Harold Berman's Monday News and Views
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Harold Berman's Monday News and Views

Matt Jonesabout 14 years


Article written by:Matt JonesMatt Jones


Last week saw the death of one of the writer of perhaps the most important modern book on the history of Western legal systems, former Harvard and Emery Law Professor Harold Berman. Berman (who thankfully is not related to the absolutely intolerable “Swami”) wrote “Law and Revolution”, a book that argued that the origins of Western legal systems were actually best traced to the rise of papal authority in years 1000-1200. This view departed from most research in the area and became the standard view on where Western and specifically, American, legal systems could best be considered to have been derived. Simplistically then, Berman’s work thus traced law to religion, and became the basis for a belief system that argued American law, specifically constitutional law, should not be detached from its religious origins. This critique of the classic “seperation of church and state” argument that we all learned early in life has continued to gain steam and many credit Berman as its intellectual founder. During the recent Ten Commandments cases at the Supreme Court, Berman worked heavily on the briefs for those defending the use of the Commandments in public buildings and supporters utilized his research for proof of the historical validity of such displays. He died last week at 89 years old, likely never imagining that his life would be reviewed on a two-bit sports blog in Kentucky.

To the news….

(1) No news yet on the continuing saga of Leonard Washington. At this point, there have been three reports on where Washington may end up, each slightly different but including one common denominator. Scout.com has reported that UK, USC and Ole Miss are in the race, Marc Maggard has heard it will be UK or USC and I have heard that UK is the favorite if offered, with USC and Ole Miss as secondary options. What is clear however is that the Cats are in a good position with a 6’6″ big man with great post moves and a workman like attitude under the basket. While I do believe Kentucky is in need of more athleticism down low, at this point beggars cant be choosers and an addition of Washington, which could take place THIS SEASON (with the potential to play by mid-December) would be good fortune of the highest degree. We will have more on Washington Monday but news is expected very soon on his future.


Jerry Tipton has certainly outdone himself the last couple of days in terms of “stirring up controversy” in ways previously unimaginable. While I defended Tipton’s decision to pursue the “Gillispie hasnt signed a contract” story, it is interesting that he followed that story up with another story the next day eliciting comments from Gillispie’s lawyer on what was causing the holdup (more on all this tomorrow). But there is no defending his RIDICULOUS lead to his basketball column today where he compares Tubby Smith’s recruiting class to Gillispie’s. Tipton went and found the one recruiting analyst out there who ranks Minnesota’s class higher than UK’s (Van Coleman who is noted for favoring quantity over quality), uses his analysis as the headline “Minnesota’s Signings Beat Cat’s in One Analyst’s View” and then makes a story where only a controversy stirrer would truly find one. He acknowledges in the article that Coleman’s opinion is the minority (then why make it the headline?) and says that his “point is not to say Tubby Smith did a better job recruiting than Billy Gillispie.”

Fine Jerry, then what is your point? Why bring up Tubby Smith unless to do a comparison? Why make the minority view a headline unless to stir up controversy? The fact is that Tipton likes negativity, we all know that. It is clear in EVERYTHING he writes. Sometimes his criticisms are valid, sometimes not…..but it is obvious that he will take ANY chance possible to criticize and create a controversy. That is Tipton’s style…..which is fine. But please dont get high and mighty and say that readers shouldnt write him with “inane” emails that suggest he is trying to say that Smith did a better job recruiting. That is EXACTLY what you are insinuating…..there is no other reason to bring Minnesota up and Jerry knows that. To act otherwise is insulting to the readers.

(3) Just a quick note on DeAndre Liggins, the potential UK point guard of the future. We will be covering a couple of his games this year on this site, but it should be noted that he is already off to a quick start for Findlay Prep. They played Harmony Prep last week (home of early Kentucky Sports Radio guest Twanny Beckham) and Liggins nearly “messed around and got a triple double”. 21 points, 8 boards and 9 assists. The kid is for real my friend,….just wait.

More later today………

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