May 26, 2022 | Austin, Texas |

Governor Greg Abbott today offered the state of Texas an innovative solution to the state’s electricity and gun problems.  In a joint effort with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Elon Musk, and the National Rifle Association (NRA), Governor Abbot has offered to turn off all the lights in every school throughout the state of Texas. 

“This innovative program assures that our state’s children are safe.  Mass shooters will think that nobody’s home in our schools,” the Governor said today.  “We must come together in support of our state’s children, as well as our state’s energy needs and love of guns

The Governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, and Attorney General Ken Paxton.  Lt. Governor Patrick added “this is tremendously innovative, as it means we will no longer have to arm teachers to protect children, except, perhaps, with flashlights.  It is superior to my plan that would have required metal detectors, bunkers, minefields, and other infrastructure investments.  With this plan, the solution is as easy as flicking a switch.”

ERCOT Spokesperson Noah Voltage echoed these statements.  “With unseasonably hot weather driving record demand across Texas, ERCOT is excited about killing all electricity to our state’s schools.  Sadly, this means no air conditioning. On the bright side, that just puts our state’s children in no worse shape that our state’s prisoners.”  Voltage added, “it really takes the pressure off of us to determine whether or not a generation plant is out for a legitimate reason.”

NRA Spokesperson Noah Grunman applauded the solution.  “This plan assures the safety of Texas children, and more importantly, the constant flow of weapons into the state.  Governor Abbott has worked very hard to catch up to California in terms of gun sales.  These measures assure his efforts are not senselessly killed by deranged policies with a singular psychotic focus.”

Governor Abbott proclaimed that the savings from the electricity costs to the schools would be used to help teachers procure flashlights.  “No child will be left unenlightened,” said Abbott.  “It’s important that teachers and students are armed with flashlights.  I’m envisioning a 1,000 points of light.”

Abbott further announced that Elon Musk had agreed to form a new company, MAGA Lite, to produce the needed flashlights.  “These flashlights will prove as reliable as the Tesla automobile,” Musk said.  He cautioned the company would have to clear Federal government trademark hurdles that endanger children.

When pressed whether this plan would cause parents to home-school their children, Governor Abbott cautioned against skepticism.  “The home is more dangerous than the schools will be.  First off, most of the time, those homes will have electricity, which could signal to mass shooters.  Studies have shown that 100% of mass shooting occur in places with electricity.”

When asked whether the supply of current flashlights would be limited due to large scale shortages arising from truck traffic jams at the border that have cost the state billions, the Governor suggested that the cause of the shortage was actually that many of the flashlights were being stolen from Texas by people illegally crossing the border.  “They sneak across the border, steal the flashlights, deliver them to Mexico, and sneak back across with sufficient lighting.”

The Governor also strongly encouraged Texas parents to teach their children flashlight safety.  “Make sure your kids know what to do if their flashlights go out,” he cautioned.  “School districts will also be directed to conduct inactive flashlight drills.”   

“This is an innovative plan,” Governor Abbot concluded, “Things could be a lot worse.”

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lawprofblawg mourns release of new Adele album

Twitter – Lawprofblawg suffered great sorrow and mourning upon hearing of the future release of the new Adele album.

Lawprofblawg has not suffered such sorrow since the release of “21” on November 20, 2015. 

During that time, Lawprofblawg said “hello” to pain and sorrow, in which he rolled in quite deep.  Rumour has it there was no hiding his heart from this sorrow.  “It seems like a million years ago since that time,” Lawprofblawg said, concealing the tears in his eyes.  “All I ask is that we have a lot more notice when Adele drops new albums.  That would be a good remedy.”

Adele’s new album, presumably titled “30something,” will also likely cause grief and sorrow to LPB when it is released on November 12, 2021. 

Please be patient with LPB as he explains that you can’t set fire to rain or chase pavements (which are stationary).  Please respect his privacy and pain during this difficult time. He will console himself with this muse.

About Lawprofblawg:

LawProfBlawg is an anonymous professor at a top 100 law school. You can see more of his musings on Above the LawHe is way funnier on social media, he claims. Please follow him on Twitter (@lawprofblawg). Email him at lawprofblawg@gmail.com.

