The University of Chicago Law School should revoke Professor Geoffrey Stone's tenure

By Alexham Posted in Comments (17) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, Professor Geoffrey Stone made the following statement on the law school's faculty blog in a post entitled "Our Faith-Based Justices":

What, then, explains this decision? Here is a painfully awkward observation: All five justices in the majority in Gonzales are Catholic. The four justices who are either Protestant or Jewish all voted in accord with settled precedent. It is mortifying to have to point this out. But it is too obvious, and too telling, to ignore . . . . By making this judgment, these justices have failed to respect the fundamental difference between religious belief and morality . . . .

Please continue reading below the fold

Now, the purpose of this post is not to offer a rejoinder to Professor Stone's patently bigoted remarks. This has already been taken care of thanks to good folks like Professor Rick Garnett, Jan Crawford Greenburg, Ed Whelan, Hugh Hewitt, and Patterico. What concerns me is that the MSM has completely ignored this story. And we all know why that is, now don't we?

You see folks, while the MSM rightly (and swiftly) condemns each and every racist remark uttered by a public figure, they are perfectly willing to allow Christians to be slandered at will without a peep.

So, while Don Imus is forced to face the consequences of his disgusting remarks, Professor Stone is left to spew his venomous anti-Catholicism from the "ivy tower" provided to him by the University of Chicago Law School.

Indeed, it would appear that Professor Stone routinely engages in Catholic bashing in the classroom. Consider the following comment (purportedly from one of his students):

I am in Professor Stone's Con Law III class and am a Catholic.

His bigotry against Catholics is not limited to this board. I and two other Catholic students have filed complaints (really, one complaint with all of us signing) with Dean of Students Michele Baker Richardson.

We do not really expect to see any response or vindication, but we do have audio tape of comments he has made in class to the effect that Catholics are incapable of rendering decisions unless the Pope directs and specifically names the 5 Justices mentioned above. He specifically mentioned his clerkship to Justice Brennan, who he described as "the only thinking Catholic I ever knew", the implication being most or all Catholics do not think and, in keeping with his other comments, simply do what the Pope directs.

Please do not let the media bury our story.

Here's hoping that the student who left this comment is willing to provide a blogger (like me), or even someone in the MSM, with a copy of the audio recording in question. Perhaps then, the MSM will get off its hindquarters and expose Professor Stone's disgusting anti-Catholic bigotry, and thereby force Chicago to revoke his tenure.

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The University of Chicago Law School should revoke Professor Geoffrey Stone's tenure 17 Comments (0 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

The Catholic Justice Kennedy saved your precious Roe v. Wade several years back. I wonder whether it was Catholicism or simply revulsion with a barbaric practice that caused him to vote this way?

Sorry, Stone: Ginsburg and Breyer are not Jewish in any serious sense of the word

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

There is a more subtle bias that led to this conclusion. The rampant anti-evangelical sentiment in the country means evangelicals are seen as uneducated or too "faith-based." Thus, when choosing conservative Court nominees a President ends up with a lot of Catholics. The fact that there are no evangelicals (30% of the country) on the Court is a bigger omission than there not being a Hispanic (14%). Heck the underrepresentation of Baptists is amazing. But that isn't polite to talk about.

Because Catholics are socially conservative but seen as intellectual, they fill a void that evangelicals can't fill in the minds of independents. The history of intellectualism in Catholicism is very helpful for conservatives insofar as it allows people like Scalia, Alito, and Roberts to be listened to more than an evangelical would be.

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Bobby Jindal Saves Louisiana

thought about, but I think it may be a good reason why there are so many Catholics on the court.

I think the charge that their religion made them do it is unfair, it implies they do not think for themselves, and that implication is actually contrary to other decisions by one or some of these men.

I would so love to kick this guy right in the pants. Man o man, I'm so mad right now.

Lousy Bigot Scum.

Kudos for bringing this to our attention, mein fruend.

How do they play into this papal conspiracy? Justice Kennedy is the 5th vote in all three (and wrote one opinion). I'd love to know what Prof. Stone thinks of Justice Kennedy's towing the papal line in the death penalty context.

I wrote more on this topic (mostly tongue-in-cheek) at the Center for Law and Religious Freedom's new blog, but I hesitate to directly link to my post as I fear that would violate terms of service here. True?

religiousfreedom.blogspot.com

But we do frown on one or two lines, then "by the way, here's a link to what I wrote!"

You're also welcome to republish in its entirety here as a diary, with a link to your site.

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

I'm new to this blogging (as opposed to commenting on blog posts) thing. I'll try to keep up on the etiquette.
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religiousfreedom.blogspot.com

As long as you are linking to comments that support or expand on a current discussion there shouldn't be any problem (I'm not a moderator, so I don't have any say). Where I get irritated is with folks who toss in a less than 10 word comment that doesn't much relate to the blog along with a link to their own blog.
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Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

All four justices in the minority in Gonzales are secular humanists (a "religion" as defined by numerous Supreme Court cases).

I, by the way, am not Catholic, but I find it laughable that only Catholics (or Christians more broadly) are the only humans with religious beliefs that influence their political leanings.

"All four justices in the minority in Gonzales are secular humanists (a "religion" as defined by numerous Supreme Court cases)."

