Paul L. Caron

Sunday, June 19, 2022

NY Times: State Judge Rules Yeshiva University Must Recognize LGBTQ Student Club

New York Times, Yeshiva University Must Recognize L.G.B.T.Q. Club, Judge Says:

YU Pride AllianceStudents at Yeshiva University in New York have tried for years to get their school to recognize an L.G.B.T.Q. student club, pushing back on the administration’s argument that its status as a Modern Orthodox Jewish school exempted it from the city’s human rights law.

Last year, a group of students and alumni filed a lawsuit, and on Tuesday a state judge ruled in their favor, declaring that Yeshiva is not a religious institution and so must follow the law and recognize the club [YU Pride Alliance v. Yeshiva University].

Bina Davidson, who had been the co-president of the Y.U. Pride Alliance until she graduated in January, said she and other students were thrilled about the ruling. But their victory may be short lived.

Administrators at Yeshiva, which is named after a type of traditional Jewish religious school that is found all over the world, vowed to appeal. They also said they would ask the courts to stay the decision.

“Any ruling that Yeshiva is not religious is obviously wrong,” said Hanan Eisenman, a university spokesman, in a statement. “As our name indicates, Yeshiva University was founded to instill Torah values in its students while providing a stellar education, allowing them to live with religious conviction as noble citizens and committed Jews.”

The court’s decision, he said, “violates the religious liberty upon which this country was founded” and “permits courts to interfere in the internal affairs of religious schools, hospitals and other charitable organizations.” (While many non-Orthodox Jewish congregations are supportive of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, Orthodox leaders tend to interpret the Torah as promoting more traditional ideas of gender and sexuality.)

The dispute at Yeshiva is the latest front in a heated nationwide debate over the limits of religious freedom and whether houses of worship, religiously affiliated companies and organizations or even pious individuals can be compelled to provide employment or other public accommodations to people with differing views. ...

Continue reading

June 19, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, June 18, 2022

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

How Introverted Law Students Can Thrive: Become Tax Lawyers|Tax Professors (And Deans)

John Lande (Missouri), Introversion, the Legal Profession, and Dispute Resolution:

Quiet Introverted LawyerThis article analyzes introversion and discusses the implications of the large proportion of people who are introverted, including many lawyers and other dispute resolution professionals. It relies on two analytical books, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain and The Introverted Lawyer: A Seven-Step Journey Toward Authentically Empowered Advocacy by Brooklyn Law Professor Heidi K. Brown. It also uses insights from two memoirs: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: One Introvert's Year of Saying Yes by Jessica Pan, and Playing with Myself by Randy Rainbow.

There is no agreement about the definition of introversion, but it is a very real phenomenon, even though there isn’t a consistent definition and people may experience and manifest it differently. Introverted people often struggle because of what Susan Cain calls the “extrovert ideal,” which dominates much of Western society. In this context, introversion is viewed as a “second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.” Based on her review of psychological research, she says that introverts can consciously organize their lives to operate at “optimal levels of arousal.”

Continue reading

June 18, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Katherine Magbanua To Be Sentenced in Dan Markel's Murder On July 29—Same Time, Day, And Courtroom As Charlie Adelson's Hearing; Will She Cut A Deal And Implicate Adelsons?

WCTV, Magbanua To Be Sentenced July 29 In Dan Markel Murder:

Magbanua AdelsonKatherine Magbanua is now set to be sentenced on July 29 for the murder of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel. ... Magbanua faces a life sentence on the first-degree murder conviction and up to 30 years in prison on the other charges. The state did not seek the death penalty against her.

Court records show the sentencing hearing is set at the same time, day and courtroom as a case management hearing for newly arrested co-defendant Charlie Adelson.

WTXL, Sentencing Date for Katherine Magbanua Set

Continue reading

June 18, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

17th Annual Junior Tax Scholars Workshop Concludes Today At Illinois

Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar), Crisis Lawmaking, Automatic Stabilizers, and Democracy
Commentators: Blaine Saito (Northeastern; Google Scholar), Christine Speidel (Villanova; Google Scholar)

Andrew Appleby (Stetson; Google Scholar), Digital Property Taxation
Commentators: Hayes Holderness (Richmond), Shelly Layser (Illinois; Google Scholar; moving to San Diego)

Amanda Parsons (Colorado), The Economic Allegiance of Capital Gains
Commentators: Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar), Eleanor Wilking (Cornell)

Jeesoo Nam (USC; Google Scholar), Just Taxation of Crime: Should the Commission of Crime Change One’s Tax Liability?
Commentators: Blaine Saito, Gaga Gondwe (NYU, moving to Wisconsin)

Continue reading

June 18, 2022 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, June 17, 2022

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

17th Annual Junior Tax Scholars Workshop Kicks Off Today At Illinois

Illinois college of lawGaga Gondwe (NYU, moving to Wisconsin), The Black Tax: How the Charitable Contribution Subsidy Reinforces Black Poverty, 76 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2023)
Commentators: Jeesoo Nam (USC; Google Scholar), Goldburn Maynard (Indiana-Kelley; Google Scholar)

Hayes Holderness (Richmond), Individual Home-Work Assignments for State Taxes
Commentators: Andrew Appleby (Stetson; Google Scholar), Shelly Layser (Illinois; Google Scholar; moving to San Diego)

Shelly Layser, Fighting the Affordable Housing Crisis Through State-Federal Tax (Dis)Conformity
Commentators: Andrew Appleby, Hayes Holderness

Blaine Saito (Northeastern; Google Scholar), Public Tax Actors
Commentators: Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar), Jeesoo Nam

Continue reading

June 17, 2022 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Federal District Court Allows Linda Mullenix's Gender Discrimination Equal Pay Claim To Proceed Against The University Of Texas Law School

Litigation Bias

Adam Eckart (Suffolk), Litigation Bias, 101 Or. L. Rev. __ (2022):

Oregon Law ReviewThere is pervasive litigation bias in law schools. Despite significant interest in transactional law fields among law students, law schools disproportionately teach to the student interested in litigation: litigation-based legal writing assignments outnumber transactional-based ones 19 to 1; litigation-based clinics outnumber transactional ones 9 to 1; and doctrinal classes focus primarily on appellate court cases, often failing to entertain substantive discussion on the creation or content of the documents that led to the dispute. As a result, law school graduates are 44% less prepared for transactional careers than litigation careers.

