This Is (Not) Who We Are: Korematsu, Constitutional Interpretation, and National Identity
abstract. This Essay argues that we are at a critical moment in the project of constitutional interpretation. Our choice to expand or contract our notion of rights implicates our survival as a species, as growing wealth inequality, globalized neofascism, and climate chaos loom. Asserting the continued usefulness of legal claims, the author asks a critical race theorist’s question: what would it really take to overturn Korematsu and end structures of subordination? Korematsu is seen as a failed equal protection case: under the wartime pressures, the Court abandoned its role as a protector of minorities. It is also possible to read Korematsu more broadly as a due process case. The core of due process is liberty, and the Korematsu Court’s failure to protect the basic human rights of Japanese Americans was a failure of substantive due process. The Court could not see the assault on basic human dignity when thousands of human beings were rounded up like cattle and shipped off to the desert. A true overruling of Korematsu would respond to the broader neofascist threat with a generative interpretation of our Constitution to uphold the inherent dignity of all human beings. This would not only outlaw the incarceration of immigrant children and end the “Muslim ban”—it would also introduce a notion of positive liberty to our interpretation of the Bill of Rights, ending the entire project of organizing political life around grabbing, smashing, and dominating.
We are charged with the task of witness in these, the most perilous of times. We should watch and commit to memory what we see, because from this cauldron of hate and unprecedented resistance to hate we will emerge in a new reality, either immersed in exultant acknowledgement of our shared humanity or descended into one of fascism’s many hells.
I write because I know where I intend to end up. As this Essay goes to press, bear witness: a white supremacist, who believed Jews are funding immigrant hordes to take over “his” country, brought a weapon of war to Shabbat services.1 In the days following the carnage at the Tree of Life synagogue, young people were arrested sitting shiva in the streets, demanding that their government denounce white supremacy.2 Days earlier, a white supremacist sent pipe bombs to Black and Jewish targets,3 and another attempted a slaughter at a Black church in Kentucky.4 When foiled, the Kentucky shooter moved on to kill Black shoppers at a Louisville grocery store.5 Nazis are shooting at us while we await state condemnation of white supremacists, and immigrant bashing is the diversionary tactic of choice deployed by the new authoritarians.
Bear witness: we saw children torn from their parents by the thousands at the border;6 babies incarcerated;7 toddlers appearing alone at legal hearings;8 children held in cages;9 children dying in custody;10 psychotropic drugs and sexual abuse handed out to children11 at private prisons we paid for.12 We witnessed, and many said as loudly as they could: “This is not who we are.”13 Even an administration that first argued for the deterrent value of child separation14 retreated when outrage came from within the Republican Party.15
“This is not who we are” was useful rhetoric, appealing to common decency and the instinctual imperative to care for children.16 Mainstream organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics stepped up, as though entering a public-policy ER.17 The doctors explained that sudden separation from trusted adults may inflict permanent neurological injury, particularly in the youngest children, and we received lessons on toxic stress and synapse destruction along with our daily news.18 Faced with the growing consensus that harming children was a national outrage, the Trump Administration backed down19 and a court order, still not effectuated, commanded the return of children to their parents.20 Good citizens rejoiced: infliction of trauma on children is not who we are.
In the hallways of Black Twitter, however, this rhetoric met its skeptical sisters.21 “Oh yes, this is exactly who we are,” the “sisters” said. What was the auction block, where children were sold like livestock while mothers moaned in agony?22 What was the genocide of Native Americans,23 the napalming of babies in Vietnam,24 the official indifference to police violence that terrorizes Black families,25 the rise of white supremacist murders,26 and a sitting President who refuses to condemn Nazis?27
This is the blood-red mark trailing the economic and political ascendancy of the United States: the nation’s wealth and power derived from kidnapping, torture, murder, and plunder. I intend no overstatement. This is simple fact. Bodies crammed in the holds of slave ships were the drivers of economic growth, building fortunes in finance, shipping, insurance, and all the infrastructure required to treat humans as items of international trade.28 Cotton and sugar, the commodities of growth, depended on slave labor, forced by the lash.29 The red stain of which I speak is actual. I have known in my lifetime a woman whose grandmother bared her back so her grandchildren could see and touch the crosshatch of scars left by the lash. This is living memory. It has touched many families for whom the thickened scars of the lash are a concrete reminder of America’s raging cruelty.
