?

  16. Retired military, retired corrections officer, now the treasurer for the county Libertarian Party.

  17. I work at a college as a janitor even though I’m smarter
    than most of the people there.

    Sometimes I see an equation written on a blackboard
    like half an equation, and I’ll just figure it out.

  18. Chicks dig me, because I rarely wear underwear and when I do it’s usually something unusual. But now I know why I have always lost women to guys like you. I mean, it’s not just the uniform. It’s the stories that you tell. So much fun and imagination. Sarcastro, you are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. But the two of us together? Forget it! I’m gonna go out on a limb here. I’m gonna volunteer my leadership to this platoon. An army without leaders is like a foot without a big toe. And Prof. Volokh isn’t always gonna be there to be that big toe for us. I think that we owe a big round of applause to our newest, bestest buddy, and big toe… Prof. Volokh.

    1. Bravo, not as good as Bill Murray’s delivery though.

      1. Bill Murray is Bill Murray, and everyone else is not Bill Murray.

        1. Which is to his advantage as an actor, since all he has to do in any movie is play Bill Murray.

    2. I met Bill Murray at The Palms in London, my then girlfriend’s best friend worked on Fantastic Mr. Fox. He chatted nicely, took some selfies, smoked a joint on the edge of the outdoor bar with a friend, and was off to catch a helicopter. He’s great, but he’s no Sarcastr0.

  19. Civil trial attorney in NM; 32 years in practice.

  20. Recently retired appellate specialist & adjunct law prof in New York City; a non-doctrinaire, lower-case “l” libertarian.

  21. Just a college student interested in pursuing a Juris Doctorate degree.

  22. 60-something real estate attorney at Amlaw 100 law firm, Yale and Boalt graduate, evangelical Christian, white, pseudo Anglo-Saxon (actually a somewhat mongrel mixture of British, Scandinavian, Polish and Jewish), sort of Republican but I don’t like very many politicians of either party.

  23. “Mr. Dove was a gentleman who spent a very great portion of his life in this somewhat gloomy abode of learning. It was not now term time, and most of his brethren were absent from London, recruiting their strength among the Alps, or drinking in vigour for fresh campaigns with the salt sea breezes off Kent and Sussex, or perhaps shooting deer in Scotland, or catching fish in Connemara. But Mr. Dove was a man of iron, who wanted no such recreation. To be absent from his law-books and the black, littered, ink-stained old table on which he was wont to write his opinions, was, to him, to be wretched. The only exercise necessary to him was that of putting on his wig and going into one of the courts that were close to his chambers; but even that was almost distasteful to him. He preferred sitting in his old arm-chair, turning over his old books in search of old cases, and producing opinions which he would be prepared to back against all the world of Lincoln’s Inn.”

    (A. Trollope, The Eustace Diamonds, Chapter 28)

  24. Retired. Degrees in Computer Science, career in systems software development as individual contributor, team lead, and manager – mostly at startup companies. Detail oriented.

    Always had an interest in the law. Considered going to law school in my 30’s but decided against it. One factor in not doing so was because of the cost (money and opportunity loss) and reduced income potential (just as I’m more of a small company guy than a big company guy, I’m pretty sure I’m not “big law firm” material where the big bucks are for a select few who play politics well). Another factor was that, frankly, too many practicing lawyers are slimy and often not all that smart. I was actually put off by the LSAT tests – I took some of the sample tests and got 100% correct on some sections and very near 100% correct on the rest (with self-imposed time pressure, but not “performance pressure” as, of course, my self-test scores would never be reported) and realized I’d be working with other lawyers (either on the same side of the table or the other side) that got only modest scores.

    General fairly strong libertarian bent – esp. at the higher levels of government. Much less concerned about libertarianism at the local level than the state level and less concerned about it at the state level than at the national level. It’s relatively easy to vote with your feet to escape local authoritarians – not so much at the national level.

    Love a good argument. Often bored by discussions with those I agree with unless they provide new and original insight/data or by discussions with those with opposing views who are hesitant to challenge me responsibly.

    Definitely not “PC”.

    1. Oh, and an atheist but will only preach it if someone tries to preach their faith to me or justify taxation or loss of individual rights using scripture.

      I suspect there are parts of the brain that cater to fantasy and religion. I can see that in the process of evolution, these parts may have been selected for as humans lived in groups with limited communications and education and needed direction from an alleged “higher authority” (to avoid killing others in the same tribe too often) and to offer hope (belief that the drought will, eventually, end because a deity has their back may make one work harder to survive rather than give up).

      However, that part of my brain seems to be very limited!

