From the Left



Happy Birthday, President Clinton

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

On the occasion of Bill Clinton's 73rd birthday, the chattering class has come to bury the president they once adored -- and not to praise him.

Not me.

I wish the biggest thing I had to worry about in the world was a blue dress. Imagine having time or energy for such nonsense when the Russians are wreaking havoc with our democracy.

I wish ...Read more

Good for the Jews?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Years ago, Frank Rich, the legendary New York Times columnist, wrote a piece -- channeling his grandmother -- on the first question her generation used to ask when big news broke: Is it good for the Jews? Or (more often) is it bad for the Jews?

You could hardly blame them. Living through the Holocaust makes the question painfully relevant.

...Read more

Epstein needed the ultimate accomplice

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

He could never have done it alone.

I'm not talking about his suicide. That he did himself.

I'm talking about his crimes.

Imagine if Jeffrey Epstein had had to find his prey himself. Imagine a sleazy middle-aged guy hanging around in front of a high school trying to pick up teenage girls.

People would notice. Teachers would see. The police ...Read more

Michael Bennet for President

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Doesn't have a chance?

When the public says they're looking for that so-called generic Democrat whom they would overwhelmingly favor over President Donald Trump, they mean Michael Bennet. They just don't know it yet.

In 2013, he was one of the "Gang of Eight" -- four Democrats and four Republicans -- who crafted a comprehensive immigration ...Read more

Playing politics with the death penalty

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I have been studying death penalty politics (as well as law) for decades, largely because I've had to. The death penalty bedeviled Democratic candidates in the '80s and '90s, and its repercussions are still felt today. Back then, the public was for it. But it was more than that. Law and order, Nixon's 1968 rallying cry, turned crime into a race ...Read more

What if you like your private insurance?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

About 138 million Americans voted in the last presidential election.

Almost 220 million have private insurance.

"Medicare for All"? I can't begin to imagine the bureaucracy.

Employer-based insurance is still the most popular; more than half of the population is covered by employer-based private plans. Jobs with benefits, my mother taught me ...Read more

It's not me, it is hotter than usual

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

On the day I left Paris (after a well-timed visit to my daughter), the temperature was 96 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was still morning. That day, it climbed to 104; the next day was the hottest in France in recorded history.

Unlike the United States, where I mostly need a jacket to deal with summer air conditioning (perfect for a man in a suit)...Read more

Justice Stevens taught me how to write and think like a lawyer

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I was blessed.

On my first day as his law clerk on the D.C. Circuit, Judge J. Skelly Wright, who had hired me sight unseen when I was elected president of the Harvard Law Review, told me that Justice Brennan would not do the same. True, he always hired Judge Wright's Harvard clerk sight unseen, and he had never passed on a Harvard Law Review ...Read more

Biden Is Still Ahead

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

After all the pundits declared him the loser in his first debate, after almost two weeks of backpedaling and explaining, Joe Biden still leads the field among likely Democratic primary voters. At least that's what the latest national polls say. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, one of the best, was released on Thursday and found that 26 ...Read more

The Secretary of Labor needs to go

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Alexander Acosta, as the U.S. attorney in Miami, was responsible for cutting the deal that allowed notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to get away with a slap on the wrist.

In yet another example of the vital importance of old-fashioned investigative journalism (aka "fake news"), the Miami Herald in February detailed the agreement that ...Read more

Of baggage and buses or Biden's bad night

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was a very good night for California Sen. Kamala Harris. And, for those listening, a strong showing for Sen. Michael Bennett and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The night before, Sen. Elizabeth Warren owned the stage.

But the real story coming out of this week's debates was not who won but who lost. Much easier to call that one.

It was Bernie and ...Read more

Duncan Hunter was Trump before there was Trump

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It happens. A golden boy comes to Washington and spends too much time at Bullfeathers, the bar where congressmen and young staff members have frolicked since I was a young staffer. Back at home, wherever that is, he's the war hero who made good, the devoted father and son, the regular guy. Back home is where his wife and kids are. In Washington,...Read more

Watch out for Warren

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

No one had a worse campaign debut than Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.


Why was she listed as Native American in law school directories in the '80s and '90s, as she was rocketing her way up the law school rankings, from Rutgers to Houston to Texas to Penn to Harvard?

How could such a brilliant person be so stupid as to take, ...Read more

Over easy with Laura Wasser

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

"What makes family law so difficult?" I ask Laura Wasser, one of Los Angeles' -- and America's -- most famous divorce lawyers. "Money and kids," she says without hesitation. "Kids and money," echoes Phyllis Bersch, who practiced with Wasser's dad for many years before joining up with her own daughter, Rachel Juarez.

I have a third candidate for...Read more

Biden's past come back to haunt him

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Of course he was for the Hyde Amendment, the federal law that blocks Medicaid funding from being used for abortion. He even fought against a rape and incest exception. He proposed his own Biden amendment to block foreign aid from being used for biomedical research related to abortion. He was one of two Democrats who supported an effort to allow ...Read more

Losing Judy. Again

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Judy Jarvis was my best friend for 19 years. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. If it matters, I never saw her smoke a cigarette; if it matters, her internist had failed to give her an annual chest X-ray. All that mattered to me, as I raced from Los Angeles to the hospital in Boston, was that my best friend was dying, and I was ...Read more

What happened to Bill Barr?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I knew him back when we were both law clerks fresh out of school -- he for one of the most conservative members of the D.C. Circuit, I for one of its leading liberals.

He was a smart guy. Honorable. Someone you disagreed with but respected.

As a young Justice Department lawyer, he wrote legal memos justifying the United States' invasion of ...Read more

Mayor Pete: Why Not?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

"Why not?" she asked.

We're looking for a nondescript generic white male Democrat, preferably a senator, and you ask why not the 37-year-old gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana?

How about this?

He's too young.

He's too inexperienced.

He's not just gay; he's out-of-the-closet gay, gay with a husband, a veritable First Man.

All of which is ...Read more


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