Press Contact:

LawProfblawg (Lawprofblawg@gmail.com)

  1. Pineapple is too acidic.  You already have tomatoes for that.  Jeez.
  2. You are one step away from just pouring orange juice on the pizza.
  3. You are making the pizza soggy.  If you like soggy pizza, just put it in water.
  4. It is a gateway drug to weirder stuff on pizza like orange slices.
  5. It’s from Canada, but people claim it is Hawaiian.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like eating a double cultural misappropriation.
  6. Pepperoni frequently is the #1 Canadian topping on pizza, so even Canadians disavow it.
  7. Justin Bieber likes pineapple pizza.  And we know about his fever.
  8. Gordon Ramsay does not put pineapple on Pizza.
  9. Paris Hilton does.  She also thinks saying “that’s hot” is cool. 
  10. It might violate international law
  11. Pineapple is 87% water.  Why don’t you just put water on your pizza with some sugar?
  12. Would you wrap a piece of cheese around a pineapple?  No?  Enough said.
  13. Why not just put a corn husk on the pizza?  It has the same texture as pineapple.
  14. The creator of the Hawaiian pizza was Greek.  It is unfair to call it Italian pizza when it is Greek flatbread.
  15. Go ahead and reheat that piece of Hawaiian pizza the next day.  Go ahead.  Yeah.  That’s right.  Sucks, doesn’t it?
  16. Charlie Cox is opposed to pineapples on pizza.  The Daredevil is right.
  17.  If you want something with pineapple, get yourself some tacos al pastor.  That stuff is the bomb.
  18. You are messing with a good tradition.  Sainted members of Italian families will scream from beyond the grave.  You don’t need that kind of curse on your back.
  19. Some people say that people who like pineapple on pizza are 100 times more likely to add sugar to their pasta sauces and make that sauce in an Instant Pot. 
  20. The founder of Hawaiian pizza admitted to unauthorized pizza experiments.  So he’s like the scientists in Jurassic Park.  We know where that leads.  Worse and worse sequels.
  21. If you’re doing it to be “healthy,” just put 3,000 pounds of arugula on the pizza like those annoying California restaurants do.  At least we can scrape that off and make a salad.
  22. If you think pineapple is so good on pizza, why not add it to your spaghetti too?
  23. It’s not pizza. Pineapple can never touch a true pizza. It’s just pineapple flatbread. That doesn’t sound appetizing.
Harvard University Logo

Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty 

College of Law

Harvard Law School

THE HARVARD LAW SCHOOL invites applications for the position of Alan Dershowitz Chair in Public Outreach. Position will commence August 2022. The Law School welcomes applications from scholars in all subject areas of the law.  However, knowledge of the law is not required.

Strong applicants must be willing to seek media attention, and take positions that may seem outlandish or wild to skilled observers in the legal community. In fact, we fully expect the ideal candidate to trade on any scholarly reputation they might have in enhancing their notoriety as media attention is constantly thrust at them. The more outlandish the theories, the better. We need people talking about our faculty, too. And we don’t offer dinner parties.

There is no expectation that the Chair will publish. The only requirement for the position is that the Chair say outlandish things. However, outlandish op-eds, blog posts, and tweets are highly recommended.

Harvard Law School offers a distinguished and collegial law school community in the setting of a premier research university, affording opportunities for cutting-edge legal scholarship and innovative interdisciplinary work. As Chair, you won’t be doing that. Keep your eye on the media as if you were running for office.

This is a nine-month, 100% time tenured or tenure track position.  As a member of the HLS faculty, you would teach students who will wonder after seeing you on the news if they know any law at all. However, your colleagues will support you by disavowing your ludicrous theories on social media. We also strongly hope you will encourage particularly skilled students to write books and run for office while also saying outlandish things. The market is highly competitive.

Applicants must have a J.D. or Ph.D. or their equivalent, a strong academic record, and a record of scholarly distinction that can be traded for media attention. This position is a full-time, nine-month, tenured position. Salary is commensurate with scholarly reputation and the willingness of the candidate to exchange that for media attention.

Harvard Law School is an equal opportunity employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. We are particularly keen on intellectual diversity, and will give preference to candidates espousing common-good originalism.

For more information on this satirical position, contact Lawprofblawg@gmail.com.

Update: Stanford Federalist Society: This is parody. And you’re not even in it. Calm down.

