January 5, 2011

"Senator Feingold joins Marquette Law School with a substantial academic, legal and legislative background."

"He will draw on all of this in working with students in their analysis of some of the most complex legal issues facing our nation and world today. I look forward to his service on our faculty."

His course: Current Legal Issues: The U.S. Senate.

What current U.S. Senate legal issues would you put in a law school course? Perhaps something about the way the Senate takes account of constitutional values like federalism and individual rights and why that does (or doesn't) deserve deference from the judiciary?

ADDED: In 2005, Feingold gave a lecture at my law school called "Upholding an Oath to the Constitution: A Legislator's Responsibilities." (Coincidentally, we're talking about the congressional oath today on this blog.) In my 2005 post on the lecture, I said:

Russ Feingold spoke about his devotion to the oath he took as a senator to uphold the Constitution and the second oath he took for the Clinton impeachment trial. Feingold was the only Democratic senator to vote against the motion to dismiss the impeachment. He applied a legal standard to the motion and had to vote the way he did because he could not say that there was no chance of proving the charges against the President....

Feingold talked about his campaign finance reform law, which he cared about because he was "tired" of hearing that politics was "about money, not ideas." He reminisced about the court case, challenging the constitutionality of the law, and described sitting through a nine-hour deposition conducted by the great First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams. Abrams began his questioning praising Feingold to his face for his reputation for upholding the Constitution. As Feingold put it later in the question session, Abrams spent the nine hours "trying to confuse me." I'd say the praise that he started off with was a deliberate effort to unnerve the senator. Feingold could hold his ground, he thought, because he believed his position was consistent with his oath to protect the Constitution, because "we spent a great deal of time crafting that bill" to avoid constitutional violations....

He spoke about the Patriot Act and his anguish at the speed with which it was pushed through the Senate, beginning with a closed door hearing on October 3, 2001.... Feingold objected to this sort of "legislation on the fly." Many members of Congress admitted to him that they had not read the text of the Patriot Act....
Ahem. Health care. Ahem.
... He ended his speech with the observation that it has been complex to keep his oath to uphold the Constitution and that he has "struggled constantly to get it right."...

I would never have said this out loud, but I couldn't help thinking how interesting it was that Feingold shaped his whole lecture around the sanctity of the oath, when just a few days ago he announced that he was getting a divorce, his second. Was I the only one who thought how strange it was to hear a man piously invoke a passionate fidelity to an oath when he had -- so conspicuously -- gone back on the marriage oath twice?

69 comments:

Original Mike said...

Wow. An honest job. Good luck with it.

WV: Frist. The answer to Professor Feingold's first test question.

Birkel said...

How about he discuss the part of the Constitution that allows the federal government to command citizens to enter private contracts with third parties.

I'd love to watch the YouTube video of that part of his class.

Triangle Man said...

And he, a law professor!

RichardS said...

Is federalism a "value" or is it the law?

David said...

1. Why is the Senate composed largely of highly wealthy individuals?

2. Why are certain types of political speech restricted only to those who can afford expensive legal counsel?

3. Is the exemption of United States senators from various laws and regulations imposed on the rest of us a violation of the equal protection clause?

4. Why is lying to the public not a violation of Senate ethics regulations?

5. Should Senators (like, say, corporate directors) have a fiduciary obligation to read and understand proposed laws before they vote?

6. Why can't the world's greatest deliberative body have an honest conversation about the long term financial problems its own legislation has created?

Stuff like that.

TosaGuy said...

When I was at Marquette, they brought in George McGovern to teach a history course. Nice guy and all, but his course, which was a post-WWII history of the US should have been titled "How President George McGovern would have run things."

Think Russ will grade his own exams?

TosaGuy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"Is federalism a "value" or is it the law?"

If you think it's the law, try to quote the law. It's a value. It's a value that may be embodied in some legal provisions, but it isn't itself a legal provision.

