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DOJ Ends Role of Political Appointees in Honors Program Hiring:
The Washington Post has the story here. From the introduction:
The Justice Department is removing political appointees from the hiring process for rookie lawyers and summer interns, amid allegations that the Bush administration had rigged the programs in favor of candidates with connections to conservative or Republican groups, according to documents and officials.

The decision, outlined in an internal memo distributed Thursday, returns control of the Attorney General's Honors Program and the Summer Law Intern Program to career lawyers in the department after four years during which political appointees directed the process.
Randy R. (mail):
I suppose this is good news. The real question is why was it transterred to political appointees in the first place?

Perhaps now we can rid the DOJ of graduates of Regent "University"
4.28.2007 1:41pm
Constantin:
Is there any agency in Washington where the majority of "career" employees isn't Democrats?
4.28.2007 1:43pm
scote (mail):
"Is there any agency in Washington where the majority of "career" employees isn't Democrats?"

Objection. Lack of foundation.

Do you have actual evidence this is the case?

In the mean time, I hope they can now start hiring career attorneys without political qualifications as well.
4.28.2007 1:45pm
Constantin:
And as a follow up, the appointment of U.S. Attorneys still will be political--all kabuki to the contrary aside. But all's well in the world because the guys picking the interns will play it straight?
4.28.2007 1:45pm
scote (mail):
Hmmm...actually I meant to say "assumes facts not in evidence..." Too, quick on the objection :-)
4.28.2007 1:46pm
Constantin:
Scote, I was honestly asking the question, based on twenty years of my own personal experience with OSHA and the EPA, as well as five years of fairly public controversy about the political battles between the careerists at the CIA and the agency's leadership (and the White House).
4.28.2007 1:48pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
In my ten years as a gov't lawyer, I probably knew a hundred of my fellow career attys well enough to make an educated guess as to their party. I would guess that two of them were GOP, and three possibles. That's all. And all those years were under Reagan/Bush I.

I suspect this change will not take politics out of the equation, but simply ensure that Demos hire Demos instead of Repubs hiring Repubs.
4.28.2007 1:49pm
taney71:
Has anyone thought of accountability to elected officials? I mean we do live in a representative democracy and shouldn't members of Congress be involved in these things?
4.28.2007 2:04pm
scote (mail):
@Constrain:

I didn't say your contention is false but your question presumed the veracity of your assumption. Your personal experience was not mentioned and even then, your experience, while compelling, is not a valid statistical sample and cannot be assumed to be representative.

That being said, I do think that the possible politicization of hiring past and present is a legitimate question, but one should remember that even if there is a possible "imbalance" in party make up that does not necessarily mean politics played any role in the hiring. Certain groups can be self-selecting based on who chooses a legal career in certain specialties--which brings up the question of to what extent a political litmus test may or may not be appropriate to counterbalance this possibility.
4.28.2007 2:15pm
scote (mail):
Correction: @Constantin:
4.28.2007 2:16pm
Kovarsky (mail):
I suspect this change will not take politics out of the equation, but simply ensure that Demos hire Demos instead of Repubs hiring Repubs.

Or that Career lawyers who happen to be democrats will hire based on merit, without marching orders to hire bible beaters, rather than untrained political appointees, who are in their positions because they are republicans, hiring republicans based on ideology.
4.28.2007 2:43pm
anonVCfan:
Regardless of the truth of the allegations, this is probably a good idea.
4.28.2007 2:46pm
Adam B. (www):
Is there an argument that Regent grads are underrated by US News and traditional measures of law school merit, and actually deserved this kind of massive hiring?
4.28.2007 2:57pm
JonC:
Adam B.: On what are you basing your suggestion that there was "massive hiring" of Regents grads? The article includes no information to suggest that there was disproportionate hiring out of some lower-ranked schools. The only point in the article that touches on where hirees came from is the following:


Boyd and other Justice officials said such allegations are without merit. They pointed to statistics showing that Harvard, Stanford, Yale and other elite universities continue to dominate hiring for the honors program.
4.28.2007 3:04pm
loki13 (mail):
Adam B.,

Well, let's see.... when Ms. Goodling was in trouble, did she turn to one of the very experienced, and underrated, Regent *University* graduates to defend her? Because, well, they're so darn good?

No, She turned to John Dowd, JD Emory.

