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Law Professors Tag

Increasingly, campus "social justice" activism is resembling the tactics of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, particularly the public shaming of those deemed ideologically incorrect, including professors. In The new Cultural Revolution on Campuses in late April 2017, I reviewed recent examples, including Yale, Cornell, Middlebury and Claremont McKenna:

Howard University law professor Reginald Robinson has been the subject of 504-day Title IX investigation based on two student complaints about a test question involving a Brazilian wax lawsuit. Robinson is now required to undergo mandatory sensitivity training, prior administrative review of future test questions, and classroom observation. As described by Cosmo, during a Brazilian wax, "they take the hair off the top and sides of the bikini line, but also all the way under and around the back, too. [emphasis not mine]" The test question is lengthy and quite specific about the nature of the Brazilian wax.  Its basic premise is described by Inside Higher Ed:

Lawrence Lessing, professor at Harvard Law School, wants the Electors in the Electoral College to go rogue and vote for Clinton regardless of the election results the led to the Electors ability to vote.
Conventional wisdom tells us that the electoral college requires that the person who lost the popular vote this year must nonetheless become our president. That view is an insult to our framers. It is compelled by nothing in our Constitution. It should be rejected by anyone with any understanding of our democratic traditions  — most important, the electors themselves.... In this election, the people did not go crazy. The winner, by far, of the popular vote is the most qualified candidate for president in more than a generation. Like her or not, no elector could have a good-faith reason to vote against her because of her qualifications. Choosing her is thus plainly within the bounds of a reasonable judgment by the people.

We recently reported that some law professors of the American Law Institute wanted to expand the concept of sexual consent in a way which would make it easier to define people as criminals. The proposals were outrageous and would have put people at risk of being legally guilty of rape even if their partners consented. Proponents of the changes were largely left wing professors who undoubtedly agree with the progressive concept of rape culture. The good news is that the institute rejected the proposal. Bradford Richardson of the Washington Times:
American Law Institute rejects affirmative consent standard in defining sexual assault In a rebuke to a feminist idea that has migrated from college campuses to mainstream culture, an influential legal group overwhelmingly rejected Tuesday a provision that would have endorsed an “affirmative consent” standard for the purpose of defining sexual assault.

Sexual consent laws on college campuses are already reaching absurd levels, but if the American Law Institute has its way and loosens the concepts of consent, it will easier to accuse participants of crimes. Stuart Taylor Jr. writes at Real Clear Politics:
Legal Group Weighs Radical Expansion of Sex Crimes Imagine the following case: Two recent college grads meet in a bar, talk, begin kissing, and go to her apartment. After a little more talking, they resume kissing there. He undresses her and initiates sexual intercourse. She neither objects nor resists. He leaves, and they have no further contact. A month later, she files a criminal complaint with police, complaining that this was rape because she never expressed verbal consent and was physically passive.

Most people around the world firmly hold to the view that Israel’s residential housing communities built in Judea and Samaria/the West Bank are “illegal”. For years, this fictitious claim has fed a wild campaign of incitement and ‘lawfare’ against Israel, based on the myth that Jews have no legal right to live or make their homes on Palestinian-claimed lands in the West Bank. But the truth is that Israel isn’t an unlawful occupying power—certainly not according to any binding international laws. Now, Northwestern University Professor of Law Eugene Kontorovich, a leading expert in the fields of constitutional law, international law, and the intersection of law and economics, is on a speaking tour of universities and colleges to explain why. Eugene Kontorovich, headshot Below I summarize the legal case for Israel’s West Bank settlements according to Kontorovich. A 50 minute video of his remarks is also embedded.

I don't normally watch Stephen Colbert on the Late Show. Somehow, it turned up on my TV last night. I'm not even sure I could replicate the error. When I heard him turn to the topic of Antonin Scalia I thought, oh boy, here we go. But I was so pleasantly surprised. Colbert told of his one personal interaction with Scalia, and it was both funny and moving, as reported:
“Whether or not you agreed with him–or made a lot of jokes about him, like I did–one thing you’ve got to admit is that he had a great sense of humor,” Colbert began. “People have actually broken down the transcripts of oral arguments, and he told more jokes and got more laughs than any of the other justices.” “I was lucky enough to have one conversation with Antonin Scalia that explained his appeal to me,” Colbert continued, describing his speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. “Not many people laughed in the front row,” where the “important people” sit.