Let me catch you up, in case you’re wondering.

Professors Kennedy and Volokh wrote an article advocating for use of racial slurs in the classroom.

I wrote a blog post on Above the Law commenting on the article.

They responded on Professor Volokh’s blog.

I’m responding to that here.

Ordinarily when someone raises concerns related to an article I’ve authored, I usually either admit their criticisms are correct or refute them.  In some instances, if I’m lucky perhaps I explain why it is a fuzzy grey area and we all need to think more about it.  That’s how learning happens.

Professors Kennedy and Volokh (“the Authors”) do not address any of my arguments in their response to my blog post.  None.  They ignored the literature to which I referred, dismissed the harms which I asked them to examine more carefully, and forget the whole point of education is to create a network of learning that can be injured substantially when a professor utters a racial slur.

Apart from reiterating that which I already stated, let me expand on some points from my original blog post.  For purposes of the discussion, I will continue to use the “Atomic Bomb” as a proxy for the word that Professor Volokh so desperately wishes to say in class (and has).

  1.  Students will never know the intent behind a professor’s use of a racial slur.

Professors Kennedy and Volokh believe that professors using the “Atomic Bomb,” if for noble “use-mention” reasons, serves the same purpose of “historical accuracy” that is accomplished when the word is uttered in Court.  

It does not.  A blog post is not a classroom.  A judge is in a courtroom.  A professor is in a classroom.  A professor uttering the “Atomic Bomb” in class causes different effects than seeing the words in print or hearing it in court.  Their argument paints with a broad brush that borders on spray painting with a fire hose. 

So, let’s focus on one source: A law professor quoting text in the classroom.  Professors Kennedy and Volokh would have the students, upon hearing a white law professor utter the “Atomic Bomb” in the classroom, take it on faith that the reason for the utterance is pure.  In other words, in every other context the student hears it from a white person they know it is racist, but their belief must be suspended in the name of “historical accuracy.”  That’s not how teaching works.  In the classroom, a student is not going to draw that line.  Nor should they have to.

I mentioned that the use-value distinction disappears in context if you view it from the perspective of the audience.  A racist professor can find many cases where the “Atomic Bomb” is mentioned in texts, and can plan a whole curriculum around it.  Merely because the professor “mentions” the word doesn’t make the intent any less racist.  The student’s focus is not on what the professor purports to be teaching.  I referenced literature that goes to this point that Professor Kennedy and Volokh diligently ignore.

2. The Authors’ claimed benefits to uttering the “Atomic Bomb” rest on faulty assumptions.

The authors assert the benefits of uttering the “Atomic Bomb” are “historical accuracy” and students being able to deal with racial slurs in the practice of law.  The authors provide no evidence of such benefits.  

The basis of the benefit of historical accuracy is that courts have mentioned the word.  Their article points to 9,500 Westlaw-accessible “cases, trial court orders, and administrative decisions” that use the atomic bomb.  This hardly suffices.  Why did courts use the word in these cases?  Did they in other cases?  Is the use Judge specific?  How many cases use a less offensive substitute?  How does the data break down by types of cases?  Is it skewed toward employment discrimination and criminal law?  How many cases total in the database?  Is 9,500 less than 1% of all cases, trial court orders, and administrative decisions or 50%? 

Without more, even this less-than-convincing data reduces to nothing more than “they said it, why can’t I?”  It does not state the benefits except to say there must be some because it’s there in Westlaw. 

Going beyond that, law professors sacrifice complete accuracy frequently: We use edited cases.  In some instances, the cases we use are not aligned with the facts as historians have seen them. This is how legal archaeology got its start, no?  The complexity of those facts is lost.  That means accuracy is lost.  We do this for other benefits, such as covering more material.  So, I am left to wonder why some sacrifice of accuracy is acceptable and this one isn’t.  That must be some powerful benefit contemplated in the word’s mention.

But if there is such a powerful benefit, you wouldn’t be able to tell from Professors Kennedy and Volokh’s article.  Instead, the authors mention accuracy six times.  In each instance, there is no value asserted in using the “Atomic Bomb” accurately apart from it being accurate.  It is curious to me that out of all the historical accuracy lost in law school, this is the one that appears important to the authors. 

