Orin’s Opinion on Obama Birthday Email is Based on Factual Error

In a post below, Orin Kerr expresses his opinion that he does not find the Obama birthday email even “a bit creepy.” While certainly entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to his own facts.

Orin writes:

As far as I can tell, Jim received this e-mail because he signed up to be on the Obama campaign’s e-mail list (as was the case with this prior e-mail he blogged about). . . .

Given that this apparently was . . . only sent to people who voluntarily signed up to receive such things, I have trouble understanding why Jim sees it as “emulating the trappings” of a dictatorship.

In neither post did I state or imply that I had signed up to be on the Obama campaign’s email list. While working on a post for the Volokh Conspiracy, as part of my due diligence I had emailed the Obama campaign with specific questions about Obama’s position on what I was writing about. I never signed up to be on any Obama related email list. Nor did I present myself as a supporter in my email to the campaign.

If my experience can be generalized–and maybe it can’t–this Obama email list is comprised of people who contacted the campaign in any capacity, not just supporters. It is certainly not just for people who signed up to be on a list.

Orin is mistaken on the factual basis for his opinion.

Would having the facts right change his opinion? Frankly, I don’t know.

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