From the New York Review of Books, "The Torture Memos: The Case Against the Lawyers." Georgetown law professor David Cole discusses the Office of Legal Counsel's role in supporting torture. Cole's normative position is: "At its best, law is about seeking justice, regulating state power, respecting human dignity, and protecting the vulnerable." One might counter that torturing people indeed protects the most vulnerable - namely, innocent victims of torture. Torture is itself not a reliable means of gathering intelligence. It doesn't "work." Still, Cole's moralizing is tiresome. Not everyone who supports torture is a wannabe Richard Nixon. Most people who support torture lack an understanding of torture's limitations. They are ignorant rather than evil.
Are males who fear false rape prosecutions sexist?t? Smart guy, HLS grad, and friend-of-Mike thinks my concern that feminism has made false rape accusations too easy to prove, is sexist. Tell that to the Duke Lacrosse players. Indeed, there's something interesting I've noted: Female feminists who are also criminal defense lawyers will concede that in date-rape cases, men fair unfair judicial processes. Some paranoia arises from a rational understanding of the facts rather than sexism or male privilege.
Why do excessive force cases get resolved via summary judgment? Some guy named Mike thinks its odd that unreasonable force cases - which require a detailed factual inquiry - get resolved on summary judgment. What is really going on? Legal realists don't view the existence of qualified immunity as a difficult question.
What makes a legal rebel? Scott Greenfield discussed the American Bar Association's "Legal Rebels Project." Why do people even care if they are rebellious? As someone who is "different," let me tell you that being different doesn't make life easier. Try sitting at a dinner table where 7-of-8 people are attacking you because you lack the ability to be partisan, and thus point out Barack Obama's broken campaign promises. Or try explaining that you're not into any team sports, because, "What's it to me whether the Dodgers win? I don't know any of the players; they are just strangers to me." Please, god, give me the tribalism gene. Then I could say: "My team [which is comprised of people who'd never help me out if I couldn't pay my rent] won! Woo-hoo! I'm so excited! We won!"