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May 14, 2012


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Patrick S. O'Donnell

Re: "It's somewhere between possible and likely that you scoff at the fairness of comparing any American involved in the deportation of Japanese Americans with any German involved in the deportation of Jews."

Perhaps I'm an exception, but it would strike me as quite the converse (i.e., the presumptive burden of proof should run in the other direction): one should explain why it's unfair or somehow wrong _not_ to make such a comparison. After all, at the very least, we're dealing with questions of professional role ethics, states and bureaucracies (legal and otherwise), nationalist ideologies, racism, and so forth, on the one hand, and questions of self-deception, states of denial, wishful thinking, self-awareness, moral development, etc., on the other hand. In other words, human agency and the various psychological and instititional conditions and structures through which it operates provide the fundamental analytic and synthetic framework as a backdrop to any particular comparative and historical investigation.

Eric Muller

Well, Patrick, in candor, I didn't think that *you* would scoff! :-)

Orin Kerr

Do you also compare Himmler and Earl Warren?

Eric Muller

Yes, Orin, but only on their views of the Commerce Clause.

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