An "Ideological Vacancy Chain" on the Volokh Conspiracy?:
Kieran Healy on Crooked Timber comments here.
JLR (mail) (www):
It's an interesting theory posed by Kieran Healy.

Of course, the theory posed by Mr. Healy assumes there is an ideological vacancy chain to begin with.

Orin Kerr's semi-departure could be filled by other types of posts on VC that are in totally different disciplines -- such as the intelligent television threads that Professor Barnett began this week with "The Sopranos" and "Big Love."

As a blawg however, it isn't clear to me if it's an "ideological vacancy chain" so much as a substantive vacancy chain. Professor Kerr wrote intelligently and insightfully on 4th Amendment issues. Presumably there is now a "4th Amendment" vacancy on VC that needs to be filled from the outside by another 4th Amendment expert, or needs to be replaced with an expert in a different area of law not consistently covered at present (say, bankruptcy law, or comparative constitutional law). Whether that comes from the outside, or from the "internal labor market," depends I suppose on research interests.

But it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Good luck to Professor Kerr!
3.14.2006 12:21pm
JLR (mail) (www):

Professor Zywicki has as a primary research focus bankruptcy law. Obviously, bankruptcy law is thus not currently a "vacancy" at VC. My apologies for the error.
3.14.2006 12:24pm
JLR (mail) (www):

Perhaps the substantive blawg vacancy that I identify could be filled by a political scientist specializing in the fields of public law and/or political theory (i.e., a similar role that Professor Levy once filled at VC).

Perhaps Professor Ken Kersch of Princeton would be interested in writing for VC. I do not know him personally, and thus have no idea whether he'd be interested or not, but I have found his articles and his Constructing Civil Liberties to be very enlightening. I'd love to see what he might say in the realm of the blogosphere.

Thanks for allowing comments in this thread.
3.14.2006 12:34pm
Justin (mail):
I think Kieran's actual point is that VC will lose relevance if it fails to replace Orin Kerr because it will be seen (rightfully or wrongfully, though I should include "by me as well") as too full of apologists for the right and for the president in particular. Though a "Conspiracy" reflects a single viewpoint, it is the diversity of viewpoints that keep VC important. Without such diversity, (and I say this with OK as my favorite conspirator, so take with a grain of salt), VC runs the risk of being no more relevant than the other machinations of the lockstep right...Instapundit, Redstate, Powerline, etc.

That ignores the possibility, of course, that VC won't replace OK and would just lose that relevance. After all, the "marketplace" doesn't require diversity, even if diversity is important for "relevance" purposes - powerline and instapundit still rack up many hits, even if its just people hearing what they think they already know.
3.14.2006 12:41pm
Wintermute (www):
Orin's just cutting a solo album.
3.14.2006 1:18pm
snowball (mail):
Orin's just cutting a solo album.

And look what that excuse did to Steely Dan.
3.14.2006 1:42pm
Dustin (mail):
man, I sure wish Instapundit was a machination of lockstep right.

The right would be pretty damn sweet... gay rights, pro-choice, fiscal sanity...

too bad he's only such a machination to those with highly warped senses of reality.
3.14.2006 2:13pm
Don't forget drug legalization.

I think the only one losing relevance in this thread is Justin.
3.14.2006 2:23pm
Richard Riley (mail):
Good point by Kieran Healy. Orin Kerr's (semi-)departure leaves a hole on the "left" at the VC. I wish Prof Kerr great success with his new blog, but I do hope there's a way to plug the hole at the Conspiracy. (So far Dale Carpenter's contributions have been too narrowly focused on sexual orientation issues for him to serve that purpose, but they don't have to stay that way...)
3.14.2006 2:31pm
Well, I volunteer to plug the ideological gap. I'll have to "pull a Hitchens" and move to the left. And I'll have to learn something about something other than diplomatic history, dinosaurs, and the Chicago Cubs.

But all of this is contingent on the pay. This gig pays a lot, right? Otherwise you can keepm it.

