The Boston Globe reports that Judicial Watch has obtained and released FBI and State Department files that reveal that Ted Kennedy allegedly rented an entire brothel for the night in Santiago, Chile in 1961.
Though I am sad that Progress is leaving Tuscaloosa, I hope that this will give more people a chance to see it. (At least that's one argument in common circulation regarding cultural property like the Elgin Marbles -- more people will see them in London than if they were back in Athens -- and perhaps we can all take comfort in the fact that though Tuscaloosa has lost one of its greatest treasures, more people may end up enjoying that most beautiful and important landscape.) Just last night I was thinking about how that single object connects people across generations. No word yet on where Progress is headed, but if I might be permitted to venture a guess, it'll end up in Crystal Bridges, which has been aggressively acquiring art -- including Durand's more famous painting, Kindred Spirits (which depicts Thomas Cole and William Cullen Bryant).
Many thanks to Steven Stetson and Alan Durham for passing this news along.
Now that the Academy Awards are over, I'm turning my mind back to more law school oriented thoughts, and one thing I've been musing about for a while is the extent to which chairs are an effective recruiting tool. Both from experience at my own school and talking to people at other schools, it seems that chairs are often not required to land "big name lateral candidates". If the hiring school is desirable to the candidate for other reasons (ranking, salary, location), it's not that unusual for a person - even a person who has a chair at his/her current school - to move without a chair. And I've also heard plenty of stories of endowed chairs that can't be filled laterally because the school itself is not particularly desirable for whatever reason.
Then there's the question whether offering chairs to lateral candidates, rather than internal faculty, sends the wrong message to the outside world about the internal faculty: for example, that they are not good enough to get a chair or that they are not as valued as external candidates.
Of course, in a perfect world, the dean would raise tons of money and everyone (internal and potential external hires) deserving of a chair could have one. But in a world of scarce resoures, I wonder how chairs are best divvied up.
I also understand that the previous paragraph raises the question about how you work out whether a faculty member is "deserving" of a chair and this is another whole can of worms. At many schools chairs are focused on significant scholarly contributions, but I understand this is not the case at all schools. At some schools, chairs relate to significant contributions in other areas (teaching or stature). And at some schools, I believe chairs are related to seniority.
So I guess I'm interested in what people think about how best to use vacant chairs ie for recruiting or rather for rewarding (and potentially retaining) internal folks. And what ideally should a chair be a reward for? Scholarship? Teaching? Stature? Seniority? Or a combination, depending on the school?
Last week the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal law purposes as a legal union between a man and a woman. This development was welcomed by gay rights advocates.
However, we are still a long way away from establishing comprehensive federal anti-discrimination mandates to protect homosexuals. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been introduced in almost every Congress since 1994 but has failed to pass.
ENDA would be consistent with other well-established civil rights protections. The civil rights statutes can be understood to protect discreet and insular minorities with a history of discrimination. This civil rights model would appear to encompass the gay community. In the alternative, the law can be understood to prohibit discriminatory conduct based on effectively immutable characteristics. Many now believe that sexual orientation is biological in nature, and I would argue that it is at least as immutable as religion, which is a protected characteristic.
I have written extensively about the concept of immutability in employment discrimination law in an article that is forthcoming in the William and Mary Law Review. What do you think, will American society soon be prepared to support legislation such as ENDA?
A couple of weeks ago I noted that the list of dean finalists at the University of South Carolina School of Law was expected to - but did not - include one or two politically connected lawyers in the state. In particular, there seemed to be an expectation that Henry McMaster - former state attorney general - would likely be a finalist. That didn't happen - but McMaster will still be working for USC. Last week, the University announced that McMaster would lead the law school's fundraising and alumni relations programs from now until June 30. McMaster's monthly contract is renewable at that time.
Sounds like South Carolina threaded the needle quite nicely on this one.
I'm not even sure this tidbit qualifies as news, but since it was reported in the GW Hatchet - the student newspaper - I'll treat it as such. Apparently, GW Law has narrowed its search to eight candidates - with Lawrence Mitchell the sole internal candidate. Mitchell is a finalist at Colorado and San Diego as well. Rumor has it that there are at least two sitting deans in the pool.
Hollywood's big night is tonight, and we've reached the end of our second annual Oscar trivia countdown. Many thanks to Kelly Anders, Jacqui Lipton, Garrett Levin, Lance McMillian, and Colin Miller for contributing questions!
We seem to have the most fun with multiple-answer questions, so we'll end the countdown with this one: name the eleven actors / actresses who were double nominees in a single year.
The King’s Speech (12 nominations) and True Grit (10 nominations) have a chance to join two very select clubs this year. In one of my earlier questions, the topic was films that batted 1000 and won every award for which they were nominated (minimum of 4 nominations). There are only three members of the batting 0 club for films with 10 or more nominations. Name the three films that had at least 10 nominations, but no wins.
