Keeping focus

By Lawrence Lessig

October 9 2002

Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Eldred v. Ashcroft [ ]. In the past weeks, and especially the past week, I’ve received an extraordinary amount of mail, ranging from wishes of good luck, to demands that I “win.” And as well has the press been extraordinary. (Check out Google’s cool new service for a list [ ]. Even Declan [ ] is reporting the story, if only to report that the Ayn Rand Institute has pronounced me a Marxist (along with Milton Friedman, Ronald Coase, James Buchanan [ ] and Phyllis Schlafly [ ] I assume.)).

When we brought this case 4 years ago, there were many allies who said that there was no way we could win. The reason they were right four years ago is that the world did not yet see how important these issues are, and just what’s at stake. In four years, that has changed. Not because we brought this case, or because of anything I’ve done in this case, but because of an extraordinary number of people who have been pushing to make this issue understandable.

It is extremely hard to win a case like this. I have given it everything I have, and I believe we are right, and have a good shot in showing it. But the important lesson from the attention this case is getting now is this: There is an extraordinary passion and energy out there for the ideals that Eric Eldred and others represent, and that if we do something to push these ideas, we can have an effect.

Thank you for the extraordinary outpouring of support. But please, regardless of what happens here, let us not lose the momentum. Freeing culture is what our framers did; we can do it again, regardless of what 5 justices on the Supreme Court say

5:09 AM

Copyright 2002