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Rule of Law

The Dangerous Dishonesty of Possible Supreme Court Nominee Pam Karlan

October 11th, 2013 - 6:46 am

Once upon a time, Democrats were giddy about the prospects of Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan joining the Supreme Court of the United States. She had all the right qualifications: partisanship, militancy, and — most importantly — belief in a radical, muscular, transformative government.

Karlan provides intellectual fuel for the most fringe elements of the progressive legal and political machine. She is quoted in the Wall Street Journal, appears on NPR, and is revered by academics on the left — who refuse to lay a finger on her when she misbehaves.

Karlan’s misbehavior most frequently arises as rank dishonesty and dishonest scholarship. You’d think that might disqualify her from teaching at Stanford Law School, but these days, demonstrably false scholarship seems to be no barrier to helping churn out legions of new lawyers from elite schools like Stanford. There are students of Karlan’s — perhaps reading this now — who have nothing but admiration for her despite her scholarly lies.

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Before I detail her scholarly lies, lets first consider those that Ed Whelan catalogs at National Review today in an article titled “Pamela Karlan, Anti-Textualist Fantasist.” Whelan documents Karlan’s utterly dishonest description of an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy. I quote Whelan below at length because the range of Karlan’s dishonesty is so broad:

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart, the 2007 ruling that rejected a facial challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. I can’t say that it bears favorably on her fitness for any position of trust.

Karlan complains that the “tone” of Justice Kennedy’s opinion is “extraordinary”:

The decision is written in a tone in which the pregnant woman is referred to almost entirely as the mother, although these women have made the decision that they do not want to be mothers now. The fetus is always referred to as the unborn child. The doctors are not referred to as physicians but as abortionists. [Video, 0:45-1:05]

Let’s compare the actual text of Kennedy’s opinion to Karlan’s assertions about it:

1. Kennedy uses the word woman or women some 38 times to refer to the pregnant women. By contrast, he uses the word mother 15 times. Of those 15 uses, eight are direct quotations from the Act at issue, and three more use the term in repeating key phrases from the Act. But whether the proper statistic is 15 out of 53, or four out of 42, Karlan is wildly off, and has things very much backwards, in claiming that Kennedy’s opinion “almost entirely” refers to the pregnant woman as the mother.

2. Kennedy uses the word fetus 106 times. He uses the term unborn child only eight times, and six of those eight times are in quoting the Nebraska statute at issue in Stenberg v. Carhart. Karlan’s assertion that the “fetus is always referred to as the unborn child” is wildly false.

So here we have a law professor dishonestly attacking Kennedy’s word choices. Karlan’s is the standard feminist dogma so cozy in campus classrooms: man bad, feminist good, man hates feminist. Repeat.

Karlan’s dishonesty goes beyond womyn’s issues, and extends to the election system. She falsely attacked the Bush administration’s Justice Department for not protecting racial minorities. This is a favorite and well-worn tactic; it’s what old segregationists like Coley Blease and Woodrow Wilson used to do — stoke racial division by lying about opponents.  Unfortunately, Karlan’s lies were published with an air of respectability in the Duke Journal of Law and Public Policy (4 Duke J. Const. L. & Pub. Pol’y 17, 2009). She writes:

For five of the eight years of the Bush Administration, [they] brought no Voting Rights Act cases of its own except for one case protecting white voters.

This is demonstrably false; any visit to the DOJ website demonstrates this. Karlan says the Voting Section brought no cases to protect minorities under the Voting Rights Act in five of eight years — let’s look at the record:

2001  (1 of 1)

United States v. Alamosa County, CO, (D. Colo. 2001)

United States v. Crockett County, TN, (W.D. Tenn. 2001)

United States v. Charleston County, SC, (D.S.C. 2001)

2002 (2 of 2)

United States v. Osceola County, FL, (M.D. Fl. 2002)

2003 (3 of 3)

United States v. Berks County, PA, (E.D. Pa. 2003)

2004 (3 of 4)

No Section 2 case.

