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San Diego

What? Another Public Law School?
by Larry Stirling 10/2/07

Venerable Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters beat me to the punch in commenting on the creation of yet another law school funded by the public at the University of California, Irvine.

Dan said: "California needs another law school like it needs another drought."

It is so widely understood that California has a surfeit of lawyers that I am surprised the notion was even entertained let alone approved by the legislature and governing UC Regents.

We are however short of engineers, mathematicians, veterinarians, doctors, nurses, teachers and dozens of other professions.

I know, it is not the job of the high-faulting' UC to train teachers or nurses, but to the extent the UC grabs dough from the legislature for an array of ridiculous salary deals, dysfunctional presidencies and needless law schools, it deprives the California State University and the community college systems of resources to meet those critical shortages.


Larry Stirling
Larry Stirling is a retired judge who authored the book "Leading at a Higher Level." He is a former Army officer, member of the San Diego City Council, the California State Assembly and the State Senate. [go to Stirling index]

Why in the world do we operate three separate high-overhead college systems anyway?

California has more lawyers per capita than any other society in the history of the world. There is simply no justification for another publically subsidized law school. If there ever were a shortage of lawyers, there are plenty of private law schools that could take up the slack long before taxpayers would need to be fleeced again.

We should be closing public law schools or at least making them pay their own way.

Not only did we not need another law school, we didn't need a publicly funded law school to hire a dean named Erwin Chemerinsky, the Duke Law School professor who is one of the most hard-left radicals in the legal world.

His most recent legal stink bomb was providing the theory and arguments in the case of Corrie v. Caterpillar.

The Corries are parents of Rachael Corrie, who was, at the time of her death, a 23 year-old "peace" activist who went to the Gaza Strip to take the side of the Muslim radicals against the Israelis.

Murderous Muslims were using various locations in the Gaza to launch regular fusillades of missles into southern Israel killing innocent people. Of course to the Muslims, no Jew is innocent. They say so every day.

With plenty of notice, the Israelis took action to remove the buildings providing cover for the launches.

Ms. Corrie chose to stand in front of a bulldozer operated by the Israeli Defense Forces.

The bulldozer driver was protected by heavy armaments, making vision difficult. Ms. Corrie stood where she could not be seen or heard and was sadly killed while the bulldozer was in operation.

The Corries, at the prodding of Chemerinsky, blame Caterpillar for their daughter's overwhelmingly contributory negligence.

Since Professor Chemerinsky has no use for the Israelis' desire to keep their families alive, he sued Caterpillar, the original manufacturer of the bulldozer for the death of the Corries' daughter.

Even though Professor Chemerinsky tried to torture the basic principles of proximate causality found in the Palsgraf v. The Long Island Railroad case, the federal judge was not fooled. The case was thrown out.

Never could Caterpillar have foreseen a politically pubescent stunt such as that pulled by Ms. Corrie. Not only are his politics radical, his legal acumen or professional ethics are marginal.

Besides, exactly what "deaning" or any other management skills does the lefty Chemerinsky possess? None that are apparent. Right now, he is just a radical Duke professor.

Has he turned over a new leaf? Will he abandon his political stunts to make sure that all qualified students get a good legal education?

Nope. In fact he stated loudly and clearly "academic freedom" means that " ... deans should be able to speak out on important issues."

When his appointment was announced, conservatives raised the foreseeable concerns. Gutless Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake first withdrew the job offer belatedly learning that Professor Chemerinsky was "too political." Duh!

The left then really got riled up and scared Chancellor Wimpy into granting Chemerinsky the job anyway.

As dean, Chemerinsky will have final say over who gets hired to complete the faculty of the UC Irvine law school.

In other words, the University of California has authorized a completely unnecessary law school at the expense of other critical needs of the people of California and in addition has decided that this new one should also be a crib for further leftist activities.

Just to underline the keystone-cop management of the UC, you may remember Lawrence Summers, the former -- and only somewhat conservative -- president of Harvard University.

Last week, Summers was invited by UC Regents to address a private Regents' dinner. Once UC Professor Maureen Stanton and group of 300 academic Nazis were heard from, Summers was uninvited.

Apparently, "UC" stands for "Ultimately Clueless." CRO



copyright 2007 Larry Stirling


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