      1. “will only preach it if someone tries to preach their faith to me or justify taxation or loss of individual rights using scripture.”

        Apparently not, preacher. (See your next paragraph.)

        1. There’s, um, no atheism in that next paragraph.

          1. There’s preaching about atheism:

            “I suspect there are parts of the brain that cater to fantasy and religion. I can see that in the process of evolution, these parts may have been selected for as humans lived in groups with limited communications and education and needed direction from an alleged “higher authority” (to avoid killing others in the same tribe too often) and to offer hope (belief that the drought will, eventually, end because a deity has their back may make one work harder to survive rather than give up).”

            1. There’s discussion in that paragraph. Only those who want to be offended will see it as preaching.

            2. There’s no atheism in the passage you quoted, either.

  25. 39 year old financial planner and father of two. I love learning about the Constitution. I am also a founding-era history nerd, so I’m always looking for good books on the Constitution and/or the founding fathers.

  26. Age 49, attorney, mother of 2. I enjoy walks on the beach, sunsets and puppies.

  27. Recovering BigLaw attorney. Prognosis grim.

    Was superficially acquainted with Eugene professionally for a very brief time approximately 25-30 years ago.

    That would have been the end of it, but a few years after I knew him I heard Eugene debating gun control on a local NPR station. I was traumatized by how well-informed, persuasive, and courteous he was in the face of a detestable woman arguing my side, who was none of those things. (Little did I imagine which of them was showcasing a formula for winning the White House in 2016.)

    That left a mark, so when I heard Eugene had a blog 12 or 13 years ago, I sought it out. I’ve been reading regularly and commenting somewhat less so ever since.

    In every respect except the quality of the blogging, the VC experience peaked early, and has been declining steadily since. I regret to say the current iteration of the VC comment section is worthy of Eugene’s radio debate opponent from way back when.

    Now get off my lawn.

  28. Middle aged. I work in the internet backbone engineering industry. I’ve been reading Volokh Conspiracy daily since 2004. My brother is best buds with Gary L who a bunch of conspirators went to school with and/or are friends with.

  29. Retired, single, advertising executive, 3 “kids”, 6 perfect grand children. Restorer of old British sports cars (Triumph TR3B). NRA Certified Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun instructor. Illinois Certified Concealed Carry Instructor. High Power Rife Competitor. Foster parent of rescue dogs. Started following and enjoying VC during the Heller and McDonald cases.

    1. Your hobbies might be more enjoyable one state to your east.

  30. Former State Deputy Attorney General. Started reading when it was a standalone website. Used to comment regularly when I had lots of free time as a government employee. Much harder in private practice.

    Massive death penalty experience.

    According to one researcher, I can claim credit for inadvertently launching “Birtherism” on these very pages

  31. When I bid and made 7NT, I knew my Bridge life was complete.

  32. Late 50’s, former community organizer.
    Told the admissions people at Columbia and Harvard Law that I was born in Indonesia, hoping it might give me a leg up, as my grades weren’t all that hot at Occidental.
    Well-known for the sharp crease in my pants, and for being clean and articulate.

    1. Well played

  33. Mid 30s, studied the biological sciences in college, but ultimately wound up doing computer programming and some IT work, which I had picked up as hobby. Always been strongly socially libertarian, so that led me to sites like Reason then here, as my interest in the constitutional law aspects of my policy concerns grew over the years (though I wasn’t entirely uninterested in law when I was younger, a course in basic business/contract law was one of my favorite undergrad classes, and I loved the mock trial thing before that). Have enjoyed reading in depth legal commentary, articles, and court decisions a long time now.

  34. Dumbass sportswriter, early 40s.

    1. “Dumbass sportswriter” – That’s a bit redundant.

      1. Watch it, guys. The proprietor has indicated he does not condone that type of language, or the disparaging tone.

  35. Middle aged survivor of the tech industry, analytical and passionate about American ideals. Leaning libertarian on pragmatic grounds most of the time with major exceptions for some progressive interventions. I appreciate analytical thinking and therefore it’s fun to hang out in lawyers’s spaces even though I have no law background.

    1. It’s OK. It’s amazing how comfortable the lawyers will make themselves in tech spaces despite having little to no understanding of tech.

      1. If there’s a common trait to lawyers, it’s a comfort in asserting competence in any area that catches their eye. I’m a historian and have never met a lawyer who wasn’t quick to assert their historical expertise if they’ve skimmed a couple books or articles on a subject. Lord grant me the confidence of a lawyer.

  36. Currently a software developer living in Texas with my wife, son and three Shih Tzus. I got interested in law working with IP lawyers in California and started following VC in the years leading up to Heller.

