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More on the Judicial Education Bill:

First, two corrections. The GMU Law and Economics Center used to keep its donor list confidential, but now discloses its donors to comply with a rule passed by the Judicial Conference of the United States in 2005. Also, I quoted John Fund as stating that the bill provided a flat ban on attending private judicial education seminars. Now that Orin has located the text of the bill, it seems clear that judges can attend any seminar they want, so long as the pay their own way.

Finally, I thought it would be worth more specifically noting what the bill would be protecting judges from, at least with regard to George Mason's LEC. Here is a list of the judicial education seminars (those not co-sponsored with circuit or state court orgainzations) planned for 2008:

Civil Society

Thucydides

Lincoln as President

Culture and Markets

Happiness

Mill On Liberty

The Federalist Papers

Economic Analysis of Law

Science in the Courts

According to the LEC website, "LEC programs are either five-day institutes or two-day colloquia. Our institutes feature 21 hours of lectures or seminars over five full days, with about 500-700 pages of readings. LEC colloquia are conducted seminar style, with 7.5 hours of class time and about 250-300 pages of readings." Furthermore,

Our curriculum, faculty, invitation list and acceptance policy are determined solely by full time professors at George Mason University School of Law. Our contract letter with lecturers enjoins them to stay away from hot-button topics such as affirmative action. As well, our lecturers do not talk about tobacco, asbestos litigation, environmental issues or the like. When we discovered that a corporate donor had asserted in 1999 that they viewed us as key allies, we returned its contribution (about 0.003 of our support).

Our reimbursement policy covers only reasonable expenses. We assume the costs of lodging and meals at the conference site (on average about $350 per diem), and also reimburse for travel expenses up to a maximum of $500. Spouses are welcome as auditors, but we do not reimburse for any of their expenses. We do not sponsor or subsidize any entertainment or recreational events at our programs, which are academically intensive and demanding. Shortly after each program, we send to all participating judges a statement of the dollar value of the hotel and meals expenses.

Cold Warrior:
Thank God someone is finally addressing that persistent lack of understanding of Thucydides amongst the federal judiciary.

But I demand equal time for Herodotus! I detect a rising Thucydidean bias in the factual recitations of the opinions in the Fed.Supp., and that is no doubt the result of this sinister GMU plot!
12.20.2007 7:15pm
r78:
Science in the Courts, a.k.a. How to use Daubert to screw plaintiffs.
12.20.2007 7:24pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
Shouldn't Thucydides, Lincoln, and Mill Listed as Contributor's?
12.20.2007 7:35pm
Justin (mail):
So anything with a warm-and-fuzzy sounding title cannot have pernacious or corrupt effects?

And the silly environmentalists opposed the Clean Skies Act!
12.20.2007 7:35pm
davidbernstein (mail):
R, don't bother actually looking at the program before commenting, I'd be disappointed.
12.20.2007 7:38pm
Cold Warrior:
On a serious note ...

... I have to say I can see how certain interest groups would not be too happy about the curriculum.

For example: "Civil Society" includes presentations by George Borjas on immigration and James Q. Wilson on crime. They are both very interesting social scientists, and I'd love to hear them speak. And I wouldn't particularly be persuaded to follow their viewpoints on these issues just because I heard them speak. I would venture to say that anyone who has ascended to the federal bench ought to already have some level of familiarity with their arguments. (Although I'm sure many, many members of the federal bench don't.)

But surely the LEC does have an agenda beyond "informing active judges about important theories in the social sciences." If the agenda is not "teaching judges the importance of informing their decisions with the findings of social science" (and by that I mean selected social scientists associated with very particular viewpoints), then I don't know what function the LEC serves.

And there is a real issue to consider when we take into account the funding of the LEC or similar "judicial education" institutes. Hey, a free trip is a free trip, even if it's only a trip to Arlington.

So while I think the proposed legislation is a bad idea (since I just don't see a problem here, and I think the goal of having a judiciary that is conversant in social science and social theory far outweighs the possibility that judges will get a one-sided view), the impetus behind the legislation is not irrational.

[Now I'll wait for a bunch of other commenters to call me a wacko liberal]
12.20.2007 7:40pm
Eric Muller (www):
David, I noticed the following paragraph in the LEC's materials, which may have some relevance to the current discussion:
In addition to our programs, we have been honored by being asked to supply the academic content to official judicial conferences. In 2007, we did so for the District of Columbia, Fifth and Sixth Circuits, and the federal District of Hawaii, Northern District of California and Northern District of New York. In addition, the LEC provided academic content to official state judicial conferences in Washington, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and New York, as well as the conference of the state Chief Justices and three programs for regional state judges.
Is there a difference between the content and focus of the programs that the LEC runs for the government (which would continue to be reimbursable) and those that it runs on its own? Do the courts and judges' organizations determine the content of the programs LEC supplies?

If not, then we may be bickering about very little here; the courts and the LEC can respond to the legislation (if it's passed) by simply arranging for greater court/judge-association sponsorship of LEC programs.
12.20.2007 7:43pm
Mr. Liberal:
Why exactly is George Mason University, a state university funded by the state of Virginia, subsidizing the education of federal judges?

I will tell you why. Because the right-wing George Mason Law faculty there wants to influence federal judges to make more right-wing rulings. And they are using tax dollars from Virginia to subsidize those efforts. (And just in case there are any objections that funding does not come from the state, all I have to say is that money is fungible.)

Why is David Bernstein is so upset by this proposal? Because he is worried that it will undercut his and other right-wing faculty members ability to influence federal judges through "education."

If federal judges need more education, that should be funded by the federal government. Not George Mason University, a public university with a radical right-wing agenda. Not any private group.

I have no problem with federal judges going to George Mason Law for continuing education. If they pay for it themselves. Or if a fund is set aside by the Federal Government that allows them to choose any appropriate program.
12.20.2007 8:00pm
Eric Muller (www):
I don't see the need for the scare quotes around "education," Mr. Liberal. I looked at the programs the LEC is sponsoring for Spring 2008, and they look excellent. There may be a tilt to the presentations (and in which academic presentations is there not?), but that doesn't mean they wouldn't educate their audience.
12.20.2007 8:03pm
Mr. Liberal:
Eric Muller,

I don't doubt that George Mason provides genuine education mixed in with its propaganda, or as you call it, "tilt."

When you mix propaganda and education in a way that makes it difficult to separate them, I think it is appropriate to call it "education."
12.20.2007 8:06pm
John (mail):
I don't think the issue is content (though that may be motivating some in Congress, and some commenters here, who seem to want judges to remain the judicial equivalent of barefoot in the kitchen). The issue is having judges feel beholden to anyone, and that is surely something that is worth avoiding--maybe even going a little overboard on the levels of freebies.
12.20.2007 8:15pm
frankcross (mail):
Mr. Liberal, do you also propose that judges only be allowed to read books developed by the federal government? Or just prohibit them from reading books written by George Mason faculty? I have sent my research, on occasion, to a couple of judges. Was that an improper attempt by me to influence them?
12.20.2007 8:17pm
Cornellian (mail):
If one wanted conclusive evidence of bias by the faculty of George Mason, one could hardly point to a clearer example than their blatant promotion of Thucydides over Herotodus.

QED
12.20.2007 8:28pm
Mr. Liberal:
frankcross,


Mr. Liberal, do you also propose that judges only be allowed to read books developed by the federal government? Or just prohibit them from reading books written by George Mason faculty?


Someone in a previous thread asserted you are a professor. I have a hard time believing that. Your reading comprehension and analytical skills need work. Or, alternatively, perhaps you are reading too quickly.

Based on me writing this:


I have no problem with federal judges going to George Mason Law for continuing education. If they pay for it themselves. Or if a fund is set aside by the Federal Government that allows them to choose any appropriate program.


Based on this, shouldn't it be reasonably clear that I would not object to federal judges buying them any books they like? Not only shouldn't it be reasonably clear, shouldn't it be blatantly obvious?


I have sent my research, on occasion, to a couple of judges. Was that an improper attempt by me to influence them?


It depends on whether you had any interest in a case before them or likely to come before them.

Assuming no interest, I would say that it was not improper because the cost of postage, paper, and ink for your research was de minimis.
12.20.2007 8:30pm
U.Va. 3L:
"Happiness" as a course in a judicial education program?

Here in Charlottesville, we have a course called "Legal Careers and Life Satisfaction." It's one of those classes 3Ls fight over empty spots in. After reading the program for the LEC's "Happiness" course, I have a sneaking suspicion it's one of those classes judges would fight over empty spots in.
12.20.2007 8:42pm
frankcross (mail):
Oh, but my book is very valuable. And my reading of your comment was why I appended that I voluntarily sent it to them. I have no interest in such a case. But neither does the George Mason faculty, to my knowledge. I'm soon to be in a compilation that will cost hundreds of dollars. Is it wrong for me to send it to a judge gratis? For the judge to actually read it?
12.20.2007 8:42pm
Mr. Liberal:
frankcross,

I do not consider your book to be very valuable. Most judges probably would not think a book sent to them unsolicited was very valuable.

