Harvard Law School

Rick Perry says he was “Praising” Wendy Davis

Sure you were, Governor Perry.  With that snark in your tone, you acted more like a gossiping teenager, spreading rumors.

TMPLivewire

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Friday explained that he was simply “praising” state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) when he said it was “unfortunate” that she didn’t view abortions unfavorably based on her own experience as a teenage mother.

In a statement to the New York Daily News, the governor’s office explained that he was “praising Sen. Davis for her success despite coming from difficult circumstances.”

Davis, who led a 13-hour filibuster earlier this week to block passage of a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, responded on Thursday, chiding Perry for using “small words” that tarnished Lone Star state values.

“They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view,” she said in a statement. “Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test.”

In his remarks at the National Right to Life conference in Dallas, Texas, Perry invoked Davis as someone who was born into hard circumstances but ultimately became a successful Harvard educated lawyer.

“Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can’t grow to live successful lives?” he asked. “She was the daughter of as single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”

The woman behind the Tex. filibuster

State Senator Wendy Davis during her filibuster in the Texas State Senate on 6/25/2013.

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is an extraordinary woman…

The Washington Post – Wonk Blog

You know, the Fort Worth Democrat who stood for eleven hours to filibuster a bill in the Texas State Senate that would place new restrictions on abortion clinics and ban the practice after 20 weeks of pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know.

[UPDATE: She stood long enough to kill the bill, Texas’ Lieutenant Governor ruled at 3:01 a.m.]

She knows about single motherhood, and poverty. The 50-year-old Davis had to care for her three siblings at the age of 14 for her single mother, and became a single mother herself at the age of 19.

She knows the law. Davis became the first person in her family to graduate from college, with a degree from Texas Christian University and then Harvard Law School. She clerked, litigated, and spent a few years in the title insurance business before starting her own practice for federal and local government affairs, real estate, and contract compliance.

She put in her political time. Davis spent nine years on the Fort Worth City Council, focusing on neighborhood economic development. When she was elected to the state senate in 2008, she became the 12th Democrat in the upper chamber–just enough to keep the Republicans from closing off debate on bills.

She’s got eclectic interests. Davis has sponsored bills on everything from cancer prevention to payday lending to protecting victims of sexual assault to government transparency.

She’s one of the more successful users of the filibuster. In 2011, she used the tactic against a budget that underfunded the state’s public schools by $5 billion, and two years later got most of the money replaced.

Republicans keep trying to shut her down. Her 2008 victory was a squeaker over the Republican incumbent, and she pulled out another in 2012 after federal courts threw out a Republican gerrymandering plan that would have put her in a much more conservative district. Again, she became the last vote needed to deny Republicans a filibuster-proof majority (The 2012 firebombing of her office appears to have been a random act by a mentally ill homeless person). After her 2011 filibuster, the Republican-led house stripped her of her position on the education committee.

She’s got her eye on higher office. Governor, anyone? The fundraising comes easy, anyway.

She’s got “fashion icon status” in the state Capitol. At least that’s what The New York Times says. For this filibuster, she wore pink sneakers.

Ted Cruz Responds: Harvard Law Was Full of Communists

ted-cruz-hls-follow-up.jpg

A few days ago New Yorker reporter, Jane Mayer, wrote an article on the newly seated but high-profile senator from Texas, Ted Cruz entitled Is Senator Ted Cruz Our New McCarthy?  The article was based on statements Senator Cruz had made a speech in 2010 where he stated that Harvard Law School was full of “Communist Professors”.

Rachel Maddow had two fascinating segments (the first, starting at the 7:03 point) about Ted Cruz and the analogy to Senator Joe McCarthy.  The next segment was an interview with Jane Meyer.

This current article demonstrates how Senator Cruz has in fact “doubled-down” on his statement.

The New Yorker

Senator Ted Cruz has responded to The New Yorkers report that he accused Harvard Law School of having had “twelve” Communists who “believed in the overthrow of the U.S. Government” on its faculty when he attended in the early nineties. Cruz doesn’t deny that he said this; instead, through his spokesman, he says he was right: Harvard Law was full of Communists.

His spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Blaze website that the “substantive point” in Cruz’s charge, made in a speech in 2010, was “was absolutely correct.”

She went on to explain that “the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of ‘critical legal studies’—a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism—and they far outnumbered Republicans.” As my story noted, the Critical Legal Studies group consisted of left-leaning professors like Duncan Kennedy, who is a social democrat, not a Communist, and has never “believed in the overthrow of the U.S. Government.”

