Talk about spin, the headlines are screaming 69 law school deans endorse Kagan in letter to Senate:
The deans of more than one-third of the nation’s law schools have endorsed Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, issuing a public letter that praises her legal analysis, writings, coalition-building skills and “understanding of both doctrine and policy.”
The four-paragraph letter, dated eight days ago and addressed to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was distributed Tuesday by the White House, which is orchestrating support for President Obama’s selection for the high court in preparation for her Senate confirmation hearings.
There are 200 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. It is fair to assume that the Deans of all or almost all were approached to sign the letter supporting Kagan.
Which means (headline, please) “131 Law School Deans Fail To Sign Letter Supporting Kagan.”
Update: David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy notes another problem in the WaPo spin, Funny Definition of “Most”:
Sixty-nine law school deans have signed a letter endorsing Elana Kagan for the Supreme Court. According to the Washington Post, “The letter was signed by the deans of most Washington area law schools, with the exception of those at George Washington and George Mason universities.” The letter was signed by the deans at AU, Georgetown, and Howard. It was not signed by the deans at GW, GMU, Catholic or UDC. (University of Maryand’s law school is in Baltimore, not College Park.)
Not that there’s any particular significance to whether Washington area deans sign or don’t sign this letter. But is it too much to ask reporters to get basic, easily-verifiable facts right?
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