2021 review – statistics

Below are some statistics about the 12th year of Equality-by-Lot. Comparable numbers for last year can be found here.

2021 Page views Posts Comments
Jan 2,684 13 182
Feb 3,105 15 117
Mar 3,253 11 131
Apr 3,096 9 118
May 3,303 14 34
June 2,806 11 70
July 2,408 7 76
Aug 2,506 6 41
Sept 2,314 11 93
Oct 2,400 8 102
Nov 2,388 10 136
Dec (to 21st) 2,133 10 92
Total 32,396 125 1,192

Note that page views do not include visits by logged-in contributors – the wordpress system does not count those visits.

Posts were made by 20 authors during 2021. (There were, of course, many other authors quoted and linked to.)

This blog currently has 152 email followers, 334 WordPress followers and 499 Twitter followers (@Klerotarian).

Searching for “distribution by lot” (with quotes) using Google returns Equality-by-Lot as the 2nd result (out of “about 330,000 results”). Continuing the demotion trend which has begun last year, Equality-by-Lot is now on the 10th page of results when searching for “sortition” using the Google search engine (out of “about 285,000 results”). This demotion may explain the significant decline in the total number of views in 2021 relative to 2020.

Happy holidays and a happy new year to Equality-by-Lot readers, commenters and posters. Keep up the good fight for democracy!

Huffman: The jury is a political, as well as a judicial, institution

James L. Huffman, professor of law and the former dean of Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, OR, writes in The Hill.

Second-guessing jury verdicts undermines confidence in the democratic system

English jurist William Blackstone observed before the founding of the American nation, the jury serves as a popular check on abuses by those who wield the powers of the state: “[The jury] preserves in the hands of the people that share which they ought to have in the administration of public justice and prevents the encroachments of the more powerful and wealthy citizens.”

The jury is thus a political, as well as a judicial, institution — but that does not mean juries engage in politics or should be subjected to political influence and judgment. In “Democracy in America,” Alexis de Tocqueville noted that the jury can be either a democratic or an aristocratic institution “that places the real direction of society in the hands of the governed or in a portion of them, and not in those who govern.”

Because juries in America are drawn by lot from the general population, they are democratic but insulated from the bias of public officials and the partisan preferences of shifting majorities.

As the American Bar Association states in a publication on the history of the jury system: “[T]he right to a jury of one’s peers is a corner-stone of American democracy. Along with voting, it’s one of the main ways people take part in the public life of this nation.”

Routine questioning of the legitimacy of duly reached jury verdicts is no less an attack on democracy than is questioning the legitimacy of a duly conducted election. The jury exists to resolve disputes over individual rights and government power, not to serve a partisan agenda. In resolving the dispute in a particular case, the jury functions not as an instrument of the ruling party but rather as a check on the politicization of the administration of justice.