Boalt Hall, Free Speech, John Yoo, Law Schools, Rudeness

John Yoo’s ‘Secret Class': The Professor Responds

John Yoo John C Yoo John Choon Yoo law professor.jpgBerkeley law professor John Yoo, author of the so-called “torture memos” — as well as a new book on executive power, Crisis and Command, which has been getting very good reviews (even from such outlets as the New York Times and the Washington Post) — once again finds himself in the hot seat. And we’re not just talking about snarky (but ineffectual) attempts by Jon Stewart to make Yoo look bad.
From the Daily Californian (via Business Insider):

The Boalt Hall School of Law administration has come under fire once again over the undisclosed location of Professor John Yoo’s spring semester California Constitution class.

Yoo, who has been criticized for memos he wrote under the Bush administration justifying alleged torture practices, was scheduled to begin his first class of the semester Tuesday night and is the only professor in the law school whose class location is not listed on the law school’s class schedule. Anti-war groups World Can’t Wait and Fire John Yoo! have targeted Yoo since he returned from sabbatical last fall and criticized the Boalt Hall administration Tuesday.

About 25 people, some clad in orange jumpsuits, gathered Tuesday outside Boalt Hall Dean Christopher Edley’s office, demanding that the location of Yoo’s class be made public.

People in orange jumpsuits, roving the streets of California. Is this Judge Reinhardt’s doing?
We reached out to Professor Yoo to see if he had any comment on the classroom controversy, and he sent us a rather amusing reply.


arrest John Yoo photo October 2009.jpgA photo of an “Arrest John Yoo” poster that we took during a visit to Berkeley in October 2009. Don’t these people have anything better to do?
Here’s what Professor Yoo wrote to us, in response to our query regarding his class being held at an “undisclosed location”:

The location of the class, of course, is available to the students who want to take it. If the protesters want to go, they could always apply for admission as 1Ls and pay the full tuition like everyone else. They will find that it is harder to compete for admission with our smart and accomplished students than it is to make a ruckus.

Right on. Free speech is great and all, but if the protesters end up going to law school, they will learn the importance of time, place, and manner. We agree with the editorial board of the Daily Californian, surely no bastion of conservatism, which opined that the protesters are “hurting the students more than the professor. It’s not unreasonable for them to have to wait until class is out to picket and make their views known.”
Indeed. Law students are paying good money to hear from Professor Yoo. Their educational experience should be protected from disruption by noisy (and probably smelly) left-wing protesters.
If law students had wanted to subject themselves to endless liberal pontificating, they would have… gone to law school?
Activists Target ‘Secret Class’ [Daily Californian]
Yoo Can Hide [Daily Californian]
Who Declares War? [New York Times Book Review]
Book review of John Yoo’s ‘Crisis and Command’ [Washington Post]
Jon Stewart: Terrorists May Talk if Forced to Watch His Yoo Interview [ABA Journal]
Yoo Hoo: UC Berkeley Law School Hides John Yoo’s Class [Business Insider / Law Review]

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