John Dowd Bio

Regent U- Good enough to run a country, not quite good enough to send a letter asserting the 5th.
4.28.2007 3:10pm
Jerry F:
Adam B: Regent is in a different position than most low-ranked university. On the one hand, the average Regent grad is unlikely to have impressive legal skills, and because U.S. News' stats on student quality are based on average (or 25%-75% percentiles, whatever), it is hard to argue that it deserves to be ranked higher.

On the other hand, the very students at Regent (which are likely to be the ones who get jobs at the DOJ) are likely to be very, very strong students who chose Regent over other schools because they did not want to be taught exclusively by left-wing scholars. Not everyone wants to go to a school where they teach that abortion and homosexual sodomy are (and deserve to be) constitutional rights; some would argue that much of what is taught at Yale, HLS, NYU (as well as much of what the Supreme Court does) makes a mockery of the Constitution. For the record, I doubt that the average faculty member at Regent is as conservative as the average faculty member at Yale is liberal, if you consider the American mainstream as the center.
4.28.2007 3:12pm
Jerry F:
I meant the "very top students" at Regent are likely to be very, very strong students.
4.28.2007 3:13pm
loki13 (mail):
BTW,

the complaint about Regent U. isn't that it is religiously based. I have no problem with the many Notre Dame JDs out there.

It's that a 33 yr. old graduate of Regent (LSAT 151-156, Bar Passage 51.5% v. state average of 73% 2002-2005, Acceptace 55%) with no real background on her resume or CV gets appointed to one of the most prestigious and important positions in America.

Going to a great law school does not make you a great lawyer, or person (see Gonzalez, A., Harvard grad), but this really does boggle the mind.

also, 150 grads served in the administration (which is a lot, for a small school of 29 years with a low bar passage rate in T4)
4.28.2007 3:21pm
Federal Dog:
"Or that Career lawyers who happen to be democrats will hire based on merit, without marching orders to hire bible beaters, rather than untrained political appointees, who are in their positions because they are republicans, hiring republicans based on ideology."


Is this parody? Given political discourse today, I honestly cannot tell.
4.28.2007 3:21pm
loki13 (mail):
One lasst quick point about the merits of a Regent U degree....

if you go to the link I provided above, you will note that under their distinguished alum, every mention is of one who has succeeded due to political (Republican) appointment. Where are the Regent U successes in the private sector? While this is not dispositive in its own right fo th following reasons...
1. Regent might stress public service.
2. Regent has only been in existence 29 years, so has had less time to have a graduate make partner...

...still, for the free market types out there (of which I consider myself one)... why isn't there an in-house counsel to a major corporation? A partner at a law firm? Anyone (anyone) doing commercial litigation? Or even a successful plaintiff's attorney? Is pursuing torts against natural law?
4.28.2007 3:33pm
anonVCfan:
loki13, the "150 grads" appears to refer to the university as a whole, which has been around since 1978 and confers more than 29 diplomas per year. It claims roughly 5,000 current students.

I'm guessing that Jerry F. is right. Regent is a niche school, and its top grads may be just as qualified as others in the running. They may not be, but I haven't seen anyone point to a particular grad in the Bush administration and show that that person is so unqualified that the hiring was negligent. The main strike against Goodling is her "inexperience." That has nothing to do with where she went to school.
4.28.2007 3:38pm
Randy R. (mail):
I spend about 15 years in gov't service, and I agree that most people who work as career workers tend to be liberal. That's because most people who enter the gov't do so because they want to make a difference, such as reduce pollution, enforce civil rights, make sure our education system is the best it can be, and so on. They tend to be idealistic in that sense. Conservatives, on the other hand, mistrust gov't's ability to do anything, and so don't enter gov't in the first place. Plus, many conservatives value earning a big income over public service, and so enter private practice. (I'm sure that last sentence will garner some debate!)

Jerry F: "Not everyone wants to go to a school where they teach that abortion and homosexual sodomy are (and deserve to be) constitutional rights"

Yeah, God forbid gays should be treated as human beings, and not as spawn of Satan.
4.28.2007 3:42pm
occasional visitor (mail):
To Constantin's question — "Is there any agency in Washington where the majority of 'career' employees isn't Democrats?"

