User talk:DLJessup/Archive 02

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Succession tables[edit]

Hi, I noticed that you changed the "Successor" in Sandra Day O'Connor's succession table to "(n/a: incumbent)". Do you know if there's a place to discuss standardizing these boxes? I don't think I agree that that is a better way to do it; seems kind of cluttered and not as clean as just an em dash or a blank space. And certainly not better than just "Incumbent." I think even just plain "N/A" would be better. Any thoughts, and is there a better place to have this discussion where the community is already discussing this? —Cleared as filed. 12:10, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Try Template talk:incumbent succession box.
DLJessup (talk) 14:09, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Speaker of the House[edit]

What's your source that a speakership expires and is not immediately renewed? --Mark Adler 02:39, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm.... I'll try to come up with an explicit source as soon as I can, but consider two facts:
First, the first substantive action of the House in any Congress is to elect a Speaker. (For instance, see the House for the current Congress.) If the Speakership did not expire at the end of a Congressional term, there would be no need to have the Clerk call the roll and the Speaker be re-elected; rather, the old Speaker could simply take the chair.
Second, consider the Journal of the House of Representatives for the 26th Congress: there was a deadlock caused because the House could not be organized until a Speaker was elected, a Speaker couldn't be elected until a dispute over which delegation from New Jersey could be accepted, and which delegation was valid couldn't be determined until the House was organized. The dispute was resolved by appointing a temporary chair (John Quincy Adams as it turned out) until the membership issue could be resolved, and then a Speaker could be elected. If the Speakership were still in existence, they could simply summon the old Speaker (James K. Polk, as it happens) to act as chair instead of going through the business of appointing a temporary chair.
DLJessup (talk) 04:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Aha! Found it!

From A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House at the GPO:

The Speaker's term of office begins on his taking of his oath of office, which immediately follows his election and opening remarks. The term ends on the expiration of the Congress in which he was elected, unless he has resigned, died, or been removed from office.

DLJessup (talk) 05:04, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Very interesting. I'm not sure what to make of it. I suppose you're right.
I think is is seriously a very interesting point you've brought up here, and worthy of mention in an article or at least a discussion page of an article.
Then again, my real concern here is the succession boxes used in the various speakers' articles. For the most part, Dennis Hastert has been the Speaker of the House even though the term has ended. For the sake of succession boxes, should we include in Hastert's box that the position was vacant for a few days in 2003 and 2005? And what about List of Speakers of the United States House of Representatives? Should we also include all the inter-term vacancies? And what about Template:SpeakerUSHouse? I'm not at all suggesting a slippery slope here, it's just that for the sake of clarity, Newt Gingrich, e.g., was Speaker from January 4, 1995 to January 3, 1999.
Finally, I'm confused about the literal technical point here. If you read the rule regarding vacancies (which, I think, is the second paragraph of the same section as terms), it's not all that clear that between Congresses there is actually a vacancy. Furthermore, don't all 435 representatives get sworn in at the beginning of each Congress? Should we say that each representative's seat is vacant? Maybe technically no or yes or I don't know.
--Mark Adler 10:46, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

You raise several issues, so let's see if I can tackle them all:

  • As far as the succession tables go, it would be perfectly acceptable to have, frex., Gingrich's entry read "January 4, 1995January 3, 1999" and footnote the vacancy were it not for 19th Century Speakers such as Henry Clay, where the gap gets as large as nine months. Or, perhaps the (extremely ugly) option of a separate row for each 2-year Speakership, with Gingrich succeeding himself….
  • I have no idea what you're asking about with Template:SpeakerUSHouse, unless you're wondering if there should be, frex., "Gingrich | Gingrich". I believe that both of our answers would be "no" in that case, just as both of us don't think there should be separate rows for consecutive Speakerships in the succession tables.
  • As far as the terms of representatives versus speakers, there's actually two ways of looking at this:
    • One view is that a person doesn't enter into an office of the U.S. government until they have taken their oath because they are barred from carrying out their duties until they take the oath. Under this definition, George Washington became President on April 30, 1789 and Zachary Taylor became President on March 5, 1849. Under this definition, you'd be correct, every representative would have small gaps in their term as representative at the beginning of each Congressional term.
    • The other view is that a person enters into the office at the moment the responsibility of office falls to them. Just as the President is President before he takes the oath of office, but cannot perform any of his duties until he takes the oath, so too a representative is a representative from noon on January 3, but he can't perform any of his duties until he takes the oath. The difference between a representative and the Speaker under this definition is that a representative is elected prior to the start of Congress, while the Speaker is necessarily not elected until after the start of the congressional term. Thus, Gingrich was a Representative from Georgia on January 4, 1997, but he was not yet Speaker because the election for the Speakership would not be held until the next session of Congress opened on January 7.
  • The section about "Vacancy" in A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House that you mention is about how and when to declare that a vacancy exists in the Speakership. This is the first step in replacing the Speaker if he should fall ill or die. This only applies to an organized House, whereas the vacancy at the beginning of a Congressional term appears precisely because the House is unorganized until a Speaker is elected and the Rules of the House are adopted.

