Balkinization  

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Welcome to Michael Stokes Paulsen

JB

Michael Stokes Paulsen, who is currently the McKnight Presidential Professor of Law and Public Policy, Briggs & Morgan Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship at the University of Minnesota Law School-- and who will soon join the faculty at St. Thomas School of Law-- will be guest blogging with us at Balkinization. Mike is a prolific scholar and a leading expert on many different areas of constitutional law, including executive power. Please give him a warm welcome.

Comments:

WELCOME!
 

I've disagreed with almost every word Prof. Paulsen has written thus far. But that is a good thing. Good to mix things up.

A warm welcome, Prof. Paulsen.
 

Why is it always the contention of the liberal set that respecting conservative views is the equivalent of allowing them to say anything without question?

In Mr. Paulsen's last essay, he writes: "A late abortion may still be obtained for essentially any reason the woman chooses, including
economics, social convenience, spite of a boy friend, and (probably) sex selection of children."

If Mr. Balkin received an essay from a liberal writer making such a statement, surely he would take the writer to task for this. But under the guise of respect, Mr. Paulsen is allowed to say nearly anything, only reinforcing the mistaken perception that conservatism is crudity. But crudity is only the hallmark of those that have hijacked the conservative movement.

Many liberals feel they are respecting conservative views when they are actually doing the opposite - by not questioning even the most absurd statements, they show that they have absolutely no expectation at all of conservative writers.

Mr. Balkin must hold Mr. Paulsen's writing to the same rigors as his other writers and not diminish such concerns by quoting bona fides.
 

I think, JC, you may miss the point. Prof Paulsen is a very conservative academic. Better yet, he is a respected very conservative academic. I don't agree with Prof Paulsen's socially conservative views. But they are *sophisticated* ones as oppoosed to, for example, Bork's outdated originalism (ever wonder why he gave up academic writing and starting writing social screeds that are closer to Ann Coulter rather than ideas to be reckoned with (e.g., his Nuetrality in First Amendmen essay)). On top of that Paulsen has, I believe, questioned SCOTUS as having the final interpretive authority in constitutional matters (for different ideological reasons than, say, Prof Levinson but the *idea* is still important). Paulsen is a formidable intellect and *that* is why he was offered a spot on Balkinization. It sounds to me like you don't like your liberal beliefs to be questioned. And, if true, you are the kind of (dogmatic?) liberal that scares me. If Paulsen is not good enought for you, then who is an "ok" conservative?
 

Ad hominem? Paulsen is well respected, therefore baseless claims about abortion being chosen to spite a boyfriend or make sex selection... are sophisticated?

I appreciate your reply, but I don't follow the part about my "liberal beliefs?" Which liberal beliefs?
 

Im assuming you're liberal. Feel free to correct me. Not ad hominem, just blunt. While I don't think that most women would have a late term abortion simply to spite a boyfriend, Paulsen's point is that they *could* and he finds that morally discomforting. Not sure what's so remarkable about that. Yeah, I agree it's more rhetoric than anything else, but the fact of the matter is Paulsen is one of the leading conservative legal scholars in the country today. And that's why he got the invite.
 

"Paulsen's socially conservative views. But they are *sophisticated* ones"

JC made a simple point, viz, Mr Paulsen's statements are occasionally anything but *sophisticated*. his entry in "What Roe ..." questioned not only the quality of the opposing views but also the character of the opponents - unless "person of violence" is a complimentary phrase the sophistication of which escapes an uncredentialed (in law) rustic like me. (and possibly challenged the integrity of this blog's host as well; I forget which of the minority opinion contributors did that). your suggestion that challenging the conservative mr paulsen's agressive style indicates some dogmatic form of liberalism "scares" me just as much as JC's rather innocuous comment apparently did you. underneath the patina of concern for extremism is run-of-the-mill liberal bashing.

worse, your justification of mr paulsen's "spite a boyfriend" comment is patently disingenuous. JC knows, I know, and you know full well what that was about. and given mr paulsen's penchant for dramatic excess, I feel confident he did as well.

having no strong bias vis-a-vis the abortion debate, I welcome thoughtful views on either side (my last read on the issue was an article by Robert P. George) but can do without the name calling and innuendo engaged in by the sophisticated mr Paulsen.

OTOH, prof Balkin is free to invite whomever he likes, invitees are free to say whatever they like, and we are all free to comment thereon. so, a good time should be had by all.

-charles
 

Yeah, Im not sure what I can do to help you if you dont get it, ctw. *My* point was that one statement does not a CV make. You cannot argues with the fact that Paulsen's a respected academic and that's why he got the invite. JC did not make "a simple point" but turned it into "a why do liberals let conservatives say anything they want" which came off to me as "ooh, conservatives, icky" . . . so what scared me was her (im assuming JCs a her)was here let's shut all conservatives up. I agree that Paulsen is way out on there on abortion and have taken him to task for his fire-brand rhetoric in a paper i have forthcoming this may in mcgeorge law review (on abortion of course). However, i welcome his addition to the blog where we can *all* take him to task when he says something ridiculous.
 

J.C.

The problem with your statement is that your post is bereft of reasonable argument. Mr. Paulsen's statement is essentially correct. The health exception is so broad, that almost any justification by a woman is allowed to fall under it. Perhaps, "to spite a boyfriend" is rhetorically excessive, but it is rhetorical excess to make a point. The current health exception for late term (and all abortions) is so broad that is swallows the rule.

The problem with your rhetoric about not respecting conservatives views that aren't properly intelligent in your view, is that your view is just so factually wrong and warped, that God help us if your view determines what is a socially acceptable argument.

That's why your point is generally not accepted. When people such as yourself can't even get your arguments right, how can you express judgment about whether any other arguments an even socially acceptable?
 

Someone:

Perhaps, "to spite a boyfriend" is rhetorically excessive, but it is rhetorical excess to make a point.

An invalid one. Why settle for the plain truth when hyperbole will do, eh? You'll go far in law.

Cheers,
 

Arne,

So, all the people who are declaring the undermining/end of Roe as a result of Carhart aren't fit to be lawyers? Cut out the ridiculous assertions.
 

Someone:

[Someone]: Perhaps, "to spite a boyfriend" is rhetorically excessive, but it is rhetorical excess to make a point.

[Arne]: An invalid one. Why settle for the plain truth when hyperbole will do, eh? You'll go far in law.

[Someone]: So, all the people who are declaring the undermining/end of Roe as a result of Carhart aren't fit to be lawyers? Cut out the ridiculous assertions.


Don't know where you got that out of what I said. I'd suggest reading it again (I've provided the context for you; hope it helps).

Cheers,
 

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