But, let us assume your book was valuable to the judge. (Say, it is gold plated!) Then, it would be improper for you to send it to them.
12.20.2007 8:46pm
OrinKerr:
David,

You don't need to answer tis, but I'm curious: Do you think George Mason has an agenda in teaching these seminars, and if so, what is it? Take, for example, the "science and the courts" seminar. What lessons do the organizers hope that judges will take away from the seminar about science in the courtroom?
12.20.2007 8:49pm
frankcross (mail):
You haven't even read my book! How valuable do you think the meals and lodging at GMU are? Maybe we need a description, but I doubt they are that fancy.

Orin, I do think that GMU has an agenda. If you look at the presenters, there is a pattern. It is a relatively conservative bunch. But also high quality. Bruce Ames, for example, is extremely highly regarded in cancer research, but he also happens to believe that environmental chemicals are vastly exaggerated as cancer sources. I think the evidence supports him but GMU is making no effort to balance the books.

However, I think it is bizarre to think that judges will be influenced to believe him by a $350 stipend for lodging and meals. They will be convinced based on the quality of his presentation. There are good law and economics books that sell for $350. If I send one to a judge, the cash value is the same. Moreover, the book's cash value is probably higher than the GMU conference, because it could be resold for cash, unlike the food. But I don't think that will influence the judge. He may be influenced by the persuasiveness of the arguments in the book but not by the fact that he got it for free from someone published therein.
12.20.2007 8:55pm
frankcross (mail):
In light of Mr. Liberal's above comments, I should add that GMU certainly doesn't have a "radical right wing" agenda. They are simply presenting evidence in support of a relatively conservative agenda. Mr. Liberal, exactly what in the program evidences a radical right wing agenda?
12.20.2007 8:59pm
holy smokes:
I have to say, this topic has really brought out the crazies. Shouldn't people like Justin and Mr. Liberal have some concrete basis for casting aspersion on George Mason's program? Gee whiz, does the program really have "pernacious and corrupt effects"? [Pernacious isn't a word, but it's similar to pernicious, which is really bad].
12.20.2007 9:05pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
"If one wanted conclusive evidence of bias by the faculty of George Mason, one could hardly point to a clearer example than their blatant promotion of Thucydides over Herotodus."

And I wonder at the omission of Josephus. Might that show an undercurrent of anti-Semitism? Or perhaps just an anti-Flavian political bias?
12.20.2007 9:10pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Bruce Ames is not exactly a neutral, but a very strong partisan in many issues he talked.
12.20.2007 10:07pm
byomtov (mail):
I quoted John Fund as stating that the bill provided a flat ban on attending private judicial education seminars. Now that Orin has located the text of the bill, it seems clear that judges can attend any seminar they want, so long as the pay their own way.

What's this? John Fund telling lies to advance his own agenda? Say it ain't so.
12.20.2007 11:08pm
EliRabett (mail) (www):
Before the special microposting deadline strikes, let us estimate the cost of a nice trip, say from DC to Peeble Beach, a couple of rounds of golf thrown in, Say Jan 11 - 14th.

Hotel: $900/day = $2700
Golf: $475/rd = $ 950
Airfare:(business class) $2400 = $2400
Limo to and from SFO
(shared with sponsor rep)$500/trip= $1000
Food and sundries $200/day = $ 600
Parking at Dulles $0 0

Total: $7,650

Now universities will be a bit less generous, say an ordinary $300 room, no golf and a bit less for food (the wine at dinner will be a lot less), but

Of course, for an appeals court, or supreme court judge, they could charter a private jet, rent a suite (2x cost), etc
12.20.2007 11:10pm
Jmaie (mail):
I don't think Mr. Liberal is a crazy, just a little grumpy tonight. And a bit rude.
12.20.2007 11:28pm
kiniyakki (mail):
An assumption behind any concern with judicial education programs is that all federal judges have minds of mush that are just waiting to be "educated" and will not be able to discern anything on their own - but will simply repeat what is told to them. If this is true, then there are worse problems then the George Mason programs.

