Holder moves forward with prosecution and a note on Professor Yoo
A prosecutor has been appointed to investigate possible abuses by the CIA, and they are also looking into that little matter of destroying interrogation tapes. It looks like Professor Yoo will escape prosecution. But he continues to be harassed at his teaching position.
While Rightscounsel does not support Professor Yoo’s position on torture, or any of the positions for which he has been so justly criticized, the move to try and strip him of tenure is deeply troubling. Remember that tenure is designed to protect those who espouse deeply unpopular opinions. While Dean Edley seems to support the idea of tenure, he seems to fall short of completely defending Professor Yoo’s tenure.
It might be fun to hound someone you do not agree with. But just imagine if a future professor Obama was similarly were to be hounded by all those town hall crazies or birthers. Rightscounsel is reminded of a point that Professor once made in a public appearance in the early days of the Bush administration. The topic was compassionate use of medical marijuana. He pointed out that the doctrine of federalism cuts both ways — people who espouse liberal views in California often decry federalism, but they may seek shelter under that doctrine if a character like Alberto Gonzales is deciding who the federal government may want to prosecute. The same is true of tenure. While it may protect people and opinions we do not like, it also protects the voice of people who dare to speak out in more troubling times.
That brings me to another topic — word on the street is that Professor Yoo is an excellent teacher and one of the few professors at Berkeley who has gone the extra mile to help out students who need assistance securing clerkships or post-graduation employment. It would be a shame if Berkeley lost him.