January 09, 2007

Fair 'n' Balanced Law School Hiring?

by PG

Another common complaint among conservative law students is about the liberalism of the faculty. Last year, when the hiring of Olati Johnson was announced, not only the Federalist Society mailing list but also conservative blogs and media carried the story of the ethics charge against her (which was solely for conflict of interest, not for having forwarded an e-mail; c.f. that against Manuel Miranda). The students' annoyance was mitigated by the announcement of a Scalia clerk's being hired, and now I not-quite-suspect that there could be a deliberate balancing in adding to the faculty, a kind of Missouri compromise in which every new free state liberal professor must be followed by a more conservative one. Consider the latest e-mail from Dean Schizer:

As you know, we have begun work on the 9th Floor of Jerome Greene Hall, and are building 39 new faculty offices, a number sufficient to allow the faculty to grow by 50 percent. As part of that effort, I am very pleased to report that this year's recruiting season is off to a strong start, as two distinguished scholars have accepted our offer to join the faculty on July 1, 2007.
-- Sarah Cleveland, a Rhodes Scholar and former clerk for Justice Blackmun who joins us from the University of Texas, is an expert on human rights and constitutional law.
-- Daniel Richman, a former Chief Appellate Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York and a former clerk for Justice Marshall who joins us from Fordham University, is an expert on criminal law and procedure.
I am delighted to welcome them to the Columbia family, and to reinforce two traditional strengths of the school -- human rights and criminal law. More information about Sarah and Dan.
Superficially, these both may seem to be free states in light of the justices for whom they clerked, but while an interest in human rights and non-commercial international law seems to be peculiar to liberals, criminal law and procedure (which I frankly hadn't realized as a "traditional strength" of Columbia, given the petition that went around when I matriculated) can be places to affirm that Criminals Bad, Authority Good. Alas, Richman seems stubbornly protective of the criminals, at least when the police are as well; among the other accomplishments on his resume, he co-authored a brief on behalf of former or present law enforcement officials to maintain the Miranda warning as standard police procedure.

January 9, 2007 05:12 PM | TrackBack
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