Oh yes, this is indeed who we are. As the old sorrow song records, there are many thousands gone.30 This Essay sinks into a half-lit space between the evil we are clearly capable of and the perpetual aspiration for a self-definition that precludes evil. It argues that the recent formal overruling of Korematsu will change nothing without a commitment to ending white supremacy in all its iterations, and more significantly, without reinterpreting our Constitution to promote the ability of each member of a beloved community to thrive. Our Constitution declares who we are, and, as presently interpreted, it fails to stand firmly against white supremacy. This Essay is a call to give deep substance to our notions of equality and due process at a historical juncture that presents interpretive choices implicating our actual chances of survival on a warming planet.
Near the concrete banks of the L.A. River is a community that reflects the Los Angeles of my father’s childhood: immigrants, corridos, amazing food, working people’s parties in the backyards.31 My grandparents were worker-artist-intellectuals, who met with friends to study Marx and produce literary journals. Their home was humble, but it was filled with books and papers and art made by struggling Issei artists. La Boheme de Los Angeles, in Nihongo. I wish I had a few of their sketchbooks and political pamphlets from the International Labor Defense,32 and maybe a book or two. Most of all, I wish I had copies of the Ryūkyū journal,33 with its essays and poems by both of my grandparents and my father. Not one piece of the family archive survived. When Japanese Americans were banished from the West Coast, sent first to the horse stalls at Santa Anita and then to the freezing scrubland at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, allowed to take only what they could carry in two hands,34 the papers were left behind to make room for a coat, a blanket, a few clothes, in the traveling kit of the exile.
My father left a full 1940s teenage life. He was a track record holder, a JV football player, and an academic high achiever, pushed forward by a mother who made him take Latin in exchange for signing his sports permission slip. His friends were from all over the world, which is how I know that “Zionist” in 1930s Boyle Heights meant something quite different from what it means now,35 and that the Armenian genocide and ensuing diaspora turbocharged the academic rigor of the L.A. public schools as the children of refugee intellectuals joined the polyglot community.36 My father’s classmates—a rainbow of birthright citizens37—knew he was no threat to national security, as did the U.S. Army when it gladly accepted him as a combat volunteer.
Every day of his youth, my father read the Hearst newspapers that told lie after lie about Japanese Americans: they were sneaky, greedy, mendacious, conniving to take things that belonged to real Americans and to destroy the American way of life.38What my father learned is that an ideology of dehumanization quickly devolves into acts of inhumanity. All the lofty language of due process and equal protection become just words on paper. The paper falls to the pavement, scatters in the wind, dematerializes in the gutter.
Those words are nothing without our hearts behind them and citizens standing shoulder to shoulder, shouting “this is NOT who we are.”39 Few objected as the train left to carry my father away from the city of his birth. When he left Heart Mountain to fight a fascist regime, his own mother waited behind barbed wire with no rights any court then cared to enforce.40 Locking people up because they were the wrong race was, indeed, who we were, even as we battled the murderous regime of the self-proclaimed master race.
