Stranger Fruit

Obama and Law School

I’m a little disappointed at Jim Lippard’s recent post on "Obama resume-padding, a post which favorably quotes this Jerusalem Post blog.

Whatever about Obama’s legislative record (and that is an argument for another day), the authors of this piece show that they know nothing about Law schools. They state:

Obama spent twelve years on the University of Chicago Law School faculty–singularly famous for its intellectual ferment and incubator of scholarship–and produced not even a single scholarly paper. He was President of Harvard Law Review, but wrote nothing himself.

As anyone who has spent time in academia knows, lecturers (particularly part-time ones in Law Schools) are not expected to publish any academic papers. See the current Chicago lecturers for example; most are practicing lawyers (tenure-track faculty are not and they are expected to publish). The same goes for the HLR President; the journal is a student-edited one (like all law reviews) and the president (who is usually a 2L student) is not expected (as far as I know) to publish in it. Neither of the positions would result in "a serious impact" as Katsman & Bardash claim.

Katsman has worked on several political campaigns, including Rudy Giuliani’s successful run for mayor and Bush’s 2004 re-election. He is involved with Republicans Abroad Israel (for which Bardash in co-Chairman), a group that has close ties with the RNC. They have written a whole series of anti-Obama pieces.

The JP post is really just a hatchet job by a pair of Republican operators. Whatever about Obama’s legislative record, this part of Katsman & Bardash’s argument is clearly wrong.


  1. #1 Jim Lippard
    August 22, 2008

    John, I think your criticism is a good refutation of that part of their argument and accept it as such.

    The main reason I posted it was because of the part that I highlighted with the link to the article. I think there is a good explanation for one of those, too, and I’ll be updating the post to reflect it.

  2. #2 Jim Lippard
    August 22, 2008

    Actually, that “good explanation”–that Obama meant to refer to the Iran divestment bill as “my bill” rather than the Senate Banking Committee (which he’s not on) as “my committee”–isn’t a very good one, as it’s actually Christopher Dodd and Richard Shelby’s bill, not Obama’s. Obama contributed some provisions to the bill but Dodd and Shelby are the primary sponsors.

    So despite the JP article’s flaws, it does appear to have at least a couple of accurate examples of exaggeration to the point of falsehood by Obama.

  3. #3 PhysioProf
    August 23, 2008

    Right-wing assholes just lie and lie and lie and lie, giving not one single flying fuck about the truth. They are the worst scum on earth, and I pray to fucking god that another one of them does not move into the White House in January.

  4. #4 Badger3k
    August 23, 2008

    Don’t worry, there is still time for King George to make it illegal for him to leave office. I think he put a Presidential Signing Statement on the Constitution that allows him to ignore it in the interests of “national security”.

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