Continue reading

June 17, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, June 16, 2022

A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation In Law School And Legal Profession

Ahmuan Williams (Oklahoma), A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation in Law School and Legal Profession:

Diversity in the legal profession does not have to be a myth, but we have to put in the effort to do it. A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation in Law School and Legal Profession gives you an idea of the challenges and history of being a minority in the legal profession created exclusively for white men. This paper examines affirmative action and its need to diversify the legal profession. It starts by examining the controversies in diversity and the legal profession. Then it acknowledges the positive impacts of diversity initiatives in the legal profession. It concludes by recommending that we adopt long-term diversity initiatives through our state constitutions, amendments, and education.

Continue reading

June 16, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

HBCU Law Schools Face Severe Underfunding, HBCU Law Schools Face Severe Underfunding: 'Do We Have a Belt' Left to Tighten?:

HBCU (2019)There are six Historically Black Colleges and Universities law schools in the U.S., established because Black students were denied access to law school, and each is struggling due to underfunding.

The six HBCU law schools and deans are as follows: Florida A&M University College of Law with dean Deidre Keller; Howard University School of Law with dean Danielle Holley-Walker; North Carolina Central University School of Law, where dean Browne C. Lewis recently died; Southern University Law Center with John Pierre as chancellor; Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law with dean Joan R.M. Bullock; and the University at the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law with dean Renee McDonald Hutchins. ...

The six HBCU law schools are responsible for approximately 25% of the law degrees earned by Black students, while the six accredited law schools make up just 3% of the nation’s law schools, Pierre wrote in an article published in The National Jurist in April [The Value of HBCU Law Schools]. ...

Continue reading

June 16, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The ABA Proposes Eliminating Standardized Tests For Law School Admissions

Following up on my previous post, ABA Council Votes 20-1 To Advance Proposal Permitting Law Schools To Go Test Optional. What Are The Implications Of Admitting Students Who Don't Take The LSAT Or GRE?:  Inside Higher Ed, The ABA Proposes Eliminating Standardized Tests For Law School Admissions:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)The leading law school accreditor has proposed eliminating the standardized test requirement for admissions. Proponents argue it would increase diversity, but detractors fear a loss of accountability.

In April, the American Bar Association’s Council on Legal Education, which accredits 196 law schools across the U.S., proposed eliminating a requirement that accredited schools use the Law School Admission Test or some equivalent “valid and reliable” standardized test in their admissions process. The ABA council clarified that law schools “would remain free to require a test if they wish.”

If accepted, the proposal would take effect for law school classes beginning in fall 2023.

The LSAT is by far the most widely used assessment for law school admissions, and any aspiring lawyer can attest to the weight a good LSAT score can have on a school’s decision. But as consensus builds for a re-evaluation of the role of standardized testing in other areas of higher education, the debate over its benefits has reached law school admissions. Opinion is sharply divided—and impassioned on both sides.

Continue reading

June 16, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How COVID-19 Made Me A Better Law Teacher

Amy Soled (Rutgers), How COVID-19 Made Me a Better Teacher, 34 The Second Draft 1 (2021):

COVID-19 has caused havoc in the world as we know it, altering every aspect of life, including education. The pandemic forced me and other educators to teach online, and by doing so, it has made me a better teacher. I now (1) employ more teaching techniques; (2) assess more frequently; and (3) engage every student. As I emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, I have reflected on the positive lessons I learned from teaching online, lessons that I plan to bring with me when I return to the classroom.

Continue reading

June 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Harvard-led Citation Cartel Rakes in Millions From Bluebook Manual Monopoly, Masks Profits

Dan Stone, Harvard-led Citation Cartel Rakes in Millions from Bluebook Manual Monopoly, Masks Profits:

According to the financial statements of the Harvard Law Review, 12 the Bluebook’s net profits were $1.2 million in 2020 and totaled $16.0 million in the ten years between 2011 and 2020. ...

The Harvard Law Review administers the Bluebook and manages its distribution. For its work, the HLR receives a 8.5% cut of the Bluebook’s net profits as “administrative fees.” (Historically it has been higher, and prior to a 1974 revolt by the other law reviews Harvard took all the money.) After the HLR takes its administrative fees, the remaining profits are distributed equally among all four law reviews.


Continue reading

June 15, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Reflections On Legal Education In The Aftermath Of A Pandemic

Timothy Casey (California Western), Reflections on Legal Education in the Aftermath of a Pandemic, 28 Clinical L. Rev. 85 (2021):

This essay considers two significant changes to legal education in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, on-line programs will expand, based on the largely successful experiment in delivering legal education on-line during the pandemic. But this expansion must be thoughtful and deliberate. The legal education curriculum could include more on-line courses, but only if the learning outcomes and the pedagogy are aligned with on-line education. Experiential courses may not be the best fit for on-line given the specific learning outcomes and the benefits of in-person instruction in those courses.

Continue reading

June 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Deo: The End of Affirmative Action

Meera E. Deo (Southwestern), The End of Affirmative Action, 100 N.C. L. Rev. 237 (2021):

We have arrived at the end of affirmative action. Now, more than ever, institutions of higher learning must move beyond a single-minded focus on educational diversity, which admits students of color primarily to enrich the classroom experiences of their white peers and then ignores what they may need to maximize both engagement and retention. Instead, affirmative action programs need an immediate update; they should take contemporary issues of race and racism into account, as well as the lived realities of students of color—by including multiracial students, recognizing diversity beneath the student of color umbrella, acknowledging intra-racial differences in pan-ethnic groups, and accepting that the resources and realities of Black immigrants differ from native-born Black Americans. Furthermore, to maximize the benefits of educational diversity, institutions must also prioritize equity and inclusion once students are enrolled.

