George Anastaplo (1925-2014)
I am abroad and just received news (thanks to Gerard Magliocca’s post) of the passing of my friend of many years, Professor George Anastaplo. In so many ways, he personified the spirit of the First Amendment — in his Socratic manner, in his courage to speak his own mind even when it might cost him, and in his willingness to prick us, if only to make us pause and rethink our views about life, law, or any variety of other things that matter.
While we had a few philosophical differences, I can honestly say that I owe him a great debt for what he taught me by his sober example, his insightful writings, and by way of our many engaging conversations over the years. He was a man of great honor and great kindness. True, he did test the patience of some. Then again, every great university and law school should be so fortunate as to have one George Anastaplo. I will have more to say about this great teacher. For now, I will only add that if you wish to get a sense of this truly remarkable man, I urge you to read Justice Hugo Black’s inspiring dissent in In re Anastaplo (1961) . . . to be continued.