Monthly Archives: February 2005

Bush v. Facts

My brother’s column today includes a point-counterpoint between Bush’s assertion’s about the US today and the acts of his administration:

It was an amazing moment: After the introductory comments,
Andrey Kolesnikov, a correspondent for the Russian business newspaper
Kommersant, got up and said — albeit not so succinctly, and not in
English — Hey, no wonder you guys see eye to eye! You’re both
authoritarians.

This prompted Bush to launch into a possibly unprecedented defense
of himself as a democratic leader. He did it by describing his view of
the country.

And while Putin didn’t challenge what Bush said, there have been
some news reports of late that suggest that things may not be as black
and white as Bush said.

“I live in a transparent country.

Cadre
grows to rein in message; Ranks of federal public affairs officials
have swelled under Bush to help tighten control on communiques to
media, access to information
, Newsday, Feb. 24, 2005; Administration Paid Commentator; Education Dept. Used Williams to Promote ‘No Child’ Law, Washington Post, Jan. 8, 2005; Groups raise concerns about increased classification of documents, GOVEXEC.com, Oct. 27, 2004.

“I live in a country where decisions made by government are wide
open and people are able to call people to — me to account, which many
out here do on a regular basis.

High Court Backs Vice President; Energy Documents Shielded for Now, Washington Post, June 25, 2004; Mr. President, will you answer the question?, NiemanWathchdog.org, Dec. 3, 2004; Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy, Washington Post, Jan. 16, 2005 (in which Bush says: “We had an accountability moment, and that’s called the 2004 elections.”)

“Our laws and the reasons why we have laws on the books are
perfectly explained to people. Every decision we have made is within
the Constitution of the United States. We have a constitution that we
uphold.

How U.S. rewrote terror law in secrecy; White House group devised new system in aftermath of 9/11, New York Times, Oct. 24, 2004; In Cheney’s Shadow, Counsel Pushes the Conservative Cause, Washington Post, Oct. 11, 2004; Slim Legal Grounds for Torture Memos; Most Scholars Reject Broad View of Executive’s Power, Washington Post, July 4, 2004.

“And if there’s a question as to whether or not a law meets that
constitution, we have an independent court system through which that
law is reviewed.

• Recount 2000: Decision Sharpens the Justices’ Divisions; Dissenters See Harm to Voting Rights and the Court’s Own Legitimacy, Washington Post, Dec. 13, 2000; Scalia Won’t Sit Out Case On Cheney; Justice’s Memo Details Hunting Trip With VP, Washington Post, March 19, 2004.

“So I’m perfectly comfortable in telling you our country is one that
safeguards human rights and human dignity, and we resolve our disputes
in a peaceful way.”

Torture at Abu Ghraib, the New Yorker, May 10, 2004; Ground War Starts, Airstrikes Continue As U.S. Keeps Focus on Iraq’s Leaders, Washington Post, March 21, 2003.

Although Dan provides a pretty good start on a list here, it’s hardly complete. For example, I’d contrast Bush’s claim that “Our laws and the reasons why we have laws on the books are perfectly explained to people” with the reality that the administration uses secret regulations to control the right to travel. (For background see for example, Secret Rule Requiring ID for Flights at Center of Court Battle, and Gilmore v. Ashcroft.)

Posted in Dan Froomkin, Politics: US | 1 Comment

Webcast of Duke Administrative Law and Internet Conference

Duke is offering a webcast of the Duke Law Journal Thirty-Fifth Annual Administrative Law Conference panel on “The Role of the Internet in Agency Decisionmaking” available from Duke's webcast page.

Posted in Talks & Conferences | 1 Comment

Firefox Security Update

Firefox 1.01 is available for download. It a security fix, and degrades performance on internationalized domain names — that, so far, most US web users won't need — to protect against some types of misleading site names.

Posted in Software | Leave a comment

Open Access To Law Reviews Site

Prof. Dan Hunter of Wharton has started a web site, Open Access Law Reviews, “to share information, resource, ideas, and commentary about open access to law review articles.

Posted in Law: Copyright and DMCA | Leave a comment

Off to Duke

I'm off to Duke today. Tomorrow I'll be speaking at the Duke Law Journal Thirty-Fifth Annual Administrative Law Conference as part of a panel on “The Role of the Internet in Agency Decisionmaking”.

Posted in Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

The Constitution in 2020

This sounds fun.

The Yale Law School and the American Constitution Society are sponsoring a conference on The Constitution in 2020. We've invited some of the foremost progressive constitutional scholars in the United States to come to New Haven on April 8-10th and talk about the future of the Constitution and our country. This is going to be one of the most exciting conferences in recent years. You can find out the details here and here

(via Balkinization)

Alas, I have a schedule conflict and can't go. And anyway, I'm going to be in New Haven the week before, attending another contender for cool conference of the season.

Posted in Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

Costs of Length Limits on Law Journal Articles

The other day I worried out loud that the new law review orthodoxy in favor of short articles would have some bad consequences in practice, especially as regards writing by junior faculty. Here's the first piece of real-world evidence that I was right to worry:

Conglomerate: Musings on Page Limits and Tenure Standards With some painful editing, I've gotten my article on VC compensation down to a svelte 25,000 words. All I had to do was take out the stuff that appealed only to people in my field (who also happen to be the only people who will read it other than student editors …). The key turning point for me was when I realized I could take out the empirical and quasi-empirical stuff and publish it as a separate paper in a specialty journal.

This experience makes me wonder … what's going to happen to tenure standards? How many short articles equal a long article?

Here at UCLA, it used to be the case that two articles was enough for tenure. No one really believes that anymore, but at the same time no one knows what the new standard is. Two may still be enough if they're really, really long. With 50 page limits, I'd guess the new standard will be more like four articles, or even six. Plus, no one knows how to count things like symposium articles and book reviews. I suppose in this case, uncertainty is good, as it drives people to “over-comply” to make sure they clear the hurdle. But it does create some anxiety among the junior ranks.

[Note: when I originally posted this, the date and time somehow got messed up, so I later corrected it.]

Posted in Law School | 1 Comment