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A Special Announcement

It’s time to move on.

There won’t ever be a particularly wonderful time for me to do what I need to do here. But it’s time for me to move on to other projects and other activities. I’m stepping down as editor-in-chief of Ordinary Times and joining R. Tod Kelly in accepting “Emeritus” status. I’m doing this for reasons truly personal to me: some wounds I’ve taken in my personal life are taking much longer to heal than I thought they would and this is a necessary step for me.1

Ordinary Times‘ core function is to publish interesting things to read, multiple times every week. Ten years ago I came here looking for well-written, long-form essays that didn’t sound like sloganeering and reflected actual thought and this became my intellectual home. What an honor it’s been to have held the helm here. What an honor it’s been to have worked with so many bright and talented writers. The blog ten years ago would have been proud to post the kind of material we’re running today.

Sometimes it feels like we’re swimming against a powerful tide to push a message that a forum with multiple viewpoints is desirable, that the long-form essay remains a powerful and viable way to explore intellectual territory, and that people of different perspectives can come together in good faith and fellowship and engage in productive, civil argument. I’ve pressed as hard as I can on that during my editorship, and maybe I’ve made some mistakes along the way, but whatever the impact of those mistakes, please know that’s been the goal all along.

Your new editorial board has actually been holding the reins and steering the ship for quite some time behind the scenes now. This announcement just makes it official. The new editorial board is:

  • Will Truman, Editor-in-Chief
  • Vikram Bath, Senior Editor
  • Maribou, Senior Editor
  • Mike Dwyer, Associate Editor
  • Tod Kelly, Editor Emeritus
  • Burt Likko, Editor Emeritus

These are smart, dedicated people and I’ve complete confidence in them. Nevertheless, I urge you to help them out. Play nice in the comments section. Use the “flag comments” function if you think someone’s getting out of line — it really helps. Promote posts you find interesting on Facebook. Comment on articles, welcome new authors and greet infrequent authors with the same cheer you would old friends. Always keep your rhetorical swords sharp and your senses of humor intact. And when you feel like you’ve got something to say, write an essay and let them see if they can publish it!

It’s been my great pleasure to serve as the editor-in-chief. Whatever mistakes I have made along the way are strictly mine, but whatever successes have occurred under my watch have been the work of many hands and many minds. Thank you all very much for contributing to those successes. May the next and future incarnations of this project’s leadership only improve from here.

In valedictum: Scite verum, colite iustitia, vivere con gaudium.

  1. So relax, it wasn’t anything you did. []

Editor Emeritus
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Pseudonymous. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Lives in Southern California (for now). Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. Homebrewer. Atheist. Likes: respectful and intelligent dialogue, good wine, the Green Bay Packers, and long romantic walks on the beach. Dislikes: mass-produced barley pop, magical thinking, ketchup, and insincere people. If you follow him on Twitter at @burtlikko you may be disappointed.

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31 thoughts on “A Special Announcement

  1. Burt,
    It’ll be sad to see you go, but RL>.

    Go fix that that that stuff, and then, see where you’re at. God knows I’ve come a long way from where I ever thought I’d be as I started “the divorce proceedings”. (that last part must be said with a DUN DUN DUN first)

    Get into better shape. (everyone could use more of that regardless of marital status/age)
    Have some fun.
    Drink some wine-even too much on occasion
    Be selfish, until you want to share.

    Life’s too short not to, especially if you’re past the half way mark, like me. Good luck!


  2. Meatspace always and necessarily must come first Burt. Thank you for all your good work here and all the best wishes for happiness and healing for you. I hope we still see you round here regularly.


  3. Thank you for all the time,energy,quality essays, and excellent refereeing. Hope the personal wounds heal quickly with the tiniest scars.


  4. “greet infrequent authors with the same cheer you would old friends”

    We’ll also greet old friends when they want to stop by and be authors. Best of luck.


  5. Thanks for all the hard work; interesting, thought-provoking articles and very robust comments over the years. I almost never comment, but enjoying coming by to read (mainly the OPs).

    I still have fond memories of that very chilly sail at Leaguefest Chicago, and the dinner/drinks after.
    (If you’re in Chicago and want to come sailing, send us a note!)

    Best wishes for progress as needed, and happiness as it happens.


  6. We all have to grow and change.

    This looks like a moderately interesting Supreme Court term upcoming (gerrymandering, wedding cakes, whether the EPA can be challenged after broadening a definition but before issuing any rules based on the broader definition). Also, under the topic of “difficulties in writing statute”, resolving whether the parenthetical phrase “not to exceed 25%” means any amount up to 25% (four circuit courts have ruled that way) or whether it means exactly 25% (one circuit for this). I’ll miss your thorough background pieces.


  7. Good luck Burt and take care. Thanks for all the good hard work and posts you have put in. The SC explainers have been really interesting. It’s been a pleasure to read your stuff and this place has benefited from your guiding hand.


  8. No matter what, you’ll always be my second-favorite lawyer. (And my first favorite is my sister, so that actually does mean something.)

    You’ve been an amazing Editor-in-Chief, and it’s been an honor to be involved in running the site under your direction.

    I’m probably not the only one hoping that without the weight of steering the ship, you’ll have more time to write, not less… but writing more, writing less, or even writing not at all, my greatest hope is that you remember you have a home here, and friends here who have your back.

    May your journey to healing be an unexpectedly joyful one.


  9. For a long time, I didn’t know what “emeritus” meant. I assumed it just meant, like, super. A professor emeritus was a really good one.

    I have since learned what it means.

    For now, I will forget having learned that. I will simply think of you as a super editor-in-chief of this place.

    Thanks for everything. Best of luck in your personal life. As someone walking a similar path, know that I’m always around if you need an empathetic ear, piece of advice, or just to know you’re not alone.


  10. Thank you to all for your well wishes and warm thoughts. Know that I don’t intend to stop writing here completely. Just shifting my focus and energies to where they need to be at this phase of my life. But I’ll never stop writing as long as I’m physically able to write at all.


  11. Well, I will be sorry to have your voice diminished here-abouts, and the next time I find myself near LA with some free time, I will let you know.


  12. Well now we know why the legal sub blog didn’t take off. Which is absolutely 100% NOT MY FAULT.

    (good luck, happy trails, and don’t go too far too often)


  13. Yeah, getting RL stuff in order should always be a priority. But don’t be a stranger now, at least check in every once in a while and let us know how things are going.


  14. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us.

    First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself.

    But somewhere around fifth or sixth is something about writing essays so get to that when you can get to that.

    Again: thank you.


  15. Thanks for all the effort you have put in here over the years. You and the masthead have created one of my favorite places to lurk about.

    Positive thoughts to you on this readjustment in your life.


  16. It was a pleasure to meet you at the most recent Leaguefest in Portland. Hopefully, it won’t be the last one we attend.

    The League is, ever so slightly, diminished by your departure, though it looks to be in capable hands. Godspeed, sir.


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