Continue reading

June 14, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Practical Considerations In Starting And Operating An Academic Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

Amy Spivey (UC-Hastings) & Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings; Google Scholar), Practical Considerations in Starting and Operating an Academic Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, 76 Tax Law. __ (2022):

ABA Tax Lawyer (2022)Low-income taxpayer clinics (“LITCs”) provide legal assistance to underserved clients with active federal tax controversies, conduct educational outreach to low-income and English-as-a-second-language taxpayers, and work to ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system. Despite the availability of IRS grant funding for LITCs and the alignment of LITC goals with the core values that underlie clinical legal education, a relatively small percentage of U.S. law schools currently operates an LITC. Moreover, many law school LITCs have closed within the past ten years, demonstrating that even if started, academic LITCs are challenging to sustain.

Continue reading

June 14, 2022 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Assessing Affirmative Action's Diversity Rationale: Student-Run Law Reviews

Adam Chilton (Chicago; Google Scholar), Justin Driver (Yale), Jonathan S. Masur (Chicago; Google Scholar) & Kyle Rozema (Washington University; Google Scholar), Assessing Affirmative Action's Diversity Rationale, 122 Colum. L. Rev. 331 (2022):

Columbia Law ReviewEver since Justice Lewis Powell’s opinion in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke made diversity in higher education a constitutionally acceptable rationale for affirmative action programs, the diversity rationale has received vehement criticism from across the ideological spectrum. Critics on the right argue that diversity efforts lead to “less meritorious” applicants being selected. Critics on the left charge that diversity is mere “subterfuge.” On the diversity rationale’s legitimacy, then, there is precious little diversity of thought. In particular, prominent scholars and jurists have cast doubt on the diversity rationale’s empirical foundations, claiming that it rests on an implausible and unsupported hypothesis.

To assess the diversity rationale, we conduct an empirical study of student-run law reviews.

Continue reading

June 14, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Mitchell|Hamline Is First ABA-Accredited Law School To Enroll Prison Inmate In JD Program; Student Serving Life Sentence Without Parole For First Degree Murder Will Take Classes Online

Reuters, A Law Degree From Prison? Minnesota School Says Enrollee Is a First:

Onyelobi 1A Minnesota law school is poised to become the first American Bar Association-accredited law school with a J.D. student attending class from inside prison.

Mitchell Hamline School of Law said Monday that Maureen Onyelobi, who is serving a sentence of life without parole for aiding and abetting a 2014 murder, will be the school's first incarcerated student this fall.

Officials at the St. Paul school last month received permission from the ABA to enroll up to two incarcerated students in each of the next five years and is allowing them to attend class fully online. The Minnesota Department of Corrections has also granted its approval.

Continue reading

June 14, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, June 13, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Death Of John Simon (Yale)

YLS Today, Yale Law School Mourns the Loss of Professor Emeritus John G. Simon (New York Times Obituary):

SimonJohn G. Simon ’53 LL.B., the Augustus Lines Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School, died on Feb. 14, 2022 at the age of 93 in Hamden, Connecticut.

“John Simon was a beloved teacher, colleague, and friend,” said Dean Heather K. Gerken. “His devotion to the School was unparalleled, he pioneered the study of nonprofits and philanthropy, and he shaped the careers of generations of students. We have lost a giant, and we mourn his loss throughout our community.”

Born Sept. 19, 1928, Simon graduated from Harvard College, where he was the president of the Harvard Crimson, before earning his law degree from Yale Law School in 1953. After law school, Simon served in both military and civilian capacities in the Office of General Counsel, Office of the Secretary of the Army, and practiced law in New York with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison from 1958 to 1962.

Simon joined the Yale Law School faculty in 1962, specializing in teaching and research related to the nonprofit sector and philanthropy, as well as elementary and secondary school education. He also taught courses in contracts, aging and the law, and family law. Simon served as Deputy Dean from 1985–1990, and Acting Dean in 1991.

Continue reading

June 13, 2022 in Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax | Permalink

David Lat Interviews Ilya Shapiro About His 'Constructive Cancellation' At Georgetown Law School

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), Constructive Cancellation: An Interview With Ilya Shapiro:

Georgetown (2016)There’s a term in employment law called “constructive dismissal,” “constructive discharge,” or “constructive termination.” It happens “when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is, in effect, a termination.”

This concept came to mind as I followed the saga of Ilya Shapiro, the prominent libertarian legal scholar who just resigned from Georgetown Law. ...

I largely agree with Shapiro’s second WSJ op-ed and the commentary supporting his decision to part ways with GULC—e.g., a WSJ staff editorial, a National Review piece by Dan McLaughlin, and a Legal Insurrection post by William Jacobson. But just as I wondered why GULC took four months to decide it wouldn’t fire Shapiro based on a technicality, I wondered: why did Shapiro quit Georgetown Law just four days after celebrating his reinstatement in the pages of the Wall Street Journal?

Earlier today, I connected with Shapiro by phone to discuss this and other topics. Here’s a (lightly edited and condensed) write-up of our conversation. ...

Continue reading

June 13, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Making Law Student Evaluations More Meaningful

LawProfBlawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), Making Student Evaluations More Meaningful:

Four years ago, I wrote a series of pieces about how student evaluations did not yield meaningful data. Worse, the data they did yield were used to disproportionately attack women and minorities. This should have come as no shock because all the evidence suggests that student evaluations are biased against women and minorities. It’s the circle of … well, something.