Also, I am curious to hear an answer to Orin Kerr's question - what do people at George Mason think the point behind their conference really is?
12.20.2007 11:47pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
This boggles my mind in two ways: First, that organizations are essentially paying judges to hear lectures. In thirty years of attending seminars and symposia I have either funded my continuing education and attendant travel myself, or shared its cost with my employer. Second, that in the free marketplace of ideas, GMU's ideas have to be sold to judges at less-than-market rates. Clearly, GMU has more ideas than their market is willing to absorb. In what way does paying judges to listen to them differ from the surplus commodity program?
12.21.2007 1:53am
davidbernstein (mail):
I've noticed that no critics have explained why the GMU (and FREE) programs should be off-limits if they pay judicial expenses, but not bar associations, the FJC, and the National Judicial College, as allowed by the bill.

As for GMU's agenda, I can't speak for anyone else, but the LEC was a pioneer in judicial education, and I think it's both a public service and part of GMU's "brand name" to continue to provide such education of high quality. As for the public service issue, the judiciary would be worse off if the gov't had a monopoly on providing such programs.
12.21.2007 2:19am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Tony, what you're ignoring is that society's interest in having better educated, better traveled, less cloistered judges may be greater than the judges' personal desires for additional education... or their desire to provide additional education.

Remember, this prohibits paying expenses for judges to both attend and present seminars and classes. It also prohibits paying expenses for judges to, for example, participate as judges in moot court competitions. Why should we expect judges, or the taxpayers, to pick up the costs when the judge is providing a service to others? That's not an example of market failure in the slightest.
12.21.2007 8:21am
MDJD2B (mail):

An assumption behind any concern with judicial education programs is that all federal judges have minds of mush that are just waiting to be "educated" and will not be able to discern anything on their own - but will simply repeat what is told to them.


This is patently untrue. That is NOT the assumption. It is not the content that is of concern, but the payment. People naturally have a feeling of gratitude toward those who give them gifts-- even judges.

For this reason, businesses and health care institutions often have a policy prohibiting their employees form acepting gifts, or accepting gifts above a certain limits. This is not because doctors and execuives have minds of mush. If they did, these institutions would fire them. It is because they have the natural human impulse of gratitude.

The straw man that you erected is the one that other people have erected.

I reiterate-- the issue is not what judges should listen to but what judges should be allowed to accept gratis. I believe that they should be subject to standard restrictions applied to people who make decisions for fiduciaries-- that they should not accept significant payment from entities that may have a significant conflict of interest with the fiduciaries. In the case of judges, this would include (in an every day usage sense, not a legal sense) any possible litigant, which means everybody.

When Prof. Bernstein says:

I've noticed that no critics have explained why the GMU (and FREE) programs should be off-limits if they pay judicial expenses, but not bar associations, the FJC, and the National Judicial College, as allowed by the bill.

he is right. But I would say that judges should not recieve large gifts from these other entities either.
12.21.2007 9:09am
Tony Tutins (mail):
David, I am picking on GMU's subsidizing purchase of its ideas because this practice is incongruous with its status as a home for free market economics. In contrast, the ABA's paying judges' educational expenses would be consistent with their mission of social reengineering.

Pat: all professionals need continuing education, but most do it at their own expense or at their employers' expense. The only exceptions occur, from my experience, when the education providers are trying to sell them something. There are no "neutral and disinterested" salesmen, so the practice of free education for judges bothers me.

But if the judges are providing a voluntary service, such as lecturing on changes in the law, or judging a moot court competition, ensuring that their charitable impulses don't put them out-of-pocket is fair and reasonable.
12.21.2007 11:19am
MDJD2B (mail):
Your response to Pat is well said, Tony Tutins
12.21.2007 11:46am
huh?:
"I am picking on GMU's subsidizing purchase of its ideas because this practice is incongruous with its status as a home for free market economics."

This makes no sense, on many levels. Does this mean that GMU should not give scholarships or other financial aid to its students--would that be "incongruous"?
12.21.2007 12:42pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Does this mean that GMU should not give scholarships or other financial aid to its students--would that be "incongruous"? The two situations are different; in your situation, consumers are buying a college degree in one (or two) of many majors, not exposure to a particular set of new ideas. But basically, scholarships and financial aid shift the cost burden from one student to others, or from one student to the state's taxpayers. Since this is exactly how socialized medicine would work, I would say scholarships and financial aid would be a hallmark of "socialized" education.
12.21.2007 1:04pm
huh?:
"The two situations are different; in your situation, consumers are buying a college degree in one (or two) of many majors, not exposure to a particular set of new ideas."