The largest Federal agency by far (Defense) has a career workforce that's well-known for its conservative and Republican leanings.
4.28.2007 3:45pm
Jerry F:
Loki13, my guess would be that the top students who choose to go to Regent (i.e., those who turn down offers from top schools) are precisely the kind of students who are interested in a political career, and they sure are not interested in a political career for the Democratic party. If they wanted to go to the private sector, they know that there are a lot of other schools from which they would be more likely to get a job at a top firm. I am sure a lot of Regent students go to the private sector as well, but these are not the ones who turned down offers from much higher-ranked schools, and therefore, they are not the ones that would be expected to be widely successful.

In other words, it is only at Regent that the top 2% of students' lifelong dream is to join the Bush administration, so it is not surprising that the Bush administration hires more Regent grads.
4.28.2007 3:47pm
loki13 (mail):
anonVCfan,

You are correct- the 150 does refer to the school as a whole (incl. government school) not just the law school. However, it does not refer to the employees of the Federal Government (which is mammoth) but to employees within the administration, which is substantially smaller. I daresay you will not find (to pull a name out of my hat) 150 UMaine grads in the Bush Administration.

As for your other point- if Ms. Goodling had been a graduate of Cooley, with an identical CV and resume, is there any doubt in your mind she would not have her position? Here's the problem:
1. There's no reason from her CV or resume she should have the position.
2. Other than the RegentU connection.
4.28.2007 3:49pm
Adam B. (www):
In other words, it is only at Regent that the top 2% of students' lifelong dream is to join the Bush administration, so it is not surprising that the Bush administration hires more Regent grads.

Chicago? BYU? Moreover, who's likely to be more talented -- a conservative in the bottom third of his class at Michigan or Virginia, or a top 10 % student at Regent?
4.28.2007 3:51pm
Jerry F:
"if Ms. Goodling had been a graduate of Cooley, with an identical CV and resume, is there any doubt in your mind she would not have her position?"

But that's the whole point: There is no reason in the world why a smart person would choose Cooley over dozens of top schools, but there are very good reasons why a smart conservative would choose Regent over top schools. And this would be true even if, on average, Regent students are not better than Cooley students.
4.28.2007 3:52pm
Jerry F:
"Chicago? BYU? Moreover, who's likely to be more talented -- a conservative in the bottom third of his class at Michigan or Virginia, or a top 10 % student at Regent?"

Chicago is not particularly conservative, it is just less far-left than other top schools. How many religious and social conservatives are there on the Chicago faculty?

As for BYU, it seems obvious to me why evangelical Christians wouldn't be particularly comfortable there...

As for who is more likely to be talented, I don't know, is it supposed to be obvious that the top 10% at Regent is less talented than the bottom third at Virginia? That may be right, on average, but it doesn't seem obvious. In any case, I'm fairly certain that the top 2% at Regent would be above average at pretty much every law school, except maybe for Yale.
4.28.2007 3:58pm
blackdoggerel (mail):
You are kidding yourself if you think a top-notch law school applicant with strongly conservative leanings will choose a school like Regent over other, much more highly regarded schools because of Regent's supposed conservatism. Off the top of my head, I can think of a number of more well-regarded schools where a conservative student would feel "comfortable" (as if that should be a consideration in deciding where to attend law school), including Notre Dame and Pepperdine. And this is to say nothing of places like Harvard and Chicago, which though not possessing as conservative a student body as the aforementioned schools, have well-established and active conservative faculty and student groups.

Top students with conservative leanings will go to those schools. Those who don't get in will go to Regent and Ave Maria. That's not a snide comment; that's reality.
4.28.2007 3:59pm
blackdoggerel (mail):
I add that the only possible exception to what I just stated is those students who are such blinding adherents to whatever strand of conservatism they wear on their sleeves that they simply can't bear the thought of going to a school with anyone who could possibly think differently than them. To which I respond: (1) what a depressing statement on such an individual; and (2) that is most certainly not who I would want in a position of power.

And this is coming from someone who is at least sympathetic to some of the views such individuals might possess.
4.28.2007 4:03pm
Jerry F:
"Top students with conservative leanings will go to those schools. Those who don't get in will go to Regent and Ave Maria. That's not a snide comment; that's reality."

You should tell that to Justice Alito. I'm sure his law clerk from Ave Maria couldn't get into Pepperdine.

