It’s difficult to do justice to Jeff’s polymathic genius. A lawyer and litigator based in Richmond, an expert on southern politics and US foreign policy, ex-Harvard and ex-ROTC, and the best friend of seemingly every maitre d’ in every three-star restaurant on the European continent, Jeff also along the way acquired a mastery of the arcane subject of the constitutional law of the European Union.
In the spring of 2005, I organized at AEI a debate over the Lisbon treaty between Jeff and Charles Grant, a leading British advocate of the treaty. In the opinion of just about everyone attending, Jeff pulverized Grant, not only because Jeff is a fearsome debater (although he is that too), but because of Jeff’s line-by-line superior understanding of the working of the treaty in conjunction with all the EU’s previous treaties.
Jeff had generously shared this knowledge with AEI fellows at a seminar he led all that spring–one of the most exciting projects in all my time at AEI. Over the years since, I’ve urged Jeff to continue to share his expertise with a wider American audience. As the disconnect between the EU’s financial ambitions and its constitutional architecture threatens to capsize the world economy, the public debate needs Cimbalo more than ever. I’m delighted to announce here that he has acquiesced to my entreaties. He’ll be contributing frequently to this site on Euro-issues–joining and leading an urgently needed public debate.