(I was going to say something about the irony of moving left in order to make money. But Hollywwod makes that kind of thing less surprising. Still: Just give me the money.)
3.14.2006 2:38pm
I should have said "pull a reverse Hitchens." But that makes it sound like a figure-skating move.
3.14.2006 2:39pm
Houston Lawyer:
I think a better question would be whether we will need to replace the law faculties if we get another conservative on the supreme court. Conservative thought appears to be incomprehensible to them.
3.14.2006 3:23pm
If Medis would like to replace OK...
3.14.2006 5:02pm
Justin (mail):
Yes, I'm losing relevance. Because I go on the front page of Instapundit every day and see posts on gay marriage and legalized pot. Let me go right now.

Top post: Weird news

Next post: Feingold silly for criticizing President

Next post: Something about the American Spectator

Next post: Irrelevant post about blogs

Next post: Liberals in Europe hate Jews

Next post: Arabs will kill us with diseases (bioterror)

Next post: Yay Cartoons (TM)

Next Post: Yay Cartoons (TM)

Next Post: Making fun of the Guardian

Next Post: Iraq the Paradise (TM)

Next Post: If the war on Iraq fails, its just the fault of Muslims

Next Post: Bar Exam flunk rate (part of the new GOP attack on affirmative action)

Wow. All that anti-establishment posts on gay marriage and legalized pot. Oh, and Katherine Lopez is against the death penalty. Really. Because that's a topic she talks about all the time....or should I say all the time when she's defending herself from lockstepism charges.
3.14.2006 5:08pm
Justin (mail):
Hm. Okay, I guess fair is fair. At the bottom of the page, 50+ posts ago, there's a post about government using too much force int the war on terror. Of course, his conclusion is just so supportive of civil liberterians everywhere:

Demonstrating once again that the War on Terror is less of a threat to civil liberties and justice than the War on Drugs.

Woo hoo...that liberterian Glenn Reynolds, willing to sacrifice the rights he claims he doesn't like in order to stick it to the President's critics. What an independant, anti-conservative establishment, provocative blog he's got going there.

My original thoughts stand, and my off topic tangent I've been forced on is now at an end.
3.14.2006 5:15pm
I think it's only fair that this open seat gets filled by another moderate centrist in the mould of Professor Kerr.
3.14.2006 5:34pm
JLR (mail) (www):
A polite request to Professor Volokh, Professor Barnett, and/or other VC bloggers:

If you are planning on adding one or more new bloggers to VC, perhaps you could solicit VC readers' input on who might be nice to pursue. It would be greatly appreciated, and I'm sure it would attract a lot of extra buzz to VC.

Perhaps you could even come up with a list of 3-5 finalists and have a vote, "American Idol" style. You could call it "Volokh Conspiracy Idol." You could use some third-party online voting system to ensure full fairness; i.e., to prevent ballot-box stuffing and to employ other standard methods of ensuring the integrity of elections.

But "VC Idol" might be too cruel (and too goofy) a proposition for the "contestants," and even for VC itself. Nevertheless, it sounds like an enjoyable way to include VC readers in the selection process as well as an effective way to gain extra blogospheric buzz.

In any event, it would be much appreciated if it would be possible for input to be solicited from VC readers as to the selection of a new VC blogger (if a new VC blogger is being sought).

Thank you.
3.14.2006 5:44pm
Ralph Luker (mail) (www):
I vote for the return of Jacob Levy.
3.15.2006 5:20am
SenatorX (mail):
I second JLR's proposal. Also though, I thought Kerr was just "experimenting" and wants to be able to stay here(or come back) if his experiment fails. Or is this sort of "branch to branch" swinging to be punished? Can he "have his cake and eat it too"?

Or is he being allowed to post at will but needs to be replaced because of the likely decrease in volume(or quality?) of posts he would make here?(this seems fair to me at least). The issue though if there is a MAX number of contributors allowed and he wants to come back "full time" after his "spot" was filled. Seems like that is rather too arbitrary to be a point though.
3.15.2006 10:52am
Neal R. (mail):
I second the nomination of Medis as the next Volokh Conspirator.
3.15.2006 5:46pm
Just an Observer:
I second the nomination of Medis as the next Volokh Conspirator.

Yes, but would Medis have to disclose his true identity? Some believe he is really Chief Justice Roberts. :-)
3.16.2006 9:56am