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Articles written by Justice Will Sellers


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  • Discrimination's 30 Diversity

    Justice Will Sellers|May 1, 2024

    One Hundred years ago, Congress passed, and President Calvin Coolidge signed a new immigration bill. While relatively uncontroversial in the United States - it had passed the Senate 69-9 and 308-62 in the House - the Act had a global impact. Its genesis was a study completed by the Dillingham Commission, which was formed by President Theodore Roosevelt and tasked with studying and identifying which immigrants would contribute most to the social fabric of America. The commission unfortunately...

  • Magna Carta's Constitutional Tradition

    Justice Will Sellers|May 1, 2024

    Bloodless revolutions are the exception, not the norm. Indeed, history is replete with wars pitting various national or regional groups against one another for territory or other economic benefit. Survival of the fittest was not a theory but was a present reality for most of the history of the world, and the slogan “might makes right” was the equivalent of the rule of law in many places. Merge these ideas with the concept of the divine right of kings, and you have a formula for arbitrary gov...

  • Espionage's Unintended Consequences

    Justice Will Sellers|Apr 1, 2024

    Fifty years ago, Americans were so distracted by Watergate that they failed to notice the unmasking of one of the most consequential spies during the Cold War. Even today, few will remember the name Günter Guillaume; but most will remember a spy precipitating the fall of the West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt. While it is hard to quantify exactly what state secrets Guillaume disclosed to his East German handlers, it is even more difficult to connect his espionage with any specific action...

  • Discrimination's Diversity

    Justice Will Sellers|Apr 1, 2024

    One Hundred years ago, Congress passed, and President Calvin Coolidge signed a new immigration bill. While relatively uncontroversial in the United States - it had passed the Senate 69-9 and 308-62 in the House - the Act had a global impact. Its genesis was a study completed by the Dillingham Commission, which was formed by President Theodore Roosevelt and tasked with studying and identifying which immigrants would contribute most to the social fabric of America. The commission unfortunately...

  • Unleashing the Power of Free Markets

    Justice Will Sellers|Mar 1, 2024

    Four hundred years ago, King James I of England convened his last parliament, the most significant and enduring legacy of which was the “Statute of Monopolies.” This act was both a restriction on royal prerogative and the beginning of legal protection for patents and intellectual property. Prior to this act, the crown arbitrarily granted monopolies to bestow royal favor and also to receive a fee for the privilege. The grant of monopolies had become an end-run around parliament to indirectly rai...

  • The Emerging Leadership of John Hancock

    Justice Will Sellers, Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court|Mar 1, 2024

    On March 5, 1774 - 250 years ago this month - John Hancock cemented his legacy as a leader of colonial resistance to British rule when he delivered his “Boston Massacre Oration” on the fourth anniversary of the murder of civilian colonists by British troops. The tragic event was a touchstone of resistance to royal subjugation of the American colonies. While it was one thing to have British troops protecting the colonists and fending off the territorial ambitions of the French, stationing tro...

  • Lessons from the Death of a Tyrant

    Justice Will Sellers|Feb 1, 2024

    One hundred years ago, Vladimir Lenin died. Lenin was an unlikely revolutionary. His story was not one of meager beginnings or social depravation. Rather, he came from a family of means that had little connection with the proletariat he came to champion. He was well educated, attended college, and became a lawyer. But, during his “education,” he was radicalized when exposed to Marxism and embraced its view of 19th century revisionist history. Throwing facts aside, the history lessons he acc...

  • The Monroe Doctrine Turns 200

    Justice Will Sellers|Jan 1, 2024

    When James Monroe addressed Congress 200 years ago, many assumed his annual message would be limited to legislative initiatives. Since he had no spin doctors to help him explain his position, clarify its broad impact, or narrate its context, it was left to him to simply announce the Monroe Doctrine and let others decide its ramifications. Two centuries ago, the New World was shedding Old World political connections as new nation states were emerging after achieving independence. President...

