Silence on torture
Brian Leiter has a post about protests against Professor John Yoo at Boalt, who wrote the infamous memo making the case that the U.S. could torture detainees. A student at Boalt whose Con Law class was interrupted by the protest wrote in. The most relevant quote from the email that Leiter posted is here:
I'm certain most of my classmates are very respectful of his right to teach here, while disagreeing with his politics. Similarly, those of us in the class were pissed off as hell that our time was taken from us.On the other hand, here's one of the students who was involved in the protest (from the story that Leiter links to):
There's a lot of concern about the disruption of studies, but my own studies are being disrupted when I can't sleep because I dream about what the world is like.Now, that's a little over-dramatic, but I like his style. Particularly for law students, it doesn't seem there's a lot of choice over who your professors are. If you're in section X, and section X is assigned to have Prof. Yoo for ConLaw, then you've got him. It doesn't matter how disgusting or distasteful you find what he did, you have to take his class if you want to graduate. Imagine being told that the author of a memo that discussed ways to get around civil rights law and keep Black people from voting was going to be your professor and you've got the situation these students are in. But they're not reacting! They care that their studies are interrupted, but they don't care that the man in front of the room, teaching them about the Constitution, didn't have strong enough morals to refuse to write such a memo. The lax attitudes of the students in Yoo's class is a strong point in favor of the National Lawyers' Guild's argument that law school creates an environment that promotes conservatism and keeps dissent to a minimum. Remember, this is Berkeley! Shouldn't there be a little more outrage? A little more concern for something other than the big-money job at Morrison & Foerster after graduation?
Beaneball by Jason Wojciechowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.