Ann Althouse said...

"Think Russ will grade his own exams?"

It would be an outrageous ethical violation if he didn't. Unless he's co-teaching with another lawprof.

Original Mike said...

Do the students call him "Professor" or "Senator"?

RichardS said...

There's always that silly old 10th Amendment. Of course, I'm with Wilson, Hamilton (and Madison before the summer of 1788 or so) in thinking that federalism is a legal presumption because when the people ratified the constitution they only delegated certain powers to the new national government.

I'd also say that calling it a "value" is anachronistic. That's not a concept that fits into the fouding era. They only used value in an economic context. They might, however, have called federalism a good. (Hamilton probably would have called it a necessary evil).

Marshal said...

"Wow. An honest job. Good luck with it."

This isn't an honest job. This is the government equivalent of a golden parachute.

Bob_R said...

I'd sign up. It will probably be an interesting course and a good source of stories in the future. It is unlikely to be a well designed course (unless someone experienced co-teaches). It is very hard to design a good course from scratch and a rookie teacher is very unlikely to do that in a month.

Bob_R said...

Marquette students will pay their own real money (eventually) for the course, so I'd call it an honest job.

Original Mike said...

"It is unlikely to be a well designed course (unless someone experienced co-teaches). It is very hard to design a good course from scratch and a rookie teacher is very unlikely to do that in a month."

Yes. If he's teaching this semester, that's a tall order. Assuming he takes it seriously, and I have no reason to think he won't.

DKWalser said...

"Think Russ will grade his own exams?"

It would be an outrageous ethical violation if he didn't. Unless he's co-teaching with another lawprof.

When I was in grad school, I graded exams for several professors. My daughter is a TA and grades exams for the professor she works for. Is it only an ethical violation for a lawprof to not grade his or her own exams?

Triangle Man said...

It would be an outrageous ethical violation if he didn't.

There are no TA's or paid graders in law school? I wouldn't expect a seminar of such limited scope to need one, but I am wondering about your general statement of the ethics of having someone else grade exams.

Birkel said...

"It would be an outrageous ethical violation if he didn't."

Scantrons, anyone?

Triangle Man said...

There is a pair of skaters out on Lake Mendota now (11:48 am). I wonder if they are Meadehouse.

Titus said...

Wouldn't the UW take him?

Original Mike said...

Feingold objected to this sort of "legislation on the fly."

Given the enormity of the bill, I'd argue the health care law was done "on the fly". Getting it right took second fiddle to getting it done while they still had control of Congress. But that didn't seem to bother Feingold.

Big Mike said...

It would be an outrageous ethical violation if he didn't.

Probably correct, but not really an answer to the question.

Leo Ladenson said...

Is Feingold 101 going to be on the bar exam? Oh, wait, Wisconsin law students don't have to take a bar exam. Hmmm.

The only reason a law school would do a course like this is that law school is a year or a year and a half too long--thanks, C.C. Langdell--and the administrators need to pad out the curriculum so to fill their coffers.

Waste of time and money. I'd wait for the $19.99 book deal on Amazon.

garage mahal said...

Getting it right took second fiddle to getting it done while they still had control of Congress

It took months because they had to draft it to be deficit neutral, or not adding to the deficit. Laughably, Republicans have to now exempt healthcare repeal legislation from their new rules of voting for bills that add to the deficit, because doing so would add $100 billion to the deficit. We're in the very best of hands.

RichardS said...

What oath did Feingold take when he married?
The Jewish ceremony is different from the Christian ceremony.

Calypso Facto said...

Obamacare would be deficit neutral in exactly the way that nationwide high speed rail can be had for $8 billion, garage. I.e. only in fanatasyland.

And that doesn't count the private costs: just getting our increased insurance quotes back now for covering "kids" until 26 and no lifetime limits...

Larry J said...

It took months because they had to draft it to be deficit neutral, or not adding to the deficit.

