Bench Memos

Nevada Law Profs (and Others) vs. Rule of Law—Part 2

Now let’s look at UNLV law school dean Daniel W. Hamilton’s letter objecting to Nevada state bar president Alan J. Lefebvre’s column:

1. Hamilton states that Lefebvre’s column “was at odds with the best traditions of tolerance and respect for dissenting views that characterize the legal profession and the Nevada bar.” Hamilton says that he is “certain [Lefebvre] did not intentionally denigrate anyone, but the words of the column speak for themselves and require a response.” (Emphasis added.)

The only sense that I can make of Hamilton’s letter is that he thinks that Lefebvre’s criticism of the state attorney general’s failure to defend state marriage laws somehow amounts to intolerant denigration of gays and lesbians. That is an extraordinary charge. Even though Hamilton himself refers only to the “likelihood” that state marriage laws are unenforceable, he evidently thinks that it’s rude for anyone to argue that it’s the duty of state attorneys general to defend such laws.

Hamilton likewise evidently thinks it’s “denigrat[ing]” for anyone not to support the radical redefinition of marriage.

So much for his own “tolerance and respect for dissenting views.”

2. Hamilton nakedly (and wrongly) asserts that the state attorney general’s decision not to defend Nevada’s laws was “well-reasoned.” But he doesn’t bother to confront Lefebvre’s arguments.

3. Hamilton thinks it significant that the Supreme Court, in the Prop 8 case, didn’t “question the prerogative of state officials to exercise [the] discretion” not to defend state laws. But the case didn’t present that question. The Supreme Court doesn’t have general supervisory authority over state attorneys general, so there was no reason for the Court to address the matter.

This fellow is the dean of a law school (even a fourth-tier one)?!?

Most Popular

Elections

Stick a Fork in O’Rourke

If, as I wrote last week here, Joe Biden may save the Democratic party from a horrible debacle at the polls next year, Beto O’Rourke may be doing the whole process a good turn now. Biden, despite his efforts to masquerade as the vanguard of what is now called progressivism, is politically sane and, if ... Read More
Elections

In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that “every vote matters” and proposed that “the way we can make that happen is ... Read More
Education

Ivy-League Schools Wither

A  number of liberal bastions are daily being hammered — especially the elite university and Silicon Valley. A Yale and a Stanford, or Facebook and Google, assume — for the most part rightly — that each is so loudly progressive that the public, federal and state regulators, and politicians would of ... Read More
National Security & Defense

In Defense of the Iraq War

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict -- countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and ... Read More