It is 1933. Victor Klemperer, a scholar of German literature and a true believer in its glories, has invited friends for coffee.41 Klemperer is an assimilated Jew,42 baptized Christian, married to an “Aryan” woman,43 and devoted to the beautifully refined humanism he sees in German culture—his culture.44 Klemperer notes changes around him—the university is nationalized and Jewish scholars are told to label their writings “translations from Hebrew.”45 A professor who defends pacifism is classified as “politically unreliable,”46 and Klemperer’s paycheck suddenly includes a deduction for “voluntary . . . charity,” commandeered by the Third Reich.47 Klemperer holds out hope, as a young veteran tells him, “Don’t be surprised if at some point you see me wearing . . . the swastika . . . . I have to wear it—but this coercion doesn’t change us in any way.”48
Then Herr and Frau K., friends from Klemperer’s elite Jewish circle, come calling. Over coffee, they announce that they are voting for Hitler’s plebiscite, on the ground that the Weimar system is “unworkable”49 and that “‘the Führer’ . . . was undeniably a brilliant man.”50 Klemperer explodes, pounding the table, rattling the coffee setting.51 He later regrets his rudeness to his guests when he finds out many of his friends are voting the same way.52 He writes: “Some kind of fog has descended which is enveloping everybody,” including “[p]eople who, without a doubt, must be regarded as intellectuals and who would generally be numbered among the quiet and independent thinkers.”53
I imagine the delicate Dresden coffee cups rocking in their saucers, wobbling against the silver teaspoons, as Herr Klemperer pounds the table in his living nightmare. Signs of growing terror stand alongside denial and accommodation. In time, the first trains remove neighbors to concentration camps, and the remains of those who die of “heart trouble” are sent back.54 The Jews who remain try to recall the Hebrew words of the Kaddish. Most do not know the words.55 They are German.56 Then the trains leave with multitudes and no remains are returned. There is no longer a pretense of heart trouble or a concern for decent burial.57
Klemperer writes of his china-rattling days: “I was not yet at all dulled, I was still so used to living in a state governed by the rule of law that I considered many things at the time to be the depths of hell which I would later deem to be at most its vestibule . . . .”58
The war my father and Professor Klemperer barely survived shaped the rule of law in the last half of the twentieth century. “Who we are” became defined by who we are not: Nazis.59 The embarrassment of Jim Crow, an American holdout of master-race ideology, was exploited by the civil rights movement, extracting major gains of formal equality.60 Locking up citizens for trying to vote was not who we are.
In postwar decisions, our Supreme Court declared that:
We do not require citizens to salute the flag.61
We do not torture suspects.62
We did not come to these positions easily, but in each case, we asked implicitly, “what would Hitler do?” And whatever the answer, we did the opposite, building a nation committed to democracy, human dignity, and equality. We gave liberty specific meaning by delineating what we would never do to human bodies, knowing that, within living memory, people who sipped from the finest china and called themselves civilized had tumbled into the practice of genocide.
The broad idea that human beings have inherent dignity impenetrable by the state is distillable, in my reading, from the doctrine called “substantive due process.”65 It is a much-contested and doctrinally unstable concept.66 Its most famous iteration was the conservative, prewar version, under which the right of businesses to operate without government regulation was seen as fundamental to ordered liberty.67 This view gave way to the modern regulatory state, under which the right to do business is considered subordinate to the people’s need for regulation in the public interest.68
Substantive due process is considered a difficult doctrine to rely upon for justice, given its shifting interpretations and deeply politicized history.69 It has failed us again and again, as when it ignored my father’s liberty interest and sent him off to the horse stalls with only what he could carry in two hands. Although analyzed under the Equal Protection Clause, the order upheld in Korematsu represented not just a failure to afford equal treatment. It was also an intrusion into the heart of liberty: the right to freedom of movement; the right to live in one’s home and seek fellowship in one’s own community; the right to work and go to school; the right to use one’s own property and pursue a calling; the right to recognition as a rights-bearing actor. A mass roundup of human beings, loading them onto trains and sending them off into the desert, should chill the bones of freedom-loving people. This is what I mean by substantive due process, and it goes beyond the injunction to treat like alike.
The doctrine of substantive due process can hold multitudes, and someday it will. It can proclaim not only the inviolability of each human’s right to exist free from state harm but also the right to flourish with a reasonable expectation of state assistance.70 The notion that torture is wrong because it is something a free and democratic nation must never do to human bodies is but a few sidesteps away from the notion of positive liberty. Allowing hunger, homelessness, a lack of medical care, or any number of tortures inflicted through the absence of the state is an embodied harm to human dignity. The distinction the law makes between action and inaction71 will someday give way to a principle the law has long understood: we intend the foreseeable consequences of our choices and we are responsible for them. The commentators who note the shifting and slippery interpretation of substantive due process miss the point that the entire Constitution, as legal realists and critical legal scholars long ago noted, is a humanmade document subject to epic battles of interpretation.72
This interpretive fight is not pointless. I argue the opposite: we must decide who we really are, what we stand for, what we will allow, and how much we are accountable to one another. The resolution of these questions may well determine whether the human species survives on planet Earth.