  37. Dropped out of my physics PhD program with a masters, from there to law school. Worked as a lawyer long enough to pay down my loans, and then went back to school in science policy.

    Now I do that, and it is good.

    1. What does it mean to do science policy? Are you at a think tank? Lobbying shop? Bot farm?

      1. Bureaucrat. I am the Deep State.

        1. Now there’s a shocker: a government bureaucrat lounging around in a tracksuit and posting comments on a blog.

          1. There’s no shortage of bureaucrats in private industry.

            1. True, but private industry bureaucrats are financed by private industry.

              1. So are public ones.

      2. I was so awful a lawyer that my services were much sought after by firms eager to establish losses for tax purposes. My prices were high, for failure often did not come easily. I had to start at the top and work his way down, and with sympathetic friends in Washington, losing money was no simple matter. It took months of hard work and careful misplanning. A person misplaced, disorganized, miscalculated, overlooked everything and open every loophole, and just when he thought he had it made, the government gave him a lake or a forest or an oilfield and spoiled everything. Even with such handicaps, I could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground.

        I am a self-made man who owe my lack of success to nobody.

        1. What was the catch?

        2. “Even with such handicaps, I could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground.”

          So you are ideally suited for government work. If, that is, there are any government programs that haven’t yet failed miserably.

  38. Seventy year old retired federal Navy nuclear engineer technician living rural isolated Lake Michigan island bicyclist Second Amendment activist distrusting of government and cops and education establishment and strangers pierced tattooed hoodied. Extreme IQ +4σ Follow Alexander Meiklejohn curriculum. Eschew mass media infotainment, two decades TV-free. ~1 Mbps net access.

    Current reading interest; The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability before Pascal (JHU 2001) by James Franklin

  39. Professor of computer science who has been enjoying the reasoning here since 2001.

  40. Born 1946, varied employment history.
    – Public schools through HS. Graduate training in history. No PhD.
    – Photo journalism. Reporting, editing, newspaper publishing.
    – Steel fabrication. Built heavy machinery and pressure vessels. Previous member in 3 unions.
    – Typography. Developed and patented software system to coordinate non-linear, letter-pair dependent type kerning changes with font size changes.
    – Photography and graphic design. Annual reports, packaging designs, logo development.
    – Fine art photography.

    Volokh-related special interests: libertarianism, originalism and history, political philosophy, speech freedom, publishing law, changing publishing practices, environmental issues and law, 2A, anything from Orin Kerr.

    Long-time Volokh follower and commenter. I join others who preferred the independent version of the blog. I miss Mark Field, Loki, and others.

  41. US Air Force, AFOSI special agent retiree.
    Lived OCONUS for 24 years.
    Worked/traveled throughout Europe and Africa (secret tip for international travelers: Namibia).
    Currently a government contractor.
    Amateur foodie.
    We can disagree on many things but I do appreciate the insight and education.

    1. Good call on Namibia. Tons of different active things to do, in addition to the dunes, wild animals, etc..

      1. South African Airways serve the best airline food in the world. Mugabe was a monster but Zimbabwe raises some tasty cattle.
        Mark Field and Loki are indeed missed.

    2. The one and only time (AFAIK) I interacted with an AFOSI agent was a computer security conference, where he explained how the AFOSI tracks down child porn on AF computer systems. He spent the first ten minutes explaining just how much effort the AFOSI has to spend on tracking down CP on AF computers.

  42. 47 year old dad of two boys, married. Work as a data mgr for the govt. Long time Reason reader and small l libertarian.

  43. In-house counsel with strong avocational interest in 1A law; been reading VC since the very beginning (2001 or 2002?)

  44. Left biochemist work for law school, 31 years of practice, starting with commercial litigation and appellate firm, followed by 20 years in-house counsel for large academic medical center, and am now an Assistant Dean helping to birth a new medical school (our first class is finishing its first year). Equestrian. 2nd Amendment activist. Married, with a 16 and an 18 year old. Vicariously met Professor Volokh when my husband attended a 2nd Amendment advocacy conference in Orlando. Read the Conspiracy for years before the move to wapo.

  45. 40 year old very recent law school grad, studying for the bar. Before that I taught school for a year, worked in biotech, and traveled extensively in Asia. The impetus for me going to law school was in fact the VC – stumbled across it when I read a balanced article on Justice Thomas written by Professor Volokh back in 2003, which led me to look for other things he had written.

  46. 43 years old, Russian-Jewish immigrant, non-practicing attorney.