So, the benefit must rest on the goal of toughening up our students.  But, students weren’t living in a bubble before they showed up to class.  The authors appear to believe that students don’t already face those racial slurs on a daily basis.  Students have heard them.  They have read them before.  Do Kennedy and Volokh think they are the first ones introducing the students to racial slurs?  They aren’t.  Their students deal with those slurs all the time. 

But still, Professors Kennedy and Volokh diligently continue: 

“One day, a client may call a newly minted lawyer and say, “I need your help; my son is black, and kids at school keep calling him [Atomic bomb redacted] but the school isn’t doing anything about it.” The lawyer’s reaction shouldn’t be, “How dare you say such a word in my hearing?,” or even a silent “I’m so upset at my client.”

I imagine in Kennedy and Volokh’s mind, the first thing that the newly minted lawyer would think is “AHHH!  I must remember my training from when Professor Volokh quoted the “Atomic Bomb” for historical accuracy!  I must not get upset!”  Yeah, that’s not what is going to happen. 

Also, I had no idea that Professors Kennedy and Volokh had clinical courses!  Kidding.  If they did teach clinical courses, they might have uncovered literature across a variety of disciplines that address this very issue.   There’s even literature out there in multiple disciplines on what to do if your client is a racist. 

Their reply does no better at fixing this issue.   The Authors’ reply states:  “Now we are of course aware that some people, of all racial groups, do argue for such an exception. Again, as best we can tell, they are completely comfortable with the use-mention dichotomy in most situations (even if they don’t expressly think of it using the label “the use-mention dichotomy”).  This is no better an assertion than an economist observing a me bashing my head against the wall after reading the article and suggesting, as near as the economist can tell, I’m engaged in a rational action.

In short, the Authors struggle to articulate any benefit.

3. The Authors continue to ignore the costs of uttering the “Atomic Bomb” in the classroom.  

Even if there were benefits, economists usually consider net benefits and compare to alternatives.  The Authors dismiss any alternatives out of hand.  Wishing that a law professor uttering “Atomic Bomb” has pedagogical value does not make it so.  Wishing that students won’t be rightfully offended does not make it so.  Wishing that it will not injure the professor’s future ability to teach does not make it so.  Wishing that something is lost in translation when a professor refuses to utter the “Atomic Bomb” and chooses a less offensive path does not make it so.  Literature that recognizes the issue cannot be ignored and assumed away. 

Nor can the costs.  I stated in my original blog post that there is a literature about the costs of using racial slurs in the classroom.  Having not responded to it in the first place, I’ll just repeat it here: “Had they looked at the education literature, they might have encountered the discussions there of hate speech. Racism in schools, online or not, have the effect of lowering student learning outcomes, self-esteem, and happiness.  The authors suggest that would not be so when a student gets to come to class every day and wonder what racial slur the professor will use today. How about the literature that suggests the increasing polarization of topics such as racism? How about the literature on race-related stressors in college students?”

4. The Authors feel everyone should be entitled to utter the “Atomic Bomb.”

I think the primary reason that Professors Kennedy and Volokh ignore costs is that they start with the presumption that everyone has equal ownership of the “Atomic Bomb.”  In other words, everyone should be able to mention it, so long as the intent isn’t to be offensive (that’s a big “if”, by the way).

To the Authors, it’s unfair if some people get to say it and others don’t.  “We think there should be no such exception, regardless of the speaker’s color.”  To accomplish this, the authors embark on a series of false equivalencies.  As an example, our stalwart authors discuss an Asian American band that calls itself “The Slants.” This is a replay of the trick they tried in the article, which I refuted in my blog post.  What a group calls itself is not the point.  The issue in question is whether someone outside a group can utter an offensive word that belongs to the group.

So, the “Atomic Bomb” being uttered by a white law professor in a classroom is NOT the same as a Band naming itself.  The Authors’ entitlement drives their argument.  They take pedagogical value on faith, while completely ignoring the costs of uttering the “Atomic Bomb” in class.  And, as Professor Ta-Nehisi Coates points out, not all words belong to everyone. 

5.  The Authors ignore that a word has meaning and context beyond that given by the utterer, even when quoting the word.

Professors Kennedy and Volokh next argue in their reply with another example of use-mention, only this time with Buck v. Bell.  Using Holmes’ famous quote about “three generations,” they argue there is a distinction between quoting Holmes and a professor insulting a student.  That may be true.  But even ignoring the “mixed motive” case I describe above, the word may have meaning beyond that which the professor contemplates. 