Yeah, not really. It depends on the context you're talking about, but the Supreme Court has never held "secular humanism" to be a religion in any meaningful way. It is most certainly not a religion in the establishment clause context, and (in spite of the fact that atheists are protected from job discrimination under the religion prong) "secular humanism" is probably not a religion under Title VII- I don't think SCOTUS has ever found that an employer was required to provide a reasonable accomodation to a secular humanist employee related to her "religious beliefs." While one organization that identified itself as "humanist" has been afforded tax exempt status as a religious org. in a SC case, and one justice has refered to secular humanism in dicta as a religion, that does not come close to being "defined as a religion in numerous supreme court cases."

in the US, practiced by people who should know better and are always kvetching about other people's prejudices.

But maybe that ol' popery debbil is coming back. Notes another professor concerning an earlier era:

Today many of my students have difficulty in comprehending the fears of some voters about a Catholic president. Yet both Martin Luther King Sr. and Norman Vincent Peale expressed reservations in 1960. During that election my generation heard such comments as: "If JFK is elected president, our motto would go from the 'In God we trust' to 'In the Pope, we hope.' " Also repeated was the falacious story of the one-word telegram Smith was said to have sent to the Pope after losing in 1928--"unpack."

See
http://hnn.us/articles/11850.html

BTW, Professor Stone, you don't have to be a saint to know that PBA is wrong, or a genius to understand that it has no constitutional protection.

on what you mean by respectable. And what you mean by bigotry. I think there are few few gay folks out there, who are allowed to be discriminated against in employment and housing under the respectable sanction of law who might argue that they would love to suffer only the type of bigotry discussed in this post. I think the bigotry against atheists is pretty strong, given that no self-proclaimed atheist could ever make a respectable run at national office, for reasons of his atheism alone. And what about fat people? The ugly, the stupid, hippies, unwed mothers, people who watch Jerry Springer.

If Stone did in fact say the things in class that the students above claim he said, then yes, I would agree that that is bigotry. It's bigotry to assume that a Catholic is incapable of executing his duties without reference to his Catholocism, or that Catholics have a history of anti-intellectualism (which is also just hilariously stupid), or that Catholics are automatons who apply their religious beliefs to all they do. But it is not bigotry, in my opinion, for some who holds an honest belief that the Court's decision here was a drastic departure from precedent to go looking for a possible explanation for that departure, if they view the argument presented for the departure as unavailing. He may be incorrect, or he may not honestly hold the believe that the decision here was a drastic departure from precedent, which would indeed call into question whether or not he's a bigot. But the statement quoted, without more, does not strike me as bigoted.

or follow whatever debate team tropes your heart desires. It does not affect the nature of the beast or the post:

post entitled "Our Faith-Based Justices":
...What, then, explains this decision? Here is a painfully awkward observation: All five justices in the majority in Gonzales are Catholic. The four justices who are either Protestant or Jewish all voted in accord with settled precedent. It is mortifying to have to point this out. But it is too obvious, and too telling, to ignore . . . . By making this judgment, these justices have failed to respect the fundamental difference between religious belief and morality

This is from a law professor at one of our nation's MOST PRESTIGIOUS universities. He is blasting judges who voted the "wrong" way because they are CATHOLIC. He gets away with it because one can express anti-Catholic opinions in respectable, erudite circles because those circles have quite a residue of anti-Catholic bigotry. Thus one can trash Catholic professionals there in ways that would be inconceivable if the trashing targeted Jews or women or blacks or Muslims or gays.

BTW, I was raised Catholic but am not devout, not terribly orthodox and most assuredly not saintly. Still, PBA is infanticide, and I don't need the pope to tell me that. (But how can a pope not say it?)

And this concept of precedent is a farce. PBA pre-Roe and its various mutations had no constitutional protection. And the 5 Catholic justices didn't need the pope to inform them of that, either.

It always bothers me when elitist goons talk so highly of precedent. Especially when they think that some legal decision is "settled". They think that it should last forever. I have two points about it:

First, Roe v. Wade overturned more than 150 years of prior American jurisprudence on the subject of abortion. This professor probably just believes that the Courts were wrong for 150 years and finally got it right with Roe and its progeny.

Second, what about all of those decisions that are so regrettable in the Courts history? Would this professor have said the same thing when Brown v. Board of Education was decided? After all, that decision overturned prior predecent in Plessy v. Ferguson. Plessy was "settled" law. Separate, but equal.

This professor is an activist and he probably fills the minds of his students with his liberal vitrial every class period.

http://lucasrowe.blogspot.com

No court should view precedent as though it is written in stone, and Plessy is the perfect example of why that is. But I wouldn't be so quick to simply dismiss the importance of precendent out of hand. Stare Decisis is an important principal which, arguably, lies at the heart of any functioning system of laws. If there is no predictability in how courts will rule - if they are not essentially bound by prior rulings - there are those who would argue that the system would fall apart, and that the American justice system would easily fall into a tool of tyranny.

Roe, by the way, did not in fact "overturn more than 150 years of prior American jurisprudence on the subject of abortion." It was certainly a departure from certain notions about federalism that had held sway for much of the previous 150 years, and to that extent one could reasonably argue that the decision did not comport with constitutional principals. It also expanded on the centuries-old common-law principal that permitted abortion through about the 4th month (so, I guess in that sense it did not respect the precedent of courts whose decisions it was not bound by). But the Supreme Court had never ruled on the constitutionality of abortion statutes, which most of the country did not have until quite recently, and which only a few had 100 years before the Roe decision.

But whatever. In the end, this guy argues that it was settled precedent that the Court overturned here. I don't really agree with that, but I also don't think it's the most outrageous argument ever put forward.

 
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