DLJessup (talk) 23:14, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, DLJessup, you've made some good arguments, many if not all of them are factually acurate. However, I think you're missing the point and the bigger picture here.
These are all good points, although I can't vouch for their accuracy. But accuracy is beside the point here, even in an encyclopedia. Because my concern here is about elegance. It's extremely ungainly to list multiple successive terms for someone when there's really no significant purpose. At most, I'd argue for a footnote stating that maybe some people might argue that Hastert wasn't Speaker for a few hours or a couple of days merely because he hadn't been formally re-elected. His lack of re-election may be true but it's irrelevant. He was the Speaker of the House staight through.
Even though perhaps the House Rules allow for a gap, in the mind of the historian (and the wikipedian), the gap is an interesting triviality at best and a biographical clutter at worst. It's not really a problem, it's just unnecessary and terribly confusing. If there were a gap that had some significance, that would be a different sitution: If, e.g. the gap were filled by a different Speaker, that would make sense. Or if the gap were caused because the position had been eliminated, but later restored, that would also follow. But saying that Hastert wasn't speaker sometime on January 3-4 2005 is just plain… foolish. (Sorry about the harsh language!)
As an example of another insignificant distinction → Maybe some officials can't do their jobs until they've officially sworn in (something I'll concede although I know nothing about it). But that's like saying Bush isn't President when he's sleeping, because a sleeping person can't do his job. Sure, you can wake him up, but then he becomes President again. OK, I know you're saying that the oath-of-office distinction is different, but I'm just using that as an example of an insignificant distinction.
In the end, it's really unnecessary to change all of these articles merely to state that there was a gap in the term of Speakers. I believe that these micro-defined distinctions don't benefit the wikipedia researcher best.
What do you think? --Mark Adler 02:02, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Wow. I agree that elegance is very important; I try for elegance as much as possible. But it's even more important that the article not state something that is factually untrue. You seem to regard the gap as a mere technicality. It's not. For example, suppose that Bill Clinton and Al Gore had both died on either January 2, 1997 or January 8, 1997. In that case, according to the Presidential Succession Act, Gingrich would have become President. However, if they had both died on January 4, 1997, we have President Strom Thurmond. (OK, that's just a bit frightening….)

DLJessup (talk) 13:03, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

You're right but you've missed my point. The fact remains: there is nothing truly inaccurate in saying that Dennis Hastert has been Speaker since 1999. Yes, I know: there was a three-day gap between Congresses. But this basic fact remains: Nobody else was speaker during that gap. There was no vacancy during that gap. I'm not arguing about the presidential line of succession. At any time during the gap, the Congress could have reconvened and they would have elected him Speaker for that time.
My main point is this: The purpose of wikipedia's succession boxes is to show who came after whom. If there's a de minimus gap between a person's term and that person's next term, it shouldn't clutter up the succession boxes. The succession boxes: that's what I'm talking about. I'm not arguing about the law. I understand that there is a chance that something else could happen. But for the sake of the succession boxes, you're being too picky.
After all, before the 20th amendment, the President's term didn't end at midnight. It ended at midnight Eastern Time. But I would hardly expect anyone to go through all those Presidential and Vice Presidential articles that have already been corrected and add "Eastern Standard Time" even though it would be technically correct and there could have been some hypothetical situation wherein a newly-elected President died in Washington DC at 1:00am ET, one hour into his new term and the incoming Vice President was in California where it was still 10pm PT the night before. Who would be prez? The old VP, in DC at 1am or the new VP in CA at 10pm.?
On a side note, maybe you should move this entire discussion to an appropriate articles's talk page.
--Mark Adler 12:48, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Copied to Talk:Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

DLJessup (talk) 13:47, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Democratic-Republican Party (United States)[edit]

