The Rule of Law (Professors)

I admit that I keep a relatively limited list of RSS feeds because I try to have a life. But a quick scan this morning seems to indicate that I am the first person to note the following insight: it is possible that within the next couple of years two of the most powerful leaders in the world could be [cough, gasp, ahem, cough, cough] former law professors. We know about Barack Obama’s tenure at the University of Chicago, but it has now been revealed that Dmitri Medvedev, Vladimir Putin’s hand-picked successor, is also a former law professor.

I am trying to imagine a world governed by law professors. Comments are welcome, but my first thought is that anyone with more than five or six years experience in the real world will be considered disqualified for cabinet positions.

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10 Responses

  1. anonprof says:

    But where has Medvedev published?

  2. Jeff Lipshaw says:

    He sent an article out to a peer-reviewed journal twenty years ago, and he’s still waiting to hear back.

  3. Frank says:

    I have frequently heard AALS Section Meeting heads laugh about their Politburo-like proceedings. At the annual meeting, it’s common to hear it announced that, lo and behold, there is only one candidate for next year’s position on the board. And that person is inevitably appointed by acclamation.

  4. Matt says:

    Bill Clinton, too, was a law professor a short time at U. Arkansas before becoming AG of the state.

  5. Jeff Lipshaw says:

    Obama: How should we deal with nuclear testing?

    Medvedev: 60% essay; 40% multiple choice.

  6. Jason says:

    It’s open-mic night for all the comedian law professors!

    I think the key change is that various important publications, such as the census, Economic Indicators, and environmental impact reports, will be handled by 18- and 19-year-olds majoring in appropriate fields of study (here, that’d be perhaps sociology, economics, and environmental science).

  7. former law review editor, current associate, aspiring prof in my daydreams, lifetime cynic says:

    1. Speeches will become more awkward as world leaders try to verbally “footnote” as they’re speaking

    2. Press conferences will become more interesting as world leaders use the Socratic style, answering questions with questions or phrases such as “let’s unpack that”, refusing to let reporters who “haven’t done the reading” off the hook, and generally revealing in excruciating fashion the general ignorance of the media about the topics on which they report.

    3. As a result of (2), they’ll get poor media coverage and become unpopular.

    4. Speechwriters will have to learn phrases like “disaggregating the paradox of robustness.”

    5. Countries will learn some tough lessons when its leaders approach diplomacy with other countries the way professors approach expedited review with law reviews.

    6. When a cabinet member goes down in a scandal, the President’s comments to the press that he was “widely cited” will not be well received.

    7. When one country gives another country an ultimatum/deadline to stop nuclear testing or admit inspectors, no one will think it’s a “real” deadline.

    8. Elections will change–once the leader of a country has stayed in office for 6 years, the voters will not be asked to decide whether to retain him or not–they’ll have to take their own initiative, and it’ll be difficult.

    9. Legislators will frequently try to hold “visiting” posts in the legislatures of more prestigious countries.

    10. US News will inadvertently hasten its own demise when it starts ranking countries based on a series of arbitrary and law professors, suddenly armed with the force of the state, will bomb it into oblivion.

  8. former law review editor, current associate, aspiring prof in my daydreams, lifetime cynic says:

    add the word “factors” after “arbitrary” in no. 10

  9. two more says:

    11. Suddenly given the opportunity to put their theories into practice, thousands of law professors’ heads will explode.

    12. Cass Sunstein will wield an inexplicable amount of influence on global politics.

  10. Publius Crabgrass says:

    13. United Nations meetings will be referred to as the “meat market”.