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Alan Dershowitz Slams ‘McCarthyism’ Behind Removal of Harvard Law Prof Ron Sullivan as Residential Dean

Alan Dershowitz Slams ‘McCarthyism’ Behind Removal of Harvard Law Prof Ron Sullivan as Residential Dean

“Any student who feels unsafe in the presence of two distinguished lawyers doesn’t belong at a university.”

The removal of Harvard Law School professor Ron Sullivan as dean of Winthrop House for joining the defense team of Harvey Weinstein has sent shock waves through the legal academic community.

Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz has sided with Sullivan and made his opinion known in a column for FOX News:

McCarthyism comes to Harvard — Why this should alarm us all

When I was a college student, lawyers who represented Communists would be fired from academic positions. In parts of the South, lawyers who represented civil rights activists were fired. In some areas of the country lawyers who represented men accused of sodomy or women seeking abortions would be fired.

Now Harvard College joins this Hall of Shame by firing Professor Ron Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson from their positions as Co-Deans of Winthrop House because Sullivan decided to represent a man accused of rape. The defendant is the highly controversial Harvey Weinstein, who is presumed innocent and has not yet been tried.

Many troubling arguments have been offered in defense of the decision not to renew Sullivan’s role as Dean of Winthrop house. The most common – and dangerous – is that students feel “unsafe” around a lawyer who is representing Weinstein.

Feeling “unsafe” is the new mantra for the new McCarthyism. It is a totally phony argument not deserving of any serious consideration. Any student who feels unsafe in the presence of two distinguished lawyers doesn’t belong at a university. They should leave and not force the firing of the professor.

The “unsafe argument” could be made against a dean who is gay, Black, Muslim, Jewish, Republican or libertarian. No credence should be given to the argument, especially since the students apparently did not feel “unsafe” when Sullivan was representing a convicted double murderer.

Read the rest here.

Dershowitz expanded his thoughts during an appearance on the Laura Ingraham show on Monday night:

I couldn’t agree more with Professor Dershowitz. This situation was the inspiration for my new column at Townhall:

Harvard Is Punishing a Law Professor for Representing Harvey Weinstein, And They Should be Ashamed

A strange and unsettling thing is happening at Harvard.

Harvard Law School professor Ron Sullivan Jr. is being removed from his deanship at the school’s Winthrop House. His wife, Stephanie Robinson, who is a lecturer in the law school as well, has also been cast aside.

According to The New York Times, “They were the first African-American faculty deans in Harvard’s history.”

What crime could they have committed to deserve what is obviously a demotion? The answer should alarm anyone who values the American legal system.

Sullivan and Robinson are being punished because Sullivan joined the legal team representing the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein last year, and social justice warriors on campus think that means Sullivan is somehow complicit in Weinstein’s alleged crimes.

Like everyone else in the world, these Harvard students think Harvey Weinstein is a grotesque pig. Unlike everyone else, the students think that somehow disqualifies him from due process under the law.

Read the rest here.

Featured image via YouTube.


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Social justice. He was determined to be a warlock, politically incongruent, and removed. In progressive days, he would have been waterboard a la Mediterranean “refugee crisis.”

Many conservatives are saying the Harvard administration acted out of fear in this case. It is undoubtedly true there was an element of fear in Harvard’s decision.

But it is also true that at least some lefty faculty and administrators at Harvard saw this as a golden opportunity to strike a massive blow at an idea they have always hated: the idea of due process. Many leftists are enraged that the Deplorables are allowed to go on breathing, let alone enjoy legal protection. By dumping a pair of black professors Harvard is announcing loudly that NO ONE is beyond their reach, and the cause of Communism (complete with show trials and counter-revolutionaries suddenly vanishing) will ALWAYS take priority.

    Representing Weinstein presents an easy target and the Left always starts with the easy cases. That they would throw overboard a couple of “their own” in order to advance the cause is simply a case of necessary collateral destruction. The important object is the ability to eliminate due process from the hated Republicans/Conservatives/others of the right. They correctly presume that most Socialist-Democrats of the political class will skate with no indictment or Information to worry about.

