Is The New York Times Smearing Jameis Winston?

Real Clear Sports

Over the past year The New York Times has published thousands of words about the rape allegation against Heisman Trophy-winning Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston, all pointing to a single conclusion: He is guilty, and the state of Florida and his school have excused his crime because of his football prowess. But there is a large body of evidence that The Times has kept from its readers that would lead a discerning reader to another conclusion: that Winston has been cleared by three separate investigations because the evidence […]

Recruiters: Kagan’s Forgivable Sin

National Journal

The main Republican line of attack on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan will be to paint her as antimilitary, at worst, or at best a fellow traveler of left-wing academic America-haters, based on what many have inaccurately called her "ban" on military recruiters as dean of Harvard Law School.

Kagan did discriminate against military recruiters for some months to protest the exclusion of openly gay people from the military. Is this a big blot on her record?

A little blot at worst, I’d say, and one offset by Kagan’s energetic and consistent support of students who had served and who planned to serve in the military, which she praised as a "noble" and "deeply honorable" profession.

 

One of Kagan’s great virtues was her success in taking a sledgehammer to the Harvard faculty’s high quotient of left-wing mindlessness.

 

Kagan’s short-lived denial to military recruiters of the same help that the law school provided to private employers was, in my view, an unwise way to protest the unjust 1993 law — adopted by a Democratic Congress and signed by President Clinton — that excluded openly gay people from the military.

"At a time of war, in the face of the grand civilizational challenge that radical Islam poses," charges Ed Whelan, head of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, in National Review Online’s Bench Memos blog, "Kagan treated military recruiters worse than she treated the high-powered law firms that were donating their expensive legal services to anti-American terrorists."

Recruiters: Kagan’s Forgivable Sin – The Ninth Justice

National Journal

The main Republican line of attack on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan will be to paint her as antimilitary, at worst, or at best a fellow traveler of left-wing academic America-haters, based on what many have inaccurately called her "ban" on military recruiters as dean of Harvard Law School.

Kagan did discriminate against military recruiters for some months to protest the exclusion of openly gay people from the military. Is this a big blot on her record?

A little blot at worst, I’d say, and one offset by Kagan’s energetic and consistent support of students who had served and who planned to serve in the military, which she praised as a "noble" and "deeply honorable" profession.

Kagan’s short-lived denial to military recruiters of the same help that the law school provided to private employers was, in my view, an unwise way to protest the unjust 1993 law — adopted by a Democratic Congress and signed by President Clinton — that excluded openly gay people from the military.

"At a time of war, in the face of the grand civilizational challenge that radical Islam poses," charges Ed Whelan, head of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, in National Review Online’s Bench Memos blog, "Kagan treated military recruiters worse than she treated the high-powered law firms that were donating their expensive legal services to anti-American terrorists."

Ouch. But Kagan’s restrictions on military recruiting were both inherited and largely symbolic. They do not appear to have impeded recruiters’ access to interested students. She held annual Veterans Day dinners at her home for students who had served. And three Iraq War veterans who were students on her watch praised "Dean Kagan’s strong record of welcoming and honoring veterans on campus" in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Does The Ledbetter Law Benefit Workers, Or Lawyers?

National Journal

This has been a good week, and may be a good year, for lawyers, civil-rights groups and others who think that America needs many more lawsuits to combat what they portray as pervasive job discrimination against women, minorities, the elderly, and the disabled.

Things are not going so well for those of us who fear that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which President Obama co-sponsored as a senator and signed on Thursday, and other job discrimination bills in the congressional pipeline may be bad for most workers and may benefit mainly lawyers.

Ledbetter waited more than five years after learning that she was paid substantially less than most male co-workers to file her Title VII claim.

These measures seem likely to make it harder than ever for employers to defend themselves against bogus (as well as valid) discrimination claims, effectively adding to the cost of each new hire.

This would be justified if job discrimination were indeed pervasive. But the evidence suggests otherwise. Study after study has, for example, cast grave doubt on what appears to be the myth that sex discrimination in the workplace remains rampant more than 40 years after Congress adopted one law broadly banning job discrimination and another requiring equal pay for women and men doing equal work.