If you honestly believe this monstrocity will be deficit neutral, you're even dumber than I thought. The CBO's analysis was only neutral because the assumptions were so horribly flawed.

garage mahal said...

If you honestly believe this monstrocity will be deficit neutral, you're even dumber than I thought. The CBO's analysis was only neutral because the assumptions were so horribly flawed.

Uh huh. If the CBO said it would add billions, you would be saying "Look at the CBO!!!!!". And you know it.

Skyler said...

It appears that academia has become a dumping ground for failed politicians.

Because I Said So said...

Althouse blogged on Russ Feingold's prior lecture at UW law school...."Feingold objected to this sort of "legislation on the fly." Many members of Congress admitted to him that they had not read the text of the Patriot Act."

I am glad that Sen. Feingold never supported any "legislation on the fly" in the past few years. Because that would be bad. And people might get angry and vote him out of the senate.

Quaestor said...

We're in the very best of hands.

garage mahal inadvertently proves the infinite monkeys with typewriters hypothesis.

Titus said...

I would do Russ Feingold.

How long before he is dating one of his students?

Original Mike said...

Only Nancy Pelosi believes it's deficit neutral.

garage mahal said...

Oh you'd believe it too if you liked what it said.

Original Mike said...

10 years of income against 6 years of outlays.

Drew said...

It took months because they had to draft it to be deficit neutral, or not adding to the deficit.

"Deficit neutral" was one of Obama's biggest lies in two years filled with enormous whoppers.

Quaestor said...

Oh you'd believe it too if you liked what it said.

Now we know garage mahal standard of truth.

roesch-voltaire said...

You mean he is not joining K-Steet to lobby with all the other pols, but accepting an academic job? Hasn't he learned anything from the Republican party?

Original Mike said...

Didn't the head of the OMB issue a warning that the bill was only deficit neutral under the rules the OMB was forced to operate under?

J said...

One could do worse than to have the shysters-to-be (and shysterettes) read the Federalist Papers, which sort of fleshes out the Klassic political problem of democracy vs republicanism (or monarchy, etc): ie should Statesmen put their trust in a legislative assembly say comprised of Hucklebees, or instead have the Executive and the joodiciary--John Robertis-- just have the final word?? AS Publius (aka Madison) realized, yr pretty much f-ed either way

c3 said...

In 2005, Feingold gave a lecture at my law school

and

He reminisced about the court case

shouldn't go together.

I don't want lecturers reminiscing

(PS I why didn't Sen. Feingold get a job at the publically financied law school in Wisconsin?)

MikeR said...

"What oath did Feingold take when he married? The Jewish ceremony is different from the Christian ceremony."
Like RichardS says. The Jewish ceremony involves no oath, and we allow divorce when the marriage isn't working out. Unless you have details you aren't adding, I wouldn't say that in general a divorce is a betrayal of trust.

TosaGuy said...

"You mean he is not joining K-Steet to lobby with all the other pols, but accepting an academic job?"

Doubt Russ will be around much to hold office hours. My bet is that he will fly in once a week for the class and fly off before the end of the day.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Obamacare is going to be the Democrats’ Viet Nam.* Look for all kinds of revisionism emanating from the likely suspects in the media -- how it was a noble effort undermined by unpatriotic elements and all that rot. No mention of enumerated powers and crushing debt will be tolerated. There’ll be movies made on the subject; a few may already be in production.

Rahmbo I (2012)
directed by Michael Moore
produced by Barbara Streisand
Synopsis: A vagabond health care crusader (Rahm Emmanuel) forces a bigoted rural sheriff (Brian Dennehy) to buy health insurance.
Quote: Down there in the town where your bullshit Constitution applies you may be the law. But up here it’s me.

*Strictly speaking Viet Nam was the Democrats’ Viet Nam, but today’s students are encouraged to believe it was all Nixon’s doing.

John Foust said...