Okay, now they've gone and done it. Colorado Law Week reports:
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law will continue leading legal marijuana education with an investment from Denver-based law firm Vicent Sederberg. The law school announced today that Vicent Sederberg made a $45,000 commitment to enable one faculty member to serve as the Vicente Sederberg Professor of Marijuana Law and Policy. “As the marijuana industry expands in Colorado and around the nation and the world, there is a growing need for attorneys qualified to represent business owners,” Vicente Sederberg founding partner and DU Sturm College of Law alumnus Brian Vicente said in a press release. “With the launch of this professorship, Sturm College of Law will be taking the lead in providing law students the training they need to enter this new field. We are proud to be able to support their efforts in this area.”
The Denver Business Journal elaborates:

Should teaching the law of sexual assault and rape be banned from law school classrooms because it could be a "triggering" event for some students? Apparently, there is a movement to do just such a thing. Earlier this month, Harvard Law professor Jeannie Suk wrote a wonderful article at the New Yorker discussing the risks of sheltering law students from the study of laws governing rape and sexual assault cases. In the article, she takes academia to task over its oft-cowardly approach to professor--student classroom relationships, and points out that current "culture signals" demanding less discussion of potentially "triggering" topics are actually harmful for the future of prosecuting sexual assault. In part:
Now more than ever, it is critical that law students develop the ability to engage productively and analytically in conversations about sexual assault. Instead, though, many students and teachers appear to be absorbing a cultural signal that real and challenging discussion of sexual misconduct is too risky to undertake—and that the risk is of a traumatic injury analogous to sexual assault itself. This is, to say the least, a perverse and unintended side effect of the intense public attention given to sexual violence in recent years. If the topic of sexual assault were to leave the law-school classroom, it would be a tremendous loss—above all to victims of sexual assault.
Because we can't have nice things in academia anymore, we have, of course, a response. Margaret Drew is a law professor at the University of Massachusetts, and she thinks that Jeannie Suk's article "misses the point":

You thought it was bad that law students at Columbia, Harvard, Georgetown and Berkeley demanded exam delays because of the failure of grand juries to indict in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner? Sit down. Harvey Silverglate, civil liberties lawyer and co-founder of the FIRE, tweets a link to a Volokh Conspiracy post: The original story is from the UCLA Daily Bruin, Law school exam question on Ferguson shooting draws criticism:
Some students at the UCLA School of Law have expressed concerns after a professor asked an exam question this week relating to the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo. The exam, given by Professor Robert Goldstein in Constitutional Law II, asked students to write a memo related to the Ferguson shooting. Some students who took the exam said they found it difficult to write about the incident in terms of the first amendment while ignoring issues such as police brutality.... Hussain Turk, a second-year law student who took the exam, said he thinks the question was problematic because he thinks exams should not ask students to address controversial events. He added that he thinks the question was more emotionally difficult for black students to answer than for other students.

A JD student at the University of Miami School of Law--and a long-time fan of "The Law of Self Defense"--contacted me recently to share a notice he'd received from the school. It seems for the Fall 2014 semester they will be offering a "short course" (good for one credit) with a focus on the Trayvon Martin case, entitled "Legal Advocacy, Media and the Pursuit of Social Justice." The first note of interest is that the course is being "taught" by none other than Jasmine Rand, an attorney with the firm of Crump & Park. Benjamin Crump, of course, was the public legal face of the Martin family, as he is currently the public legal face of the Mike Brown family in the Ferguson shooting. Attorney Rand herself "leads the firm’s Civil Rights Department. Her evolving practice focuses on civil rights, wrongful death, civil rape, and catastrophic personal injury." Ms. Rand is perhaps most memorable for her appearance on the Greta Van Susteren show on Fox News in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman was, of course, unanimously acquitted by the jury of all charges after mere hours of deliberations. In the course of her four minutes or so of air time Ms. Rand expressed her view that the jury in that trial had not delivered "justice." When asked if it was not her duty as a lawyer to accept a duly empaneled jury's verdict, Ms. Rand responded that she has a greater duty than being a lawyer, and that was to be a "social engineer."  Good stuff:

Almost a year ago I reported on how the case if Teresa Wagner, a Conservative Iowa law professor denied new trial in political discrimination case:
The lawsuit by Teresa Wagner against the former Dean of the University of Iowa’s College of Law has received a lot of attention, a tortured procedural history (including a prior appeal) and confusing results. In the latest twist, a judge has denied Wagner’s motion for a new trial (full opinion embedded at bottom of post). The lawsuit concerns claims by Wagner that she suffered discrimination based on her conservative political views, resulting in her being denied a promotion (she’s still employed).
Paul Mirengoff of Power Line describes the outrageous facts behind the case:
Wagner was already the associate director of the law school’s writing center. Moreover, she had taught legal writing at George Mason University Law School, edited three books, practiced as a trial attorney in Iowa, and written several legal briefs, including one in a U.S. Supreme Court case. In addition, the faculty-appointments committee at the University of Iowa College of Law recommended her appointment as a full-time instructor.

I have been traveling since about 6 this morning. What did I miss? Do we have amnesty yet?  Has Snowden officially gone over to the other side yet?  Is IRS-gate still a "gate"? Patricia sent me this email: What do we have to do to ...

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