Congressional Democrats, liberal groups, and the media have thoroughly distorted the facts underlying the Ledbetter law to advance their agenda of opening the door wide to all manner of job-discrimination lawsuits.

The new law will virtually wipe out the 300-day time limit (180 days in Alabama and some other states) during which employees can file claims of discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Disgruntled employees will now be free to wait many years before hauling employers into court for supposedly discriminatory raises, promotions, or any other actions affecting pay.

‘Injustice 5, Justice 4’

The Atlantic

This headline, borrowed from a New York Times editorial, pretty well sums up the news media’s portrayal of a May 29 Supreme Court ruling that an Alabama woman suing her former employer for sex-based pay discrimination had not filed her claim within the congressionally prescribed time limit.

In The Times, that headline could only refer to one grouping: The usual four conservatives plus sometime-conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy voting down the usual four liberals. With Bush-appointed Justice Samuel Alito writing the majority opinion, and Clinton-appointed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reading her dissent from the bench and urging Congress to "correct" the Court, this rather technical case, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber, instantly became a magnet for media moaning of the barbarians-at-the-gate genre.

"The Supreme Court struck a blow for discrimination this week," The Times began. The Court "has read the law so rigidly that it has misread life," chimed in the Los Angeles Times. The Washington Post‘s front-page news report devoted (by my count) four paragraphs to the nuts and bolts of the decision, four and a half paragraphs to the majority’s analysis and supportive quotes, and 17 and a half paragraphs to Ginsburg, her dissent, and other critics. "A harsh and rigid reading of the law … striking for its lack of empathy," Ellis Cose complained in Newsweek. He seconded the American Civil Liberties Union’s charge that this was an "astonishing decision" by an "activist court."

Why the Courts Will Uphold 209

No state shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

U.S. Constitution, Amendment XIV

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin….

California Civil Rights Initiative

(added to state constitution by voters’ adoption of Proposition 209 on Nov. 5)

The question presented is whether the second of these two laws violates the first. The question should answer itself, even for those who think the CCRI is bad policy. The notion that a state violates the 14th Amendment’s prohibition of almost all racial discrimination when it prohibits all racial discrimination is absurd on its face. Butt a little absurdity has not deterred civil rights groups, led by the American Union, from rushing into federal court (and shopping for a sympathetic judge) with a claim that the CCRI must be enjoined as contrary to the equal protection clause. Nor has it prevented U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco from issuing a temporary restraining order (on Nov. 27) finding that the plaintiffs have "a strong possibility of success on the merits."

How strong? Some predictions: Assuming that Judge Henderson grants a preliminary injunction, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit will reverse him and uphold the CCRI’s constitutionality. The Supreme Court will then either decline to hear the case or add an exclamation point by upholding the CCRI-unanimously.

The strategy of the ACLU and its allies represents "an Orwellian assault on democracy," in the words of columnist Charles Krauthammer.

NewsHour: Supreme Court Decision on Women at VMI – June 26, 1996

MARGARET WARNER: Tonight we examine two of the day’s high court rulings. The first involves the all-male Virginia Military Institute. On a seven to one decision, the court ruled that the state of Virginia may no longer exclude women from admission to VMI. We get more on that from NewsHour regular Stuart Taylor, correspondent for the "American Lawyer" and "Legal Times." Welcome, Stuart. What was the basic–what was the basis for the court’s ruling in this case?

STUART TAYLOR, The American Lawyer: The court ruled that it violates the equal protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment for VMI–for the state of Virginia, I should say, to deny to women what it called the unique and extraordinary benefits that men get from attending Virginia Military Institute, a 150-year-old institution with a unique prestigious role in Virginia life.

MS. WARNER: And what was the majority’s reasoning in coming to this, the majority opinion written by, I gather, Justice Ginsberg?

