Interesting historical tidbits from yesterday's episode of Radio Times on NPR featuring Akil Reed Amar discussing how geography and federalism shapes our laws: -The NRA was founded by Union officers who (in a way) lobbied for personal gun rights partly because they believed you could not count on your (often remote) local constables to protect you, especially if you were a recently freed black slave in the clan South.
-Wyoming, one of the first states to be pro-women (first to give the vote, equal pay, etc), their iniatives for women were born from the fact that: the work was so hard that you needed every able bodied adult and there was 6 men to every woman in the 1800's. The men were desperate to attract women to the state. It made sense to give women what they wanted of that meant it would attract them.
-The regional sub-component of partisan politics! The incredible political differences between some of the views of a California Republican vs. a Alabama Republican especially if that republican is from Northern California!
-The idea of a "Lincoln Republican" and that a large population of modern Republicans could be categorized as "Confederate Republicans".
-The writers and early amenders of the constitution had a better grasp of grammar, commas mattered and added significant meaning to the interpretation.
-It has been many decades since a presidential candidate did not graduate from Yale or Harvard. The last president (I think it was Nixon) that was not a Harvard or Yale graduate was accepted to Harvard but did not go for financial reasons.
-The politics of Justices: how a Justice's regional origins can affect their views!
Post Scriptum: Maybe I'm a historical dork but I was riveted by the conversation!
Listen to the full segment here: