Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Zywicki Explains

Todd Zywicki (George Mason) has offered a "clarification" of his views, referencing this post of mine from a couple of weeks ago, which read in its entirety as follows:

A Right-Wing Takeover of Dartmouth...Led by Conservative Law Profs???

In any case, one of the popular liberal blogs thinks it's happening, naming George Mason's Todd Zywicki (who has even gotten himself denounced by the Dartmouth Alumni Association!) and Virginia's Stephen Smith as among the culprits.  (Judging from this, it seems as if Professor Smith may be intent on joining the hall of shame of ignorant law professors bashing biology.  Sigh.  Perhaps, as the author suggests, he has abandoned these views in the interim.)   Whether it's true or not, even this publicity is likely to affect student and faculty recruitment.

I'm not sure I quite follow what all the huffing and puffing is about in the "clarification", but I offer the link for readers who want to get Professor Zywicki's account.  Professor Zywicki says:  "Brian Leiter credulously relied on the Daily Kos post--seriously--in a related post of his to comment on my colleague Stephen Smith and me (Brian, amusingly, appears to be embarrassed in doing so, referring to Daily Kos as 'one of the popular liberal blogs' rather than by name)."   The parenthetical is itself amusing!  I am no more "embarrassed" by referencing the Daily Kos blog (which is exactly as I described it, namely, "one of the more popular liberal blogs") than I am by referencing the Volokh Conspiracy, which one might call one of the more popular conservative blogs.   Both strike me as about equally reliable, Daily Kos more so when it comes to questions of social and economic policy, the Volokh blog with respect to legal matters, but this is, frankly, based on rather limited exposure to them both.  Unlike the Volokh blog, however, which is known to a great many law professors, I have no reason to think most law professors have ever heard of Daily Kos or know its politics (maybe I'm wrong).

Here, by the way, is the essay by Stephen Smith (Virginia), which I fear I understand rather too well, but, again, readers can decide for themselves. 

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2008/05/zywicki-explain.html

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