The literature suggests that teaching evaluations are deeply, deeply troubled measures of professor teaching skills. They ought to be done away with. But I’m not optimistic. Universities employ experts in using surveys. Yet they continue to use flawed ones. And as universities seek to measure more “stuff” regardless of the precision of those measures, student evaluations are here to stay. So, it’s worth a moment envisioning how to make them less troubling. ...

Continue reading

June 13, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 12, 2022

NY Times Op-Ed: Uvalde Needs Our Prayers

New York Times Op-Ed:  Uvalde Needs Our Prayers, by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep (2021) (Christianity Today's 2022 Book of the Year)):

Warren 3HIn some ways, it felt like a thousand pastors’ meetings I’d been to before. Seventeen ministers from around a dozen churches met in a church fellowship hall on a Wednesday morning around white plastic folding tables. Men and women shook hands, hugged and sat down together. We went around the tables introducing ourselves.

But this was not an ordinary clergy meet-up. We sat less than two miles from Robb Elementary School, where the day before a gunman killed 19 children and 2 adults.

Together these pastors faced an impossible question: What do you do when you are charged with the spiritual care of a town confronting an incomprehensible horror? ...

Tony Gruben, the pastor of Baptist Temple Church and leader of the meeting, found out about the mass shooting as it was happening. He was about an hour and a half from Uvalde, running errands. One of his church members, who is also his close friend, is the school counselor at Robb. She texted him: “Please pray. In lock down. Shooter on campus.” He didn’t text back, worried a text ping might alert an intruder if she was hiding.

A little while later, he got a call from Uvalde’s mayor. The phone connection was weak and broke up, but Gruben heard enough to know things were really bad and that he should hurry back to town. He spent the night alongside another pastor counseling families and, as he said, “helping the helpers,” by offering what he called the “ministry of presence and prayer” to law enforcement officers, town leaders and teachers at Robb. Like every other local pastor I spoke with, he didn’t get home until around midnight.

The Guardian recently summed up “thoughts and prayers” as “obfuscation and inaction.” After the Uvalde shooting, the National Parents Union called for policy changes and “more than thoughts and prayers.” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has been criticized for saying that he was “lifting up in prayer” children and families in Uvalde, while also taking large contributions from the NRA.

But as that debate raged online and in the broader culture, these pastors in Uvalde turned to prayer to help people respond to this tragedy. ...

Continue reading

June 12, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times Op-Ed: 400 Years Ago, They Would Be Witches. Today, They Can Be Your Spiritual Coach.

New York Times Op-Ed:  400 Years Ago, They Would Be Witches. Today, They Can Be Your Coach., by Molly Worthen (North Carolina):

Worthen[A] spiritual coach [is] a relatively new occupation that is dominated by women and appears to be growing, although hard numbers are elusive (to further confuse things, some practitioners refer to themselves as business coaches, albeit ones with a generous helping of New Age ritual on the side). At a time when more and more Americans call themselves spiritual but not religious, these coaches give us a glimpse of the allure and the hazards of 21st-century D.I.Y. religion.

Spiritual coaches are a new chapter in the long history of female religious entrepreneurship in America — a tradition that runs from Boston in the 1630s, when Anne Hutchinson’s packed religious meetings outraged Puritan ministers, to today’s evangelical conference circuit, dominated by demure yet forceful female evangelists who are not ordained but whose books and podcasts constitute major media empires. By blending eclectic religious practices with the gospel of entrepreneurship, spiritual coaches pitch their clients (who, like the coaches, are mostly women) the things that religion has always promised. They offer a path to meaning in the midst of suffering and tools to recover a sense of agency in a world that flings us around by our heels. ...

Continue reading

June 12, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Race, Immigration Law, And Christianity: Despair Or Hope?

Jennifer Lee Koh (Pepperdine), Race, Immigration Law, and Christianity: Reflections and Tensions Raised by United States v. Wong Kim Ark:, 23 Pol. Theology ___ (2022):

Political TheologyIn 1898, the United States Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship to the children of immigrants born on U.S. soil. The case, United States v. Wong Kim Ark, involved the son of Chinese immigrants who was born in and had spent the vast majority of his life in the U.S. Immigration officials denied his claim to citizenship when he attempted to return to the country after a trip to China. Its direct legal holding—that birthright citizenship is a constitutional right—continues to have salience for immigration law debates and discourse today.

This Essay, written for a joint symposium between the Journal of Law and Religion and Political Theology on Wong Kim Ark and James Baldwin’s 1955 essay, Equal in Paris, reflects upon several themes—and tensions—present in the case and echoed in contemporary society. The Essay first explores the influence of race in the development of immigration law, along with the simultaneous discomfort with race as a basis for legal rights and remedies. The second theme, raised by Wong Kim Ark’s holding and subsequent history, is the necessity and shortcomings of law as a source of protection, particularly in the context of bureaucratic systems with the power to incarcerate. Finally, the conclusion briefly highlights ways in which Christianity might serve as a source of both despair and hope for the future.

IV. Christianity in America as a Source of Despair and Hope
The Wong Kim Ark decision is now over one hundred years old and stands for a relatively simple legal assertion about birthright citizenship. But the decision, along with the historical context and personal experience of Wong, offers various moments of resonance with contemporary conversations around similar themes present in the case: citizenship, belonging, formal law, actual practice, and the impact of incarceration on the value of the self. What if any relevance does Christianity in the US have on these themes? I suggest here that Christianity can serve as either a source of despair or of hope, depending on one’s perspective and which aspects of American Christianity receive emphasis.

Continue reading

June 12, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Saturday, June 11, 2022

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

What Got Katherine Magbanua Convicted Of Dan Markel’s Murder? What's Next For Charlie Adelson?

Tallahassee Democrat, What Got Katherine Magbanua Convicted of Dan Markel’s Murder? Here’s What Her Lawyer Said:

Magbanua AdelsonThere was evidence against convicted murderer Katherine Magbanua that was hard to overcome as jurors weighed her role in the murder of acclaimed Florida State law professor Dan Markel, one of her attorneys said Friday.

In an exclusive interview a week after the highly-anticipated trial ended, Miami defense attorney Chris DeCoste commented on the verdict, the evidence he believes the jury keyed in on, and what’s next for his client of six years. ...

Magbanua attorney says Dolce Vita tape pivotal in verdict
On the stand, Magbanua struggled to explain to jurors how she came into more than $100,000 in extra money in the years immediately following Markel’s brutal murder. A secret FBI recording of her and a prime suspect — Markel’s ex brother-in-law Charlie Adelson — that left the impression the two were discussing the murder was a focal point for jurors. ...

Magbanua testified she was innocent, but stumbled in her explanations
Magbanua told jurors she wanted them to hear the truth from her, but instead she delivered a disjointed account of her life in the years around Markel’s murder. Her relationship with Garcia was rocky when she started dating Markel’s talkative former brother-in-law Charlie Adelson, who is accused of orchestrating and financing the hit. ...

One co-conspirator testified, one didn't
Magbanua’s attorneys consistently told jurors they couldn’t trust Luis Rivera’s testimony. ... But the one man who could definitively say whether Magbanua was involved — or not — did not take the stand. Garcia, who was convicted of Markel's murder in 2019, refused to testify on behalf of the mother of his children. ...

What does this mean for Charlie Adelson?

Continue reading

June 11, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

After Submitting False Data To U.S. News For 9 Years, USC Ordered To Certify Accuracy Of Its Data In Future Rankings

Following up on my previous posts:

Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News), U.S. News Responds to University of Southern California Education School on Misreporting (June 7, 2022):

U.S. News & World Report has recently been informed by the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education that "for several years, USC Rossier had been inaccurately reporting data on research and student enrollment to USNWR."

U.S. News is reviewing the various disclosures made by the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education with respect to this misreporting, which are included in the recently published investigative report by the law firm Jones Day.

The Jones Day report said, "From at least 2013 to 2021, the School misreported data to US News about the selectivity of its doctoral programs." In addition the report said, "While this investigation focused on the School’s reporting of doctoral selectivity metrics, Jones Day confirmed during the course of the investigation the existence of irregularities in the School’s calculation and reporting of research expenditures, and identified other potential data misreporting issues, such as issues relating to the exclusion of online EdD programs, the designation of EdD students as part-time, certain faculty-related metrics, and the School’s reporting of teacher job placement and retention statistics."

In light of these findings, U.S. News will require the Rossier School of Education’s dean or top academic, the University of Southern California's president and the Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees to provide a letter certifying the accuracy of the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education's data submissions to U.S. News for the next three ranking cycles in order to be included in the rankings. ...

Click here to read the letter U.S. News sent to University of Southern California.

Continue reading

June 11, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, June 10, 2022

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

More On Ilya Shapiro And Georgetown Law School

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Eugene Volokh (UCLA), What Are Georgetown Professors Forbidden to Say?:

[ Georgetown (2016)W]hatever you might think about what happened to Shapiro, this incident also produced a report from the IDEAA office that deals with all of Georgetown, not just the law school. (I've received a copy, on condition that I can quote it but can't post it.) And this tells us about much more than just the Shapiro incident: It gives us a good sense about what all Georgetown professors are, at least ostensibly, forbidden from saying. I'd like to use this post to explore that. ...

It doesn't matter whether you care about Ilya Shapiro's career. The important thing here, I think, is just how much speech is now in peril, going forward, for Georgetown professors generally (especially ones who lack tenure, but even the tenured ones).

Jonathan Turley (George Washington), Shapiro Resigns From Georgetown After the Law School Reinstates Him on a “Technicality”:

Shapiro has elected to leave Georgetown to take a position with the Manhattan Institute given the lack of support for his right to speak freely at the law school. Unfortunately, most schools want to avoid litigation (and the controversy) over terminating dissenting faculty. The preference is to make life on faculties so hostile or intolerable that faculty will simply resign. ...

The support enjoyed by faculty on the far left is in sharp contrast to the treatment given faculty with moderate, conservative or libertarian views. Anyone who raises such dissenting views is immediately set upon by a mob demanding their investigation or termination. This includes blocking academics from speaking on campuses like a recent Classics professor due to their political views. Conservatives and libertarians understand that they have no cushion or protection in any controversy, even if it involves a single, later deleted tweet. ...

Continue reading

June 10, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ: The Five Most Dreaded Words At The Office — ‘Let’s Start a Google Doc’

Wall Street Journal, The Five Most Dreaded Words at the Office: ‘Let’s Start a Google Doc’:

Google DocsShared documents are a workplace minefield of performance anxiety and awkward interactions.

More than three billion people use Google Workspace products like Docs and Sheets, according to the company. Many of them seem to dread it.

The workplace ritual tends to go something like this: You’re minding your own business, trying to write a proposal or plug numbers into Google Sheets, when the mood shifts. A small circle materializes near the top of the screen. The avatar belongs to a colleague, or worse, your boss. The discomfort can be heightened by the appearance of any number of anonymous animals, which Google auto-assigns to people who open a Doc without being signed into their account: anteater, wombat, quokka.

The cursor starts flashing. Questions abound: What are this person’s intentions? Will they scroll down far enough to see the garbled notes at the bottom that you haven’t deleted? Why on earth are they online at 1 a.m. on a Saturday? And what is a quokka? ...

Continue reading

June 10, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Augmented Lawyering

John Armour (Oxford; Google Scholar), Richard Parnham (Oxford) & Mari Sako (Oxford; Google Scholar), Augmented Lawyering, 2022 U. Ill. L. Rev. 71:

Illinois Law ReviewHow will artificial intelligence (AI) and associated digital technologies reshape the work of lawyers and structure of law firms? Legal services are traditionally provided by highly-skilled humans — that is, lawyers. Dramatic recent progress in AI has triggered speculation about the extent to which automated systems may come to replace humans in legal services. A related debate is whether the legal profession’s adherence to the partnership form inhibits capital-raising necessary to invest in new technology. This Article presents what is to our knowledge the most comprehensive empirical study yet conducted into the implementation of AI in legal services, encompassing interview-based case studies and survey data. We focus on two inter-related issues: how the nature of legal services work will change, and how the firms that co-ordinate this work will be organized. A central theme is that prior debate focusing on the “human vs technology” aspect of change overlooks the way in which technology is transforming the human dimensions of legal services.