Incidentally, blackdoggerrel, I agree that, out of 10 highly talented conservative students, probably 8 out of 10 will choose to go to the best law school they can attend without considering political ideology as a huge factor. Scalia hires more clerks from HLS than anywhere else, and I'm confident that's because he knows where to find the smartest clerks. That said, there are still a good number (maybe 1 or 2 out of ten, if I had to make a guess) of very smart conservatives who turn down HLS and similar schools to go to schools like Regent and Ave Maria.
4.28.2007 4:07pm
blackdoggerel (mail):
Jerry F., no offense, but you're kind of making an ass of yourself. If you want to stand by your completely implausible "at least 1-2 out of 10 conservative applicants turn down Harvard Law School to go to Regent and Ave Maria" proposition, be my guest. But you may want to retract, or at least explain, your remark about Justice Alito's "law clerk from Ave Maria." He hasn't had (nor has he hired) any law clerk at the Supreme Court level who is a graduate of Ave Maria. A quick Google search doesn't reveal any Ave Maria graduate having clerked for him while he was on the Third Circuit. Where does this phantom Ave Maria clerk come from?
4.28.2007 4:15pm
Jerry F:
Blackdoggerel, the problem with your point is that the faculty at Regent, Liberty, etc. are no farther right than Yale or HLS are to the left. There is not a single all-around conservative on the Yale faculty. I am not sure about HLS today, but a few years ago at HLS, the only "conservatives" on the faculty were Mary Ann Glendon (social conservative and fiscal liberal) and Charles Fried (fiscal conservative and social liberal), neither of whom was as far to the right as the average member of the HLS faculty was to the left. And I am sure that even at Regent, there must be a few religious faculty members who are fiscally liberal, or are more aligned with the Democrats than the Republicans on foreign policy, etc., so I see no reason to believe that the Regent faculty is less ideologically diverse than the faculty at top law schools.
4.28.2007 4:20pm
blackdoggerel (mail):
Retraction on my own part: I had Google-searched "Regent" for the Ave Maria law clerk, since that's what the discussion had been about. Turns out that, yes, *Judge* Alito hired an Ave Maria clerk while on the Third Circuit. But the applicant pool for circuit clerkships is quite different than for SCOTUS clerkships. And I notice he didn't take the clerk with him to the Court, nor has he re-hired him for a Supreme Court clerkship, despite having hired a number of his previous clerks. (I'm basing this on the list kept at Wikipedia.)
4.28.2007 4:21pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Look: Administrations set policy for the entire executive branch. Every federal agency is supposed to support (or at least not impede) the policy of the current administration.

To move an agency in the direction of an Administration, of whatever party, it is proper for the President to appoint people s/he believes will support Administration unflaggingly.

The question is how deep into a bureaucracy should the political hand reach.

Having worked in federal government for 25 years, I'm certainly willing to see Administrations reach down three levels.

Working in foreign affairs, I've had considerable contact with the bureaucracies with that in their remit. Of the thousands of other feds with whom I've worked, I'd certainly say the vast majority is liberal. In DOD, as noted, there is more of a conservative bias, particularly among those wearing uniforms. But I'd still put DOD in the 1/3-liberal, 2/3 conservative category: there are more DOD civilians than soldiers. State and CIA are more 8/10-liberal, 2/10 conservative. USAID approaches 9/10 liberal unsurprisingly, given that agency's mission. Peace Corps? How about 95% liberal.

The political complexion of the bureaucrats should not matter. There are laws such as the Hatch Act to prohibit blatant political interference.

But I've had to deal with an awful lot of non-blatant interference from bureaucrats who find it quite easy to shove a stick in the spokes of programs they do not personally like. While this abuse of position is not restricted to one political persuasion, in my experience it has been predominantly liberals just refusing to follow, support, and implement conservative policies.

One doesn't have to sell one's soul to support policies one doesn't like--unless, of course, one really finds a particular policy abhorrent. In that case, one is supposed to resign, not actively sabotage, leak, or otherwise impede the policies of the duly elected executive. Would that it were so....
4.28.2007 4:34pm
Constantin:
Thank you, Occasional Visitor.

