Republican Candidates Battle for the Law Professor Vote:

Here's the tally so far; a surprisingly large percentage of well-known conservative professors have signed up with a campaign.

Rudy Giuliani: Lillian Bevier, Steven Calabresi, Ronald Cass, Charles Fried, John McGinnis, Daniel Rodriguez, George Priest, Nicholas Quinn Rosencranz, Ron Rotunda

Fred Thompson: Michael Abramowicz, Jonathan Adler, John Baker, Michael Dimino, Viet Dinh, John Duffy, Brian Fitzpatrick, Rick Garnett, Orin Kerr, Caleb Nelson, Eugene Volokh, Todd Zywicki

Mitt Romney (technically an advisory committee on the Constitution and the Courts): Michelle Boardman, Mary Anne Glendon, Alan Ferrell, Douglas Kmiec, Stephen Presser, Brad Smith

John McCain: If law professors are organizing themselves on behalf of McCain, it's not easy to find on the web, though my colleague (and former head of the FTC) Tim Muris is a bigwig in the campaign.

Careful readers will note that Thompson thus far has an overwhelming edge among Volokh Conspiracy bloggers (no, we haven't discussed this among ourselves, and I'm pretty certain there won't be a blog endorsement). I find it especially interesting that Romney, who was pro-choice until recently, seem especially popular among the "serious Catholic" law professors.

As for me, I can't say I have a strong preference, and I find that, as usual for someone like me who is very libertarian and highly skeptical of politicians, the choice is a choice among lesser evils, to wit: Thompson's "Lawyers for Thompson" site attacks Giuliani for being pro-choice and pro-gay rights, which are among Giuliani's greatest virtues as a candidate. I thought Giuliani was about as good a mayor as New York is going to get, but I can't forget that he abused his prosecutorial office for political gain as U.S. attorney in the 1980s, and he is probably the least likely of all the major candidates in both parties to rethink the drug war. At least Giuliani has stayed true to his liberal positions on social issues; Romney's sudden conversion to pro-life conservatism suggests that either his current or his former views were purely opportunistic. And then there's McCain-Feingold.

Ron Paul is a tempting protest vote, and I did support him in 1988 when he ran as a Libertarian, but he strikes me as running less of a "libertarian" campaign than a pacifist, populist campaign that does have some appeal to young and idealistic libertarians, but has too much appeal to the old, paranoid, and racist pseudo-conservatives. There seems to be a right-wing version of the Popular Front mentality among many Paul supporters: just like it was okay for Social Democrats to ally with Stalinists for "Progressive" ends in the old days, it's okay to ally with 9/11 and various other conspiracy theorists, southern secessionists, Nazis and fascists, anti-Semites and racists, against the common enemy of the modern "welfare-warfare" state. Count me out!

So I have no strong preference among the Republican candidates at this point. Even if I did, I can't imagine why anyone would care enough to bother putting my name on a list, but then partisan politics isn't my thing.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, I've heard from some Paul supporters urging me to reconsider. Also not surprisingly, none of them have provided any indication that my description of the Paul coalition is inaccurate, or that Paul has gone out of his way to discourage support from the conspiracy-mongers and "white nationalists."