  • The Monroe Doctrine Turns 200

    Justice Will Sellers|Dec 1, 2023

    When James Monroe addressed Congress 200 years ago, many assumed his annual message would be limited to legislative initiatives. Since he had no spin doctors to help him explain his position, clarify its broad impact, or narrate its context, it was left to him to simply announce the Monroe Doctrine and let others decide its ramifications. Two centuries ago, the New World was shedding Old World political connections as new nation states were emerging after achieving independence. President...

  • The Turkish Republic at 100

    Justice Will Sellers|Nov 1, 2023

    This month, Turkey will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its national Republic Day, which recognizes its transformation from a theocracy to an elected, representative democracy. And, while the contours of Turkey have been around as part of any number of empires, it has only been in recent memory that the nation turned from only facing Mecca and began to look West to the political systems more representative of Europe and Western civilization. Achieving this republic was not an easy task, but...

  • Remembering the Life and Legacy of Lee Kuan Yew

    Justice Will Sellers|Oct 1, 2023

    Imagine a country in the 20th century that in a matter of 30 years went from a per capita income of $500 to one of $50,000. Imagine further that the country had no natural resources and was roughly 150 times smaller than Alabama. And what would we think about a leader who achieved such spectacular results? Meet Lee Kuan Yew, who, had he lived, would be 100 years old this month. From 1959 to 1990 he served as prime minister of Singapore and was largely responsible bringing a third world country i...

  • REMEMBERING PRESIDENT HARDING AND HIS VISIT TO THE MAGIC CITY

    Justice Will Sellers|Sep 1, 2023

    One Hundred years ago, President Warren Harding died unexpectedly. Occupying the White House for a little more than two-and-a-half years, he was a popular president having been elected with the largest margin of victory of any presidential candidate before or since. Following his death, several scandals, both public and private, tarnished his reputation and obscured several significant accomplishments. Though he had been involved in Ohio state politics, the highest state office Harding ever...

  • Nothing Left To Lose?

    Justice Will Sellers|Aug 1, 2023

    To coincide with Independence Day, many foreign nationals will publicly renounce all loyalties to their country of origin, pledge their allegiance to the United States, and officially become U.S. citizens. Witnessing people from all walks of life and from every continent become citizens creates an infectious patriotism and offers a rare glimpse into the sacrifice others make to become an Americans. In evaluating other countries, Ronald Reagan said that the acid test of a nation's liberty and...

  • The Legacy of Adam Smith

    Justice Will Sellers|Jul 1, 2023

    Adam Smith, the anchor of that group of inquisitive Scotsmen who spawned the Scottish Enlightenment and significantly changed the world, was born 300 years ago this month. The era of his birth was still primarily agrarian with superstition superseding science. He would alter this status by observing his community, pursuing the life of a scholar, and questioning his experiences in the world around him. And...... he wrote his thoughts down. Scotland was ready to nurture the likes of Smith. With...

  • The Precursor to Revolution

    Justice Will Sellers|Jun 1, 2023

    Two hundred and fifty years ago, the British Parliament stumbled into what can only be described as a textbook case of how to alienate friends and lose loyal subjects. When the Tea Act was passed in 1773, British conventional wisdom was that decreasing the tax on tea would be well received. And even though the science of economics had not fully developed, reducing the cost of a household staple would arguably increase consumption to the applause of merchants and consumers. Little could anyone...

  • The Integrity for Commerce

    Justice Will Sellers|May 1, 2023

    Trading in commodities, which are ingredients or components of finished goods, is the focus of global commerce. Information about commodities, their availability, and the impact of events that create scarcity, affects both current and future prices. Two hundred years ago, one significant commodity was tallow, a substance rendered from animal fat that was used to make candles, served as a basis for early skin care ointments, and was an essential ingredient of soap. Today, when we think about...

  • The Forgotten Hungarian Revolution

    Justice Will Sellers|Apr 1, 2023

    The desire for freedom and liberty is universal, but achieving it can take the effort of a lifetime. On March 15, 1848 - 175 years ago - Hungary revolted against the constraints imposed by both its Austrian masters and the authoritarianism of its ruling class. As a former Warsaw Pact country, little is known about the history of democratic institutions in Hungary. And it would be easy to conclude that the country’s experience with self-determination and independent government is recent. To the c...

