Jonathan H. Adler was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in November 1969. He was graduated magna cum laude from Yale University, and summa cum laude from the George Mason University School of Law, where he was class valedictorian despite being a night student and working full time in environmental and regulatory policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. After law school he clerked for the Honorable David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then began teaching environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he is also Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation. He lives in Hudson, Ohio with his wife, Christina, and two daughters, Ellen and Madeline. He blogs at The Volokh Conspiracy and is a contributing editor to National Review Online.
Why do you blog? > Because it's a logical extension of my academic and policy writing.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Giving up my pseudonym, Juan Non-Volokh.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Realize that people won't always read something the way you meant it to be read.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Ronald Coase, James Madison, Richard Epstein, Frank Meyer.
What are you reading at the moment? > Fatal Revenant by Stephen R. Donaldson; Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Bart Gellman.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren.
What is your favourite movie? > On the Waterfront.
Who is your favourite composer? > Beethoven.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I am more sympathetic to governmental efforts to address climate change than I used to be, and less convinced that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution prevents race-conscious measures designed to ameliorate the consequences of prior discrimination.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > There is a difference between a sin and a crime, as well as between a virtue and a requirement.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > That government experts can plan a modern society.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Ronald Coase's The Firm, The Market and The Law, because it opened my eyes to the importance of institutional arrangements in addressing societal problems.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > That government is best which governs least.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Confine the federal government to those issues that are truly of national concern, and leave all remaining issues to state and local governments.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be President, who would you choose? > Eugene Volokh.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > The best is yet to come.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Keep things in perspective.
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? > Yes.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > A sense of humour.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Being boring.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > Not sure. I have never told a lie that I did not later regret. Perhaps to save a life.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Reality television.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Yes, but I try not to think about it.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > David Duchovny.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Philadelphia.
What would your ideal holiday be? > A small island somewhere, with my wife, and no computer access.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Spare time?
What talent would you most like to have? > The ability to sing.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Law professor who blogs.
What teams do you support? > All Philadelphia sports teams.
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