An interesting update to our prior post about Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent appearance at the Yale Law School. From a current YLS student:
Some of us were bothered — though not exactly surprised — by Dean Harold Koh’s tepid introduction of Justice Scalia. Koh couldn’t seem to find anything warm and welcoming to say about Scalia. Rather, he spent his entire introduction praising Christine Jolls.
It was as though Scalia wasn’t even there. Koh’s lack of hospitality was particularly striking when compared to how he often gushes about other relatively unremarkable visiting speakers.
Like our correspondent, we’re not entirely surprised. We haven’t met Dean Koh in person, and he wasn’t dean when we were at Yale. But we have heard through the YLS alumni grapevine that he is more ideologically motivated, and less evenhanded, than his predecessor as dean, Tony Kronman.
We’ve also heard Dean Koh compared to Dean Elena Kagan of Harvard Law School in this regard. Dean Kagan is politically active on the liberal side. Like Dean Koh, she served in the Clinton Administration (as a domestic policy advisor and in the White House Counsel’s office). She was nominated to the D.C. Circuit by President Clinton, but was denied a vote, and she’s a possible SCOTUS nominee in a
Hillary Clinton Democratic administration. But despite her personal leanings, Dean Kagan has been widely praised for supporting intellectual and ideological diversity on the Harvard Law School campus.
(Also, Dean Kagan was a nominee in our Law School Dean Hotties contest. She did not prevail, losing out to a Yalie (Asha Rangappa). But just like the Oscars, it’s an honor just to be nominated.)
Earlier: The Eyes of the Law: Did Poor Justice Scalia Have to Spend the Night in New Haven?
Law School Dean Hotties: Your Female Nominees
“Harvard Law On A Heterodox Spree, Listing to Right” [Volokh Conspiracy]