2005 (4 of 5)

United States v. City of Boston, MA, (D. Mass. 2005)

United States v. Osceola County, FL, (M.D. Fla 2005)

United States v. Ike Brown and Noxubee County, MS, (S.D. Miss 2005) (Karlan’s dreaded case to “protect white voters.”)

2006 (5 of 6)

United States v. Village of Port Chester, NY, (S.D.N.Y. 2006)

United States v. City of Euclid, et al. OH, (N.D. Ohio 2006)

United States v. Long County, GA, (S.D. Ga. 2006)

2007 (6 of 7)

United States v. City of Philadelphia, PA, (E.D. Pa. 2007)

2008 (7 of 8)

United States v. Euclid City School District Board of Education, OH, (N.D. Ohio 2008)

United States v. Salem County and the Borough of Penns Grove, NJ, (D.N.J. 2008)

United States v. The School Board of Osceola County, FL, (M.D. Fla. 2008)

United States v. Georgetown County School District, et al. SC, (D.S.C. 2008)

Even if Karlan were to claim she meant only “vote dilution cases” (commonly thought of as “redistricting” cases), she is still lying. Dilution cases were brought in four of the eight years, not three of the eight, as she falsely claims. In any event, it’s impossible to claim she only meant dilution cases: she made the bold, broad statement that the Bush DOJ “brought no Voting Rights Act cases of its own” in five of eight years. Taken literally, Karlan’s claim is especially false, as cases under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act were brought — as we see above — in every year except 2004.

Perhaps in 2004 the DOJ lawyers were too busy suing Ventura County (CA), Yakima County (WA), Suffolk County (NY), San Diego County (CA) and San Benito County (CA) under Section 203 of the same Voting Rights Act that Karlan claims the Bush administration didn’t enforce in five of eight years.

The truth: Karlan claimed that no cases were brought by the Bush DOJ under the Voting Rights Act to protect racial minorities in five of eight years (except of course to protect those undeserving whites).  Yet the record shows that cases were brought under the Voting Rights Act to protect non-white racial minorities in all eight of the eight years of the Bush administration.

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Top Rated Comments   
/squints

Is that male or female?

Ugh.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
JC, why, oh why would you think academic fraud is a problem with this administration?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The dishonesty is a feature, not a bug.

Just look at the OCare decision. The attorney arguing against completely creamed the other guy. There was no contest in this case. Did it matter? No. The LIberal Justices voted predictably, and the law and arguments be damned. If Roberts had not switched his vote with his ridiculous, contorted. legal reasoning, OCare would have gone down to defeat. In light of the NSA monitoring, I can only assume they had something on him. The law didn't matter. The arguments did not matter. The fix was in.

Dishonesty rules, today, because the country has lost its moral compass. Honesty is no longer cherished. It is considered optional.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
The president, himself, has set the standard for academic fraud.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gone are the days when academic fraud disqualified candidates left or right...

Academic fraud. OR any other fraud for example that perpetrated on the Law of the USA by the Triumvirate Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama. In "certification of BH Obama as nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the USA in 2008.

There is a Law, THE Fundamental Law that specifies qualifications for "legal eligibility" for ALL elective offices in the government of the USA.

Noteworthy is that ONE Special requirement for the Office of President and FOR NO OTHER elective office. THAT SPECIFIC qualification, to date neither amended, changed or defined in law by authoritative bodies as guardians of the Law. So presumed extant and limiting.

AND citizens have to date received, despite reservations from informed and disinterested citizens, no authoritative and usual PROOF that BH Obama meets that requirement.

That lack of formal proof compounded by his first act on taking the chair of Executive of the USA in Sealing documents. What and why not known and NEVER to see the light of public exposure to be known by American citizens in whose name and trust he acts.

Would ANYBODY buy a used car with these conditions?

AND such proofs apparently of little or NO concern to ANY of the guardians of the Law, the Constitution, in Legislature or Judiciary.

Who dismiss if they notice it at all the question, the request for authoritative true proofs as irrelevant. Tom Lehrer's "Not My Department"?