There's no difference. GMU is offering courses to judges just as it does to normal students -- look at the list of courses in the post. Of course, majors are composed of courses, which in turn provide exposure to new ideas.

"But basically, scholarships and financial aid shift the cost burden from one student to others, or from one student to the state's taxpayers. Since this is exactly how socialized medicine would work, I would say scholarships and financial aid would be a hallmark of "socialized" education."

So you are, in fact, saying GMU's offering scholarships to students is incongruous? At any rate, schools compete for good students by offering financial aid. That seems perfectly compatible with "free market economics."
12.21.2007 1:40pm
OrinKerr:
As for GMU's agenda, I can't speak for anyone else, but the LEC was a pioneer in judicial education, and I think it's both a public service and part of GMU's "brand name" to continue to provide such education of high quality.

David, does that mean you think George Mason has no agenda at all?
12.21.2007 3:36pm
davidbernstein (mail):
Orin, how is providing a public service and protecting reputational capital not an "agenda"?
12.21.2007 3:51pm
courtwatcher:
David Bernstein said:
As for GMU's agenda, I can't speak for anyone else, but the LEC was a pioneer in judicial education, and I think it's both a public service and part of GMU's "brand name" to continue to provide such education of high quality. As for the public service issue, the judiciary would be worse off if the gov't had a monopoly on providing such programs.


I don't think this answers Orin Kerr's question about the agenda (well, at least not to my satisfaction — can't speak for him, and he did tell you you didn't have to answer it).

Whatever the merits of judges being subsidized to attend these, and whatever the merits of a federal law that tries to limit it, I think it's instructive to see what is actually taught at these seminars, and how.

If "Science in the Courts" presents a range of views about Daubert and Frye and the use of science in the courts, or examines the issue in a way that promotes multiple, thoughtful, critical perspectives, it surely is performing a service.

If, on the other hand, the idea (or the execution) is to promote a single "correct" view of how courts should look at scientific evidence, or promotes the use of ideologically-charged rhetoric rather than reasoned judgment, I'm not sure how that's public service or true education.

And recalling that David Bernstein himself frames this issue in terms of inflammatory, ideologically-charged phrases like "junk science" and "quackspertise" ( see http://www.aei-brookings.org/policy/page.php?id=264), I think more information on what is actually taught at these seminars would be more helpful than his bland opinion that they are a "public service."
12.21.2007 4:12pm
MDJD2B (mail):

But basically, scholarships and financial aid shift the cost burden from one student to others, or from one student to the state's taxpayers. Since this is exactly how socialized medicine would work, I would say scholarships and financial aid would be a hallmark of "socialized" education.


This is one way to look at it, and is partially true.

Another way is that a student confers a certain benefit on a university. Some of it consists of the contribution tothe scholoarly atmosphere-- colleges want to get the best students possible. Colleges also want to obtain a certain amount of diversity of viewpoint (not just racial; they want tuba players, hockey players, and people from Idaho).

Scholarships represent a certain amount of negotiation between the college and the student. If I get into Yale and Emory offers me a free ride, I can tell this to Yale and maybe they'll give me some money. The published tuition just represents a maximum price-- the college's opening offer. Or if Emory didn't give me money and I get into Yale, I can ask Emory to make it worth my while to go there instead of Yale. This sort of negotiation does take place.

Seen this way, scholarshipa are a way for colleges to bid for students. They are no more socialist than differential airline fares, which most people see as successful market strategies by airlines.
12.21.2007 4:13pm
courtwatcher:
David, since you don't seem to understand Orin's question the way I do (and the way I suspect he does), I'll rephrase Orin's question:
David, does that mean you think George Mason has no intent to promote a particular style of judicial interpretation, or ideological or political agenda, at all in putting on these seminars?
12.21.2007 4:16pm
davidbernstein (mail):
None, none, and none, though I think the choice of topics reflects the sense of those who run the show (I've nothing to do with it) of what they think it would be useful, interesting, etc. for judges to be thinking about. If the seminars were ideological or political, given that hundreds of judges have attended them this reputation would have spread, and there's no way the LEC would have been asked to supply the academic content for five federal circuit and 20 state court conferences.
12.21.2007 5:20pm
OrinKerr:
David,

So your view is that once the topic is selected, the selection of speakers and the content of their discussions has absolutely no ideological or political point that the organizers want to push? I mean, really ZERO?
12.21.2007 5:26pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
schools compete for good students by offering financial aid. That seems perfectly compatible with "free market economics."