  47. Husband, father, retired lawyer, former Marine, native Texan, and past president of my local Tea Party.

  48. Architect, 59, divorced, bibliophile, hiker (did the AT while unemployed during the Great Recession), diver (shipwrecks), art collector (Japanese woodblock prints), veteran (Army NG)

    1. I did approximately 100 yards of the trail, where it crosses I-40, this month. Not quite the same accomplishment, granted, but I wanted to go west, not north or south, so I got back on the Interstate.
      And, as long as I am VERY careful of how I phrase it, I can truthfully say I hiked on the Appalachian Trail. And then toss off the fact that I did it “both ways”.

      1. A lot of people do the Trail in sections until they finish its entire length. At 100 yards per month you’ll be done in about 3,200 years. I recommend the experience to everyone as something uniquely positive – at least in the people you meet, hikers and non-hikers alike. One of the extremely rare murders on AT recently occurred, so all the usual suspects shrilly insisted everybody should be armed. Well, I was on the Trail for eight months (being very, very, slow) and met only a single handful of people with negative attitudes, and usually only slightly negative at that. Try finding that statistic in the real world. Of course, at the time I was (1) long-term unemployed, (2) stressed financially, and (3) in the midst of a divorce. The woods seemed like just the place to be.

        1. I’m afraid I’m likely to remain limited to sections of the trail readily acdessible by an Interstate I already happen to be on. At that rate, it’s going to take me more than 3200 years to finish.

  49. Senior Economics undergrad at Hampden-Sydney College- love this blog!

  50. 25 y/o, work in finance, BA in business and economics, PA resident for most of my life, extreme weeaboo, politically and economically unorthodox.

    I appreciate Reason and every contributor, in spite of my frequent political differences, for highlighting the ever present and increasingly frequent intrusions of the State into our lives. As our national politics become increasingly Marxist in every sense of the word, we need as many strong voices as possible explaining that the flaw of the administrative State is not who runs it, but the mechanism itself.

  51. Late middle age in-house real estate lawyer. Graduate of public university and law school. Jew by conversion. Started reading VC back in 2002 or 2003, not long after it started.

  52. Late 40s practicing litigator. Have been reading the VC since the pre-comment days of the mid-2000s. Small l-libertarian. Very stable genius.

    1. Heh

    2. Both “stable” and “genius” are things that, if you are these things, you don’t have to tell people that you are these things. As a result, when people say they are these things, it’s an almost certain sign that they are not.
      (Yes, I know you knew that. But that other guy doesn’t seem to know that.)

      1. Huh. I thought he just knows a lot about horses.

  53. Politically, libertarian and Libertarian for 40 plus years. I don’t agree with many, or most, people, who call themselves libertarians, but I disagree with them less often than those who call themselves dems or repubs.

    Educationally, graduate degree in English literature. Vocationally, retired. Spent my working years about equally between the private and public sector, with stints in private business and non-profits. Careers? Everything from truck-driving to driving tractors to college instruction.

    1. “I don’t agree with many, or most, people, who call themselves libertarians”

      No two libertarians agree about much of anything, including specifically just what it means to be “libertarian”.

      1. This is true. My favorite way of explaining “libertarians” includes the following video, which can be said to illustrate why there will perhaps never be a viable “libertarian” political party:


        1. A very neat video indeed.

        2. According to YouTube, that Account has been terminated. Hmmm…

  54. 55 yo economics professor at Wright State University. Interested in legal developments. Ph.D. In economics at UCLA. Gary Schwartz and Richard Sander were the external professors on my dissertation committee.

  55. Small town Midwest private-practice lawyer, mostly civil. BS (Agriculture) from Big Ten school, JD from another state school. Late middle age.

  56. 30-something network engineer, former Republican, current Libertarian, just got married and now shopping for a house

    1. Congrats!

  57. Just an average Joe with an interest in the law, especially civil rights issues. Soft atheist (I don’t feel a need to rebut others’ beliefs) and lowercase “l” libertarian. Addicted to sports cars, old and new.

    I appreciate the thoughtful nature of (most of) the posts here. Those keep me coming back.

  58. Eastern Orthodox deacon, 65 this year, lifelong Coloradoan, degrees in mathematics and theology, interested in lots of things prominent among which are languages, history, and Constitutional law. Always Conservative, sometimes Republican.

  59. 50s, Software Engineer working in IP litigation in Silicon Valley, National Greatness Libertarian (a party of 1, as near as I can tell).

  60. 60-ish corporate lawyer in midwest, rational and secular on public policy matters. Far to the left by 2019 standards, but not by 1968 standards. No party.

  61. Who, who? Who, who?

    1. Cuz I really wanna know…

      1. Just get up and walk away, dude.

        But as long as we’re on the subject, who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?

