With Andrea Lyons stepping down as its dean, Valparaiso Law has named David Cleveland, its associate dean of academic affairs, as the interim dean. Cleveland holds a JD from Georgetown. He joined the firm in 2012. Update: I meant that he joined "the law school".
I strongly recommend Steve Chapman's column in today's Chicago Tribune, about "Roseanne Barr and the Persistence of Prejudice," but I am linking it here because of a single quote. Chapman notes that Barr's racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett was not the first time she compared an African American person to an ape. He pointed out that Barr had "once referred to Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's national security adviser, as 'a man with big swinging ape (testicles).'”
Apparently, you cannot say "balls" in the Trib, even in a quote. I asked Chapman about the expurgation, and he told me that it took him by surprise. Other platforms are not so squeamish, including the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Justice Antonin Scalia died two years ago, but his judicial legacy continues to generate discussion and debate. During his three decades on the Supreme Court, Scalia made “originalism” a household term, at least among lawyers, judges, and law professors. Nowhere was that more true than with regard to the Second Amendment, as Scalia’s originalist interpretation of the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” charted a new course in Supreme Court jurisprudence.
Northeastern University has named Professor James Hackney as its new law dean, succeeding Jeremy Paul. Hackney joined the Northeastern Law faculty in 1991 and has served in a number of administrative positions over the years. He holds a JD from Yale.
If you are invited to speak on an academic panel, are you willing publicly to commit to asking panel organizers what efforts they have made to seek "diversity" among panel members, whatever that term means to you? If yes, please add your name to the public list here.
The background to this request for a public pledge from fellow legal academics originates at least in part from a tweet I made last week via Feminist Law Professors. I tweeted a link to an article about Spanish academics who have taken a public pledge against speaking on all-male panels. I followed up with some additional tweets asking whether any male academics would be willing to take the lead on something similar in the U.S. I forwarded the tweet to ten prominent male bloggers. Here's the series of tweets sent by me:
Michael Dorf posted some thoughtful reactions on "Diversifying Academic Panels" here. Over at Prawfsblawg, Paul Horowitz has some further contributions here. Orin Kerr and others have added constructively to the conversation in the comments to Paul's post (here).
Because there's no clear consensus on what "diversity" an academic panels might look like, my on-line list/pledge is intended to simplify things. If you are a legal academic, and you are invited to speak on a panel, consider asking the organizers what attempts they have made to seek diversity among panel members. For me, that means gender, race and range of schools, foremost. But whatever "diversity" means to you, if you're willing to commit to asking the question, please add your name! All legal academics of all genders very welcome to sign.
Andy Koppelman and I explain why in The American Prospect. Here is the gist:
Steven Calabresi is chairman of the board of the Federalist Society and the Clayton J. and Henry R. Barber Professor of Law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law—and, we should add, a friend and colleague of ours.He recently published an op-ed in The Hill, purporting to explain why President Trump has behaved lawfully by demanding a Justice Department investigation of so-called FBI spying, and why Mueller’s own investigation is “unconstitutional.” He is half right, but it is the lesser half.
Calabresi’s second point, however, is just wrong. He argues that Mueller’s investigation is unconstitutional because he was “never nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.” He reaches this conclusion by claiming that Mueller is “acting like a U.S. attorney” rather than an assistant and is therefore “a principal officer” who must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. But “acting like” a principal officer has no constitutional meaning and, in any case, Calabresi’s only support for this position is that Mueller “is more powerful and famous than are any of the 96 U.S. attorneys.” The factual claim regarding power is dubious, especially in light of Mueller’s referral of the Cohen investigation to the Southern District of New York. Moreover, there is no requirement that prosecutors who conduct national investigations be less “powerful” than individual U.S. attorneys. Fame, needless to say, is constitutionally irrelevant.
Dayton Law has received a variance from the ABA allowing it to offer a hybrid in-person/online JD program. Students will be required to come to campus for one week each semester. One particularly interesting feature of this program is that it's being offered in partnership with 2U, a tech/education/marketing company that is active in the Master of Legal Studies space, paired with law schools at Washington University in St. Louis and Pepperdine. I'm curious to understand the details of the ABA variance - to understand, among other things, the percentage of student credits that can be earned online as well as the breadth of upper level courses Dayton intends to offer online.
Big changes in ABA online education regulations for all law schools may also be in the offing - if the ABA adopts modifications to Standard 306. But these changes do no appear to go as far as what the ABA has approved here for Dayton.
Brooklyn Law School has announced that Nicholas Allard will step down as dean at the end of June. Maryellen Fullerton will serve as interim dean while the law school conducts a search for its new leader. Allard joined the law school in 2012.
Boston University has named Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Chancellor's Professor of Law at UC Berkeley, as its new dean. Onwuachi-Willig, who joined Berkeley from the University of Iowa in 2016, holds a JD from Michigan and a Ph.D in Sociology and African-American Studies from Yale. She succeeds Maureen O'Rourke who, after 14 years, is one of the longest-serving law deans in the country.
In a front-page article on Memorial Day, the New York Times includes this description of the origin of Arlington Cemetery:
In a fitting turn of history, the cemetery now faced with a threat of overcrowding was created to address overcrowding. Early in the Civil War, the heavy death toll in battles near the capital soon filled Washington’s existing cemeteries. Desperate for more burial space, the Quartermaster General of the Army, Montgomery C. Meigs, turned to a rolling green plantation just across the Potomac — the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee, whose decision to fight on the Confederate side marked him as a traitor in many Union eyes.
The reference to Lee as a "traitor in many Union eyes" implies that the sentiment was not unanimous (and perhaps did not even command a majority) at the time. This is an unexpected, but typical, example of the "Lost Cause" school of Civil War history, in which the Confederates are posthumously rehabilitated. In fact, no Unionist during the Civil War would have regarded Robert E. Lee as anything other than a traitor, which in fact he was without question.
Scholars have repeatedly looked to the history of cases like Dred Scott, Brown, and Roe for guidance on whether courts should issue broad decisions on contentious issues. Some scholars contend that these cases triggered backlash that undermined the very causes the Court sought to promote, while others minimize the Court’s role in creating backlash and emphasize the decisions’ positive results. This Article contributes to this debate by providing a new account of the social and political consequences of Prigg v. Pennsylvania. The Court in Prigg rendered a broad interpretation of the Fugitive Slave Clause that was not necessary to resolve the facts of the case before it. The Court did so because the Justices sought to head off sectional conflict over fugitive slaves. Using original historical research, this Article argues that the decision had the effect, however, of helping to create a national policy on fugitive slaves that provoked an antislavery backlash in the North and strengthened the case for secession in the South. A more restrained decision from the Court could have produced a less divisive regime that provided greater legal protections for people claimed as fugitive slaves. The history of Prigg therefore suggests that courts should consider issuing limited and incremental rulings when attempting to produce social change on divisive issues.