Hi there! I notice you made this revert, and thought that you might want to have a look at that anon's other edits - he has added much the same comment into several other articles. I'm completely ignorant of that facet of US politics, so I don't want to jump in and edit myself, but I figured I should bring it to your attention. --Stormie 12:26, 4 November 2005 (UTC)


Please see Talk:List_of_Justices_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States#Index 00:49, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
(Made revisions to my entry on that discussion page.) 01:44, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for putting the indices back in! Please see Talk:List_of_Justices_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States#Index for new request 23:45, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

U.S. Presidential election OF...[edit]

Hi! I think we share a common interest or two. If you were/are reponsible for the amazing word standardizing the historical election pages, then wow, that's incredible. I wanted your input on a small problem or two that I have with this series of pages as they stand (not sure how/if to fix it). First of all, unless I'm mistaken, the "P" in "U.S. Presidential election" should be capitalized. It refers specifically to the title "President of the United States," which is capitalized, and not to a general "presidential" characteristic or election. It is the election of the President. But that's alot of moving/redirecting to do by hand, unless the "move" command also moves all of the "what links here" pages to point at the new page. And also something I wouldn't do unless I can confirm that I'm right about the capital "P."

Second, and somewhat more importantly, I find that when editing other articles, I most often want to use the phrasing "U.S. Presidential election of 1980," e.g., meaning that when I want to point at one of those pages I have to write something along the lines of "Anti-trust regulation was a major factor in the [[U.S. presidential election, 3468|U.S. Presidential election of 3468]] rather than just "in the U.S. Presidential election of 3468."

Another potential solution to this is just to create redirect pages for each election as I had just done with the U.S. Presidential election of 1896, but I wanted someone else's viewpoint before taking on a job like that.

Regards, Kaisershatner 15:39, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

You raise two separate points. On the issue of capitalization of "presidential", the Wikipedia Manual of Style appears to disagree with you:
Titles such as president, king, or emperor start with a capital letter when used as a title (followed by a name): "President Nixon", not "president Nixon". When used generically, they should be in lower case: "De Gaulle was the French president." The correct formal name of an office is treated as a proper noun. Hence: "Hirohito was Emperor of Japan". Similarly "Louis XVI was the French king" but "Louis XVI was King of France", King of France being a title in that context. Likewise, royal titles should be capitalized: "Her Majesty" or "His Highness". (Reference: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed., par. 7.16; The Guardian Manual of Style, "Titles" keyword.) Exceptions may apply for specific offices.
In other words, it is the "election of the President of the United States", but the "election of the U.S. president" or the "U.S. presidential election".
On to the second point. I am definitely sympathetic to your point about the fact that "U.S. presidential election, yyyy" will always require a redirect in a wikilink. However, this violates Wikipedia naming conventions, and these conventions were apparently established after long and bitter debates. (For example, see Talk:U.S. presidential election, 2000/Archive 1 and Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (years in titles)/Archive 01.) The big issue with replacing the comma with the word "of" is apparently that, once the decision is made to use a preposition instead of a comma, which preposition gets used ("of" versus "in", frex.) sparks religious wars. (There's also the minor issue that, if you manage to get this changed, there's a lot of existing pages which conform to this rule, such as U.S. Senate election, 2000 or UK general election, 2005.)
Now, as it happens, the naming issue is being revisited right now at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (years in titles). If you really want to get this changed, I think you should hie yourself over there.
(BTW, I do not recommend that you start creating redirect pages until you are satisfied that the naming convention is not going anywhere. If you do manage to get the naming standard changed, it is much more difficult to move the pages if there are redirect pages in the way that need to be deleted.)
DLJessup (talk) 00:48, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your (well-sourced) reply. I'm glad I asked before doing anything dramatic. I will check my Strunk & White though about the capitalization, not that WP needs to agree with them, but just 'cause. And thanks for the heads-up about the renaming debate. Cheers, Kaisershatner 19:48, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Senator succession box[edit]

Greetings. I just picked up your changes to the succession boxes for Senators in Delaware (and I presume elsewhere). While I normally like to tinker with this kind of stuff myself, and respect your creativity in doing this, my first reaction is that there may be some problems.

  • With this change there is no consistency in the appearance of the succession boxes. There is no comparable "served alongside" for Governors, Presidents, etc.
  • In a state where there is more turnover, unlike Delaware, it seems like the list could be really long, and the box strange looking.
  • With more data the information in the boxes wraps uncontrollably. Often it looks awful. I've stopped putting full dates in for that reason.