Among those who have taken issue with Cruz’s castigation of the Harvard Law School faculty are his former law professor, Charles Fried, who is a well-known Republican and former Solicitor General to Ronald Reagan. In his 2010 speech, Cruz had said there was only “one” Republican on the faculty, but his former professor, Fried, told The New Yorker there were at least four, including himself. A spokesman for Harvard Law School, Robb London, also described the school as “puzzled” by Cruz’s allegations.

Cruz’s spokesman called it “curious” that The New Yorker would cover Cruz’s speech “three years” after he gave it. But Cruz’s hostile questioning of Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and insinuations about Hagel’s loyalties had provided a fresh context for looking more closely at the nature of the accusations he has leveled at political opponents. Observers like Senator Barbara Boxer wondered if they were seeing a revival of McCarthyism. Judging from Cruz’s speech—and, now, his defense of it—it’s a good question.

Sarah Palin challenges Obama to debate

I try to ignore this really crazy lady, but just had to share this with everyone…

The Hill

Sarah Palin shot back at the Obama reelection campaign this week after it used footage of her in a fundraising video.

“I’m not running for any office, but I’m more than happy to accept the dubious honor of being Barack Obama’s ‘enemy of the week’ if that includes the opportunity to debate him on the issues Americans are actually concerned about,” Palin wrote in a note on her Facebook page, posted late Monday. Palin was responding to a Web video fundraising for Obama that uses recent footage of Palin criticizing the president.

Palin also offered a challenge to Obama.

“I’m willing and free to discuss these issues with the President anywhere, anytime,” Palin wrote.

The Obama campaign released a video on Friday that calls out Palin by name. It charges: “Sarah Palin and the far right say President Obama will bring back racial discrimination … against white people.”

Palin said it is an example of Obama’s “diversionary tactics” that “shows that our President sure seems fearful of discussing the economy, energy prices, and all the other problems people need addressed.”

She proposed that Obama could also debate any of “the four patriots currently running for the GOP nomination” — Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul — on the issues.

The campaign video uses footage of a Fox News appearance where Palin, discussing Obama’s college relationship with prominent Harvard Professor Derrick Bell, accused Obama of following “radical” philosophies that hearken back to an before the Civil War “when unfortunately too many Americans mistakenly believed that not all men were created equal.”

The campaign video strongly condemns Palin for the assertion.

“These attacks are wrong and dangerous. If you’re tired of it, do something: Donate to the two term fund,” the video reads.

Palin called the “absurd new attack” ad “heavily edited” but “quite telling.”

Reaffirming the comments she had made on Fox News, Palin also encouraged her readers and the media to re-open a discussion about “Obama’s radical past associations and the radical philosophy that shaped his ideas.”

The video of Obama introducing Bell in 1991 prompted a controversy among some conservatives because Bell, who was the first black tenured Harvard Law School professor, also helped initiate the academic discipline of Critical Race Theory.

Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, is a Fox News contributor.

Palin: Obama Wants To Return To The “Days Before The Civil War” When People Weren’t Considered Equal

Sara Palin wants to be relevant again…but as usual, she gets it all twisted.

Think Progress

Sean Hannity brought Sarah Palin on his Fox News show yesterday to continue his discussion from the night before over the biggest non-story of the week— a video of President Obama from his days at Harvard Law School.

But during their discussion, Palin opened up a new front in her attack of President Obama, apparently suggesting America’s first black president wants to return to the days “before the Civil War”:

Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand that that gravity, that mistake, took place before the Civil War and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin.

Watch it:

The “different classes” system Palin seems to be referring to is perhaps better known as slavery.

The entire conversation is based on the mischaracterization of Derrick Bell, a pioneer in legal scholarly work. Bell was the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School, and the video that Hannity insists is a scandal shows Barack Obama, then a student, speaking at a rally in support of Professor Bell. Students and faculty were protesting to urge Harvard to hire more minority faculty.

Of course, Palin has struggled with history before.

PBS already aired Breitbart’s Obama footage

So much for the infamous college video Andrew Breitbart promised he’d release prior to his untimely death, that would expose President Obama as a left wing radical…

The Raw Story

Breitbart.com editors Ben Shapiro and Joel Pollak said Wednesday on Sean Hannity’s radio show that they would release footage that proved President Barack Obama had “radical intellectual founders” — footage which was covered up by the mainstream media.

But before Breitbart.com released the footage, PBS Frontline published the full unedited video themselves, noting that they had previously included the footage in their election special The Choice 2008.

“There’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School,” PBS said. “It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since [2008].”