I can understand ignorant people becoming outraged that a lawyer would defend certain criminals. Yet, they need to be reminded that despite the kangaroo courts of the media which pronounce people guilty before their trials, ignoring that our country was built on the principle of being willing to let a criminal off for the sake of the innocent not being punished.

Sure, we all tend to judge the innocence or guilt of public figures when they fall astray of the law, which is understandable, yet we ignore the principle that the accused is supposed to be innocent till proven guilty.

It is no different than the dangers brought to people who were ruined through the MeToo campaign, which hurt a lot of people’s reputations that later were shown to be false claims. Those reputations will never recover, as the accusation is the thing people will remember, not the retraction.

From our founding, we have lawyers who acted in accord with principles, such as Adams defending those involved in the Boston Massacre. Adams was successful in defending those soldiers involved, despite it being unpopular to his friends and neighbors, he believed everyone deserves to have counsel, regardless of the opinions of the public, and to be defended to the best of his ability.

This is part of an ugly movement throughout this country on the left. The accusation of wrong-doing is becoming the only important factor in determining guilt. Just listen to Mad Maxine or Pelosi or Schumer, they help lead the charge against the rule of law and order. Obama did the same with his condemnation of police in cases he inserted himself into.

We might not like the outcome of trials, such as OJ, but the law isn’t really about justice, it is about fairness, or at least should be. It is about keeping the innocent, regardless of their character, from being imprisoned for a crime they didn’t commit. It is how we should hope the law works for every single one of us.

    Edward in reply to oldgoat36. | May 15, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    We have had several decades now of Socialist-Democrat belief that proof of the criminal act is far less important than the seriousness of the accusation. Well, as long as the allegation involves people who are not Socialist-Democrats.

When being Black isn’t enough anymore. Welcome to the new “affirmative action”.

ahad haamoratsim | May 15, 2019 at 11:30 am

Can we assume the American Bar Association will be condemning this blatant interference with a law professor’s independence and with the right of an accused to hire legal counsel? [Cue derisive laughter].

great unknown | May 15, 2019 at 11:38 am

Sadly, nobody cares about what Dershowitz says anymore. Conservatives remember him as a progressive shill who told people to vote for Obama, and liberals have discarded him because he is pro-Israel, and, even worse, somewhat intellectually honest.

He forgot the cardinal rule: vote Democrat, get Democrat.

    Terence G. Gain in reply to great unknown. | May 15, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Dershowitz voted for Clinton. There is a lot about him that is admirable, but It seems that he is incapable of leaving the Democrat Party.

“They were the first African-American faculty deans in Harvard’s history.”

Is this perhaps merely Leftist_Racism ?

bobinreverse | May 15, 2019 at 1:05 pm

Du sho witz spent his whole career destabilizing Joe blow Us society. It has worked better than than he ever imagined to extent that he has no relevancy at all any more on left or dem poltiics. So now he is on fox or where ever to stay impt or relevant. What a bunch of bs.

JackinSilverSpring | May 15, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Terence – I do not understand Dershowitz. He clearly perceives the problems the Left has, but he stubbornly refuses to become identified with the right. It will be interesting to see whether his position changes as the DemoncRat party becomes yet more antisemitic.

bobinreverse | May 15, 2019 at 1:23 pm

If he leaves dem party bill Clinton and Jeff Epstein might ban him from perv island.

Oregon Mike | May 15, 2019 at 1:53 pm

I just dunno about Dershowitz.

Since I usually try to think the best of people before they prove themselves to the contrary, here’s my take:

I think Dershowitz remains a “liberal” and a Democrat is so that he can reach “liberals” and Democrats and get them to start being a little more classically liberal. If he threw in his towel and became a Republican, he’d immediately be blasted by those on the left as “pro-Trump” or something, whereupon he’d cease being the thorn in the side that should be listened to and would be dismissed out of hand.

Then again, I could be completely wrong.

    DINORightMarie in reply to Oregon Mike. | May 16, 2019 at 1:21 am

    I think you are forgetting that he is Jewish, and the left are so anti-Semitic that they easily discard and ignore him and his views because he is not keeping to the script–and on Fox News no less!! How dare he?! But his being treated like the “crazy uncle” at Thanksgiving…just ignore him, he’ll go away. If he becomes even more vocal, watch them go full Alinsky on him and destroy him personally, polarize him, then discard him completely.

