Thursday, September 13, 2007

Money Talks, Academic Freedom Walks

As legal eagles go, they don’t come much smarter, nicer or fairer than Erwin Chemerinsky.I know this because Chemerinsky was one of my go-to guys when I was covering the O.J. Simpson murder case and criminal trial in the mid-1990s and I needed an astute comment on deadline regarding one of the hydra-headed legal aspects of this drama.
Chemerinsky has become a favorite talking head on cable news shows because of his constitutional law expertise. His politics, somewhat left of center, are widely known.
But apparently not to Michael V. Drake, the bozo chancellor at the University of California Irvine, who hired Chemerinsky to be the inaugural dean of UC Irvine's new Donald Bren Law School. Earlier this week, Drake flew to Durham, North Carolina, where Chemerinsky teaches at Duke, to fire him because his politics would make him a target for criticism from conservatives.

This, of course, is horse hockey, as Colonel Potter would say on M*A*S*H. The real reason:
UC Irvine depends upon the deep pockets of Republican Party fat cats, who include one Donald Bren.
More here.

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