Constitutional interpretation forges our national identity and gives it our intersectional multiplicity. The need for a legalized identity derives from the absence of a common culture. A nation built on exploitation and colonization, legitimized through the doh-si-doh of exclusion and assimilation, must turn to law as its centripetal force. The United States has no state religion, no unitary culture, and increasingly, no agreement on norms from table manners to presidential prevarication. Cases like Brown v. Board of Education73 or Roe v. Wade,74 in which law asserts equality ahead of the dominant culture’s attitudes, locates each outsider group’s struggle for liberation within the ideological beating heart of the Republic. Law binds us together, law defines us, law materializes our fight for just definitions.
In 1944, my father walked out of the woods at Vosges, stunned by the shrunken size of his company. “It’s supposed to be a lot of guys,” he later told me. Not just the five or ten who straggled out. The higher-ups thought the troops weren’t following orders when so few showed up for formation after the legendary rescue of the lost battalion. Where was everyone? Almost everyone was either dead or wounded.75 This was the price the Nisei soldiers paid for the end of anti-Asian naturalization bans that kept the right of citizenship from their immigrant parents. Their blood inscribed their fight over the meaning of those words on paper that we call the Constitution of the United States of America.
Most of the Nisei veterans of World War II were gone by 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court formally acknowledged the wrong of locking up U.S. citizens because of their race. The Court facially repudiated Korematsu76 in the same case in which it allowed the government to rebrand its Muslim ban as an order for “Enhanc[ed] Vetting Capabilities.”77 The forty-fifth President, who had campaigned on the promise of a Muslim ban and who continued to recite anti-Muslim propaganda,78 made no secret of asking his lawyers to excise offending language while continuing to pursue his avowed goal.79 Granting constitutional imprimatur to this blatant wink-and-rewrite was not a repudiation of Korematsu; it was the opposite. It reenacted the Korematsu majority’s complete deference to executive claims of necessity, ignoring copious evidence that animus, not national security, was the government’s motivation.80
A few decades earlier, another court more clearly understood what repudiation looks like. When Judge Marilyn Hall Patel surprised a packed courtroom with the rare act of announcing her decision from the bench immediately upon the close of argument in the Korematsu coram nobis case,81 some witnesses quietly wept, watching a federal judge acknowledge what Japanese Americans had claimed for years: the U.S. government lied about military necessity when it branded Japanese Americans traitors.82 Japanese Americans know in the bone what group defamation feels like. They know the Muslim ban is exactly the same thing.83
Korematsu, like Brown,84 like Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson,85 like Obergefell v. Hodges,86 like Griggs v. Duke Power Co.,87 is a case asking us to decide whether we are a nation driven by hatred to exclude and defame or whether we will define equality in grander and more aspirational terms than the framers could have ever imagined. The men who gathered in Philadelphia were bound by the racism, sexism, and homophobia of their times. Their quill pens labored to form a cohesive nation while keeping the pact with the devil that was human bondage.
We are not imprisoned in their reality as we take on the deeply contested process of becoming a nation that will transcend the violence of its origin. We will do this, or the nation will end.
As a critical race theorist, I believe racism is a structural system intertwined, inevitably, with other forms of subordination that work synergistically to benefit the few who have power over the many.88 This system includes cultural practices of disregarding harm that culminate in blood on the floor of a church, a synagogue, or a school.89 We cannot liberate ourselves from one form of domination while leaving another in place, and the processes for both maintaining and fighting domination are, in significant part, ideological, with a subpart, legal. Law is constitutive of the culture that, in turn, shapes our institutions and practices. Just law, derived from struggle, alters culture and thereby moves us toward just realities.90 For this reason, critical race scholars have always argued for a dual stance toward the rule of law, both critiquing claims of neutral principles and demanding rights for the dispossessed.91 The significance of Korematsu on its anniversary is that the work of overruling it is undone and that we don’t have much time left to end the process of organizing political life around taking, smashing, and dominating.
Only myth tells us who we would become; only history can tell us how hard it will really be to become that.
— Robert Cover92
On the first day of my Feminist Legal Theory class, I always predict aloud that a woman will die from intimate-partner violence in our small state before we finish the semester. Once, it happened in the week after I made the prediction, and the victim was a young lawyer with whom my students could easily identify.93 We were a bit stunned that the lesson of gendered violence came so soon, so close.
If we know that women die, regularly, methodically, brutally from intimate-partner violence, why don’t we treat this as an emergency? Every woman who reads this can recall times she has had to strategize how to safely navigate public space given the reality of rape culture. Simple things like parking in a parking garage at night or using an unfamiliar public restroom require personal safety calculations. The fact that women regularly are unsafe in their lives deserves to be treated with the same significance as other issues that merit an executive order and acknowledgement as a threat to national security.