For example, what does the “Atomic Bomb” mean when uttered by a white person?  To some, it might mean they get to say the word.  But to others, it signals violence.  It means intrusion.  It is the exclusion of some from rights others have.  It signals quite frequently a threat.  It is contextualized in eugenics.  By uttering those words in the classroom, the context has changed, even from where the word is quoted.   After uttering the “Atomic Bomb,” the Professor is a completely different person now.  So is the classroom.

6. The Authors are advocating for broader usage not pedagogically driven.

Then Professors Kennedy and Volokh double down.  Read this carefully: 

“Our article takes the view that this basic principle (mentions fine, uses as insults bad) has no peculiar exception for (1) professors and perhaps students (2) in the classroom and perhaps law school hallways quoting sources containing (3) the words … just as it has no exception for ATL columnists, judges, lawyers, or witnesses, or for law professors writing law review articles.”  (emphasis mine).

Their very own thesis undermines their argument for a use-mention distinction.  As you might recall, they argued the fundamental point was to assure the value of “historical accuracy.”  But that is not where the thrust of the reply lies.  The reply suggests the goal is to get everyone to be okay with racial slurs. In other words, the goal is desensitizing students to the racial slurs. Is that use or mention?

The Authors basic argument is the more that law professors use the words, the less offensive they will be.  Don’t believe me?  The authors state: “As we argued in the article, we think that feelings of hurt aren’t unchangeable givens, untouched and untouchable by the ways in which their expression is received. Such feelings are, at least in part, affected by the responses of observers.”   That is followed by this gem in the second to last paragraph:

“The more that law schools validate the idea that it’s justifiable to feel hurt simply because one hears words quoted from a case, the more the feeling will be embraced, and the more there will be demands to avoid such words. On the other hand, if we tell students that they ought not feel hurt when a term is being mentioned when accurately describing a case—just as respected judges routinely mention it in their opinions for the sake of accuracy, and just as ATL columns do the same—then we can better help them deal with these and other difficult facts calmly, the way one expects effective lawyers to do.” (emphasis mine)

To sum that up: What they are saying is, “More slurs, less hurt.”  But by ignoring the literature AND history, the authors have the relationship and direction wrong.  Again, the education literature discusses the psychological effect of those slurs on learning.  And as use of the word expands so does the harm.   For people keen on historical accuracy the authors get forgetful about how the “Atomic Bomb” became taboo in the first place.  The word is clothed in violence when it is uttered by a white person.  Or are they suggesting that the 1950s was more enlightened because the “Atomic Bomb” was mentioned so frequently?

7. The Authors sure spend a lot of time talking about Above the Law.

Instead of addressing these concerns, the authors shoot some misplaced ‘analysis” on Above the Law.  For example, Kennedy and Volokh discuss the fact that a 2019 Above the Law blog post used the “Atomic Bomb.”  They drive this home several times by referencing “ATL Columnists” in lists or as examples. 

Let me clear up some questions about my relationship with Above the Law.  Professors, the blog post that used the “Atomic Bomb” wasn’t my blog post.  I have no control over what Above the Law publishes or does not publish.  I don’t agree with everything that is published on Above the Law.  It’s weak tea to assert that someone published in the same source as you compels you to adopt their viewpoint.  This is a fact that many Capital University Law Review authors, former editors, and staff are likely emphatically reiterating right now.

I also want to call out what I perceive as disdain in the title of their post, “Responding to Anonymous ATL Columnist.”  I took this to be an attempt at a slight, but it did not land.  I am proud of my contributions to Above the Law, even the ones with typos and single-spacing. 

I hope I am wrong.  I hope it was just an ill-advised “use-mention” issue.  If not, this is a great teachable moment.  Even factual assertions can land wrong, as people such as Professor Kennedy and Part-Time Blog Manager and Blogger Volokh might be aware.  My apologies if that sentence seemed insulting.  It was necessary for teaching and historical accuracy.  Context matters.