It seems like you might be mixing objectives in an awkward way. I agree it's real important to show who these people are serving with, so like the goal you seem to have. Would it be possible to do something with the XX-FedRep template? I've even thought about trying to have one of these boxes for each Congress the person served in- and including the President and (maybe) Governor at the time. I don't know the answer but would ask you to rethink this approach.

Would you be willing to explain what your intent is and what the resolution to these issues may be? I would appreciate it. I'll help you implement something I can get on board with.

stilltim 00:05, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I've actually been thinking over your message for a little while. Let me clear up some misconceptions:
  • There's no need to praise my creativity here. The "served alongside" notation in the succession table for senators predates my involvement with succession tables and, in fact, predates the {{succession box}} template. A large part of my motivation for including the {{{alongside}}}<nowiki> field in the <nowiki>{{U.S. Senator box}} template is because I didn't want to wipe out other people's work when I helped standardize the succession tables.
  • There's actually a more fundamental motivation for the {{U.S. Senator box}} template than the alongside field. The title for senators has shown quite a bit of variance, both in where it linked to ("List of U.S. Senators from state" versus "U.S. Congressional Delegations from state") and in its appearance ("Senator from Ohio" versus "U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Ohio" versus "United States Senator from Ohio" versus …), and I wanted to standardize that.
  • There are ways to control how the information in the boxes wraps. Since the {{{alongside}}} field doesn't involve dates, there is considerable freedom in the use of line breaks and non-breaking spaces. I have not availed myself of these tools because I haven't seen that it "looks awful" and because I've got a lot of different things I'm trying to do with my limited time on Wikipedia.
  • I think that you're a little over-the-top when you write that, "There is no consistency in the appearance of the succession boxes." Similar inconsistencies occur with regents for kings, when titles change (as, for example, when the United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs became the United States Secretary of State), when succession splits (as with the Democratic presidential and vice-presidential nominees in the presidential election of 1860). I would consider these inconsistencies to be minor and, more to the point, to be dictated by the situation. I agree that most other offices don't have a comparable "served alongside", but that's an attribute of the office: most other offices don't come in pairs. (Some do; for example, it would also be appropriate to have an alongside field for consul.)
I don't think I can give you a fuller response until I get your reaction to the above points.
DLJessup (talk) 02:12, 22 November 2005 (UTC)


Keep up the good work! · Katefan0(scribble) 16:20, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Disambiguating abbreviations[edit]

You contributed to the TFD discussion for {{2LCdisambig}}. I am following this with further discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Abbreviations. Susvolans 18:43, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Faithless electors[edit]

Thanks for your work on the faithless elector article. I split it because I wanted a complete list and I thought the electoral college article was too long as it was. I didn't realize how much history there was when I did it. Now, with your work, it looks like a great article. --Kainaw (talk) 19:26, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for splitting the article in the first place and adding the complete list. I just tweaked what you added.
DLJessup (talk) 20:18, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Logan Circle[edit]

Note: This topic actually started on User talk:Kmf164, where I posted:

Hi there:
I've noticed that you've taken to renaming articles such as "Logan Circle (Washington, D.C.)" to "Logan Circle, Washington, D.C.". Is there a reason why you're doing this? My understanding of Wikipedia is that, in general, article titles should take the form of a name one would use in text, with a disambiguator in parentheses if this is non-unique. WikiMedia even has a special syntax for this: if you type in "[[Logan Circle (Washington, D.C.)|]]", it automatically substitutes to "[[Logan Circle (Washington, D.C.)|Logan Circle]]" upon save. Most people write "Logan Circle" in their articles; almost none write "Logan Circle, Washington, D.C."
Please reply to me here. I will leave this page watchlisted for the next three days.
DLJessup (talk) 14:44, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Kmf164 replied on both my talk page and his.

DLJessup (talk) 23:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Please see Category:Washington, D.C. neighborhoods, where Logan Circle (Washington, D.C.) stands out from all the other neighborhoods in the way it's formatted. Please also see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (city names) and it's talk page, where there is discussion on how to format neighborhoods and disambiguation. If you want to weigh in on the discussions, please do.

In all, there needs to be some consistency in how we format Washington, D.C. neighborhoods. If you want to format Logan Circle in the way you suggest, then I think we need to do the same for all the other neighborhoods. ---Aude 14:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Also, see Category:Manhattan neighborhoods, Category:Los Angeles neighborhoods, and Category:Neighborhoods of the United States. Thanks. ---Aude 14:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Bludie hell. Yeah, you're right; I was thrown off by Logan Circle, which references Logan Circle (Philadelphia) and by the fact that this is Yet Another Exception to a Wikipedia General Rule. I'll try to fix what damage I've wrought.

