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Jessica L. West *
Sometimes dramatic, sometimes mundane, acts of civil disobedience bring attention to issues that have recently included climate change, policing, and high school closings. In the United States, we are surrounded by protest. The stories of these protests capture deep aspects of the human experience and our relationship to government power. These stories often involve a confrontation between the protester and the law. Popular media is full of stories of protesters who have stepped over the law: the news article regarding a nun who served seven years in federal prison for pouring a vial of human blood on a Trident missile silo; the movie about an environmental protester who broke up a federal lease auction; the business journal report on the $20 million cost to the city of Baltimore for the police overtime and cleanup as a result of protests.
Carl Tobias *
Scholars and politicians who closely track the federal judicial selection process appreciate that confirmations slow and ultimately halt over presidential election years, a phenomenon which has greater salience in a chief executive’s last administration. That policy comprises numerous strands.