Richard Just

Richard Just is the deputy editor of The New Republic. From September 2002 until December 2003, he was editor of The American Prospect Online. He graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 2001, with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. At Princeton, he was the editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian.

Richard is also the founder and executive director of The Daily Princetonian Class of 2001 Summer Journalism Program, a 10-day program for students from under-resourced high schools who are planning to pursue careers in journalism. The program is held annually on the campus of Princeton University; its inaugural session took place in August 2002.

Recent Articles

Voucher Nation?

F orget the Pledge of Allegiance ruling. The real legal blow of the last few weeks to American patriotism was delivered not by an eccentric panel of Circuit Court judges, but by the U.S. Supreme Court -- in its 5-to-4 decision declaring school vouchers constitutional. For years, libertarian conservatives and the religious right have, for different reasons, touted vouchers as the savior of American education. That they still do should come as no shock. But far more surprising is that no segment of the post-September 11 right has risen to question vouchers on the grounds where they are most vulnerable: that they undermine the foundations of American unity -- indeed, of American nationalism. You would expect members of an intellectually consistent right wing to be up in arms over any development that threatened our shared sense of national purpose. Unless, of course, mainstream conservatives are deeper in ideological debt to religious nuts and libertarian zealots than to their own...

Hire the Clueless

S ome say John Peter Suarez is a well-regarded career public servant, a "fair and balanced prosecutor" who has gained a reputation as a "very thorough" attorney while assembling the résumé of a government lawyer on the rise. He therefore may seem an unsurprising choice for a position in the federal regulatory apparatus -- but he is, by any standard, a bizarre selection for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) post for which the Bush administration has nominated him. Suarez, who worked in the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey and was most recently the director of that state's gaming enforcement, has been nominated to head the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), the enforcement arm of the EPA -- though he has no experience in environmental policy. Not surprisingly, a host of environmental activists and at least one senator are rankled at the notion that the nation's top environmental enforcement job may go to someone with little discernible knowledge of...

Democracy Hypocrisy

O n June 5, Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistani ambassador to the United States, appeared on "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" to make her nation's case in the Kashmir dispute. Near the end of the interview, she said Pakistan's desire was to bring about "democracy" in Kashmir. It was a noble sentiment -- and a ludicrous one, too, coming as it did from a spokeswoman for a military dictatorship . But most viewers probably yawned right through Lodhi's cynical deployment of the word "democracy" in defense of Pakistan's foreign policy. We have grown so accustomed to hearing dictators and despots invoke democratic principles to justify their own ends that we have stopped feeling outrage when they do. So we find ourselves yawning along and, worst of all, accepting their arguments at face value. Pakistan is hardly the only nondemocracy to engage in this rhetorical farce. Consider this recent statement by King Abdullah II of Jordan, speaking about Yasir Arafat: "He has our full support, simply because he is...

Confederate Flap

D uring the 1920s, T.C. Williams's father purchased some lots surrounding the family's modest home in Suffolk, Virginia. The youngest of eight children, Williams, now 82, is a true Suffolkian -- a term longtime residents of this city, sandwiched between the James River and the North Carolina border, use with pride. But Williams, who is black, did not grow up in downtown Suffolk. Outside the city, past where the pavement ended, past where the lighting dimmed, and then another 15 minutes by foot -- that was where the Williams family lived. "Suffolk to me -- now that I'm able to compare -- was like Johannesburg," he says. His community was like Soweto. As a youngster, he played on the lots his father had purchased, kicking around the scores of metallic gray balls he found in a ditch on the property. It was only in the early 1980s that Williams -- who had been snatched from Suffolk by the draft, worked in New York City for the U.S. Postal Service, and then returned to his hometown for...

Keep Enrolling:

I n the week since I published a piece criticizing a Berkeley instructor's exclusion of pro-Israel students from his class -- but defending his right to teach from a pro-Palestinian point of view -- I have heard the same criticisms again and again. The following letter is typical: Writing about the controversy at the University of California, Berkeley, Richard Just ("Enroll") asserts that it may be perfectly proper for a professor "to use his course as a bully pulpit for his controversial views." To the contrary, it is perfectly improper for a professor to use the classroom as a bully pulpit, or any advantageous position from which to make known his own views or to rally support. That Mr. Just thinks otherwise only demonstrates a profound lack of understanding on his part of the nature and purposes of a university. As an undergraduate, Mr. Just may have learned something of the subject matter and sharpened his own skills as a polemicist in a course taught by someone who used the...

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