Moreover dismiss the quesitoners as disgruntled if not actual lunatic.

Give them an inch and they'll take a mile. OR The entire legal foundations, the Constitiution of the USA. Is THIS then their meaning in their intended "Fundamental Transformation of the Nation"?>
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't forget that Elena Kagan was caught red handed at forgery when working as Solicitor General for Prez Barack Hussein. She did this to misrepresent a group of respected scientists on an environmental dispute.

Turned out that the RINOs felt it would've been impolite to bring that up in her confirmation hearings, so she got in anyway. Those RINOs sure are respectful people. Maybe they were impressed by her Ivy League Moron credentials.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another sociopathic elitist that lies? Should we be surprised?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
/squints

Is that male or female?

Ugh.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I went to images.google.com. OOf - dah. That's one nasty piece of work.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
No kidding! Looking at the pic I'd thought it was an older image of Julian Lennon!
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
JC, why, oh why would you think academic fraud is a problem with this administration?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
per Wiki:
She has described herself as an example of "Snarky, bisexual, Jewish women."
...well rounded, then.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The dishonesty is a feature, not a bug.

Just look at the OCare decision. The attorney arguing against completely creamed the other guy. There was no contest in this case. Did it matter? No. The LIberal Justices voted predictably, and the law and arguments be damned. If Roberts had not switched his vote with his ridiculous, contorted. legal reasoning, OCare would have gone down to defeat. In light of the NSA monitoring, I can only assume they had something on him. The law didn't matter. The arguments did not matter. The fix was in.

Dishonesty rules, today, because the country has lost its moral compass. Honesty is no longer cherished. It is considered optional.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Roberts had not switched his vote with his ridiculous, contorted. legal reasoning, OCare would have gone down to defeat.

True, and this is an important point.

Even more fundamental is that Obamacare was never passed; it was only deemed to have passed. The socialists Pelosi and Reed leveraged the budget approval reconciliation process, itself unconstitutional, to ram through Obamacare after Teddy's death and his replacement by the RINO Scott Brown from the People's Socialist Republic of Massachussetts.

U.S. Consitution Article I, Section 7, paragraph 2.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I recall reading the original ACA bill wasn't a health care bill at all.

The original bill was a tax break for vets. When Congress kicked the bill up to the Senate it was 'Steve Austin'd'.

True? If so the deception, voluntary economic destruction done under this nonsensical premise- that of 'fairness' - to me is criminal.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever it was or is, the real question is WHAT Kind of Bill or Law or whatever needs more than 2000 pages to record its provisions?

Think about it.

When was the last time ANY of us read 2000 pages of ANYTHING and understood and remembered ALL or even the most important points in those pages?

Do we reallly think Congressmen... did anyything of the sort. Why should they when encourged, "whipped" by the Speaker of the House and then her fellow Praetorian in the Senate with "We have to pass to know what's in it". Tongue in cheek or dismissive response to that reporter who DARED to ask the Speaker of the House, "Third in line for the throne" to respect citizens enough to inform them of laws that were to limit their independent actions in their lives.

Directly Unconstitiutonal whatever the Chief Juistice of SCOTUS decides in what is in LAW a LIMITED Government.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why do we follow along with these Leftists in calling them "Progressives?" Let's start calling them what they really are. Euro-Socialists. Remember that lady who's last name was Brown who worked for this Administration? She IS actually a member and guest speaker for Socialist International. I'm sure many of this Administration if are not members, surely agree with the ideas of Socialist International, along with many in the Democrat party. We should call out these Leftists in their dishonesty to the American citizenry. They are Socialists. Nothing more. Nothing less.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...that lady who's last name was Brown who worked for this Administration?"

Carol Browner scrubbed references to her communist leanings/enthusiasm from her website when Barack appointed her in 2009.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Gone are the days when dishonesty kept you from the ranks of respectability, let alone higher office."

Cuts across all layers, nooks and crannies of society and government.

Sits at the base of everything that is completely screwed up, which is close to everything.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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