More from the open letter by Nick Rosenkranz and Randy Barnett sent in response to Gary Peller's callous screed against Justice Scalia:
Nick first tried to put the issue in context, reiterating that this incident is symptomatic of a larger problem in academia: the utter lack of intellectual diversity among faculty, and the deep intolerance for views that dissent from the liberal orthodoxy. This incident can only be understood against that backdrop. There are some people on earth who should not be mourned when they die. Adolf Hitler was such a person. Justice Scalia was not. (See, for example, the moving tributes by Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.)
The problem is that the center of gravity of legal academia is so far to the left edge of the political spectrum that some have lost the ability to tell the difference. Only on a faculty with just two identifiably right-of-center professors out of 125, could a professor harbor such vitriol for a conservative Justice that even Justice Ginsburg adored. Only on a faculty this unbalanced could a professor willfully or knowingly choose to “hurt … those with affection for J. Scalia,” including countless students, just days after the Justice’s death. If more of us were here, the impropriety of this act would have been far more obvious, but also less threatening to our students.
To suggest the appropriate response, each of us independently offered the following analogy: What would be the reaction if either of us had sent a similarly-worded email to the entire student body ... upon the death of Justice Thurgood Marshall — saying that he was a bigot, and his “intellectual positions were not brilliant but simplistic”? Is there any doubt that the Georgetown reaction would justly be swift, dramatic, and severe? ...
... In our case, a faculty member sent out an email to the student body ... which was clearly the most grievous imaginable macro-aggression against all conservative students and faculty: in effect, your hero was a stupid bigot, and we are not sad that he is dead.
... In his email today, [the GULC Dean] has reiterated his personal feelings of loss, which we appreciate. But now he quite pointedly and understandably declines to speak on behalf of the “Georgetown community.” Nor does he acknowledge that this incident is symptomatic of a deeper problem. He says only that “it is a time for mourning.” But he makes no mention of Prof. Peller’s callous behavior .... He offers neither apology nor reassurance to the hundreds of students who were deeply hurt by this incident. Perhaps, after this incident, the Dean is now wary of speaking on behalf of Georgetown Law. Perhaps, this too is what Prof. Peller desired to achieve, in which case he has again succeeded.
Sadly, as just two professors on a faculty of 125, we are in no position to offer much reassurance to our students, beyond reporting that we have heard on the faculty email list, and privately, from a few of our Georgetown colleagues who objected to these messages. All we can do, really, is convey our solidarity with our wonderful students. We share your pain. We share your anger. We stand with you. You are not alone. Be strong as Justice Scalia was strong. Remember, he heard far worse about himself than we have, and yet never wavered in both his convictions and his joy for life.
- Apparently Peller emailed (privately as opposed to an all-campus blast) Barnett to apologize: "Please accept my apology, as I have great affection and respect for you as a colleague." This is typical of Peller and the academic left in general: To your face they claim to be your friend, but they will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat to achieve their political ends. Like their fellow Marxists of olden day, the only thing that matters is their political triumph and all means are therefore justified.
- The diagnosis by Barnett and Rosenkranz is exactly right. Law schools faculties are comprised of a predominance of left-liberals living (at salaries most socialists could only dream of) in a cozy elite bubble in which they assume almost everybody shares their worldview and that the few dissenters in their midst are not worthy of ordinary human compassion.
- Barnett and Rosenkranz are exactly right in their analogy to the death of Thurgood Marshall. There is no law school in the country where a conservative faculty member could say such things without getting hauled into the Dean's office for a scolding, if not worse. Indeed, at most schools you'd probably end up in front of a Title IX officer.
- Can you imagine what the Pellers of the law school academy are going to say when Clarence Thomas passes? The unhinged racism by these champions of social justice will be stunning.