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Norman Schwarzkopf

Commander, Operation Desert Storm

You know, heroism is in the eye of the beholders, it's like beauty. Nobody says on the battlefield, "Well, I think I will now be a hero," and go do a heroic act. You don't do that. It's people doing their job. That's what they're doing, they're doing their job. And somebody else sees him and says, "Wow, boy, look at that, isn't that heroic?" But, the people who are doing it don't think at the time that they're being heroes. They don't think after the fact they're being heroes. They just say, "I'm doing my job."
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Norman Schwarzkopf

Commander, Operation Desert Storm

Rule 13 says, okay, I've got it. When placed in command, I take charge. But what do I do? The answer is Rule 14: Do what's right. Because we all know, all of us know, basically, when placed in those circumstances, what the moral, what the ethical, what the correct thing to do is. We all know it. So, the true modern leader of today is the one that's, number one, willing to take charge, and willing to do what's right. That's the secret of leadership.
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Glenn Seaborg

Discoverer of Plutonium

He (LBJ) kept his finger on the individual items. I mean individual budget items for the Atomic Energy Commission. Perhaps I'd have six of them, that I was in dispute with the director of the Bureau of the Budget. I would describe them in detail and he would nod. I would usually win six out of six. I really had his confidence. He really believed that I didn't have a hidden agenda. He was convinced that I was doing what I thought was best for the country. Once I won his confidence like that, I was able to usually win out in the debates. On the other hand, if he lost confidence in somebody it was just as bad on the other side. That person would have trouble convincing him of anything.
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John Sexton

Education & Law

John Sexton: Well, I think -- look, I was captured for teaching by teachers. There's this one spectacular man in my life named Charlie who -- I was formed at this Jesuit high school that hasn't existed since 1972, but each year a group of us get together. Now, this school has not graduated anybody in 33 years, but we have 600, 700, 800 men at a reunion every year to keep its spirit alive. And, you know, one of them still makes sweatshirts for us, and varsity jackets so we can give them to our kids. And at that high school -- now, this was Brooklyn Catholicism in the '50s, so Joseph McCarthy was an icon. My mother thought Joseph McCarthy was the fourth member of the trinity. But one of our English teachers at this high school was Daniel Berrigan. And people like Berrigan said to us, "It's okay to disagree with McCarthy. And it's okay to disagree with us. But you have to have a reason for your view." And this was a very dramatic thing to be said to a pre-conciliar Irish Catholic in Brooklyn. And they gave us this man -- there were 12 of us that were in an honors class, and we had this man Charlie -- and, as I remember it -- we had him every day, five days a week for three years for a course that was really just called "Charlie." And he started with the cave paintings of Altimara, and percussion music, and he worked his way through the centuries, right up to the 1950s, teaching us simultaneously history, music, art and literature -- in this highly mystical way. This was before anybody thought of the word "interdisciplinary," or ethnocentrism.
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John Sexton

Education & Law

But, Warren Burger invited me to write bench memos that disagreed with him. I understand this is not the stereotype of Warren Burger. But he invited it, he welcomed discussion. There was this one great case -- and he authorized me to tell this story -- it was called Michael M. v. Superior Court, it came out of California, the Rose Bird Supreme Court. And the facts of the case were that a young man, 16 years old, and a young woman 17 years old, had had consensual intercourse. And under the California statute, he was prosecuted for statutory rape. She could not be -- even though he was younger, and she seemed, on the facts, to be the initiator of the intercourse. The Rose Bird California Court declared it unconstitutional. Now this was the same year that the all-male draft was being challenged by the National Organization of Women. And I had been trained, you know, at Harvard Law School by Larry Tribe, and I knew an Equal Protection violation -- you know, you stereotype women, even if it's to their advantage -- you know, I knew the whole argument. And so, I wrote my bench memo on Michael M. to affirm the Rose Bird decision. And then I said, "Let me see if there's any case out there that the briefs have missed." And I found a First Circuit Court of Appeals opinion by a very good judge -- Frank Coffin, a person we lionized at Harvard Law School. And, sure enough, his analysis was the same as mine. So, I said, "This is good. I get an A+ on this paper." It's the first bench memo ever I did for the Chief Justice. And I said, "Let me just check to see if they appealed to the Supreme Court." And lo and behold, they had. Coffin's decision had been appealed to the Supreme Court, and certiorari had been denied. But Burger and Rehnquist had dissented from the denial of certiorari -- and they had indicated that they would have granted certiorari to review it, and they would have summarily reversed it. They said that publicly. They didn't even have to hear the case. It was so wrong, in their view, they would have just reversed it without hearing arguments. So here he was, exactly 180 degrees from where I was, on the public record, about eight or nine years earlier. And I had this crisis of conscience: What do I do? And I ended up putting in the first paragraph, "Sir, you're on record on this -- " -- and so on. And I put my bench memo in unchanged. I said, "I hope, on reflection, you'll see this as the better analysis. This is what I would urge."
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John Sexton

Education & Law

And finally, I make the stereotype argument. And he pounds the desk, and he says, "I don't care if it is stereotype. The fact of the matter is that female virginity is different from male virginity. And someone's got to stand up for basic values. And I'm going to draw the line, and this is where I'm going to draw it." And he's beet red. And, I mean, his argument sounded to me preposterous. And I looked at him. And without realizing what I was saying, I said, "Sir, is that why you feel the way you do about this case? Or is it because guys like you wanted to marry virgins?" And I had no sooner said the words -- I said, "Oh, my God, if he fired me on the spot, he would" -- and I could see the white come down his face as the blood drained. And it seemed like an interminable length of time. And he looked at me and he said, "Didn't you want to marry a virgin?" And it just broke the tension. And he looked at me and he said, "Stereotype. Stereotype." He said, "Don't stereotype me." And he didn't change his vote on Michael M., but it changed our relationship. And I knew from that moment on that he welcomed disagreement. And a book like The Brethren overemphasizes the importance of law clerks, because law clerks were the source of the book that Woodward and Armstrong did. But I'll tell you, I know of cases where conversations he had with the clerks -- and, in one case, with me -- where he did vote differently, even after he had cast his vote in conference, and had assigned the opinion to himself. When he struggled with the opinion, the conversation continued. He switched from 5-4 in one direction, to 5-4 in the other direction, from the initial -- he said, "I'm going to keep the opinion," and it ended up being 7-2; in other words, two other Justices, also upon -- and that gave me great belief in the dialogic process of the Supreme Court at that time -- which has lived with me. You know, it's a genuine process. And it's not what happens in so much of our society, where people are just exchanging slogans, and voting conclusions, and then looking for the reasons and the answer to it.
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John Sexton

Education & Law

One of the problems with tenure is the fact that it protects those people who we ought to be shaming, even though we have tenure. We don't use honor and shame enough.
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