Dear Dean McGeveran

I’m scheduled to have another lunch with my conservative attorney friend next week. We were in law school together at the University of Minnesota and crossed paths in the course of our practices. I now seek to persuade him that the law school has become an enemy of everything we believe in and that it would make sense to reconsider his support. Following up on our last lunch on the subject, he asked the development office if there were any conservatives on the law school faculty. They named two-time DFL candidate Professor Richard Painter. In other words, they should have called a lifeline for help answering that question.

Yesterday my friend forwarded an email newsletter from the law school. He wrote me: “I noticed this program about 3/4 of the way down…It is another prime example of the subject we have discussed before about viewpoint diversity at the law school (or rather the lack thereof).”

The newsletter highlighted the webinar “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health: Implications and Impact on Reproductive Rights.” The title is a tad misleading. The one-hour webinar comprehensively attacked Justice Alito’s leaked opinion. It described the webinar as follows:

In the wake of the recently leaked draft opinion in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health (which would overrule Roe v. Wade) and in anticipation of the upcoming SCOTUS decision, Professor Elizabeth Bentley, Professor June Carbone, Professor Jill Hasday, and Professor Charlotte Garden discuss the Dobbs case and share their insight on the potential outcomes and implications of the case on reproductive rights and privacy rights in the U.S. Watch the full video here.

The link is to the recording of the webinar posted on YouTube. I don’t disagree with everything said by the professors in the webinar, but the lack of any difference of opinion on the merits of Justice Alito’s draft renders it something worse than a bore.

The webinar was moderated by Associate Dean for Academic Affairs William McGeveran. I wrote him yesterday after watching the video:

Dear Dean McGeveran: I’m a 1979 alumnus of the law school and have just watched the YouTube recording of the Zoom webinar you moderated on May 25. I wonder if you gave any thought to inviting the participation of any respectable scholar who might have found good reason to support the draft decision on the terms laid out in the draft or others comparable to them. Is there anyone left on the faculty who might have wanted to contribute a “diverse” view or has the law school succeeded in cleansing itself of such scholars? As a concerned alum, I’d be grateful for any light you might be willing to shed on this question.

I hope Dean McGeveran isn’t discouraged from responding by the hostility I let leak into the message. I will post his response if/when he writes me back.

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