The Daily Judge
© 2008 Burton Randall Hanson
             Since 2005
"All the news that gives judges and lawyers fits."
Some credit the Howard Dean presidential campaign in 2004 with maintaining the first campaign blog. Others cite as the first a blog maintained by a congressional candidate in 2002. Actually, one has to go back earlier, to 2000. I was a nonpartisan candidate for Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in the general election in November 2000. I began planning my first law blog, BurtLaw's Law And Everything Else, one of the pioneering law blogs, in 1999 but I delayed starting it until after the 2000 general election. My 2000 campaign website, the no-longer-extant VoteHans.Com, contained a personal campaign blog (weblog or web journal), i.e., a blog actually written and maintained by the candidate, not by some staffer. I like to think it was the first campaign blog (a/k/a weblog or web journal), although it's quite possible someone else independently came up with the idea and did it in 2000 also. Because most "web archivers" were not in business in 2000, there has been no web record of my campaign website and campaign blog. For archival purposes and in the public interest, I am reproducing, as near as I can given software changes, the contents of what was VoteHans.Com as it appeared in 2000. Return to The Daily Judge Main Page. Notice: Click here for DMCA Digital Millennium Copyright Act Claim Notification Info pursuant to Subsection 512(c).

Emerson for Judges
Copyright (c) 2000 Burton Randall Hanson (Original Content Only)

If I had to pick one writer whose writings have influenced me most, I'd pick Emerson. The list of people he influenced is long, and includes some of my favorite writers, e.g., Thoreau, William James, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens. His influence continues. He was a contemporary of many of our great writers during the "Flowering of New England," including Hawthorne, Melville, and Longfellow. One of these was Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, a medical educator at Harvard and wildly-popular author, as well as father of the great Supreme Court
Justice of the same name. Emerson's thinking and some of his style are reflected in Justice Holmes' opinions and other writings, including his extraordinary letters. For example, consider this November 1842 entry from Emerson's journal: "Do not be timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment....What if you do fail, & get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never more be so afraid of a tumble." Compare it with this from Holmes'  great dissent in Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919): "[T]he best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market....That at any rate is the theory
of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe..." Emerson's voice is a revolutionary, true, pure American voice.

"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing."

"[A]ll nature helps him who speaks the truth. Speak the truth & the very roots of the grass...move & stir to bear you witness. Speak the truth & the innocent day loves you & serves you." (Journal, 06.18.1838)

"[L]awyers...are a prudent race though not very fond of liberty." (Journal, 04.1850)

"In the hour of spiritual pride when, unsuspecting, &, as it were, of course, we don the judgment robes, let it qualify the sentence that damns my brother, that I have been him & presently shall very naturally become him again." (Journal, 05.13.1838)

"Beware of Engagements. Learn to say no." (Journal, 10.27.1851)

"One of the cardinal rules is Timeliness." (Journal, 05.1851)

"[A]ll the theory in the world is vain without the thumb of practice. What could Coke or Blackstone do against the bullies of the Middlesex Bar...?" (Journal, 01.1852)

"He weakens who means to confirm his speech by vehemence...." (Journal, 05.29.1835)

"We have no guess what we are doing, even...when we do our best; perhaps it will not appear for an age or two...: then, the dim outline of the reef & new continent we madrepores were making, will sketch itself to the eyes of the dullest sailor." (Journal, 01.1861)

"Minds of low & surface power pounce on some fault of expression, of rhetoric, or petty mis-statement of fact, and quite lose sight of the main purpose." (Journal, 01.1858)

"'Your reading is irrelevant.' Yes, for you, but not for me. It makes no difference what I read. If it is irrelevant, I read it deeper. I read it until it is pertinent to me & mine, to nature & to the hour that now passes. A good scholar will find Aristophanes & Hafiz & Rabelais full of American history. I believe in Omnipresence & find footsteps in Grammar rules, in oyster shops, in church liturgies, in mathematics, and in solitudes & in galaxies...." (Journal, 03.1847)

"Genius is out of place when it reposes fifty years on chairs of state & inhales a continual incense of adulation. Its proper ornaments & relief are poverty & reproach & danger." (Journal, 01.23.1834)

"The truest state of mind, rested in, becomes false. Thought is the manna which cannot be stored. It will be sour if kept, & tomorrow must be gathered anew. Perpetually must we East ourselves, or we get into irrevocable error...." (Journal, 05.13.1835)

"God save a great man [how about an ordinary judge?] from a little circle of flatterers." (Journal, 09.01.1833)

"If a man would learn to read his own manuscript [how about a draft opinion?] severely, becoming really a third person, & search only for what interested him, he would blot to purpose...." (Journal, 10.1869)

"A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist....What say 'Let us examine,' & purse the mouth with the wrinkles of a judge....[T]his air of judgeship is mere affectation. Even so it is with...most politicians." (Journal, 03.22.1839)

"Every thing should be treated poetically -- law, politics, housekeeping, money. A judge and a banker drive their craft poetically as well as a dancer or a scribe....If you would write a code or logarithms or a cookbook, you cannot spare the poetic impulse...." (Journal, 12.23.1839)

"'Tis a great convenience to be educated for a time in a countingroom or attorney's business; then you may safely be a scholar the rest of your life & will find the use of that partial thickening of the skin every day as you will of your shoes or your hat. What mountains of nonsense will you have cleared your brain of forever!" (Journal, 09.13.1843)

"A problem appears to me. I cannot solve it with all my wits. But leave it there, let it lie awhile. I can by patient faithful truth live at last its uttermost darkness into light." (Journal, 10.05.1838)

"...a dogged attention to the facts." (Journal, 11.03.1830)

"Day creeps after day each full of facts -- dull, strange, despised things....[P]resently the aroused intellect finds one of these scorned facts, then finds that the day of facts is a rock of diamonds, that a fact is an Epiphany of God, that on every fact of his life he should rear a temple of wonder, joy, & praise." (Journal, 06.21.1838)

"[I]t is easier to build up one subject into a cone with a broad base of examples narrowing up into a formula expressing a general truth, than to detach facts from subjects partially known." (Journal, 02.1824)

"...a few reasonable words to keep us in mind of truth amidst our nonsense." (Journal, 08.1845)

"[T]he true rule of Choice of Pursuit. You may do nothing to get money which is not worth your doing on its own account. This is the sense of 'he that serves at the altar shall live by it.' Every vocation is an altar. There must be injury to the constitution from all false, from all half-action. Nor will the plainly expressed wishes of other people be a reason why you should do to oblige them what violates your sense, what breaks your integrity & shows you falsely not the man you are." (Journal, 11.06.1837)

"[I]t is by no means necessary that I should live, but it is by all means necessary that I should act rightly." (Journal, 05.1854)

"The love that is in me, the justice, the truth can never die...." (Journal, 10.24.1836)

"Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two." (Journal, 01.26.1844)

Copyright (c) 2000 by Burton Randall Hanson - Prepared & published  by candidate on his own behalf and at his own expense. Candidate may be reached by e-mail at BRH@CampaignWebSiteURL or by mail at address listed on Secretary of State's website.