With all due respect to Chris Edley, whom I admire, and the University of California, to which I owe a great deal, I think Edley's position on John Yoo gets it exactly wrong — and epitomizes why people deride the "Ivory Tower" as insulated from reality.
Law schools have an obligation to do more than teach lawyers to offer legal advice without regard for the consequences of their counsel . I also think that law schools ought to model behavior for their students and think very seriously about the pedagogical impact of retaining a man on the faculty whose legal advice and scholarship produced such disastrous policy , to say nothing of the suffering of those on the receiving end of Yoo's ideas.
And I think Edley's position wrongfully absolves lawyers, and the legal academy, of responsibility for when they get things wrong — or when their counsel produces terrible outcomes. As my colleague Deborah Pearlstein points out, we wouldn't accept that result in molecular biology or medicine or many other disciplines. I don't think we should accept it in the law, either — not in practice and not in law school, either. Academic freedom should not be a dodge for personal or professional responsibility.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Inside Higher Ed
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology.
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.