What would it look like to make women’s safety a national priority—to create harassment-free streets, rape-free cities, and violence-free families? To live in a woman’s body is to know how desperately we need this.
Our inaction in the face of obvious need is learned. There are places we learn to treat someone as less than valuable.94 Patriarchy is one school, homophobia is another; racism, of course, tags along with the armory tracing back to the bullwhip and the lynching tree. Watch how the first boy who breaks rank to protest the objectification of women is treated in the locker room. The other boys are watching and learning that demeaning others is the price of membership in the dominance club. The boy who learns this well is the one who will perpetuate rape culture. This means not only that he will enact harm to women’s bodies but that he is prepared to perpetuate every injustice. He will walk by the blue-tarp tent on the sidewalk where a family is living and sneer in disgust. He will call poverty a choice. He will drop a bomb before he learns the ways of diplomacy. He will say “build a wall to keep out those animals.” If you think I refer here to the current President, I do not. I refer to his father, the U.S. patriarchy, who has defined who we are since the time of the middle passage.
When I assigned Dorothy Roberts’s Killing the Black Body,95 my students could barely stand to read the accounts of women raped and beaten in the time of slavery. Roberts described the overseer digging a depression for a woman’s pregnant belly so he could flog her, facedown, bloodying her back without harming the unborn child considered property of the master.96
When the horror of slavery ended, the participants in this practice of torture did not go away, and the practice continued during the long reign of Jim Crow and lynching. The police officer who shoots a child today out of fear of Blackness inherits an ingrained culture of violence against Black bodies.97
We will never do what we need to do to end this violence until we understand its broad and resilient origin story. Assault on the threatening “other” was the justification for massacres that depopulated a continent so that newcomers could take over.98 In California, blood soaks the ground from the nineteenth- and twentieth-century pogroms directed against Mexicans99 and Chinese people.100 This history is not widely known. My students are often surprised when I use the words “lynching” and “Chinese” in the same sentence until they read the history.101
Alongside the history of slaughter lives the history of resistance to it. When U.S. troops came upon native women and children at Sand Creek, huddled under the U.S. flag and the white flag of surrender, Captain Silas Soule refused the order to fire and sent a report to Washington condemning his own commanding officer for the ensuing slaughter.102 Meanwhile, back east, Harriet Tubman led an expedition down the Combahee River to gather up the enslaved and lead them to freedom.103 At every dark hour, the resisters imagined a different way, leaving a placeholder for a new national identity that could supplant the legacy of violence.104
This record of resistance is remade in each generation. The archive of ads offering rewards for runaways who had escaped enslavement shows the courage and ingenuity of the Black southerners who used their own bodies to demarcate an inextinguishable light of freedom.105 That light is carried with a sense of duty by young people today working to stop police violence.106
I continue to use the rhetoric of “who we are” and the legal language of the Bill of Rights. Klemperer’s diaries, so strangely familiar given the creeping fascism we have lived with since the last presidential election, are a reminder that we could go from uneasy coffee klatch to losing every right enumerated in our Constitution overnight.107
We are a nation with both a legacy of violence and a strong counterlegacy of humane aspiration. Our regular attempts, since the drafting of the Constitution, to stand for something more than our defining reality of violence are our paradox, our gift, and our obligation.
Watch and commit to memory what you see. While Nazis march in the streets proclaiming white power,108 crowds come to cheer a President who calls immigrants criminals.109 The language of dehumanizing hate is deployed with the posture of the batterer. The clear intention is to keep an old vision: white supremacy, male domination, putting others in their place, exploiting the planet, revving up the war machine. This obvious move to fascist posturing calls on citizens of goodwill to be the opposite—explicitly, aggressively, and joyously.
The opposite of the strongman’s culture of domination is love, sharing, compassion, creativity, and play. The opposite of patriarchal, heterosexist, racist degradation is the uplifting of each one of us as beautifully human and entitled to thrive. Since we know we are not them, we may now speak openly of a world in which basic human needs are a collective responsibility: quality housing for all, clean air and water, universal health care, free college, and freedom from violence in and out of the home. These clear-eyed demands have entered the political conversation after years of timidly asking for a little less harm. The legal containers of liberty should both restrain the state from enacting harm and require the state to act to end harm. The ultimate repudiation of Korematsu is a deep commitment to human dignity.