MR. TAYLOR: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was a crusader for equal rights for women before she came on the court, basically reasoned that women should have all the opportunities men do in Virginia and elsewhere unless there’s what she called an exceedingly persuasive justification why they should not. She reviewed all the justifications Virginia had advanced for keeping VMI all male and rejected them. In particular, she said there are some women who could benefit from a VMI type education, which is sort of a boot camp style approach to education. Even if there aren’t many, there are some, and they should have that opportunity. She also rejected the state’s argument that it would destroy the boot camp style approach VMI uses to admit women.

MS. WARNER: And so VMI, of course, had tried to start a separate program for women at a nearby women’s college. What did the court say about that?

NewsHour: Virginia Military Institute’s Men Only Policy – January 17, 1996

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: You were at the Supreme Court today. Can you summarize the arguments for us?

STUART TAYLOR: Yes. Deputy Solicitor General Paul Bender led off for the Justice Department, and he stressed that VMI’s unique adversative-style education, that’s the buzz word which is kind of the boot camp approach of being abused and harassed by upperclassmen, is a valuable asset and that the VMI degree is a valuable asset to those men who go there, particularly because it’s a very prestigious institution with a loyal alumni body that channels people into successful careers.

He said that there’s no reason women should be denied the benefit of that sort of education; that there are some women who can hack it at a place like VMI, in the records yes, there are some, and that they ought to have that opportunity. He also claims that the arguments VMI has made and the Mary Baldwin people have made for the solution of keeping them in separate places depended on outmoded stereotypes, basically depended on the idea that there are some things women can’t handle, and this is one of them, and that the only remedy, in his view, is to integrate VMI. He says that the Mary Baldwin institution 35 miles down the road is not equal, is not the same, is not as good in, in various ways.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: How about the opposing side?

NewsHour: Virginia Military Institute’s Men Only Policy – January 17, 1996

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: You were at the Supreme Court today. Can you summarize the arguments for us?

STUART TAYLOR: Yes. Deputy Solicitor General Paul Bender led off for the Justice Department, and he stressed that VMI’s unique adversative-style education, that’s the buzz word which is kind of the boot camp approach of being abused and harassed by upperclassmen, is a valuable asset and that the VMI degree is a valuable asset to those men who go there, particularly because it’s a very prestigious institution with a loyal alumni body that channels people into successful careers.

He said that there’s no reason women should be denied the benefit of that sort of education; that there are some women who can hack it at a place like VMI, in the records yes, there are some, and that they ought to have that opportunity. He also claims that the arguments VMI has made and the Mary Baldwin people have made for the solution of keeping them in separate places depended on outmoded stereotypes, basically depended on the idea that there are some things women can’t handle, and this is one of them, and that the only remedy, in his view, is to integrate VMI. He says that the Mary Baldwin institution 35 miles down the road is not equal, is not the same, is not as good in, in various ways.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: How about the opposing side?

The Rule of Nonsense at Harvard Law

The whiff of censorship is in the air at the Harvard Law School. Look for a push by the faculty’s left wing this fall to adopt a campus speech/"harassment" code-one of those affirmative-action models aimed at punishing insensitivity toward women and minorities while smiling on the stigmatization of white males.

And look for more demands for appointment of a faculty-student committee-selected by racial and sexual quota-to investigate the "atmosphere" for signs of a "hostile environment."

The stage has been set by the widely publicized outcry this spring over the unfortunate scribblings of two student members of the Harvard Law Review. A sampling of the reaction;

• An open letter by "15 faculty members including liberal luminary Laurence Tribe declared the article a symptom of a law-school environment "seriously hostile to women" and pervaded by "institutional sexism and misogyny," especially in its hiring practices.

• Professor Elizabeth Bartholet added that the "incident and the charges of related matters involving treatment of women … involve conduct that is arguably illegal under federal and state civil rights law governing sex discrimination and sexual harassment," and "possibly tortious."

• Professor David Kennedy pressed the law school’s administrative board to bring formal discipline against the offending students because their actions-"lie … at the point where sexual harassment verges into assault," and involve "a terrorization of women general and feminist women in particular"-even "a direct threat of personal violence."

This outpouring of learned nonsense was provoked by students engaging in what used to be called pure speech: the publication of a parody.