John Yoo’s NYT Op-Ed Backfire

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8 Responses

  1. curious says:

    I hope this doesn’t come off as snarky, but what purpose are the photo credits here intended to serve? I see this frequently among bloggers, so this is not intended to single out Prof. Cunningham.

    Is it meant as a polite acknowledgement of the photographer? If so, giving credit to Harvard and Berkeley is unlikely to brighten the days of the respective institutional photogs. Or is this phenomenon a case of widespread magical thinking about copyright law?

  2. Vladimir says:

    Call me crazy, but I read Yoo’s op-ed as intended to insure Kagan’s confirmation. It seems to me that Yoo is saying, in effect, “she’s with the mainstream — as I’ll demonstrate by showing how far her thinking is from mine; therefore, those who think she’s Cheney-lite are just plain wrong.” To be sure, it’s couched in opposition to her views, but John is too clever to think he’s going to kill her candidacy by showing how far the gulf is between the two of them. What else could he be up to?

  3. I’m not sure what your criticism of Mr. Yoo is all about; is he misreading her article? If so, then she is probably more in line with his viewpoint and he is silly to criticize her. If he is correct, though, and his description of her views is, in fact, the never-quite-defined mainstream, then I would think you and yours should be salivating at getting her before the committee and TV cameras to so expound. Why, it practically screams for softball questions:
    “Dean/General/Kagan, can you please explain to these neanderthals on the right why, when the Constitution reads “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America”, it really means “some of the executive power shall be vested” …contrary to what that boob Justice Scalia claims”

    He obviously doesn’t agree with what he perceives her views to be on executive power so he wants her questioned. That’s all you need to take from this. He knows his viewpoint isn’t all that popular among certain legals – hell, he teaches at Berkeley – but I also think he feels that dragging these views out from the faculty lounges and into plain sight will be more beneficial to his side. I would hope you disagree and would therefore encourage her to enlighten the rest of us, confident that it would make the unitary executive proponents amongst us out to be morons.

    Hey, maybe in preparation she could re-create that same team of scholars that put together those masterful (0 for 8 ) arguments against the Solomon Amendment.

    …and how about adding to your list of useless intensifiers, the tiresome “far-right”.

  4. Lawrence Cunningham says:

    Curious: Not snarky at all. My answer would be: I wrote the post and take credit (and blame) for it, but someone else took the pictures and get credit for that. When I know the name of the photographer, I mention it.

    Vladmir: that sounds plausible.

    Maryland: I’m not sure I’m the person your comment aims at. I write for myself (I don’t know what “you and yours” means); I don’t “salivate” over anything of the sort you reference; I don’t refer to people as “Neanderthals” or to Justice Scalia as a “boob”; and I have no interest in classifying proponents of the unitary executive theory as “morons;” and I’ve expressed no view on the Solomon amendment.

    Filtering all that out, I don’t see much in your comment that my original post does not address, except that I agree with you, and with Professor Yoo, that it will be fine for the Senate hearings to discuss the law governing executive power.

  5. Anonymous says:

    While I tend to agree with your analysis of Professor Yoo’s legal arguments, I think your other two primary points – poor jokes and improper title reference – seem to be grasping at straws or attacking Professor Yoo simply to attack him.

    Though you find the jokes in poor taste (or just poorly executed, I can’t quite tell from your post) others are not as disgusted by them and even find them quotable, see Above the Law quote of the day. The naming controversy seems like a non-issue to me. I doubt it was done with any malice or forethought. You could similarly be accused of disrespecting Professor Yoo for failing to grant him the title “Professor.” The different references might be an attempt to create variety in writing – though you disagree with it, it doesn’t seem to me that standard conventions prohibit it.

  6. Managing Board says:

    That may be the Times editors’ fault, but Kagan would be more direct and Dean or General Kagan more respectful.

    Not in the Old Gray Lady! NYT style requires that every surname be preceded by an honorific, normally “Dr.,” “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” or “Ms.” She is not dean of anything today. “General” is reserved for military officers.

    So on second reference, Elena Kagan must be “Ms. Kagan.”