This seems totally irrational from a free market perspective, unless the mere presence of the good student provides non-monetary consideration equal to the cost of his scholarship. No airline says "You're a good (as opposed to volume) passenger -- delightful company, never pushes his seatback into a passenger's knees -- here, have a discount." Are there celebrity discounts for medical care?

Are people implying that the mere presence of judges at seminars compensates those who cover the expenses of attending them? How?
12.21.2007 6:24pm
davidbernstein (mail):
Orin, you asked whether George Mason has an agenda in running the LEC programs. I responded what in my view the agenda is. You are now asking in essence whether the personal ideology of "the organizers" has any effect whatsoever of the choice of speakers, which is an entirely different question. I haven't studied speaker lists et al., but if the LEC were seen as "pushing" a political agenda by its consumers (federal and now state judges), that would be the end of it, and certainly federal circuits and states wouldn't be lining up to ask it for content.
12.22.2007 2:58am
davidbernstein (mail):
And, btw, the LEC is far more constrained in this regard than would be (and are) government-sponsored programs preferred by its critics that could count on receiving funding regardless, which given the bill in question is a very pertinent question.
12.22.2007 3:02am
One Man's View:
I can't speak for the agenda at the LEC, having never attended a program there, but I can speak to the "agenda" (if that is the right word) of the FREE programs in Montana with which I am familiar (full disclosure here) as a participant. In one seminar on "Drugs and Civil Society" lecturers included James Q. Wilson (who more or less argued that drugs were a cause of civil decay) and David Knott of the Reason Foundation (who advanced a classic libertarian view that drugs ought to be legalized). It also included other lectures who spanned the spectrum. Likewise, the most recent offering on "Terrorism and Civil Law" featured both Ed Meese, the former Reagan AG, and Phil Heymann, the former Clinton Deputy AG (who took decidedly different views), and included as an attendee (though with a wealth of knowledge) Royce Lambreth, a judge who has actually sat on the FISA court.

In both cases, the "agenda" if there was one, was to take a complex issue and present many different and varied takes on the subject in a way that stimulated discussion, assured an open, free form debate, and guaranteed that all points of view were welcome at the table.

The virtues of FREE (and, I assume the objective of LEC) is to have judges exposed in a rigorous way to ideas and social science that might be of value to them. That is an "agenda" of course, since it is in the interests of the litigants to be the =only= sources of information for a judge. But it is in socieities interest that they be more broadly educated, and it will be a much-the-poorer world if the only source of judicial education is officially sanctioned courses controlled by a government that does not want judges to hear views other than the ones it officially espouses.

Are FREE and LEC founders "conservative"? Possibly, though I've seen no overt evidence. But this amendment will also end judical education classes at the Aspen Institute or the Brookings Institute (both of whom hold such classes) where one assumes (again, I haven't studied their programs) a somewhat more liberal bias to the course selection.
12.22.2007 4:40pm
MDJD2B (mail):

This seems totally irrational from a free market perspective, unless the mere presence of the good student provides non-monetary consideration equal to the cost of his scholarship. No airline says "You're a good (as opposed to volume) passenger -- delightful company, never pushes his seatback into a passenger's knees -- here, have a discount."


Don't you suppose schools try to take people who are likely to make a lot of money when they get out, and contribute a lot of it to the school? A high school friend of mine attended Cornell with me on a full scholarship and later strated a sofware company and did well. He gave Cornell $1,000,000. Good investment on Cornell's part; the money could have gone to MIT or Yale.

Also, to the extent that schools are trying to assume a position of leadership, they want students who will be leaders. This is not about money, but is about the mission of the school. To the extent that schools look at things like being on teams or student government, they are looking for people with leadership potential. Whether this is overtly economic or merely helps in the realm of reputation, they do it.
12.22.2007 5:46pm
Michael B (mail):
"I've noticed that no critics have explained why the GMU (and FREE) programs should be off-limits if they pay judicial expenses, but not bar associations, the FJC, and the National Judicial College, as allowed by the bill."

Precisely. Three threads now and not a solitary, substantive rejoinder in this vein.
12.23.2007 2:30pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Don't you suppose schools try to take people who are likely to make a lot of money when they get out, and contribute a lot of it to the school? A high school friend of mine attended Cornell with me on a full scholarship and later strated a sofware company and did well. He gave Cornell $1,000,000.

As far as I can tell, schools do not award scholarships on the basis of entrepreneurial drive and generosity. People whose only merit is performance on the SAT and getting good grades in high school usually live comfortable lives as salaried employees.
12.24.2007 10:00pm