8.  What the f**k am I even doing?

I have been defending the apparently novel proposition that law professors should not say the “Atomic Bomb” in class.  The bottom line: Professor Kennedy and Volokh’s article offer no discernable additional benefits to uttering it, no matter how much Professors Kennedy and Volokh assert it.  They offer no asserted differences between the value conveyed by uttering the “Atomic Bomb” and a less offensive alternative.  And they ignore the costs of uttering the “Atomic Bomb” to the student, the faculty member uttering it, and to the learning process.

Professor Kennedy and Volokh’s original article: Click here

My original blog post commenting on the article: Click here

Professor Kennedy and Volokh’s response to my blog post: Click here

  1. A retweet is not an endorsement.
  2. A like is not an endorsement.
  3. An endorsement may not be an endorsement for the reasons you think.
  4. If I follow an account, it does not mean I endorse or read that account’s posts. I follow over 18,000 people, and I just don’t have that kind of time.
  5. When I tweet, it is usually only with the purest of heart and intent. But I’m human. If you have concerns or issues, please DM me. I will do my best to listen and be respectful. If you choose a more confrontational approach, I’ll assume that you just want to be made famous and will be far less likely to hear your concerns. Please be direct but not hostile, as I won’t be able to hear you in that tone.
  6. My tweets typically fall into the following categories:
    • Puns
    • Tweets about my opposition to certain food items like pineapple on pizza or Instant Pots. These are just my preferences and I am not trying to impose my will on others.
    • Tweets concerning two spaces after the period at the end of a sentence. These are rebellious tweets against my imperialist single-spacing overlords. We will be victorious.
    • Tweets of an analytical and intellectual nature. Yeah, I still got game.
    • Satire (“Snark”) usually applied to point out inconsistencies or faulty logic.
    • I reserve the right, as with everyone else, to sometimes tweet other things or be snarky. I’ll do my best to minimize that.
  7. It is possible I engage with followers you do not like and that I do not like. That’s okay. I learn from people I don’t get along with. However, if we’ve had an unpleasant interaction, I might mute you. Life is too short. And I’m done walking on eggshells. Repeated unpleasantness will lead to me blocking you.
  8. None of my tweets should be construed as complaints about my current employer, unless I expressly state it.
  9. I know it seems like it, but I’m not always on Twitter. Also, I do work. A lot.
  10. If you would like me to amplify your scholarship, DM me. I read it first, though.
  11. None of my tweets should be considered to be legal advice. Also, none of my tweets should be considered to be illegal advice. This is the “you’re not my client and I’m not your Consigliere” provision.
  12. You must remember this: A kiss is not still a kiss. Ask Fredo.
  13. But a sigh is just a sigh.
  14. The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.

It’s called “should I stay or should I go.”  (words modified)

Hey, Dean, you got to let me know
Should I teach online or no?
If you say furlough will be mine
I’ll go teach live and fall in line
So you got to let me know
Should I teach online or no?

Info, you tease, tease, tease
For info I’m begging on my knees
One day Covid is fine; next it’s back
So if you want me off your back
Dean, come on and let me know
Should I teach online or no?

Should I teach online or no now?
Should I teach online or no now?
If I teach online, there will be trouble
And if I don’t it will be double
So come on and let me know

Your indecision’s bugging me (tu indecisión me molesta)
If I don’t want live, set the class free (Si no quiero en vivo, libera la clase)
Exactly what I’m supposed to do (dígame que tengo hacer)
Don’t you know which pedagogy even fits me? (¿sabes que pedagogía me quedra?)
Come on and let me know (me tienes que decir)
Should I zoom it or is that a no? (¿Debería “zoomiar” o no?)

Should I teach online or no, now? (¿Debo enseñar en línea o no?)
Should I teach online or no, now? (¿Debo enseñar en línea o no?)
If I teach online there will be trouble (Si enseño en línea habrá peligro)
And if I don’t it will be double (Y si no lo hago será doble)
Dean, ya gotta let me know (me tienes que decir)
Should I zoom it or my safety blow? (¿Debería “zoomiar” o ponerme en riesgo?)

Should I zoom it or my safety blow now? (¿Debería “zoomiar” o ponerme en riesgo?)
If I zoom there will be trouble (si uso Zoom habrá problemas)
And if I don’t it will be double (Y si no lo hago será doble)
Dean, ya gotta let me know me (Decana tienes que decir)
Should I zoom it or should I go?

