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Robert Cover\u27s Passion

By Robert A Burt


Bob Cover was not content with the world. In his legal scholarship, this discontent expressed itself as a demand that law be \u22redemptive\u22 in its aspiration, acknowledging the \u22unredeemed character of reality as we know it\u22 and seeking to replace it with a \u22fundamentally different reality.\u22 Bob lived in this normative aspiration not only in his secular legal scholarship but in his absorbing involvement with Torah. Indeed, he would not recognize the secular and religious dimensions of law as distinct in any important sense. There was no part of Bob\u27s life - whether characterized as legal, religious, personal - that was not touched by his passion for redemptive transformation. Bob\u27s involvement in the Civil Rights struggle was a central experience in his commitment to transform the \u22unredeemed character of reality.\u22 Though his deep aversion to coercion deployed by constituted social authority spoke directly to our generation\u27s experience of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement was more formative for him, especially in his confrontation with the raw violence of racist subordination that the movement brought into open view in the early 1960s. I had known from Bob that, as a college and law school student, he had gone South as a civil rights worker and I knew too that he had been arrested and spent what I gathered was a brief time, perhaps even just one night, in a rural Southern jail. In my oral presentation at this conference, I mentioned these facts as part of my understanding of Bob\u27s thinking

Topics: Arts and Humanities, History, Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2013
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