Press release from Tuesday April 20, 2010

SAC News Releases

May 4, 2016
Doubts about Shakespeare go international for the 400th anniversary
April 25, 2016
Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance revive the debate over Shakespeare's identity in an interview with NPR's Renée Montagne.
April 24, 2016
Doubters claim victory on Shakespeare 400th Anniversary, and renew their challenge to Stratfordians to participate in a mock trial.
March 23, 2016
The SAC at Age 10; Six New Notables; 400th Anniversary International Events
December 27, 2015
Declaration of Reasonable Doubt still un-rebutted after more than eight years
November 22, 2015
Droeshout engraving in First Folio has Shakspere wearing impossible doublet!
May 31, 2015
RSC removes Stanley Wells' article on “Authorship Debate” from its website!
September 28, 2014
SAC Update through September, 2014
December 6, 2013
SAC challenges the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to a mock trial, to prove that Shakspere wrote Shakespeare, offering a £40K donation to the winning side.'
November 21, 2011
Actor Michael York and Shakespeare Authorship Coalition challenge the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon with new reasons to doubt the identity of the author William Shakespeare in the wake of Sony Pictures’ heretical film, Anonymous.
April 30, 2011
Over 2,000 sign Declaration of Reasonable Doubt
September 18, 2010
Theater professionals sign Shakespeare Authorship Declaration
April 20, 2010
Happy Birthday and Retirement, Justice John Paul Stevens!
April 19, 2010
Shakespeare Authorship Coalition updates Declaration signatory lists
November 15, 2009
U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor (retired) sign the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt.
April 13, 2009
Award-winning Shakespearean actors Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance joined by growing list of declared Shakespeare authorship doubters. Michael York joins fellow actors as SAC Patron. Shakespeare Authorship Coalition marks 2nd aniversary of Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. Seven signatories added to SAC “notables” list.
November 17, 2008
Huntington Library staff sign Declaration.
June 3, 2008
Sir Derek Jacobi joins the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition as a SAC patron.
December 1, 2007
First annual report of the Shakespeare authorship coalition: the Coalition’s strategy is working! Over 1,200 people have signed the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt, and we’ve attracted enormous attention to the authorship issue. With each new signatory, it becomes more difficult for orthodox scholars to continue claiming that there is “no room for doubt” about the identity of William Shakespeare.
September 23, 2007
Nearly 800 additional signatories have signed the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare” in the two weeks since prominent Shakespearean actors Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance, former artistic director at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, gave the Declaration its launch in the U.K.
July 2, 2007
SAC adds 100 signers to the list of signatories of the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”.
April 23, 2007
SAC releases its first list of signatories of the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”, on the 391st anniversary of William Shakspere's death.
April 14, 2007
SAC and the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable hold a signing ceremony to issue the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”
April 11, 2007
SAC and Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable to issue historic “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”

SAC contact person: John Shahan at (909) 896-2006, or online.

— Happy Birthday and Retirement, Justice John Paul Stevens!

Today, April 20, 2010, is the 90th birthday of U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who recently announced his intention to retire, after 34-years on the court, at the end of the current term. In addition to all the accolades he is receiving for his distinguished career on the court, we wish to thank him for his longstanding interest and support for the validity of the Shakespeare authorship question. As mentioned in last year's Wall Street Journal article about his and his fellow justices' views on the issue, Justice Stevens and three of his Supreme Court colleagues heard a moot court debate on the question at American University in Washington, D.C. in 1987. Intrigued by it, he wrote an article on the subject entitled “The Shakespeare Canon of Statutory Construction,” which appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review in April 1992. It emphasizes thoroughness and judgment: “Read the statute … the entire statute … in its contemporary context … consult the legislative history … use common sense.” These precepts define his approach to analyzing both legal questions and the authorship issue, always behaving with a graciousness that has been much remarked upon.

Last year, of course, Justices Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor became the first two justices to sign the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt, for which we are very grateful. Some question whether Supreme Court justices are qualified to judge the authorship question, contending that only Shakespeare professors have the necessary expertise. We find this an odd stance for people who accuse doubters, without evidence, of being motivated by “snobbery.” Don't juries of common citizens hear evidence and decide questions of fact in complex cases all the time? Who are the snobs here? Leaving aside the question of whether one must be a Shakespeare professor to judge this issue, Stevens was an English major who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago and a graduate student in English before enlisting in the military during WWII. His interest in Shakespeare dates back to the 1930's. One would think that if there were any justice on the court who the professors might think qualified, it would be him.

There is one other thing about Justice Stevens' background that I'd like to mention as a possible factor in his receptivity to the idea that the Stratfordian paradigm is wrong. U.C. Berkeley Psychology Professor Frank J. Sulloway, in his best-selling book, Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives, shows that “birth order” strongly affects personality development within the family. Later-born children, finding traditional family niches filled by older siblings, tend to be more “open to experience,” or open-minded. Finding one's own way, based on experience, rather than relying on received tradition, can make later-borns more willing to consider alternative views and hypotheses. As a result, later-borns are often much quicker than first-born children to give up on established paradigms of various kinds and make the switch to new ones. Justice Stevens was the last of four children, and based on his reputation for considering each case carefully on its merits, without having any apparent ideological agenda, he strikes me as the quintessential open-minded jurist. He also writes more dissenting opinions than his colleagues, and says that they all have a duty to register dissent. This, too, suggests an open-minded, conscientious attention to detail and nuance. Would that we had more like him, both on the court, and among Shakespeare scholars.

But regardless of what accounts for his exemplary qualities, authorship doubters deeply appreciate his open-minded attention to our cause. We wish Justice Stevens a happy 90th birthday, and a happy retirement, and thank you so much for a job well done.

The SAC is a private, non-profit charity founded to advocate for recognition of the legitimacy of the authorship controversy. The Declaration of Reasonable Doubt can be read and signed online at the website of the SAC at: www.doubtaboutwill.org.

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SAC contact person: John Shahan at (909) 896-2006, or online.