  • Challenging Scientific Orthodoxy

    Justice Will Sellers|Mar 1, 2023

    The world Nicholas Copernicus was born into was wrong. Indeed, 550 years ago, almost everything people thought about the world and their place in it were based on false ideas. Without necessarily meaning to, Copernicus shook his world to the core and ushered in a revolution in science. Everyone in the western world believed that the earth was stationary and was the center of the universe. People might argue about other things, but everyone accepted the earth’s role and believed everything r...

  • Dividing Church and State; Uniting Faith and Reason

    Justice Will Sellers|Feb 1, 2023

    Five Hundred years ago, the Protestant Swiss reformer, Ulrich Zwingli’s theology was designated the official religion of Zurich. The rumblings of the Reformation were just starting. As education expanded, literacy allowed more people to read the Bible, increasing curiosity about theology. Families sent their best and brightest sons to become ordained priests. Seminaries become a concentration of intellectually curious male teenagers; rather than accept the authority of the status quo, these s...

  • A Birthday No One Celebrates

    Justice Will Sellers|Jan 1, 2023

    One hundred years ago this month, delegates from various parts of the old Russian Empire met in Moscow to create the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The world would never be the same. Prior to this declaration, an internal conflict pitted a variety of groups with differing political ideologies against each other. At the cost of more than 10 million dead, the communists emerged as the victor. Under Vladimir Lenin, they consolidated power to create the first communist state; an experiment tha...

  • The Failure of the Pilgrims' First Christmas

    Justice Will Sellers|Dec 1, 2022

    The Pilgrims’ first Christmas in the new world was remarkable, but not for the reasons you’d think. On December 25, 1621, William Bradford, the governor of the Plymouth Colony, prohibited the celebration of Christmas. But he wasn’t a Scrooge or a Grinch; he was simply following his religious conviction. He believed that Sunday was the only day for celebration and time off from work. While the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving was like our celebration, their first Christmas bore no resembl...

  • Mussolini's Rise to Power: A Centenary to Remember

    Justice Will Sellers|Nov 1, 2022

    One hundred years ago this month, Italy succumbed to a new political order that would ignite a worldwide struggle for freedom. Completely abandoning its rightful claim as the birthplace of republican self-government, Italy embraced the fanatical politics of Benito Mussolini and embarked on a sad journey of prioritizing rhetoric over reason and ideology over experience. The permanent scaring and disability of the veterans who suffered the horrors of trench warfare were a constant reminder of the...

  • Five Hundred Years of Global Trade

    Justice Will Sellers|Oct 1, 2022

    With supersonic air travel, it takes less than three days to travel around the world. Five hundred years ago, it took three years. When Ferdinand Magellan left Spain in 1519, he embarked on an adventure that was rife with danger and uncertainty. His flagship, if you can call it that, was a mere 75 feet long and had room for just over 60 people. He had no map and would be guided primarily by a crude form of celestial navigation. In reality, his destination was undetermined. But, his ultimate...

  • NATO's Newest Member

    Justice Will Sellers|Sep 1, 2022

    Prior to the American Revolution and more than a decade before the French Revolution, there was the Swedish Revolution, which marks its 250th anniversary this month. While often out of the orbit of discussions of western civilization, Sweden was and continues to be a repository of enlightened democratic values. With a remarkable history of military conquest and constitutional government, the semiquincentennial of the Swedish Revolution is worth noting. Sweden is known for having divided...

  • The Quest for Stable Government

    Justice Will Sellers|Aug 1, 2022

    Ninety years ago, Portugal was the poster child for instability. New governments came and went roughly every 6 months. Change seemed the only constant, which created a vacuum of leadership tailor made for military intervention. Out of the confusion and the void of effective leadership emerged one Antonio Salazar; he would govern Portugal for 36 years. American Secretary of State Dean Acheson remarked that Salazar was the closest thing in the 20th century to the philosopher-king outlined in...

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