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The Dangerous Dishonesty of Possible Supreme Court Nominee Pam Karlan

People want this woman on the Supreme Court?

Of course they do. There is a budding movement of respectable gangsters to whom dishonesty is no disqualifier as long as the perp is ideologically correct. Gone are the days when dishonesty kept you from the ranks of respectability, let alone higher office.


Karlan's Bush-bashing is especially absurd given the total dormancy of Obama administration Voting Rights Act enforcement.

After I filed US v. Lake Park in March 2009 (a case started and almost completed by the Bush DOJ), the Obama Voting Section went into hibernation. No Section 2 cases were brought over the next four years. Naturally, Karlan won't be publishing a law review article titled: "Lessons Learned: The Sorry History of Voting Rights Enforcement of the Obama Administration."

Karlan's attack on the Bush Justice Department was part of the academy's contribution to a broad, coordinated effort to create a false alternative history about the Bush civil rights record. Whelan describes the rancid pedigree of this tactic in another National Review article, titled "The American Constitution Society’s Purge?":

In doing research for my post on Pamela Karlan’s textual hallucinations, I was surprised to discover that the hyperlinks on this American Constitution Society page to Karlan’s “insightful -- and witty -- reflections” at the ACS’s 2006 convention and to the video of her remarks both led nowhere (or, more precisely, to “Page Not Found”). A Google search of the site fared no better.

I had thought that Stalinist airbrushing had fallen out of fashion on the Left, but I think that it’s fair to ask whether ACS, in order to advance the prospects of individuals whom it would like to see nominated and confirmed to judicial office.

No Ed, airbrushing hasn't fallen out of favor. Sometimes they airbrush out inconvenient transcripts, other times they airbrush out cases filed in United States District Court to protect minority civil rights. Stalin's airbrush tactics are alive and well.

Couldn't Karlan's dishonesty offer the academic left a chance to redeem itself in a small way? Couldn't responsible left-of-center law professors publicly toss Karlan overboard to demonstrate that intellectual honesty survives on the left side of law schools? Couldn't Karlan's dean at Stanford demand that she correct her false scholarship?

Of course not. That's not how they play ball. When rank academic dishonesty among one of their own is spoken of as a justification to disown her, Karlan's allies and sycophants call the scrutiny "bizzaro world." When an esteemed leftist law professor is called out for dishonesty, less-esteemed leftist law professors can't even begin to process the  possibility. That's the state of the academy today: dishonesty is processed depending on the political persuasion of the liar. Such evil compounds Karlan's original lies.

Karlan will still get invited to speak at ACS events.  She will still get calls from Wall Street Journal reporters. Her articles in barely read publications will still be blogged about by left-wing professors. Narrative, uninterrupted.

Perhaps there is still enough credibility and honesty on both sides of the aisle in the United States Senate to ensure that Pam Karlan has hit her career ceiling. Hopefully Democrats and Republicans alike can agree that it is best to keep a dishonest academic in her position as a dishonest academic. Her corrosive and bitter worldview is best kept in the insular world of academia, where her damage can be contained to corrupting scores of would-be lawyers who don't have a clue about who is really standing at the lectern; where deans like Elizabeth Magill turn a blind eye to outright scholarly dishonesty on their faculty.

Confining her to a life in the academy will limit the damage Karlan could do to the Constitution and the rule of law compared to if she were ever nominated to the federal bench.