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Monday, November 27, 2006


Over at JSW, there's a good post on a pressing issue here at the University of Minnesota Law School. Apparently, some are moving to stop St. Thomas Professor Robert Delahunty from being hired at the U to teach Constitutional Law, and perhaps one other class. I find the whole thing preposterous, especially the over-inflated rhetoric flying around (like "war criminal", "crimes against humanity", "breach of legal ethics", etc.). I know the prof. in question, and he's a good man. But unfortunately, the U still seems to have John Yoo fever. Even my undergrad, one of the most liberal places on the planet, was more tolerant of diverse viewpoints than this. Hopefully, the petition will be ignored by the general populace, and those interested in disagreeing with the good professor, will show up to his class and respectfully do so.


People disagree on basic issues, but you cannot disagree on questions of rule of law.

It's not a matter of politics (as other Federalist Society members oppose such ideas), it's a matter of law.
Okay. I had to go to your blog to figure out what your argument was. And I still think (if I understand it correctly), that you're absolutely incorrect. Of course one may disagree on the rule of law. And one should be allowed to disagree on the rule of law, even in law school. The extent to which one must pay homage to government rule is certainly a question that should be discussed. And the role of the various branches of government is of eminent importance in law school. Professor Delahunty does believe in the rule of law, believe me. He just happens to believe (very justifiably, I think) that the Geneva convention does not apply to unarmed combatants. If you don't like his views on that, don't take any classes from him on the subject. I just find it unfortunate that students are attempting to block this man, based on one memo that argued something they don't like. There are plenty of people teaching here who I disagree with. And I still take their classes, and argue with them when they say something I don't like. I'd advise those unfamiliar with being taught by somebody who doesn't believe as they do, to do the same.
Trouble is, it's a 1L course required under the curriculum.

He may think that he respects the law ... but he does not. He was given an assignment to circumvent law and he did so. Therefore, he should not teach.

It's not a matter of me not liking his believes, it is that they are completely wrong within a law school. In the political realm, sure -- but not in a law school.

You slightly bent my language. I said he disagreed with law period -- as evidenced by his careless disregard for it in the memos. Of course we can disagree on what a certain law should be. We shouldn't, however, just bend it to a president's whim, applying in in whatever cases the President wishes.
That is not law -- that's power.
Meeting with the deans at 4 in room 385.
Was there ever any talk of a counter-petition being circulated?
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