Right-of-Center Law Professors Stand Up Against Trump

June 4th, 2016

On Friday, The New York Times and the Associated Press ran articles discussing how right-of-center law professors are taking a stand against a Trump Presidency. I am quoted, as well as Randy Barnett, Ilya Somin, Richard Epstein, John Yoo, John McGinnis, Jonathan Adler, Michael McConnell, and Ilya Shapiro (not a Professor, but close enough). Today, Eugene Volokh also blogged about Trump. I am very proud of my colleagues who are speaking out against this looming threat, even at the potential risk of imperiling their own future prospects.

Frankly, I am not surprised. All of the people I mentioned above are people I have gotten to know very well in my years as an academic, and are people that I deeply respect for their principle and commitment to the rule of law. This is the same sort of fortitude that allowed these academics to buck the consensus and argue that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, or that the federal government cannot regulate locally grown marijuana. We live our lives in an arena that is often inhospitable, and we have to articulate our ideas against extremely strong headwinds. This is why I’m not surprised that my colleagues have taken the position they did.

I also hope (sincerely) that these statements will provide credibility for the future, when we take other legal positions that are outside the mainstream. We aren’t right-wing hacks (as we are often called), but thoughtful academics with a commitment to the law.

I appreciated Rick Hasen’s tweet on Thursday, which I think reflects how others ought to view the positions we are taking.