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Bench Memos

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The Law Prof Letter



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As Jonathan mentions, 160 law professors have signed–and surrounded with press and publicity–a letter in opposition to John Roberts. (Here is the letter.) Its author is, apparently, Erwin Chemerinsky, a reliably partisan professor of constitutional law at Duke.

Jon is too nice to say it, but I will: The letter is quite unimpressive. It is utterly partisan, and badly distorts and misreads nearly every source or item to which it refers. That newspapers are reporting the story as “160 law professors sign letter opposing Roberts,” without noting that many of those signing the letter have no expertise at all in constitutional law, and that a congregation of 160 professors is, as Jon notes, surprisingly small, reflects badly on the coverage. The real story here is that 160 law professors–very few of whom are experts in the matters discussed in the letter–have signed their names to what purports to be a statement by disinterested scholars but is really a cut-and-paste job of the People for the American Way’s talking points.



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