    And he won’t ever renounce them, IMHO. So sad.

This is what authoritarianism looks like, democrats, socialists, and communists…

OleDirtyBarrister | May 15, 2019 at 2:33 pm

If the people running Harvard responded to the whiners by handing them a document indicating where to send their transcripts to facilitate a transfer to another school. That would generate more whining at first, but refusing to indulge their BS would ultimately kill it.

healthguyfsu | May 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Remember all those times conservatives rallied against the legal representation for Rasmea Odeh, Kermit Gosnell, or the Boston Marathon bomber? Yeah, me neither.

There is bitter irony in this having come from Harvard. The University was once known for its principled stands with regard to the law, despite its conservatism at the time. President Lowell publicly defended the appointment of Brandeis to the Supreme Court, even though they were on opposite sides of the political spectrum. He also had to defend Felix Frankfurter on several occasions—first when alumni kicked up a storm over his hiring to the faculty, and subsequently, when his positions—e.g. vociferous defense of Sacco and Vanzetti—were attacked in the establishment press; this despite the fact that Lowell presided over the fact-finding committee that decided their trial had been ‘fair’ (by the standards of the time). Thirty years later, his successor, President Pusey, became celebrated in liberal circles for standing up to McCarthy, and defending several professors from McCarthyites’ accusations of Communism. In the ’60s and ’70s Harvard Law School was noted for its support of professors involved in support of controversial causes, both on the left and the right, with widespread student approval. Now, the leftist lynch mob has turned against this tradition. Shame!!

Harvard has been done for at least three decades. No longer an institution of higher learning par excellence, it is now an institution dedicated to communism in the USA.

No surprise here, none at all.

I was criticizing the university administration for caving to a fairly small group of protesters. When one speaks of “Harvard” one does not necessarily mean the great majority of the students there, as one should not necessarily when speaking of the political climate at any other academic institution.

Aside from the craven behavior of the Harvard administration on such issues, the broader problem is not that so many students are activists in radical causes, nor that they necessarily even passively support the views of the SJWs among them. It is that they are unwilling to oppose them when they disagree, sometimes strongly. It is a matter of going along with what seems to be a prevailing ethos supportive of radicalism, and often of fear in opposing even some cause that is especially disagreeable. Fear of standing up to groups themselves unafraid to intimidate and humiliate dissenters, fear of being alone, fear of broader social ostracism, fear of being branded ‘racist’ or ‘sexist,’ fear of being hounded by campus and internet lynch mobs.

Individualism is generally in decline among students in our time, and there is now a prevailing attitude among them that makes protest marches and demonstrations sacrosanct. It is not only that the rights of students to speak out and show their displeasure are supported, it is that such protests (at least for politically correct causes) are given a pass even when the lives and academic careers of the rest of students are disrupted over causes for which they otherwise have little sympathy. A “culture of complaint” has been enshrined.

But one is wrong to say that Harvard is “done.” Its influence, and those of other elite institutions is as strong as ever. A very great deal of worthwhile intellectual work is still done within the academy. There really are no competitors in this regard. The problem for the rest of our society is that citizenship is no longer being learned within those ivied precincts. In fact, some of it is being unlearned by students who when younger might have had some respect for our civic culture. Given that Harvard (and Yale, and Georgetown, and Michigan, and Stanford, and Berkeley etc.) students will inherit a large chunk of the leadership of our society in the future, it is a problem for all of us.

    Barry in reply to HarvardPhD. | May 16, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    “There really are no competitors in this regard.”

    Of course there are.

    My rough guess is that 75-80% of the student body at Harvard are SJW’s. Either that or they’re pussy’s, afraid to stand up for their selves and freedom.

    The reason the administration “caved”, one – they are in agreement, and two, they know the vast majority of the other students support the “fairly small group”.

McCarthy gets blamed for a lot of things he didn’t do. So does “McCarthyism”.

Old Navy Doc | May 16, 2019 at 9:49 am

Harvard need only to look at Oberlin and Hampshire College to see the goal they are plummeting toward.