Legal Monstrosities: from Book I of More’s Utopia

Thomas More’s “Utopia” (1516) is written in two books.  The second of these, Utopia Frontispiecedescribing in detail the island of Utopia, is the more famous.  Here’s an enjoyable passage from the first book, in which More is getting to know the traveler Raphael Hythloday and asking him about his geographic explorations:

But what he told us that he saw in every country where he came, it were very long to declare. Neither it is my purpose at this time to make rehearsal thereof. But peradventure in another place I will speak of it, chiefly such things as shall be profitable to be known, as in special be those decrees and ordinances that he marked to be well and wisely provided and enacted among such peoples as do live together in a civil policy and good order. For of such things did we busily inquire and demand of him, and he likewise very willingly told us of the same. But as for monsters, because they be no news, of them we were nothing inquisitive. For nothing is more easy to be found than barking Scyllas, ravening Celaenos, and Laestrygons, devourers of people, and suchlike great and incredible monsters. But to find citizens ruled by good and wholesome laws, that is an exceeding rare and hard thing. But as he marked many fond and foolish laws in those new found lands, so he rehearsed divers acts and constitutions whereby these our cities, nations, countries, and kingdoms may take example to amend their faults, enormities, and errors.

NY Post on the Fight Over Equal Access for Religious Groups

The New York Post had a brief piece a couple of days ago on the story that we posted about here involving the fight over equal access for religious groups to New York City public school buildings. The Post article contains a few additional details about the City Council’s vote (it was 38-11) as well as some political speculation and other odds and ends about the controversy.  I am not sure what the piece means when it says that the Department of Education’s policy is “based on” New York State law.  At least a substantial part of the legal defense is grounded in the First Amendment.  It did come as news to me that the board’s policy “makes New York the exception among the nation’s 50 largest school districts.”  (h/t our former guest, Ashley Berner).