Continue reading

June 9, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Where Do We Go From Here? International Students, Post-Pandemic Law Schools, And The Possibilities Of Universal Design

Carole Silver (Northwestern; Google Scholar) & Swethaa Ballakrishnen (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar), Where Do We Go From Here? International Students, Post-Pandemic Law Schools, and the Possibilities of Universal Design, 8 CJCCL 313 (2022):

Following on our earlier research on the experiences of international students, this article uses the recent global pandemic as a revealing lens to revisit structural inequalities in American law schools. Over the years, law schools have simultaneously encouraged international student enrollment and functioned in ways that have marginalized these students. We suggest that this dissonance between postured inclusion and the actual experience of exclusion these students endure highlights important ways in which law schools’ commitments to equity and inclusion more generally can appear more performative than substantial. We argue that the pandemic has made stark inequalities that have always existed, and that despite its devastating consequences, this period offers new insights that could help reshape the future of legal education.

Continue reading

June 9, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Am I Disabled? Disability Identity And Law Faculty

Katie R. Eyer (Rutgers; Google Scholar), Am I Disabled? Disability Identity and Law Faculty, 71 J. Legal Educ. __ (2022):

Journal of Legal Education (2022)This short Essay addresses the dilemmas of disability self-identification from the perspective of those who are ambiguously disabled, and calls on greater numbers of law faculty to situate themselves within, rather than outside, the disability community.

We have a long way to go before our law schools, and the wider legal profession, can be a truly welcoming space for people with disabilities. Currently, the best many law students with disabilities can hope for is for their accommodations to be smoothly granted, to find a few understanding professor allies, and, if they are lucky, to find community with other disabled law students. Casual bias, lower expectations, and struggles over accessibility remain a routine part of many law students’ law school experience. Out in the legal profession, those with visible disabilities are likely to face explicit bias in hiring, even as law firms purport to include disability among the categories of diversity that they value. And both within law schools and without, those with disabilities are likely to find that the structural norms of the profession celebrate exclusionary rituals of physical and mental stamina rather than value the strength and diversity of perspectives that those with nonnormative minds and bodies may bring.

Continue reading

June 9, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Inoculating The Next Generation Of Lawyers: Mandating Substance Use And Mental Health Education For Law Students

Janet E. Stearns (Miami), Inoculating the Next Generation of Lawyers: Mandating Substance Use and Mental Health Education for Law Students, 61 U. Louisville L. Rev. __ (2022):

This articles reviews some of the major approaches for mandating an educational requirement for substance use and mental health education (SUMH) for law students, reviews some of the commonly used textbooks for Professional Responsibility and how they approach SUMH, and finally makes recommendations on best practices for SUMH education.

This article reflects my passionate commitment that law students would benefit from some fundamental and dedicated education around substance use and mental health challenges. This would alleviate and normalize some of the well-documented experiences that students have in law school, and also better prepare them for law practice following graduation. Addressing these issues are core elements of professional identity and deserve focused attention during the law school experience. In a perfect world, this would include (1) pre-orientation/orientation foundation, possibly in the form of an online module; (2) incorporating these topics into all required PR classes; (3) ensuring that all professional identity touchpoints have information on essential resources around SUMH including the LAPs in each jurisdiction; (4) some end of study certification to the bar or MPRE testing to signal the core importance of these topics.

Continue reading

June 8, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Despite 3 Years Of Noncompliance With 75% Bar Passage Accreditation Standard, ABA Grants Western Michigan 3-Year Extension Of Time To Achieve Compliance

Thomas Cooley Logo (2017)Despite not meeting ABA Accreditation Standard 316 ("At least 75 percent of a law school’s graduates in a calendar year who sat for a bar examination must have passed a bar examination administered within two years of their date of graduation") in 2020 (66.0%), 2021 (62.3%), and 2022 (59.5%), the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar granted Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School's request for a three-year extension to achieve compliance.

Continue reading

June 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ: The Georgetown Law School Purge

Following up on yesterday's post, Ilya Shapiro Quits Georgetown Law: 'Dumb Tweets For Me, But Not For Thee':  Wall Street Journal Editorial, The Georgetown Law School Purge:

Georgetown (2016)Ilya Shapiro resigns as the woke mob sets him up for dismissal.

Optimists have opined that America has reached “peak woke” as a backlash against it grows. Think again, as the experience of Ilya Shapiro demonstrates.

Nearby Mr. Shapiro describes his treatment at the hands of Georgetown University Law School, which had hired him to be the executive director of its Constitution Center. Mr. Shapiro is a libertarian-minded legal scholar who sometimes writes for these pages. Georgetown, like most law schools, is dominated by progressives, often of the intolerant and vindictive variety.

But Mr. Shapiro was encouraged by dean William Treanor and the school’s Speech and Expression Policy, which promises to defend dissenting voices on campus. His painful education has been discovering that some speech is more protected than others. ...

Continue reading

June 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Chronicle Of Higher Education Debate: The Constitutionality Of Required Faculty Diversity Statements

Following up on last month's post, Brian Soucek (UC-Davis; Google Scholar), The Constitutionality Of Required Faculty Diversity Statements (55 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 101 (2022)): 

Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed:  How to Protect DEI Requirements From Legal Peril, by Brian Soucek:

More and more universities ask or require faculty to describe their contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion when they apply for jobs, tenure, or advancement. All 10 campuses of the University of California, where I work, now ask for diversity statements, and the University of Illinois made headlines last month when it adopted a similar rule. As the mandates multiply, critics allege that they are a bad idea or, even worse, unconstitutional.