Kovarsky, what it is about Democrats that makes them able to filter out political biases that seem to afflict Republicans? "Bible Thumpers" have no use for merit, but Aging Hippie / Angry Feminist Atheists (to approximate the flip-side of your characterization) do?
4.28.2007 4:37pm
frank petrilli (mail):
Was this in response to the anonymous letter sent to Leahy and Conyers? I stumbled across this a while back, and was pretty blown away...

If anyone here hasn't read it, it might color how this discussion unfolds.

http://tpmmuckraker.com/images/doj-employees.pdf

Incidentally, did anyone see Bill Moyer's show last night? It addressed this issue in (at least to my "angry feminist atheist" ears) a fair way.
4.28.2007 4:45pm
scote (mail):

that's the whole point: There is no reason in the world why a smart person would choose Cooley over dozens of top schools, but there are very good reasons why a smart conservative would choose Regent over top schools. And this would be true even if, on average, Regent students are not better than Cooley students.


No, that is not the whole point. If the Regent grads are soooo fabulously smart then Goodling's CV would reflect that. It doesn't. She didn't have a fabulously distinguished career after graduating from Regent.


The point isn't that Goodling went to Regent, the point is that's all she's done. Her CV wouldn't be commensurate with the position she had even if she'd graduated from Yale, thus demonstrating her apparatchik credentials from Regent were the key.
4.28.2007 4:51pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Constantin,

Kovarsky, what it is about Democrats that makes them able to filter out political biases that seem to afflict Republicans? "Bible Thumpers" have no use for merit, but Aging Hippie / Angry Feminist Atheists (to approximate the flip-side of your characterization) do?

The idea isn't that one has a greater ability to filter out hiring bias, it's the removal of people with express directives to promote ideology from a decision. A Democrat with an ideological directive is no more able to "filter" than a Republican with an ideological directive. And a Democrat without an ideological directive is no more able to filter than a Republican counterpart. But that's not what we're talking about.

We're talking about a Republican with an ideological directive versus career attorneys (who may be more disproportionately Democratic) without ideological directives.

That should have been clear before, so I'm not sure if that was an earnest misunderstanding and my fault for failing to communicate it effectively in my prior email, or if you have just chosen to ignore a fairly obvious point.
4.28.2007 5:04pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Career attorneys are experienced professionals who at least have some hope of selecting on merit.

Whereas, if the only thing that led to your selection was your ideology, then what else are you going to base your own picks on?

Cf. the Young Republican-types running Iraq in Bremer's office, who were hired based on their views of Roe v. Wade.
4.28.2007 5:11pm
Constantin:
Kovarsky, see the Washington Post article at the top of this blog, and then tell me that "career" and "political" attorneys fit neatly into the categories you presume as the foundation of your "obvious point."
4.28.2007 6:42pm
Randy R. (mail):
And of course everyone here is missing the real story. Regent University is the creation of Pat Robertson, and ir recieves massive amounts of funding from him.

That the Bush Administration hires so many grads for positions and interns not just in DOJ but as well as the White House shows an indication that Robertson has a LOT more influence with this administration than we had been lead to believe.

Of course, that's Bush's right. But it's also OUR right to know who has so much influence over him, and it makes me mad as hell that that stupid, homophobic, arab hating, lying, global climate changer denier, theocratic, hypocritic has anything to do with our national policies.

But then, I'm sure many of you are pleased as punch over this.
4.28.2007 6:55pm
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
Kovarsky -

I'm a Republican hire into the Honors Program from a couple years back and I never received any ideological directives. I don't know if that's the case for everybody else, but I've had very limited interaction with any political appointees since I started. On occasion I get congratulations on a successful prosecution, and I think that's literally the extent of my substantive contact with them.
4.28.2007 7:28pm
Jerry F:
Yes, Pat Robertson is a conservative, and yes, he is *gasp* even more conservative than your average Republican. But Pat Robertson's views are no farther right than the views of the average faculty member at Harvard or Yale are to the left.

