Terry Eastland

Terry Eastland is an executive editor of The Weekly Standard. Previously, he served as publisher from 2001 to 2013. During the 1990s he was a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he wrote Energy in the Executive: The Case for a Strong Presidency.  During the Reagan presidency, he served as Director of Public Affairs for the Justice Department. Before that he worked for newspapers, including the San Diego Union and the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va.

His books include Counting by Race (1979), Ethics, Politics and the Independent Counsel (1989), Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court (1993), and Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court (2000). He has written for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the American Spectator, the New Criterion, National Review, the New Republic, the Wilson Quarterly, and the Public Interest.

Stories by Terry Eastland

An Opportunity for the Court

Nov 04, 2013

Among the first cases heard by the Supreme Court in its new term is one from Michigan. The state stands accused of violating the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee by requiring equal treatment in public-university admissions decisions. Michigan has committed no such violation. Yet to judge by the oral argument in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the Court, surprisingly, is closely divided. A decision against Michigan would be a setback for equal protection.

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HUD’s Power Grab

The Obama administration plots a wholesale federal intrusion into local housing policy
Oct 14, 2013

President Obama may have been distracted by Syria, but his domestic presidency proceeds apace, seeking what he heralds as “the transformation of the United States.” Especially is this true at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which aims to remake neighborhoods all across America, starting, as we’ll see, in Westchester County, N.Y.

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The Constitutionalist

Utah’s freshman senator makes his mark
Sep 09, 2013

When I asked Mike Lee, the freshman Republican senator from Utah, how he identified himself politically, he said, “A constitutional conservative.” Note the adjective “constitutional.” It’s not surprising that the senator uses it. 

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Don’t Stop Frisking

Aug 26, 2013

Since the early 1990s the New York Police Department has used a crime-prevention strategy that it calls “stop, question, and frisk.” Accordingly, officers stop and question a person based on reasonable suspicion and sometimes pat down the clothing of the individual to ensure that he is not armed. The department credits the strategy in large part for the huge declines in murder and major crimes over two decades in what is now the nation’s safest big city. But the liberal opposition to stop-question-and-frisk has been fighting back, and last week federal district judge Shira A.

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A Careless Executive

Obama’s failure to do his constitutional duty.
Aug 05, 2013

Is Obama lawless? House Republicans certainly think so. The issue involves the Affordable Care Act, under which employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance in terms defined by the statute or pay a $2,000 penalty per employee. Known as the “employer mandate,” it was to take effect in 2014. On July 2, however, the Treasury Department announced it would delay enforcement of the mandate, and certain reporting requirements necessary for its administration, to 2015.

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Judicial Supremacy

Jul 22, 2013

Arguably the most important case the Supreme Court handed down this past term was United States v. Windsor, in which Justice Kennedy, writing for a five-justice majority, declared unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage for federal purposes. Largely neglected in commentary on the case is the question the Court had to decide in order to take up the constitutional question—that of whether it had jurisdiction over the appeal.

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Stop Discriminating

Jul 08, 2013

 In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled against using race to determine public school assignments. Chief Justice Roberts concluded his plurality opinion with this eloquent statement: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

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Podcast: Reviewing the Recent Supreme Court Decisions

Hosted by Michael Graham.
5:00 AM, Jul 07, 2013

WEEKLY STANDARD executive editor Terry Eastland reviews the Supreme Court's decisions in Fisher v. University of TexasUnited States v. Windsor, and Hollingsworth v. Perry.

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A Man and His Rhubarb

Terry Eastland, sweet and sour stalker.
Jun 17, 2013

My wife says the only thing I’ll plant is what I can eat. Not entirely true, I tell her. I point to certain things I’ve planted: the cluster of yellow iris in the side yard, the bunch of white iris in the backyard, and the large spread of irises of many colors in the front yard, under the crape myrtle.

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Justice Scalia vs. Justice Roberts

A dispute among conservatives over the ­administrative state.
Jun 17, 2013

Last month, in City of Arlington, Texas v. Federal Communications Commission, the Supreme Court’s five judicial conservatives divided on a question concerning the relationship between federal courts and federal regulators. Justice Scalia wrote the decision for a majority that included Justice Thomas, and Chief Justice Roberts wrote the only dissent in the case, which was joined by Justices Alito and Kennedy.

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Thomas Perez Makes a Deal

How Obama’s Labor nominee made a Supreme Court case disappear
May 27, 2013


On November 7, 2011, the Supreme Court decided to hear Magner v. Gallagher, a case about racial discrimination in housing. Oral argument was scheduled for February 29, 2012. But shortly before that, on February 10, the case was dismissed. 