*With apologies to Dr. Seuss

 

the sun did so shine!

But it was too COVID to play.

so we sat in the house

all that cold, cold, wet day.

 

i sat there with my dog.

we sat there, we two.

and i said, ‘how i wish

we had something to do!’

 

too COVID to go out

and too COVID to play ball.

so we sat in the house.

we did nothing at all.

 

so all we could do was to

sit!

sit!

sit!

sit!

and we did not like it.

not one little bit.

 

and then something on Twitter went BUMP!

how that bump made us jump!

we looked!

then we saw him tweet like a bat!

we looked!

and we saw him!

the lawprof with an originalism blog post—just like that!

and he said to us,

‘why do you sit there like that?’

‘i know it is COVID

and the sun is so sunny.

but we can have

lots of good conlaw fun that is funny!’

 

‘i know some good games we could play,’

said the lawprof.

‘i know some new tricks,’

said the lawprof just like hat.

‘a lot of good tricks.

i will show them to you.

your boredom will not mind at all if i do.’

 

then my dog and i

did not know what to say.

our boredom was out of the world

for at least 100 days.

 

but an ACS prof said, ‘no! no!

make that prof go away!

tell that prof just like that

you do NOT want to play.

he should not be here.

he should not be about.

he should not be here

blogging all that totalitarian spout!’

 

‘now! now! have no fear.

have no fear!’ said the prof with a spat.

‘my theories are not bad,’

said the prof just like that.

‘why, we can have

lots of good fun, if you wish,

with a game that i call

follow the leader’s morality wish!’

 

‘put the constitution down!’ said the ACS prof.

‘this is no fun at all!

put it down!’ said the said the ACS prof.

‘i do NOT wish democracy to fall!’

‘have no fear!’ said the prof.

‘i will not let it fall.

Our great leader will hold it up high

Using his morality and all.

with the constitution on one hand!

and his morality in his hat!

but that is not ALL he can do!

said the prof just like that…

 

‘look at him!

look at him now!’ said the prof.

‘with morality and a dream

we don’t need the originalism scoff!

The leader can hold up TWO books!

My book and the constitution!

and a little morality!

It’s quite the revolution!

 

but that is not all!

oh, no.

that is not all…

 

‘look at him!

look at him!

look at him NOW!

it is fun to have executive power

but you have to know how.

i can hold up the constitution

with glorious leader’s morality and make

A perfect society

Without civil liberties take!

i can hold the constitution!

and empower a weak little man!

and look! with my tale

i will get an orange-haired fan!

i get more fans with the fan

as i dunk on the originalism wall!

but that is not all.

oh, no.

that is not all…’

 

that is what the prof said…

then he fell on his head!

he came down with a bump

from up there on the wall.

and the dog and i,

we saw ALL the things fall!

 

and the prof came down, too.

he blogged like he was on pot!

“Equality and freedom” he cried

was replaced with “Common good” on the spot!”

 

“The AAG did it I’m quite sure of that

No Dworkinian arguments were made!”

Said the prof, just like that.

I said, ‘do i like this?

oh, no! i do not.

this is not a good game,’

said pretty much everyone as he lit.

‘no, we do not like it,

not one little bit!’

 

‘now look what you did!’

said FedSoc to the prof just like that

‘now look at our house!

look at this! look at that!

you sank our constitutional ship,

sank it deep in the lake.

you shook up our planned judicial branch

and you bent our theory, for heaven’s sake.

you SHOULD NOT be here

even when COVID is not.

you get out of this house!’

said the Fedsoc to the prof.

 

 

The dominant editorial choice for documents has served its purpose, and we ought to develop a more moral framework of triple spacing.

By Lawprofblawg.  The following is satire, based on Adrian Vermeule’s Beyond Originalism piece in The Atlantic.

In recent years, allegiance to the theory known as single spacing has become all but mandatory for American legal writers. Every justice and almost every judge nominated by recent administrations has pledged adherence this misplaced faith. At the Federalist Society, the influential association of legal conservatives, speakers talk and think of how to eliminate spaces altogether. Even some luminaries of the left-liberal legal academy have moved away from speaking about “two spaces,” “oxford commas,” and “standards of grammatical decency,” and have instead justified their views in terms of not having a typewriter.  One often hears the catchphrase “We are all single-spacers now.”

