In posting about my beloved alma mater, Dartmouth College, I’ve tried to keep a light touch—I may find everything about the College completely absorbing, but there’s no reason to expect other readers of this happy Corner to do so. On Friday, however, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial on the current constitutional debate in Hanover, and ever since then readers have been emailing to ask, in effect, What’s going on up there?
Today, my friend and colleague on the Dartmouth board, Todd Zywicki of George Mason Law School, has posted a marvelous essay on the matter. Todd describes the issues involved in the consitututional debate, then presents the historical background.
Proponents of the new proposed alumni constitution at Dartmouth have offered two basic arguments for why the new system is thought to be more “fair” than the system it replaces. I’ve been looking around a bit at the history of how the current rules came to be, and the impact of the new rules. Sources are sketchy, so I’ve tried to piece the details together as much as possible. Long story short, these arguments do not hold water when set in an historical context.
On the Volokh Conspiracy, Todd’s essay in full.