DLJessup (talk) 23:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

No problem. How to format neighborhoods hasn't yet made it into the official guidelines. There are still many inconsistencies (e.g. The Financial District (Manhattan) or Category:Pittsburgh neighborhoods). Personally, I like using the parenthesis — looks better, but consistency is more important. ---Aude 00:20, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

FISA Court[edit]

I just wanted to say thanks for doing all the formatting stuff I didn't want to do. I've been too busy filling in the massive amounts of detail on FISA generally. mmmbeerT / C / ? 14:44, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


You're welcome.

DLJessup (talk) 15:18, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Gettysburg Address[edit]

Hi, I've worked on this and it is currently a WP:FAC. Given our mutual interests I thought first you might enjoy reading it, and second, you might consider supporting it (looks good either way, but probably wouldn't hurt to have more input). Also, without realizing it was on your list of projects, yesterday I expanded Newt's list of books, and after I checked your recent edit history to see if you're around, I noticed you've done a tremendous job with William F. Buckley. Way to go! Kaisershatner 15:55, 23 December 2005 (UTC)


I've looked at the Gettysburg Address article and added my vote of support to it. Well done! As far as my list of projects goes, that's basically a list of things I'd like to see done and am willing to do, not a list of things that I'd like to be done by me. I'm actually quite glad to see that it was done.

Thanks for your compliments on the William F. Buckley, Jr. article. — DLJessup (talk) 20:23, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Fred M. Vinson[edit]

His congressional biography and his judicial biography differ about his transition from Congress to the Circuit Court in 1937/38. Is it possible he received his commission in 1937 but waited until May 1938 to take the seat? Which do you feel is more reliable? NoSeptember talk 16:35, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


I think that the FJC is slightly more reliable than the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, if only because I've actually spotted and reported errors in the Biographical Directory. Nonetheless, I think both are fairly reliable and so we should presume that both are correct unless we have clear evidence otherwise. It seems likely that Vinson received his commission in December 1937, but waited until May to relinquish his position in Congress and take the oath as a federal judge.

An additional datum: Vinson's replacement, Joseph Bates, took office on June 4, 1938. This means that a special election had to have taken place. It takes several months to schedule a special election, which is consistent with the appointment taking place in December and a special election taking place in mid-May.

I hope this helps.

DLJessup (talk) 04:50, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your insight - looking up his successor - I should have thought of that. I made changes to the D.C. Circuit and the Vinson article assuming both biographies are correct and he waited until May. NoSeptember talk 08:45, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit[edit]

Dude, your an idiot. Judge Butzner died on January 25, 2006. I changed the page to reflect this, but you went and reverted my edits, not believing me that he had died. All it would have taken was two seconds for you to type "Judge Butzner" into any search engine and confirm this, but for whatever psychological or other reason you decided to be an asshole and revert my edit and ask me for proof. Have more faith in anynomous editors dude. Our lives don't all center around Wikipedia like yours.

I did try to check on his death, typing "John Butzner" into Google. It still doesn't have any articles describing his death on the first three pages. I limited the search to the last three months: no result. I checked the Federal Judiciary Center: no result. I can't contact you to ask for verification. I'm not allowed to "have faith" in anonymous or even registered editors; that material on Wikipedia be verifiable is an official policy.
Thank you for giving me enough information that we can now source his death.
DLJessup (talk) 19:47, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Otto Kerner[edit]

Gee, you mean I could have waited and saved all the time creating Otto Kerner, Sr., and you would have done it for me? :) Oh well, it was interesting even if I should have been in bed instead. -- DS1953 talk 16:27, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Max Rosenn's death[edit]

Judge Rosenn died early this morning. I was informed by internal memorandum within the federal court system. As the memorandum was attached to a general email addressing the system at large, I considered the information to be public and updated accordingly. Sorry about the extra vacancy line.


Kirkpatrick 17:40, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea if I'm doing this right or not. But regarding Judge Rosenn's death, I think Rosenn needs to be added to the Seat 9 listing on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit page. He doesn't show up under any of the seat listings. Srt1968 14:26, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

No, you were doing it right. Judge Rosenn's entry in the Seat 9 listings was accidentally deleted through a combination of two errors (one mine, one somebody else's) during the updates surrounding his death. I've gone ahead and restored his entry. Good catch!

DLJessup (talk) 18:54, 8 February 2006 (UTC)