My eye fell on this delicious snippet from Justice Frankfurter’s concurrence in Youngstown Sheet. It’s not directly relevant to any current controversy — though some shrill person will, no doubt, remark on the transcendent folly of putting George W. Bush in charge of an enterprise dependent on “knowledge and wisdom and self-discipline” — but its argument is cogent and its prose puts most contemporary judicial prose to shame:
Before the cares of the White House were his own, President Harding is reported to have said that government after all is a very simple thing. He must have said that, if he said it, as a fleeting inhabitant of fairyland. The opposite is the truth. A constitutional democracy like ours is perhaps the most difficult of man’s social arrangements to manage successfully. Our scheme of society is more dependent than any other form of government on knowledge and wisdom and self-discipline for the achievement of its aims.