  62. Retired economist/investment analyst. Trends (economic, political, and societal trends over past 20 years) have pushed me into the “rabid libertarian” camp. Over my 35 year private sector career I watched Accounting and Law move from principals-based to rules-based so I discovered this site as part of my knowledge base improvement program. I learned in college Econ history how and why all empires have failed – losing foundational principals that earlier had controlled government excesses is one core reason.

    1. “I watched Accounting and Law move from principals-based to rules-based”

      Elaborate? Any concrete examples?

    2. I don’t see it as much of a pivot to go from principals-based to rules-based. The principals who ran every school I attended were always rules-based.

  63. Prophet. Soul rebel. Rastaman.

    Oh, no, wait — that’s Bob Marley … I always get us confused.

    Retired in the SC — Navy/Banking

    I identify as a sage.

  64. Unfamous novelist living in DC.

  65. I am a retired academic economist with a PhD in physics who spent the final twenty-three years of my career as a law professor. I also write, both fiction and non-fiction, cook from medieval cookbooks, and argue with people online.

    1. Winner

      1. Well, he didn’t say he won the arguments….

  66. I am a retired atmospheric scientist with a PhD in mechanical engineering (heat transfer and fluid mechanics). I discovered that I didn’t like working in the aerospace industry, so I did a post doc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. I have been director of atmospheric and climate research at a DOE national lab, manager of an international government/industry research consortium, and I have done stints as a staffer at EPA and DOE headquarters. Nowadays, I pursue my life-long interests in American and ancient (Greco-Roman) history. But I am also influenced by my environment, which includes a daughter who is a state-level appellate court judge and a wife who was a public school superintendent.

  67. 69 year old CPA. I have a strong dislike of both Democrat and Republican parties. Please can someone start a viable third party. I read VC to aggravate myself when I read terms like qualified immunity, absolute immunity, third party doctrine, etc etc etc.

    1. A brief description of the basic platform?

  68. Retired law professor–been reading VC for about dozen years. Somewhat lower case libertarian in outlook.

  69. 49 y/o pastor in southeast Minnesota who has always been fascinated with constitutional law, specifically the First Amendment. Tend to be rather libertarian so I’m not your stereotypical dyed-in-the-wool evangelical Republican.

  70. Retired aerospace engineer, former Marine officer, active Libertarian in the ‘80s, less active libertarian now. See y’all at Juplaya ‘19!

  71. I’m the Dude, man. So that’s what you call me. That or his Dudeness, or Duder, or el Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

    1. That rug tied the whole room together.

    2. Or are you a dude playing a dude, disguised as another dude?

  72. Did someone wake up in Soho doorway?

  73. 39. Social worker. Social libertarian. Traditional skinhead. Proud Zionist. Not a fan of capitalism’s excess but don’t see any system working better.

  74. Disgruntled engineering professor.

  75. Former computer engineer, current software engineer. Two children. Interested in law, colonial history, science fiction, various technical subjects. Not conservative and not very libertarian, but I started reading Volokh Conspiracy around when it started allowing comments, and have continued following it since.

  76. Middle-aged anesthesiologist from Missouri. I lean in to the stereotype that doctors see themselves as Experts on Everything.

  77. Practicing civil-litigation attorney in Minneapolis. Started reading the blog in 2003, when I was in law school. Followed to WaPo and now to Reason. Not commenting under my real name.

  78. Emeritus professor of criminal justice and Information & decision sciences, just entering my ninth decade. Very cynical about libertarians, who feel they got there based on their own merits alone. Show me one who has his own well and latrine instead of using socialized water and sewers, who schooled himself (they are mostly male), and then I’ll consider it a possibility.

  79. Software engineer turned lawyer. Despite suggestions from nearly everyone that I should be in IP practice, I chose to do court-appointed criminal appeals, and I have never been sorry about the choice.

  80. In all seriousness, I found Eugene’s 2A writing during my State’s push for shall-issue CCW licenses. Unfortunately that was while I was still working on my Ph.D. in physical chemistry, so I couldn’t do so much politicking. Got that and went straight into the renewable energy industry. I managed to stay in the lab since then, got a few patents, until last year. Medical/neurological issues have stopped me from carrying or shooting, and made it a Bad Idea to keep working in a high-voltage lab, so I’m driving a desk now.

    1. Oh, BTW, a few years into my career I thought about going into law, but never did – that was a good thing, because it would have been Cooley.