I’ll leave it to others to decide whether diversity statements are effective at promoting a more diverse faculty or a more equitable and inclusive learning environment. But as a law professor and former chair of the University of California’s systemwide academic freedom committee, I can say this: Mandatory diversity statements are constitutional — at least if they are done the right way.

Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed:  Diversity Statements Are Still in Legal Peril, by Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar):

Continue reading

June 7, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Ilya Shapiro Quits Georgetown Law: 'Dumb Tweets For Me, But Not For Thee'

Following up on Friday's post, Georgetown Law School Reinstates Ilya Shapiro Following Four Month Investigation Into Justice Jackson Tweet:

Letter From Ilya Shapiro to William M. Treanor (Dean, Georgetown) (June 6, 2022):

After full consideration of the report of the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (“IDEAA Report”), and upon consultation with counsel, family, and trusted advisers, it has become apparent that my remaining at Georgetown has become untenable. Although I celebrated my “technical victory” in the Wall Street Journal, further analysis shows that you’ve made it impossible for me to fulfill the duties of my appointed post. You cleared me on a jurisdictional technicality, but the IDEAA Report—and your own statements to the Law Center community—implicitly repealed Georgetown’s vaunted Speech and Expression Policy and set me up for discipline the next time I transgress progressive orthodoxy.

You told me when we met last week that you want me to be successful in my new role and that you will “have my back.” But instead, you’ve painted a target on my back such that I could never do the job I was hired for, advancing the mission of the Center for the Constitution.

Continue reading

June 7, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Keith Fogg To Retire As Harvard's Tax Clinic Director

Law360, This Change Could Ease Filing Burden, Retiring Tax Prof. Says:

FoggAs Harvard tax clinic director, Fogg has seen or done most of what there is to see and do in tax law over his career. He's seen a lot of the U.S., too — he biked from California to Florida a couple of years ago while on sabbatical — and is looking forward to doing some international travel once he retires from the Harvard Federal Tax Clinic this summer.

As that date approaches, [T. Keith] Fogg took the time to speak with Law360 about his career, challenges facing the IRS and the outlook for the future of tax policy.

Prepopulating tax returns is one policy change that would help people save money and stay compliant, as tax filing can get complicated for folks who work several jobs or have multiple bank or brokerage accounts, Fogg said.

Taxpayers spend around $300 billion annually to file their tax returns, according to a recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which found that more than two-fifths of returns could be accurately prepopulated and that such a system could reduce the tax gap [Lucas Goodman (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department), Katherine Lim (Federal Reserve Bank, Minneapolis), Bruce Sacerdote (Dartmouth) & Andrew Whitten (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department), Automatic Tax Filing: Simulating a Pre-Populated Form 1040]. ...

Continue reading

June 7, 2022 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

Size Matters: Why Harvard Law Is Less Woke Than Yale Law

Aaron Sibarium (Washington Free Beacon), Size Matters: Why Harvard Law Is Less Woke Than Yale Law:

Harvard Law School Logo (2021)"Engaging in good faith discussion"—that is how Harvard Law School titled a profile of Jacob Richards, the outgoing president of its Federalist Society chapter. The piece, published April 27 by the law school’s communications office, was effectively a targeted advertisement for center-right applicants, featuring gushing quotes from Richards about the open-mindedness of his class.

"I came into law school wondering if I’d get shunned for voicing conservative views," Richards said. "Instead, I’ve found that most of my peers are eager and willing to engage."

Then came the leak.

The law school featured the profile on its Instagram account on May 11, one week after news broke that the Supreme Court has circulated a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. That timing didn’t sit well with Gabrielle Crofford, the outgoing president of Harvard Law School’s student body, who urged anybody upset that the law school had kind words for a conservative to complain to the communications office.

"If it made you mad to see the President of Fed Soc celebrated on Harvard Law’s IG mere days after we found out Roe was being overturned, you should email Communications Dean Melody Jackson," Crawford wrote on Instagram. "The more students they hear from the better."

The school received multiple emails—"probably in the dozens," a student with firsthand knowledge of the situation told the Washington Free Beacon—enough for Harvard to disable comments on the Instagram post amid a tsunami of vitriol. Current and former students demanded the law school delete the post, calling it "embarrassing," "tone-deaf," and "transphobic."

Initially, the blow-up seemed to follow a familiar script: milquetoast remarks from a center-right lawyer, followed by furious demands for administrators to enforce orthodoxy. Many law schools have capitulated to those demands: from Yale Law School, which threatened to discipline a conservative student for using the term "trap house," to Georgetown Law School, which placed a professor on leave for criticizing affirmative action on the Supreme Court.

At Harvard, though, administrators refused to remove the post and told Richards they had his back.

"I am very sorry that you have received such critical comments," Jackson, the law school communications dean, wrote Richards in an email. "We were pleased to share your story."

That resolve, students say, reflects Harvard Law’s size and staffing decisions, which have inoculated it against the ideological mania of rival law schools—especially Yale. ...

Continue reading

June 7, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, June 6, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

The Hired Help Are All Convicted In Dan Markel's Murder. Let Retributive Justice For The Narcissist Adelson Family Begin.

Tallahassee Democrat Op-Ed:  Can Traditional 'Motives' Really Explain the Dan Markel Murder?, by Jason Solomon (Stanford; Founder, Justice for Dan):

Adelson FamilyProsecutors’ story of Magbanua’s motive was easy enough: money. But the prosecutors also had to explain the motive for those who hired her — the family of Markel’s ex-wife Wendi Adelson, specifically her brother Charlie and mother Donna, who prosecutors say led the conspiracy.

The state pointed to the Adelsons’ “desperate desire” for Wendi and her kids to relocate to South Florida, and fear of Markel’s motion to limit Donna’s unsupervised visits with her grandkids. There is lots of evidence for these motives, and the jury should hear about them again when Charlie is tried.