Korematsu came out of fear: a nation at war,110 a long habit of hating Asians,111 a revved-up propaganda machine,112 an economic threat.113 Saying “never again” to racially motivated constitutional annihilation of citizenship means unlearning every practice and ideology of fascism and dismantling every material girder—including the daily unease workers live with in a winner-take-all economy.
The work of turning a cruel nation into a community of care is not impossible. Everywhere, the work is happening. Legions of feminist domestic violence workers have taught us how to end violence to women’s bodies. They tell us we won’t end violence without ending poverty.114 Women need options—education, housing, a living wage, childcare, paid family leave—in order to escape violence. And in the families where, “I love you, I just want the violence to stop,” has a chance of a good outcome, the helping hand of support, therapy, counseling, drug rehabilitation, and dignifying, intensive, culturally informed intervention is something we must demand for every family that wants it.
If we learn to do that at the ground level, we will become a nation that can act humanely at the macro level. Our lack of care for the chaos and poverty we have sown in other countries comes home. Investment in and restoration of countries we have harmed through war and exploitation would do more than any wall to reduce the refugee crisis, more than any drone attack to end the roots of terrorism. The hard work of taking hate out of our hands, dropping the weapons, and admitting our vulnerability and pain is the method of repair that can save our house. What we ask the batterer to do in order to stay in his home, we can ask ourselves to do as a nation.
We are learning the practice of evicting the batterer mentality. The Muslim ban brought hundreds to the airports in a citizen’s emergency proclamation of outrage.115 Seeing immigrant children torn from their parents brought the stroller brigades to Congress.116 My old neighbors in Shepherd Park, D.C., headed straight down North Capitol Street to get arrested.117 People made constitutional interpretation their own responsibility, saying, “You can’t do this, this is not what my America does, we won’t let you get away with this.” Since January 20, 2017, millions have hit the streets in a historically unprecedented showing of opposition to hateful governance.118
The question is joined. Peace-loving humanists take to the streets for democracy, while the backlash washes authoritarian bullies onto temporary thrones. The worldwide rise of racist nationalism has foregrounded the most immature versions of statecraft. The language is from the time of catapults and iron-studded clubs: We are better; they are bad. We deserve; they do not. Why waste time with the rule of law, the bully reasons, when evil gathers on the horizon?
We need better tools than the club and the snarl, given that we are at midnight on the global warming clock.119 In spite of all the inhumanity we are forced to witness, despite the carnage marking nearly every page of our history books, I know the vast majority of Americans would stop to help if they saw a child injured in the street. We are not a species that walks away when we encounter a child crying and alone. For every cruelty we have committed as a nation, there was resistance and condemnation from those who refused to turn away.
The true overruling of Korematsu is happening now. Those of us who want to live peaceful lives governed by humane practices and reliable guarantees of personhood are organizing ourselves to take back our country. The mistake in this historical moment is to ask for too little. There is no small tweak that can stop the march to annihilation. We need and will make a hugely generous nation that will treat violence against women as an emergency and call child incarceration an abomination. A nation that, mature in its recognition of mutual humanity and astute in its willingness to change, will rise to the challenge of dying reefs, killer hurricanes, and massive crop failure. We will no longer see power over as better than power with.
Our Constitution, with its intergenerational pledge to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, is an invitation to do this work. Whose liberty, defined how? Everyone’s. Every. Single. One. Upheld, promoted, and valued, so we can walk together with trust and loving determination as the seas rise around us.
Professor of Law, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law. J.D. 1980, University of Hawaii; LL.M. 1983, Harvard University. Professor Matsuda is an author, artist, critical race theorist, intersectional feminist, and constitutionalist. Twitter: @mari_matsuda. Web: marimatsudapeaceorchestra.com. The author thanks Roberta Woods, reference librarian extraordinaire; and Ciara Kahahane and Ahmad Nasser for their dedicated research assistance. She also thanks Stephen Arons, Marlene Booth, Charles R. Lawrence III, and Aviam Soifer for reading and commenting on earlier drafts of this Essay.