  81. I am a noncontingent human being. My personality is sketchy and unformed, my heartlessness goes deep and is persistent. My conscience, my pity, my hopes disappeared a long time ago (probably at Harvard) if they ever did exist. There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it, I have now surpassed. I still, though, hold on to one single bleak truth: no one is safe, nothing is redeemed. Yet I am blameless. Each model of human behavior must be assumed to have some validity. Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this—and I have countless times, in just about every act I’ve committed—and coming face-to-face with these truths, there is no catharsis. I gain no deeper knowledge about myself, no new understanding can be extracted from my telling. There has been no reason for me to tell you any of this.

  82. 2008 J.D. who has worked exclusively for small firms since graduating Law School. I like being a “mutt” when it comes to what areas I practice. Don’t do Federal work, but always had an interest in the Supreme Court (which I think drove me to Law School in the first place in addition to working on a local level political campaign as basically the only staff of a lawyer who was running for local office and after that campaign encouraged me to go to Law School). Been following this site over multiple platforms because I appreciate that Eugene and Co. do try to neutrally presents all sides of major issues, are willing to accept feedback from the peanut gallarey, and a sibling of mine had Eugene as a 1L!

  83. Young engineering PhD student with a family.

  84. 70, soon to be 71, retiree from manufacturing career, now semi-gainfully employed as a substitute teacher. In many ways, living the dream! And an avid student of law and government.

  85. Gov’t lawyer, open gov’t advocate, former democrat turned Ron Paul libertarian and 1A true believer

  86. Environmental Engineer from Houston. Heavily involved in regulatory compliance.

  87. Still a family law attorney; now doing nothing but pro bono work. Still a left wing contrarian. Still married to my former law partner, who’s now a sitting state court judge. I’ve been annoying folks on Volokh Conspiracy at least as far back as 2005….

  88. Practiced law for about 50 years, not so much now, but still hoping I can get it right.

  89. Meat popsickle.

  90. OK, I’ll bite.

    I started reading Reason in the ’80’s when I was living in Santa Barbara and reading a USENET newsgroup, polisci @ Rutgers, whose editor, ‘JoSH’, had waxed eloquently about the magazine. Later, when I noticed in the local telephone book the Reason office was actually in Santa Barbara, I wandered over there during lunch and interrupted Robert Poole’s day with a check for a subscription and a few back issues that were laying around.

    I’m a retired computer engineer with degrees in physics and electrical engineering. Was at the reception for Ron Paul hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Timothy Leary during the 1988 campaign for President at their home in the hills above Beverly Hills.

    I’ve been a registered and sometimes card carrying Libertarian Party member since the Ed Clark (he was also at the Leary reception) campaign when I decided one term of Jimmy Carter was enough and couldn’t be a Republican even as I quit being a Democrat.

    I’ve been following the Volokh Conspiracy for a few years and was overjoyed when it landed at Reason from its uneasy seat at the WaPo table. I hope it is as good a fit as it appears from the outside looking in.

  91. I’m the husband of Eugene’s UCLA Law classmate, Bridget Clarke. If we were all on Jeopardy!, I’m pretty sure he’d win, she’d finish second, and I’d be booted with a negative score going into Final Jeopardy.

  92. A guy that’s been reading Volokh Conspiracy since at least 2004-10-29. I save all my email, and that’s the first time I forwarded a link to someone, which was:


    (sent to a zork fan)

    1. Does the friend live near the granola mines of coastal Antharia? Does the friend sent majestic postcards of Flood Control Dam #3? Does the friend have any genuine zorkmid coins, the ones with King Dimwit Flathead on them?

  93. 36 years old, male, married with one child. BS in CS, BS in Mathematics, MS in CS, MS in Mathematics, phD in Mathematics. Work as a Data Engineer/Data Scientist/Machine Learning Engineer. Attended one semester of law school, and then realized that I would not enjoy being a lawyer, though I enjoy learning about and theorizing about law. In my spare time, I like to study (history, philosophy, economics), read novels, play tabletop and strategy games, and train in self-defense (both hand to hand and weaponry).

    1. That’s a lot of mathematics. What is the graduate school experience in math like? Is that where you learn the math that people still haven’t found a useful purpose for? Or does it all still turn out to be useful in the real world?

  94. I am a physician in my late 60s. Practice in NYC but born and grew up in Canada. Started as a New Republic liberal circa 1985, but became more conservative following Sept 11. Ambushed by reality and better arguments and policies on the moderate right. Have always admired the US and especially the Constitution. I enjoy reading many of the posts. Despite the excellence of the writing, I don’t always completely understand them but I do love following legal arguments the best I can.

  95. 52-year-old prosecutor from Northern California, bridge player, decent quantitative skills for a prosecutor, occasional writer of things. Drifted away from Volokh in the WaPo years, and miss the insanely good commentariat at the original site. But this is a good home.