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Here's the Beef

Prime cuts, from the Chisholm Trail to Walter Mondale
Apr 22, 2013

This is the latest in the “edible series” of books put out by Reaktion Books, each of which explores the history and cultural associations of a particular food or drink. Written by Lorna Piatti-Farnell of the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, Beef is number 33 in the series, its predecessors including Apple, Caviar, Chocolate, Lobster, and Rum

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Round Two

Another constitutional challenge to Obamacare.
Mar 25, 2013

Old Volvos Never Die

Terry Eastland’s brave new Volvo
Jan 28, 2013

Late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve, my wife Jill and I were driving through Vienna, Virginia, toward Tysons Corner when we found ourselves in front of, and then beside, and then right behind an old gray Volvo wagon. The car caught our eyes, and quickly we realized why, for it wasn’t just another car on the road but a car we’d once owned—from 1987, to be precise, when we bought it new, until December 2011. That’s not a misprint: The car was ours for more than 24 years.

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The Constitutionalist

Jan 14, 2013

Robert H. Bork, we all know, didn’t sit on the Supreme Court. His legacy thus cannot lie in votes cast and opinions written. You have to look elsewhere, and you certainly could begin with his earliest work at Yale Law School, which was in antitrust. In a series of law review articles and ultimately a game-changing book, The Antitrust Paradox, published in 1978, Bork worked out a powerful critique of the case law. In showing its defects, he influenced the movement toward deregulation.

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Another Reason to End Preferences

Affirmative action also hurts the ‘beneficiaries.’
Oct 15, 2012

Show Some Restraint

The Constitution is imperiled from the bench.
Sep 24, 2012

Our government is not a pure democracy but a constitutional republic, meaning that we govern ourselves in accord with the Constitution, which provides for a Supreme Court with the authority to review and strike down laws that are in conflict with the Constitution. In Cosmic Constitutional Theory, J. Harvie Wilkinson III argues that the Court has nullified many more laws on constitutional grounds than it should have. The Court has been activist when it should have been restrained, displacing democracy in each of its unwarranted rulings.

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Leila Jane Eastland, 1953-2012

Terry Eastland on Leila Jane Eastland
Mar 05, 2012

Born in Dallas on February 7, 1953, my sister Janie was a healthy baby, smart and fun to be around, the last of the three children in our family. She was Exhibit A in support of Carl Sandburg’s famous aphorism that a baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.

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Obama v. Constitution

Jan 23, 2012

Let us now praise the Supreme Court. We know that Newt Gingrich thinks the judiciary needs rebuking, and we agree with him to a point. But sometimes​—​actually, often under Chief Justice John Roberts​—​the Court gets it right. And it did so last week unanimously in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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The Texas Diversity Wars

Will the Supreme Court step in?
Oct 31, 2011

Among the cases the Supreme Court is being asked to take in its new term is one from Texas challenging racial preferences in college admissions. Alice Fisher was finishing her senior year at Stephen F. Austin High School in 2008 when she applied, unsuccessfully, for admission to the University of Texas at Austin. Having good academic credentials, she sued in federal district court, alleging discrimination on account of an admissions policy that favors black and Hispanic applicants. Fisher lost in the lower courts, but her case, if granted by the Court, could be one of the term’s most important. The Obama administration already is

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Liberty Is at Stake

Jul 18, 2011

Last month, a unanimous Supreme Court held that a Pennsylvania woman named Carol Bond may challenge a federal law under which she was prosecuted, on grounds that Congress had exceeded its powers and intruded upon the sovereignty and authority of the states. Until Bond v. United States, it was widely agreed that only states could advance such a claim.

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Let Our Criminals Go?

Jun 06, 2011

Last week the Supreme Court reentered the business of dubious liberal policymaking with its decision in a case from California, Plata v. Brown. With Justice Kennedy writing for himself and four colleagues, the Court sustained a lower court’s order requiring the state to reduce the number of convicted criminals in its correctional facilities by as many as 46,000.

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Case Dismissed!

Apr 18, 2011

In a week when the news concerned taxes and spending, the Supreme Court happened to decide a case dealing with .  .  . taxes and spending. This was not a federal but a state case, from Arizona, and the good news is that in a 5-to-4 ruling the Court recognized its proper, limited role in our system of constitutional self-government.

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White House Pushes Interfaith Cooperation for 2012

Obama treads the fine line between politics and religion during an election year.
9:59 AM, Apr 08, 2011

At least it doesn’t involve a mandate. The Obama White House has launched something called “The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge,” the point of which is to advance “Interfaith Cooperation and Community Service in Higher Education.” The White House is “encouraging” American colleges, community colleges, universities, seminaries and rabbinical schools to “commit” to a year of what is calls “interfaith service.”

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