For those who didn't go to Harvard Law School, all is not lost. A senior partner at Milbank Tweed announced via email this afternoon:
Milbank and Harvard Law School are proud to announce a new multi-year training program for Milbank associates to be known as Milbank@Harvard. To provide Milbank associates with the best and most practical commercial training, Milbank and Harvard Law School have committed to create and deliver an innovative professional development program. Through this program, associates will develop the multifaceted expertise and skills that clients expect their valued legal advisors to possess. For the first time, a law firm will collaborate with Harvard Law School to provide executive education over the course of an associate's career, on-site at Harvard, focusing on business, finance and law, utilizing Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School faculty. * * *
Starting at the end of their third year and continuing through their seventh year, every Milbank associate (inside and outside the United States) will participate in an annual stepped program taught at Harvard. Each associate will undergo an eight-day training program on a yearly basis, taught by Harvard Business and Law faculty with the assistance of Milbank partners, and covering topics in business, finance, law, management skills, client relations and personal professional development. Associates will complete the fourth module of the program in their seventh year.
Two disclaimers: (1) I did not go to Harvard. (2) Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP was my professional home for almost seven years, and I received great training there.
I'll be curious to learn more. How exactly will the program will "utilize" Harvard faculty? Aren't practicing lawyers always criticizing law profs for their lack of practice experience? Will other firms and schools follow suit?
Chapman University School of Law announced, today, that former U.S. Congressman Tom Campbell will be its new dean. Last year, Campbell ran, unsuccessfully, for the Republican Senate nomination. Campbell has a serious academic pedigree with a JD from Harvard and a Ph.D in economics from the University of Chicago....not to mention that he was on the Stanford Law and Berkeley Business faculties. This is a huge pickup for Chapman.
Jeff Bridges, nominated for Best Actor for True Grit, now has six acting Oscar nominations in the best actor and best supporting actor categories. By my count, only ten male actors have been nominated for more acting Oscars than Bridges. Name them.
Pictured: Dodsworth (1936), which brought William Wyler the first of his twelve nominations for Best Director, the most of any nominee. No other director comes close (Billy Wilder is in second place with eight nominations).
Because of the conference, I thought that I'd post a picture of a monument to a "faithful slave" -- Harry, who passed away in a fire at Howard College in Marion, Alabama, in October 1854. (Marion, you may recall, was a very important site of civil rights activity in the 1960s; Mary Dudziak's written about one piece of this story.) Harry roused students when a fire started in their dormitory and then jumped from an upper story of the dormitory and thus perished. The monument to Harry is in the Marion City Cemetery. The side of it pictured here reads, "HARRY, Servant of H. Talbird, D. D., President of Howard College, who lost his life from injuries received while rousing the students, at the burning of the College Building, on the night of October 15th, 1854, aged 23 years."
I'm a little confused about the monument's base; I don't know if that's a modern addition -- it looks like it might be. Also, the monument is set at an oblique angle to the rest of the monuments in the cemetery, which confuses me a little.
Geoffrey Rush (nominated this year for Best Supporting Actor for The King's Speech) is one of 8 actors to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. Name the other 7.
Just came across a letter by Ralph Ellison responding to William Faulkner's defense of a moderate, gradualist approach to Brown v. Board of Education. Though Faulkner claimed to support integration, he cautioned African Americans against moving too quickly, most notably in a Life magazine article in 1956. Ellison fired back, "Faulkner has delusions of grandeur because he really believes that he invented these characteristics which he ascribes to Negroes in his fiction and now he thinks he can end this great historical action just as he ends a dramatic action in one of his novels ... Nuts! [W]e're trying hard as hell to free ourselves; thoroughly and completely, so that when we get the crackers off our back we can discover what we really are and what we really wish to preserve out of the experience that made us." Though criticized by black authors like Richard Wright for not being sufficiently militant, Ellison's letter[s] reveal a more defiant side, and also a legal one. After rejecting Faulkner, he notes that civil rights lawyers like Thurgood Marshall had "turned the Supreme Court into the forum of liberty it was intended to be, and the Constitution of the United States into a briarpatch in which the nimble people, the willing people, have a chance." Robert Penn Warren had used the symbol of the briarpatch to describe segregation in an infamous 1929 essay, now Ellison reappropriated it, using it as a reference to the Constitution itself. Could this be a new way to think about the document?
Willamette University College of Law Dean Symeon Symeonides announced he will be stepping down at the end of the academic year. Dean search aficionados should not get too excited. Outgoing university President M. Lee Pelton announced that Associate Dean Peter Letsou will serve as interim dean for a two year term - so that the new president can supervise the search for a new permanent dean.