Balkinization  

Thursday, May 22, 2003

JB

More on the Explosion at Yale Law School

It is looking more and more likely that the explosion was caused by a bomb. The FBI, Homeland Security, ATF, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies are coordinating investigations, interviewing everyone who was in the building that day.

The damage to Room 120 and the Alumni Reading Room was extensive. Debris fell down the staircase from the Alumni Reading Room leading down to the International Law Library and Rare Book Collection. A pipe burst, pouring water on many of the rare books. Some of them can be restored, others may not be.

The law school community is a bit shaken but still in good spirits, because all of us know that we were very very lucky-- there were no injuries. If someone had been killed in this explosion, the mood here would be very different. Graduation will go on as scheduled, and we will not move over to the gymnasium. The graduation will take place in the courtyard, in the very heart of the Law School.

One amusing anecdote in an otherwise somber day: The wall between Room 120 and the Alumni Reading Room collapsed. Several portraits hanging in the Alumni Reading Room fell off that wall. My sources tell me that Bob Bork's, Pat Wald's,and former Dean Abe Goldstein's portraits were damaged, but Eleanor Holmes Norton is still up on what remains of the wall. The portrait of Guido Calabresi, former dean and now a judge on the Second Circuit, was also on that wall. Dean Tony Kronman reported that when he came in to inspect the damage, the portrait had somehow done a 270 degree flip and landed on its back, face up, completely undamaged.

That's Guido for you.

And that's the Yale Law School too. You can try to bomb us, but we will just do a backflip and come up good as new.



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