There are many professors at top law schools who are openly socialist or who otherwise would want to completely transform society in a left-wing direction. The equivalent of these extreme views, on the right, would be perhaps a fascist, a monarchist, or a theocrat; I doubt that there is a single member of the faculty at Regent who would qualify as any of these things. (And sorry, but opposition to abortion and homosexuality does not make one a theocrat or a fascist).
4.28.2007 7:31pm
Cornellian (mail):
"Not everyone wants to go to a school where they teach that abortion and homosexual sodomy are (and deserve to be) constitutional rights"

I was never told that either of those things should be constitutional rights when I took Constitutional Law at Cornell. Shockingly enough, the prof presented the caselaw, the strengths and weaknesses of possible arguments and expected us to make up our own minds. You think that happens at Regent? I think Bill Mahar hit the nail on the head when he noted that when Monica Goodling needed a lawyer to keep her out of jail, she hired a lawyer who went "to a real law school" (i.e. Emory) not Pat Robertson's Jesus Camp Law School.
4.28.2007 7:43pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
I'm amazed at the anti-Christian bias against Regent grads. Show me some sort of evidence beyond the fact that these people are Christians. Jesus.
4.28.2007 8:05pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
The point isn't that Goodling went to Regent, the point is that's all she's done. Her CV wouldn't be commensurate with the position she had even if she'd graduated from Yale, thus demonstrating her apparatchik credentials from Regent were the key.

Hypothesis: Goodling was advanced because of merit she displayed that isn't reflected in her CV. I don't know that we have any way of knowing whether or not that's true.

I'm impressed with her smarts just on the basis of her decision to assert her 5th amendment rights uncompromisingly. That was a good move.
4.28.2007 8:09pm
loki13 (mail):
Jerry F,

I have to ask- have you *been* to law school? In my first year ConLaw class, my professor went over the case law from both sides, allowing vociferous dicussion. There was a sizeable contingent in the class that believed that Korematsu should still be good law (hardly bleeding law liberalism) and we explored that. We also had a stirring debate over incorporation, with some students believing that the BoR shouldn't be applied to the states. And don't get me started on Lawrence.... So long as you supported your normative analysis with caselaw, you were fine.

As for Contracts, our professor was of the opinion that everything went downhill the moment courts introduced adheion and unconscionability.

Anyway, the belief that lawschool indoctrinates you because of all of the Socialist profs is a serious misconception.
4.28.2007 8:14pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Prosecutorial Indiscretion,

My point wasn't that you would have receive ideological directives. My point is that the people who make hiring decision do. That seems to be the premise of the post, unless I'm missing somthing.

That's also consistent with what I know personally about the hiring practices over the last several years.
4.28.2007 8:17pm
loki13 (mail):
Joe Bingam,

The "proof" for Regent grads is in their LSAT scores and their bar passage rates. Many of the finest minds at my school are Christian.

But they're not going to Regent. While I view everyone individually, as a whole, I believe that a graduate of a T1 (especially a T14) school is likely to be better equipped than a Regent grad because it is:
1. Harder to get in.
2. A more demanding curiculum.
3. You learn from the interaction with the student body, and the student body is more impressive at higher-ranked schools.

As for the invokation of the 5th? That was her lawyer. JD-Emory.
4.28.2007 8:17pm
Kovarsky (mail):
"Not everyone wants to go to a school where they teach that abortion and homosexual sodomy are (and deserve to be) constitutional rights"

Why not just call 'em pinkos?
4.28.2007 8:19pm
Randy R. (mail):
Joe: We aren't anti-Christian. We are anti Pat Robertson. Big difference. The man has no right to call himself a Christian, in my opinion. I'm sure others disagree, but he is widely viled by the American public.

Furthermore, he has made it clear that he established Regent U for the purposes of turning our country into a theocracy, and become a Bible based gov't. So, any grad from Regent U is automatically suspect. Grads of say, Notre Dame, a very good law school, don't fall into that suspect class, and Notre Dame is certainly a Christian law school. Touchdown Jesus!


I'm one of those people who think Robertson is the anti-Christ, so don't mind me --- I'm a little off kilter on this subject!
4.28.2007 8:48pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
"Not everyone wants to go to a school where they teach that abortion and homosexual sodomy are (and deserve to be) constitutional rights"

It would help, however, to go to a law school where they teach the Supreme Court cases holding those to be constitutional rights.

Regents had John Ashcroft teaching a course on human rights. Enough said.
4.28.2007 8:49pm
Randy R. (mail):
And of course, the Court is Lawrence v. Texas never said that there was a consitutitonal right to homosexual sodomy, or even heterosexual sodomy. So anyone to claim that's what the Court said is likely not a lawyer in the first place, didn't read the opinion, or is so blinded by bigotry that it wouldn't matter.
4.28.2007 8:53pm
Kovarsky (mail):
The "proof" for Regent grads is in their LSAT scores and their bar passage rates. Many of the finest minds at my school are Christian.

it's a real shame we jews are losing a chokehold on the profession. pretty soon the christians are going to want hollywood, then cream cheese and lox. where does the madness end with these people?
4.28.2007 9:08pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
So anyone to claim that's what the Court said is likely not a lawyer in the first place, didn't read the opinion, or is so blinded by bigotry that it wouldn't matter.

"Or" in the sense of "and/or," I submit.
4.28.2007 9:48pm
Mark F. (mail):
Yeah, God forbid gays should be treated as human beings, and not as spawn of Satan.

Oh please, Randy. I'm as gay as they come, and a libertarian, but I think the whole line of "right to privacy" cases that started with Griswald were wrongly decided as a matter of ~Constitutional Law.~
4.28.2007 10:01pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
Furthermore, he has made it clear that he established Regent U for the purposes of turning our country into a theocracy, and become a Bible based gov't.

Simply not true. He's said he established Regent U to train Christians who want to participate in and influence government. That includes, but is not limited to, Christians who want a theocracy. That any "Christian" agenda amounts to a theocracy is your assumption, I'm thinkin.

If you can point me to a Robertson quote about theocracy... my foot'll go in my mouth. But I'm real skeptical.
4.28.2007 11:01pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
1. Regent might stress public service.
2. Regent has only been in existence 29 years, so has had less time to have a graduate make partner.


Loki13, you make very good points, especially about the lack of partners listed on their site; however, each of these possible explanations you offer is true. My guess is that Regent's SB has a wide range of talent, but that most of them, and especially most of their top students, are there because they're interested in public service.

There really is a lot of credentialism here, though. What would be more helpful would be the LSAT scores of students who went from RU to the DOJ, which we could then compare to the scores of RU's general graduating class. Anyone here sneaky enough to get his hands on those?

One other question I'm in less of a position to evaluate: could it be that Xians are more likely to want to limit their hours worked (because of more extensive average church/family involvements), and that public service jobs require fewer hours/week than making partner at a prestigious firm? I'm saying it could be that Regent grads who aren't going into public service simply aren't as ambitious in terms of putting in 90-100 hour weeks on average as top students at other schools, and settle for less pay. Does that make sense? Haven't graduated from LS, so I can't evaluate its liklihood.

(Full disclosure: I'm a Christian who has very little in common with Pat Robertson, and very little sympathy for him.)
4.28.2007 11:16pm
Randy R. (mail):
No need to put your foot in your mouth, Joe! I fully admit I have an irrational hatred of Pat Robertson. I don't care what the man says, I don't trust him at all, and I think he would happily recreate the gov't in 'god's image' if he had half a chance. Any man who would agree with Jerry Falwell (another one I can't stand) that 9/11 was the fault of gays and feminists and liberals, who lies and twists the science of evolution and global climate change, is not a man to be trusted, even when he claims he doens't want a theocracy.

but that's just me. Don't mind my rants....

But as for your last point, I think Robertson and his crew have done more to destroy the Republican Party than any Democrat could ever hope to. By tying their agenda of hate and bigotry so closely to the Bush Ad., they have all cemented the image of bible thumping bigots in the minds of many, especially the young. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why a recent poll showed that the Dems have a 30 point lead among college students today.
4.29.2007 12:31am
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
Kovarsky,

Gotcha - I misread your earlier post. I don't think it's a particularly big deal if the political guys do the hiring, but a lot of the career people felt miffed after being involved before so this change should certainly help relations between the political appointees and the career lawyers.
4.29.2007 12:33am
scote (mail):
Joe Bingham wrote:

I'm impressed with her smarts just on the basis of her decision to assert her 5th amendment rights uncompromisingly. That was a good mov


Yeah. That's a real IQ test, that one. By those standards there are a lot of mobsters you think the DOJ should hire as assistant AG...
4.29.2007 4:15am
markm (mail):

Jerry F: "Not everyone wants to go to a school where they teach that abortion and homosexual sodomy are (and deserve to be) constitutional rights"

Yeah, God forbid gays should be treated as human beings, and not as spawn of Satan.

