Last Saturday, Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the Keynote Address at the American Bar Association's annual convention in Honolulu, Hawaii.
While the reporting on the Justice's remarks has been breathless about his searing insights and brave challenges for the organized bar, viewing the video clips that have been made available by the ABA (click here to see), I had quite a different impression.
I have no idea what the man is saying.
The Justice hints at a whole range of big ideas, but does not move on to develop any of them. At one point, Kennedy thunders "the whole purpose of the Constitution is to arise above the injustices and inequities that we can't see," before gliding on to another topic.
And so I am left to wonder which of these items is true:
(1) It is me that is dense; and I am simply not clever enough to follow the Justice's meaning.
(2) A lot of folks at the ABA Convention had no idea what this man was saying, but did not want to admit to their courtroom or boardroom rivals that they were not "hip" or "smart" enough to grasp the Justice's nuanced delivery.
(3) Justice Kennedy is the perfect speaker for a lawyer's convention on a tropical island: He has grave and purposeful tones, with the thinnest patina of substance.
So, does anyone here speak luau?