In the video, Obama is shown in 1990 introducing Harvard’s first tenured black law professor, Derrick Bell, a racial justice pioneer who broke with legal orthodoxy to develop the critical race theory. Bell was announcing that he would take an unpaid leave of absence until Harvard hired a black woman for its tenured faculty.

Obama described his experiences as a student of Bell’s, noting that as a professor he had engaged his students in conversation rather than giving them lectures. Obama said Bell’s accomplishments were not simply a result of “his good looks and easy charm, although he has both in ample measure.”

“He hasn’t done it simply because of the excellence of his scholarship, although his scholarship has opened up new vistas and new horizons, and changed the standards of what legal writing is about,” Obama said.

At the time, Obama was serving as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.

Bell had controversially claimed that racism was an intractable problem, something which American society could never truly get rid of.

Although the American legal system could be perfectly race-neutral, it could never be entirely race-neutral in practice. Bell rejected liberal theories of law, which were based on impartiality, instead favoring what he called racial realism.

“But if you had to sum it up in one thing, Derrick Bell wrote a piece in 1993 — and this kind of reflects his general worldview, in which he posited, it was a science fiction novella, in which he posited that if aliens came to the United States and offered to relieve the US national debt, white people would in return sell them every black person in America,” Shapiro told Hannity, mischaracterizing one of Bell’s famous though experiments, “The Space Traders.”

The story, which examined the worth of African Americans in the United States, was later adapted as an episode of the HBO film trilogy Cosmic Slop.

“This is the guy who was one of Obama’s radical intellectual founders,” Shapiro said.

UPDATE: Breitbart editors appear on Fox News

Shapiro and Pollak later appeared on the Fox News show Hannity. They claimed that although the footage had already been aired, it was broadcast in a purposefully biased way because it did not show Obama briefly hugging Bell and was narrated.

Hannity also showed a clip of Harvard professor Charles Ogletree allegedly admitting to covering up the footage.

“We hid this throughout the 2008 campaign,” he said during a speech, as the audience laughed. “I don’t care if they find it now.”

The footage was taken and owned by local news station WGBH, not Harvard University. Hannity did not provide any context for Ogletree’s remark.

At Harvard, Obama Dived Into Diversity Fight

This is an amazing video of a then 30 year-old Barack Obama at Harvard Law School making a speech on race and diversity.  It’s amazing to see how young he was yet his voice and the causes that he took on remain consistent.

Buzz Feed

In this video, not previously available online but licensed by BuzzFeed from a Boston television station, the future president speaks at a 1991 campus protest organized to demand tenure for minority and female law professors.

It was perhaps Barack Obama’s most intense immersion in the charged campus racial politics of the late 1980s and early 1990s: As President of the Harvard Law Review in the spring of his final year there, 1991, he aligned himself with Professor Derrick Bell’s dramatic protest for diversity on the faculty of Harvard Law School.

Bell was the first black tenured professor at the school, and a pioneer of “critical race theory,” which insisted, controversially, on reading issues of race and power into legal scholarship. His protest that spring was occasioned by Harvard’s denial of tenure to a black woman professor, Regina Austin, at a time when only three of the law school’s professors were black and only five women. He told Harvard he would take a leave of absence — a kind of academic strike — “until a woman of color is offered and accepted a tenured position on this faculty,” and he launched a hunger strike to dramatize his point.

Obama was a major figure on campus, the first black president of the Law Review. Some friends, in a prescient joke, just referred to him as “the first black president.” He had a reputation as a conciliatory figure, not a confrontational one like Bell.

“”How Obama would react to Derrick Bell’s protest was a matter of some interest,” New Yorker editor David Remnick wrote in his exploration of Obama and race, The Bridge.

It was a situation in which clear lines had been drawn, and Obama sided with Bell. In a speech before the law school’s Harkness Commons — and sounding very much like his future presidential self — he described Bell as “the Rosa Parks of legal education.”

Obama’s stand provided a major boost to the protests, Keith Boykin, one of their organizers, later recalled.

Barack was always supportive and sympathetic to our campaign for faculty diversity. He spoke about it at one of our rallies. But he was not actively involved in the protest movement. Nor did he need to be. As I said, his presence alone made the case. And even if he agreed with the cause of the movement, he didn’t need to be involved in the more radical protests we launched because our tactics were controversial on campus.

In video, licensed by Buzzfeed from the WGBH Boston television station’s Media Library and Archives, now available online at BuzzFeed in it’s entirety, Obama praised the “excellence of his scholarship.”

