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Tuesday, August 30, 2005 

Oh, That Darn Rotunda

The wonderful people at Think Progress go after Ronald Rotunda for his defense of Judge Roberts.

If you haven't been keeping up, the tempest in a teapot concerning Roberts this week has to do with the Hamdan Gitmo detentions case. The anti-Roberts folks are saying that since he was asked to be interviewed by the White House, he should've recused himself from the case. Ronald Rotunda comes to Roberts' defense, then he's accused of being cozy with the White House via government positions.

I'm going to respond, but first I need to take this legal ethics casebook written by Rotunda off of my lap. I should also pick up this hornbook on Constitutional law written by Rotunda that is on the floor. Really, I should get these back on the Rotunda shelf of my bookcase before I respond to any criticism of him.

I think it's pretty safe to say that you can trust Rotunda's word on ethical issues. He's pretty good at it. He may not be respected by the Think Progress crowd, but by looking at the comments attached to this post, they're off in their own world. I guess it would be asking a lot of them to find out who Ronald Rotunda actually is instead of checking where he worked. Sure, conflicts of interest can arise with jobs and the desire to please a current/future/potential employer. But I have a hard time accepting that Rotunda would put his scholarly credibility on the line to score a few points with the White House. I think someone on Volokh said a while ago that Rotunda was one of their dark horse candidates for the Supreme Court. Any position he does get will be based on his credentials and work, not kissing up in such a minor way like this.

Comment 7 is my favorite. As a person currently taking both tax and ethics, I can tell you for certain that this person is entirely full of crap. Law students are horse whipped into being ethical people. The state bar takes ethics issues very seriously and demands a lot from us. But this cranky TP reader seems to have an axe to grind with tax lawyers and legal ethicists. Poor guy. He should find a dog to pet. That always cheers me up.

I have a cancelled class tomorrow (in the middle of the day of course) so I might get some major blogging done instead of this piddly crap of late. I plan on tackling the Cass Sunstein piece in the WAPO. I love Sunstein's work on environmental policy and risk analysis, but this... this is not good. In fact, it is quite bad. But that's for tomorrow.

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  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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