Ann Althouse was born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1951. She studied art at the University of Michigan and, some years later, law at New York University. In 1984, after clerking for a federal judge and practising law at Sullivan & Cromwell in NYC, she moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to teach at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she is now the Arthur-Bascom Professor of Law. She teaches and writes about federalism, the jurisdiction of courts, and constitutional law. She has been blogging since January 2004 at Althouse.
Why do you blog? > To live freely in writing.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Live-blogging the 2004 Republican Convention and seeing that 2000 people an hour were reading as I wrote.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > My brief experience with the comments function, which a couple of nasty people ruined for everybody.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Be concise and write a lot. You must do both!
What are you reading at the moment? > Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs.
What is your favourite poem? > 'To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, - / One clover, and a bee, / And revery. / The revery alone will do / If bees are few.' (Emily Dickinson)
What is your favourite movie? > My Dinner With Andre.
What is your favourite song? > 'God Only Knows'.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I've had many different positions on feminism over the years.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > The scientific method.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > That women are or should be subordinated.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Descartes' Error by Antonio Damasio, which explains, on a neurological level, how emotion inheres in reason.
Who are your political heroes? > The Founding Fathers.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'The best is the enemy of the good.' (Voltaire)
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Pay attention.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > Sure, if he wasn't an ass about it.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Wisdom.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Cowardice.
What is your favourite proverb? > I'm from the 60s, so: 'Do your own thing.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Sitting through most movies, TV shows, and musical concerts; and lolling about on the beach, by a pool, or on a boat.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Finding another bat in my house.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Not go to art school.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Somewhere in the American West where there are mountains, cafés and bookstores, and a great law school.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Driving a sports car through western desert and mountain landscapes, occasionally stopping to walk around and take photographs, and staying every night in a luxury hotel.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Writing, drawing, taking photographs.
What is your most treasured possession? > A videotape of my sons when they were little. (They are both in their 20s now.)
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Marise, my mother's name, chosen by my grandmother, whose name was Geraldine and who read it in a book.
What talent would you most like to have? > A beautiful singing voice.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Television talk show host.