But do you really commit murder because you want your daughter (or sister) to live closer, or you can’t stand the idea of not being able to babysit your grandkids?

Another kind of explanation relies less on reason and more on pathology. And judging by their behavior leading up to the murder, narcissism appears to be an Adelson family trait. Experts say that when narcissists’ idealized self-image is threatened, they can get unreasonably angry. It’s called “narcissistic rage.” ...

Continue reading

June 6, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Big Quit: Even Tenure-Line Professors Are Leaving Academe. 'Why Would I Want To Improve Faculty Morale? I Want These People To Leave.'

Following up on my previous posts:

Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed:  The Big Quit: Even Tenure-Line Professors Are Leaving Academe, by Joshua Doležal (Author, The Recovering Academic Newsletter (2022)):

When William Pannapacker landed a tenure-track job as an English professor, in 2000, it felt like a religious experience. “Suddenly,” he writes, “I was an academic ‘born-again.’” Pannapacker thought he had escaped his blue-collar roots after completing a Ph.D. at Harvard University, but even with Ivy League credentials he struggled for years to find work. The job offer renewed his conviction that he had been called to faculty life, and he embraced it fully — publishing widely, securing more than $2 million in grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and eventually earning an endowed chair. Yet this year he retired from that position to face an uncertain future at the age of 54.

Faculty members have been leaving higher education for decades, but Pannapacker’s story stands out: He was tenured. We have become accustomed to the exodus of graduate students, postdocs, and adjuncts, but before Covid it was still possible to see tenured and tenure-track faculty members as relatively immune from the stresses of working in higher ed. No more. A 2020 study by The Chronicle and Fidelity Investments found that more than half of all faculty members surveyed were seriously weighing options outside of higher education: either changing careers entirely or retiring early. The study showed that faculty members share a great deal with the millions of American workers whose life transitions have been described alternately as the Great Resignation or the Big Quit. Though it may be true that most faculty members have chosen to disengage from their work rather than quit outright, as Kevin R. McClure and Alisa Hicklin Fryar recently argued in these pages, the story of those who have quit during the pandemic remains largely untold. I am one of them.

Continue reading

June 6, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 5, 2022

WSJ Book Review: What Did Thomas Jefferson Really Think About God?

Wall Street Journal Book Review:  ‘Thomas Jefferson’ Review: The Spirit Was Partly Willing, by Barton Swaim (Editorial Page Writer, Wall Street Journal) (reviewing Thomas S. Kidd (Baylor; Google Scholar), Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh (2022)):

Thomas JeffersonFor most of the 20th century, historians and biographers adopted a reverential tone toward the American Founders. That, as readers of these pages will not need to be told, has changed. A half-century ago the typical scholar would have expressed sincere regret that Washington, Jefferson, Madison et al. had owned slaves and failed to live up to the Declaration’s promise of equality. But that scholar would also have acknowledged their courage, intellectual rigor, sagacity and political skill. In the 2020s, by contrast, the Founders’ principal accomplishments are the depredation of native lands and the composition of a now-obsolete Constitution. And every Founder, slave-owner or not, stands more or less guilty of the one sin from which, in the post-Christian code of morality, there is no hope of redemption: white supremacy.

It’s tendentious and sanctimonious and productive of much bad writing, that’s true. But the move away from veneration may bring collateral benefits. There was a time when influential historians and high-ranking Democratic politicians revered Thomas Jefferson because he embodied their ideals of freethinking skepticism and disregard for tradition. That time has passed. Jefferson was a great and accomplished man, whatever his severest detractors might say. But the revelation in 1998 that he sired several children by an enslaved servant has made his repellent views on the subject of race impossible for his admirers to play down or excuse. The reputation of Jefferson the Enlightenment Hero has suffered in turn. It’s hard to praise a man for his courageous heterodoxy, belief in man’s unaided capacity for reason, and support for French revolutionary violence when he also compared blacks to subhumans and spurned the poetry of Phillis Wheatley solely because she was black.

What we need is a balanced reassessment of Jefferson’s thought and attitudes on God and religion. Thomas S. Kidd, a professor of history at Baylor, gives us that in his crisply written life Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh.

Continue reading

June 5, 2022 in Book Club, Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ Essay:  Why Most Pastors Avoid Politics

Wall Street Journal Essay:  Why Most Pastors Avoid Politics, by Ryan Burge (Baptist Pastor; Author, Twenty Myths About Religion and Politics in America (2022); and Assistant Professor of Political Science, Eastern Illinois University):

Rev. [Greg] Locke and Robert Jeffress ... are often raised up by critics as examples of how American Christianity has become overtly political, sparking a movement on social media to revoke the tax-exempt status of all U.S. churches.

In fact, research shows that only a very small fraction of American pastors invoke politics from the pulpit. The reason isn’t ministers’ fear of running afoul of the IRS, but instead a strategic calculation about their own careers and the future.

In 2019, I conducted a survey of 1,010 Protestant Christians asking them if they had heard their pastor discuss a list of 10 political issues from the pulpit over the previous year. The list ranged from simple encouragement to vote on election day to hot-button issues like abortion and gay rights. The survey showed that 30% had heard none of the issues discussed in church, while another 25% said they had heard only one. The most commonly mentioned issue was religious liberty, cited by 30% of respondents. Just a quarter of churchgoers said that they had heard a sermon about gay rights or abortion, and only 16% had ever heard Donald Trump’s name invoked from the pulpit.

Continue reading

June 5, 2022 in Book Club, Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Pepperdine Caruso Law Celebrates The Class Of 2022

3L Commissioning Service and Dinner (April 20, 2022):


3L Baccalaureate Service (May 19, 2022):

Baccalaureate Program

Baccalaureate Chapel

Baccalaureate Eric

Continue reading

June 5, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink