A Scholar is a Bus

This is a phrase attributed to Alexander Bickel, the noted constitutional scholar.  What he meant was that scholars should do their research without concern about its partisan implications. The bus goes on its route no matter who might be riding, where they get on, where they get off. The same is true for researchers and those who use their research.

Years ago I posted here about the fact that I believed the federal anti-nepotism statute may well be unconstitutional as applied to at least some presidential appointments. This reading now helps the President-elect, as he wants to name his son-in-law to the White House staff. Now I can’t stand the President-elect–he’s like Yosemite Sam come to life.  But is my view of the anti-nepotism law any different because of that?  No, as I’ve been telling journalists who call me.

To be fair, it’s easier to follow (or stick to) the logical consequences of previously published work. Remaining detached when engaging with a new issue where you know what the immediate political impact will be is much harder. But we try.


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