    Reason readers will be interested in this case: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/D075106.PDF

  96. Retired PH. D. in economics, spent one third career in academia, published well, two third of career in private sector (banking, manufacturing, tax and consulting)

    Socially liberal, fiscally conservative, love the integrity of this Forum except for stance on guns. The pro-freedom position is just great. Believe modern conservatism has betrayed real conservatism.

    1. ” Believe modern conservatism has betrayed real conservatism.”

      The view I’ve developed is that a lot of “conservatives” just want to see consternation on the faces of the hated liberals; they wanted the R Congress to oppose Obama no matter what. and they delivered; they like Mr. Trump not because he achieves anything, because he’s never achieved anything, except for pissing off liberals and people who want the government to work.

      1. Sounds about right. Obama is a disgusting, treasonous piece of excrement.

        1. Among other reasons to dislike them, they produce trolls like this.

  97. Reader of Volokh Conspiracy for a few years. Big fan on Eugene’s First and Second Amendment write-ups on the blog and elsewhere. Mostly a hobbyist in law: mathematics is my primary domain, having done undergraduate and graduate work at UCLA.
    Not a libertarian in full, as I am closer to Trump’s perspective on tariffs of China and his immigration stances (though not on EU tariffs). Otherwise I seek to dissolve the Fed, place First Amendment protections on our youth of public schools, and apply nation-wide constitutional carry. Also look to up the voting age to 25 and hope to see the courts give the commerce clause back its true restricted interpretation.
    A bit surprised to see so few younger folk, being 19 myself.

  98. Full Professor of law and business at a community college in the north east. Maintain my license to practice in PA, but use it rarely.

    And I’m a lesser well known blogger who has been around for a while.

  99. Practicing lawyer for nearly 20 years. Former AUSA in two districts, now senior partner in BIGLAW. Military service before law school. Libertarian and have been reading this site since shortly after it was created (eg in the Juan non-Volokh era). Thanks for creating/ producing so much interesting content.

  100. I’m a defense contractor in the D.C area. I’m Michigan native but left when I enlisted in 2005. I’m fairly libertarian on most issues other than environmental protections, that’s where I tend to lean left. I have a BS in criminal justice and maybe one day I’ll attempt to get into GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School so I can learn from the likes of Ilya Somin. I occasionally write about criminal justice, military spending, and foreign policy for the Libertarian Institute.

  101. I would like to direct this to the distinguished members of the panel: You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes… like yourselves.

    1. This reminded me that Johnny Dangerously’s mother was my neighbor for about 15 years. No bullshtein. Thanks, icehole.

  102. Programmer, 40. King County, WA resident. Little-l libertarian, private pilot (but I repeat myself). Legal-curious for a couple decades. I found Volokh through Overlawyered ages ago, been an RSS subscriber for years and a Reason reader off and on for about the same amount of time.

  103. EV,
    I’m a former colleague of yours from Physics & Astronomy.

  104. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

    1. Tell me about your mother.

    2. Thanks Eugene for this post.

      CG, your comment reminded me of Glaser’s little-known (and stubbornly quixotic) attention to beam aesthetics, so I can just believe you were at the Gate; but you can’t *also* have been at the Conflagration (neither was in the other’s light cone).

      That you even know of both of these is intriguing, however: Who *are* you, and what are you doing in this benighted backwater?

      PS. You sound deathly bored. You may not have heard that the latest DeepSIM runs show this sector quite lively in a few millennia, *even at minus 3 sigma*. If interested and Stasis is an option, I know a solid provider (I’d go that route myself but I have .. responsibilities).

  105. Attorney (and CPA) in private solo law practice. Not enough time to study many of the high quality blog posts. Been reading this blog for 15 years. Really enjoyed the high quality comments during the early Bush years. Currently no fan of the Bushes or the chamber of commerce globalist GOP establishment RINOs. Got sold on Trump since 2015 and his identification of illegal and legal immigration needing substantial reform. Sold on his use of Tariffs to negotiate with. Love his waving the magic wand around that Obama never had and said didn’t exist. Really hope Trump wins again in 2020. The country so needs the saving he is providing. Gotta love his strength of will to fight the GOPe, Democrats, and deep state to a draw, and now with Barr turning the tables on them hopefully.

  106. XX former journalist and retired lawyer, Hoosier-born but live in TX after stints in CA and NV. Politically conservative, not Republican. Went to a central high school and state university and thus resent being called a Russian troll. Love horse racing; hence, my screen name.

