Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Black Law Professors disturbed by Elena Kagan's Nomination by Obama

AP photo/Jose Luis Magana

Reports suggest that Solicitor General Elena Kagan may be President Obama's choice for the Supreme Court vacancy.

Like everyone in the legal academy over the last decade, we have watched with admiration the amazing changes that Elena Kagan brought to Harvard Law School. A fractured faculty, divided among ideological lines, seemed finally content, if not united. A boisterous student body was finally pacified. The logjam that had stopped faculty hiring had burst. Indeed, she hired so many new faculty the Harvard Law School’s newspaper’s 2008 April Fool’s issue declared, "Dean Kagan Hires Every Law Professor in the Country."

The first woman Dean of Harvard Law School had presided over an unprecedented expansion of the faculty -- growing it by almost a half. She had hired 32 tenured and tenure-track academic faculty members (non-clinical, non-practice). But when we sat down to review the actual record, we were frankly shocked. Not only were there shockingly few people of color, there were very few women. Where were the people of color? Where were the women? Of these 32 tenured and tenure-track academic hires, only one was a minority. Of these 32, only seven were women. All this in the 21st Century.

 

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1 comment:

CAROLYN MOON said...

The point is well taken re: the fallacy of Ms. Kagan's appointment by some black professors and legal minds. I'm trying to understand why another highly respected black professor and legal mind, Charles Ogletree disagrees and supports her wholeheartedly. What's going on among black academicians and why the discrepancies in their perspectives of this woman...some who've worked with her or are very familiar with her record? Would love to have a panel of these legal minds for and against debate it on c-span or something. The powers that be .....are you listening?