Related articles

Donald Trump: How did Barack Obama get into Ivies?

Thusfar Donald Trump has insinuated that…

a) Barack Obama is not an American Citizen and therefore should not be president

b) Barack Obama is too stupid to get into Columbia and Yale

c) That this illegitimate  Muslim “nigra” needs to be tarred and feather and dragged out of town by a red pickup which displays the confederate flag and two rifles on the rack..

Ok that last one is what many birthers, including Trump REALLY wanna say.

So Donald Trump insists on listening to “hearsay” and spouting it as “gospel”.  In the following piece there is a lot of “I heard…” coming from Trump.

I would suggest Mr. Trump read Dreams of My Father or David Remnick’s The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama in order to get a more accurate picture of Barack Obama’s academic journey.

Trump is starting to look like a gossipmonger with no proof to back up his ridiculous claims…

Politico

Donald Trump is upping the ante against President Barack Obama’s legitimacy, raising questions on Monday night about how the president was admitted to two Ivy League schools.

Trump openly questioned how Obama, who he said had been a “terrible student,” got accepted into Columbia University for undergraduate studies and then Harvard Law School.

“I heard he was a terrible student, terrible,” Trump told the Associated Press in an interview, a claim he’s made in the past but one he doubled down on by suggesting he’s probing that area of the president’s life.

“How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records,” he said, without providing backup for his claim.

Trump added, “I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Harvard.”

“We don’t know a thing about this guy,” Trump said. “There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our president.”

Obama transferred to Columbia University in 1981 from Occidental College, and graduated two years later. He graduated Harvard Law magna cum laude in 1991, after serving as editor of the prestigious Law Review.

Trump has already said he has investigators on the ground in Hawaii looking into proof of Obama’s birth in the state, which the real estate magnate has questioned repeatedly.

He’s suggested Obama ought to show his birth certificate and has rejected pushback that the certification of live birth that Team Obama made available in 2008, and which is what Hawaiian officials issue in response to requests for birth documents, serves as proof.

In a sometimes-testy exchange with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night, Trump insisted he had heard the birth certificate is “missing” from official Hawaiian state records, and again called on Obama to produce it. He also accused reporters of giving Obama a pass on the issue

Racism Will Find You, Even at the Harvard-Yale Game: Club Mistakes Black Harvard Crowd For “Local Gangbangers”

Sigh…

Above The Law

The Harvard-Yale Game was this weekend. I didn’t attend. I’m at that uncomfortable age where I’m too old to go to The Game and get black-out drunk at the keg, but too young to show up in a fur coat handing out glasses of Cristal (rhymes with “Mystal”) while my butler grills porterhouse steaks out of the back of my Range Rover.I look forward to going to The Game in the future, but I’m really glad I didn’t go this year. If I had, I might have been arrested. Seriously, you would have logged on to Above the Law this morning and been entertained by my “Letter From a Boston Jail” or something.

Because if I had gone to The Game, I probably would have gone to the party hosted by the Harvard’s Black Law Student Association (and other affinity groups) at a new Boston club called Cure Lounge. And had I gone to that, when the club owners shut down the party essentially because too many black people were gathering in one place, I would have had major objections and been thrown in jail for “being an angry black person in Boston” (or whatever the hell they are calling it these days).

CORRECTION: According to the Harvard BLSA president, “Harvard BLSA was not involved in organizing or running the party in question…. [T]he event was run by a group that is not affiliated with Harvard BLSA or Harvard Law School. Harvard BLSA did cover the ticket cost of several members who attended the party.”

I wouldn’t have been able to adjust quickly enough to being back in a place like Boston, so I would have gone nuclear when somebody suggested that too many African-American Harvard and Yale students might attract “gang-bangers.”

Was there a lawyer in the line outside the club who could have objected? Actually, it wouldn’t have mattered….

The story first appeared on Jezebel and has been bouncing around my inbox since yesterday. Here’s how multiple sources describe what went down at Cure Lounge in Boston on Friday night:

  • Current Harvard and Yale students, as well as alumni from both schools, pre-purchased tickets to the gathering.
  • There was a line.
  • Concerned about uninvited people coming to the club, the bouncers were told that only people with a Harvard or Yale student I.D. could enter the club.
  • The event organizers protested, stating that (obviously) alumni were probably not clinging to their student IDs.
  • Access was re-granted to all ticket-holding individuals for a time.
  • At 11:15 p.m. the entire event was shut down by the club’s owner.
  • Multiple people claim they were told: “there are black women in line… who attract black men… which looks bad” for a new club like Cure.

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