Ann Bartow (Feminist Law Professors) asks this, following up with, "Invited articles by fourteen men, but only two women, in a Symposium edition?" Since the Symposium was one that I coedited, and since my fellow organizer and I were responsible for the invitations, I thought I'd mention this.
First, one should look at the topic of the symposium, which was "The Second Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms After D.C. v. Heller." In fact, here's what the first commenter, "uclastudent," said about this:
One, the slating of the Symposium Issue of the UCLA Law Review is done not by the Law Review staff but by the faculty.
Two, this symposium was on the Second Amendment. It's my understanding that this topic tends to be dominated by a small group of legal scholars. I would not blame the Law Review or the faculty for any gender imbalances here.
Here's Ann Bartow's response:
Two, this symposium was on the Second Amendment.
Really? I had no idea! Asshole.
Many of the articles listed in the ToC are written by people who do NOT have any particularly notable record of previous Second Amendment scholarship. So the field was pretty open, and more women could have easily, and without any quality dilution, have been included.
Now, the first comment seemed to be pretty civil, and sensible. The "this symposium was on the Second Amendment" statement didn't seem to me to be said snidely, or as some revelation; it introduced the point of the paragraph, which is that the choice of panelists turned in large measure on who was prominent in that particular field. Does this really merit an "Asshole." in response?
But as to the merits, it turns out that every one of the articles in the symposium had as its author or lead coauthor either (1) someone who has written either extensively or prominently on the Second Amendment, (2) someone who has written a vast amount on gun control policy (Cook and Kleck, who to my knowledge are the two top scholars on the subject in the country), or (3) the winning lawyer (Gura). This leads me to think that Prof. Bartow doesn't actually know the field that well, since it's hard to see how her "Many of the articles listed in the ToC are written by people who do NOT have any particularly notable record of previous Second Amendment scholarship" can be correct. (I realize that what constitutes a "particularly notable record" is somewhat subjective, but it's hard to see how she can find "many" under that standard, unless she just categorically excludes the relevance of leading gun control policy scholars or the winning lawyer.) And if I'm right that she doesn't know the field well, how is it that she can be so confident that "more women could have easily, and without any quality dilution, have been included"?
This having been said, I will happily announce that I had absolutely no desire to add more women, or to add more men, to the mix. (I have no knowledge about my fellow organizer's thoughts on the matter.) But I don't think I need to debate here whether conference organizers should consciously seek women panelists when "more women could ... easily, and without any quality dilution, [be] included," given that Prof. Bartow offers no factual support for her assertion that such a thing would even be possible.
Finally, there certainly are some female constitutional law scholars, as well as some male constitutional law scholars, who are so extremely prominent that they are worth asking to the conference even if they haven't written anything on the Second Amendment or on gun control policy. The bar is naturally higher for them, but there certainly are such. We in fact invited both women and men in this category; as it happens, though, the only people who accepted were ones who fit in the three categories I identified.
So we have a vulgar insult of a perfectly reasonable commenter. We have what strikes me as either an incorrect summary of the credentials of those who participated, or at best an unreasonably blinkered sense of what credentials conference organizers might look for (that's if Prof. Bartow's view is that Cook's and Kleck's stature as gun control policy scholars, and Alan Gura's role in the case, don't count as relevant credentials). And we have an unsupported generalization about how there were other equally qualified women whom we could have included. All in all, not a particularly persuasive criticism, it seems to me.