Perhaps Jerry F. was unfairly stereotyping liberal law professors, but what I find really bizarre is Randy R.'s belief that there is no difference between something being right and it being in the Constitution. The authors of the Constitution were content to leave the barbaric state laws of that time concerning homosexuality untouched. For some two hundred years, no one interpreted the Constitution as protecting it. It hasn't been amended. It did not magically change.

I would support an amendment to protect homosexuals. I would enthusiastically support an amendment to keep the government out of the bedroom entirely. But "changing" the Constitution by having five Justices imagine new rights in the penumbras is a recipe for chaos - it drags the courts down to the level of the (often dirty) politics in the White House and Congress, and it ensures instability in Constitutional interpretation every time a new President gets a chance to appoint a Justice that will reverse a 5-4 majority.
4.29.2007 7:52am
The River Temoc (mail):
There are many professors at top law schools who are openly socialist...

Name five.
4.29.2007 11:12am
Randy R. (mail):
markm: Try reading the actual opinion. Contrary to popular opinion propegated by homophobes, the Court did not find a right to homosexuality activity, as I said before.

Here's the situation: Texas had a law that prohibited sex between homosexuals, but NOT between heterosexuals. The Court reasoned that this violated due process as well as equal protection (both concepts, I'm sure you will agree, actually do exist in the Constitution). The court said this treated one group of people different from another group, and the sole reason was an animus towards that group.

Furthermore, if you have read the briefs for all parties, NONE asserted that gays have a 'right to sodomy," and it's constantly surprising that people keep asserting otherwise.

Yes, it's true -- you do not have a right in the constitution to use condoms, to interracial marriage, to use the internet, to make a private telephone call, to travel in a car free from police inspection, or to burn the flag. So because these rights are not enumerated in the Constitution, are you actually going to argue that we DON"T have these rights?
4.29.2007 12:55pm
Randy R. (mail):
One last point: The Court in Lawrence struck down ALL sodomy laws. There were still several states that had statutes that prohibited sodomy for both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

I have yet to see any person say they are outraged because the Supreme Court declared that they may now legally get a blow job from their wife in every state in the union.

But perhaps you are the first.
4.29.2007 12:58pm
loki13 (mail):
I'd like to toss out a quick point about 'penumbras' that keeps getting tossed out there...

while it is the subject of much derision in certain circles, it does make judicial sense. It is based in the 9th Amendment. The following is the reason-


9th Am. allows for rights to be Constitutionally protected that are not within the Bill of Rights.
Therefore, there has to be at least one right that is protected that is not within the BofR.
The question is- what is that right, or, more likely, what are those rights?
Griswold reasoned that while privacy was not explcitly mentioned, so many amendments touched upon privacy (their penumbras) that privacy was a 9th amendment right.

You may agree or disagree with this, and may or agree or disagree that privacy therefore means the 'right' to contraception, and abotion etc., but it is not a completely baseless theory.
4.29.2007 3:13pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Randy, you're wrong. Only Sandra Day O'Connor accepted equal protection as an argument. The court's decision was not based on EP.
4.29.2007 9:29pm
loki13 (mail):
David M. N.,

Only O'Connor did the correct analysis for Lawrence (thank you, Justice Kennedy, for another brilliant opinion /sarcasm).

But Randy is not far off the mark. See *Romer* (equal protection for homosexuals for law motivated by nothing but animus).
4.29.2007 11:17pm
Randy R. (mail):
No, no. David is correct, the Court didn't explicity find that EP would strike down the laws, and only O'Connor explicity said so. What they did find was that since they could strike down the laws under DP, they didn't need to reach EP, I should have said that.

However, it was the overall tenor of the opinion (even with Thomas's short dissent, in which he stated that the laws were 'silly') that gays are fully entitled to the same protections as anyone else, and should be treated with equal dignity. They also stated , as in Romer, the motivation for these laws was nothing more than sheer animus towards gays. Therefore, there is no doubt that the court *would* have found a violation under EP as well, but that they simply didn't need to address it.

However, since David didnt' correct anything else, I assume he agrees with me that the rest is correct, and I presume he is happy that the Court struck down the heterosexual sodomy laws that would apply to himself.
4.30.2007 1:27am
james (mail):
Right click here, select "save as"

btw, you are such a hottie
5.2.2007 12:46pm