Single-spacing justifications come in several varieties, but their common core is the view that single spacing was fixed at the time of adjustable fonts. This approach served legal writers well in the hostile environment in which law reviews set page caps and tweeted on Twitter, and for some time afterward.

But single spacing has now outlived its utility, and has become an obstacle to the development of a robust, substantively readable approach to law and literature. Such an approach—one might call it “common-good triple spacing”—should be based on the principles that triple spacing helps direct persons, associations, and society generally toward the common good, and that strong rule in the interest of attaining the common good is entirely legitimate. In this time of global pandemic, the need for such an approach is all the greater, as it has become clear that people aren’t reading sentences so carefully, and creating misunderstanding that are testing legibility.

There are alternatives to triple spacing that have existed throughout history. But circumstances have now changed. The hostile environment that made single spacing a useful rhetorical and political expedient is now gone. Outside the legal academy, at least, legal conservatism is no longer besieged. If President Donald Trump is reelected, some version of triple spacing will become editors’ animating spirit for a generation or more.

Assured of this (due to Russian intervention), law professors ought to turn their attention to developing new and more robust alternatives to single spacing. It is now possible to imagine a substantive moral triple-spacing, not enslaved to the original double-spacing of yesteryear.

This approach should take as its starting point substantive moral principles that conduce to the common good, principles that officials (including, but by no means limited to, judges) should read into the majestic generalities and ambiguities of any writing. These principles include respect for the authority of rule and of rulers, particularly me, in making the determination that we should move to triple spacing; respect for the hierarchies needed for society to function, with me at the top; solidarity within and among families, social groups, and workers’ unions, trade associations, and professions; appropriate subsidiarity, or respect for the legitimate roles of public bodies and associations at all levels of government and society; and a candid willingness to “legislate morality”—indeed, a recognition that all legislation is necessarily founded on some substantive conception of morality, and that the promotion of morality is a core and legitimate function of authority. Such principles promote the common good and make for a just and well-ordered society. And triple spacing is right at the center of these morals.

To be sure, some have attempted to ground an idea of the common good to single spacing, taking advantage of new fonts. Yet that approach leaves editors (who are not the leaders in the previous paragraph) in ultimate control, hoping that single spacing understanding will happen to be morally appealing. I am talking about a different, more ambitious project, one that abandons the defensive crouch of single spacing and that refuses any longer to play within the terms set by single spacer fascists.

Common-good triple spacing is also not legal liberalism or libertarianism. Its main aim is certainly not to maximize individual autonomy or to minimize the abuse of power (an incoherent goal in any event), but instead to ensure that the ruler (me) has the power needed to rule well (get what I want, which is triple spacing). Consider me the philosopher king, knowing what is best for everyone, without any amoral drivers that have defined rulers throughout the centuries. Triple spacing is therefore a moral choice.

Given that it is legitimate for rulers to pursue the common good (and that ruler is me), triple spacing should elaborate subsidiary principles that make such rule efficacious. For example, there should be triple spacing after a colon, semi-colon, and an em dash. Editors must afford broad scope for rulers (me) to promote this common good (whatever I wish).

Common-good triple spacing will favor a powerful ruler (me) over a powerful editorial bureaucracy (law review editors), the latter acting through my principles of morality, no matter how arbitrary. The law reviews will be seen not as an enemy, but as the strong hand of my legitimate rule. We (me and my minions) should be entrusted with the authority to protect the populace from the vagaries and injustices of single spacers, from editors who would exploit the single spacing, and from corporate destruction of legibility. Unions, guilds and crafts, cities and localities, and other solidaristic associations will benefit from the presumptive favor of triple spacing, as will the traditional family; in virtue of subsidiarity, the aim of my absolute, unquestioned editorial rule (me again) will be not to displace these associations, but to help them be read well.

In this sense, common-good triple spacing promises to expand and fulfill, in new circumstances and with a new emphasis, my commitment to promoting the general welfare and human dignity. Overall, legibility will become easier, and editing more openly moral, less tied to tendentious law-office history and endless debates of dubious claims about events centuries in the past about font selection. Single spacing has done useful work (in Twitter only), and can now give way to a new confidence in my authoritative rule for the common good.

I rule.  That’s the point.