  107. I’m a computer-science professor at Loyola Chicago who teaches a course on computers and the law. I think it was first drawn to the Conspiracy reading about Universal v Reimerdes, and stayed for the 4th Amendment. But we have the most fun in class with §230. I’m a liberal in the English sense, mostly. I take a dim view of politicians who have trouble with math.

  108. Recently retired non-bureaucratic federal employee now baking in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Started and continue reading VC to challenge my libtard tendencies. Also recently began enjoying not entering the fetid hyper-partisan ad hominem cesspool that the comments section of this blog has become.

  109. Recently retired soldier (National Guard), former millwright, now a railcar repairman.

  110. Millennial (begrudgingly) and a lawyer. A combination of two most despised demographics.

  111. Former right wing absolutist. Read Anarchy, State and Utopia and haven’t cut my hair since. Been in the litigation support industry for the last 10 years. One year from full SSA payments.

  112. Libertarian gadfly. Woodchippers are my lame claim to fame.

  113. Software engineer and lawyer. A combination of two most despised demographics.

  114. Computer programmer until I retired about a year ago. Now I live in my cabin off the grid in the summer, and SE Asia in the winter.

    1. “Now I live in my cabin off the grid in the summer, . . .”

      So, going for that whole Unabomber vibe, eh?

  115. I enjoy riding shirtless on by horse, as we travel past my dacha and spoof GPS satellites. Whoops, I mean…

  116. Mid-30s civil litigation attorney. libretarian-ish anti-statist, small “a” anarchist.

    Turn-ons: Summary Judgement, rules of appellate procedure, constructive notice, statutes of limitation.

    Turn-offs: Tinker/Morse vs Fredrick, qualified immunity, discovery.

  117. Disabled, homeless former PhD candidate in Materials Science. Teaching Chemistry as a TA was the best job I ever had. My only child lives with mom and is now an adult. Child still sleeps till noon. 🙁 I would live in Alaska year round if it were possible.

  118. Primarily False Claims Act attorney representing whistle-blowers exposing fraud on the government. Longest case: 16 years. Also general commercial litigation, business governance disputes, business transactions, FINRA arbitrations, appellate practice. Top 5 law school graduate. Took ten years off from practice of law (the 90s)to open/run a coffeehouse and bookstore, and publish/edit a literary magazine. These activities allow me to claim experience as an entrepreneur/small business owner and remain a member in good standing with the literary/arts/bohemian demimonde. Libertarian-sympathetic when it comes to individual rights, but Libertarianism has no answer to, or even concedes the dangers of concentrations of economic power. Been commenting here since just about the beginning, though like the commenter above, have visited less as the comment quality has devolved from what used to be–or at least aspired to–rational discourse. Once an oasis, the commenting population, sadly, seems to have lost this quality. Bad currency drives out good, I am afraid.

  119. 64 year-old retired USAF fighter pilot, now a B757 Captain. BA in International Relations, MS in Comp Sci.

    Rarely comment, lurk a lot.

    1. Once upon a time, I was an aircraft armament systems technician. Turns out there’s not much civilian application to that one.

  120. retired southern small town lawyer. love the Conspiracy

  121. I’ve been reading VC since it started, back in the old, old days. At that time I was a grad student studying history and I commented under my actual name. I started law school in 2007 and decided to switch to an alias, settling eventually on this one. It’s also my Disqus handle.

    I worked in Biglaw for a while and now am at a litigation boutique formed by refugees from my firm. I live in the easternmost city of the Midwest.

    Not-quite-mid 40s, married to a university administrator, two kids in school.

    Politically I am definitely on the left but have never been happy with the lazy soft leftism that you’re stuck with in universities and (to a great extent) big firms and businesses. So it was natural for me to read the smartest libertarians around. A long time ago I emailed EV and called him an “evil genius,” which I think he liked. This blog has convinced me of some things now and then.

  122. I am an indigent criminal defense lawyer.

  123. 24 year old working at a DC higher education reform nonprofit and former elementary school teacher. Conservative. Found the blog after Professor Volokh spoke on a panel for my organization.
    Lots of people seem to think my ornery and unrelenting manner would make me a good lawyer. Not sure if that’s my life desire, but I read here so I can throw in some cases now and then to keep their hope alive, and so I can sound smart on dates.

  124. Formerly from Michigan. Began reading the original site in 2009. Even sent Eugene a few tips on funny Michigan Laws that he wrote about. The Cussing canoeist and seducing an unmarried woman are two examples. No College Degree, love learning and work driving forklift and shipping for a Laboratory/Manufacturer of skin products. Hate being corrected grammatically for missing commas etc. My rebuttal is always, did you understand what I wrote? WaPo was ok, used old school email account for free subscription. The echo chamber of leftist commenters was hilarious on other stories.

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