Yeah but if the Jews allow for divorce, then Althouse's ad hominem isn't so funny or relevant.

Lincolntf said...

This is how bad ideas, rejected by the populace countless times, perpetually re-emerge.

America's Politico said...

Prof. you may like this article about the Justice Roberts.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/03/on-historys-stage-chief-justice-john-roberts-jr/

It is a good day for Obama-Biden. We will win re-election. We had to lose the House to win the WH. But, it is now given. So, the GOP has nothing now till 2016.

J said...

For an authentically American view of the Supreme Court and the problems thereof, check out Jefferson's comments on John Marshall's ambitions and schemes. Which is to say, some there are who think American democracy had already gone into decline with like Marbury vs Madison.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
Getting it right took second fiddle to getting it done while they still had control of Congress

It took months because they had to draft it to be deficit neutral, or not adding to the deficit. Laughably, Republicans have to now exempt health care repeal legislation from their new rules of voting for bills that add to the deficit, because doing so would add $100 billion to the deficit. We're in the very best of hands.

1/5/11 12:23 PM

Point well taken. I Will email Boehner to include a provision to tax entitlements at 100% and federal pensions 90% until age 68, eliminate all subsides and tax credits and not only will the budget be deficit neutral but it will be in surplus.

Methadras said...

LOL!!! It's basically how to become a Senator course.

rhhardin said...

"Substantial" cancels the predicate. It's a handy adjective when you need a sentence but have nothing to say.

The body may then go on to say he's very interesting.

John Lynch said...

Treaties.

Gus said...

Foust, I think you mean that Jews allow their philanderers to divorce twice of more.
Ann did no ad hominem.
If she did,she would have mentioned your HUGE FOREHEAD.

Jay said...

Feingold gave a lecture at my law school called "Upholding an Oath to the Constitution: A Legislator's Responsibilities."

At which, one has to presume, he said he has no interest in the Constitution.

Roux said...

My guess is he won't be doing any lectures on the 1st Amendment.... I'd love to see him debate it.... what a loser.

Milwaukee said...

The Marquette Faculty couldn't get the Professor from Seattle, so they settled for Russ. Based on what I have observed, a man with no honor. But he has his ideas, and believes that if we were smart enough we would understand and agree. Wait, that is the other law professor, the one who was at Chicago. Truly sad.

Russ, by supporting Kagan, clearly does not believe, as I do, that we are all endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. He was proud that he had voted for one up Bush's Supreme Court nominees, but wouldn't mention that he had voted against another.

There are Catholic Universities which are not an embarrassment.

kcom said...

"It took months because they had to draft it to be deficit neutral, or not adding to the deficit. Laughably, Republicans have to now exempt healthcare repeal legislation from their new rules of voting for bills that add to the deficit, because doing so would add $100 billion to the deficit. We're in the very best of hands."

You're fucking insane if you truly believe there's any shred of truth to the ridiculous claim that the health care law is going to reduce the deficit by $100 billion (or even by $1). In the real world of ballooning government programs not only will it not reduce the deficit, it's very likely, nay certain, to wind up costing hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars in the long run. So the only thing laughable is that one of the following things about you is true: 1) You believe this stupidity and have proven yourself a moron -or- 2) You think people here are stupid enough to buy this flimsy talking point that has no grounding in reality (See Original Mike's explanation of how the CBO numbers were manipulated, i.e. garbage in garbage out).

The only reason this legislation took months to draft is because no one in their right mind wanted it. Every time its proponents tried to move it forward, it was stopped. Finally, they had to resort to backroom deals, manipulations, and last minute 2000page rewrites that were plunked on the desk of legislators the night before the rushed votes. It never had the support of the American people, deficit-neutral or otherwise.

ic said...

At long last his 2nd wife doesn't have to stay in the marriage for the sake of his career.

Beldar said...

It wouldn't surprise me if Feingold makes a very good law professor. He's certainly a more promising prospect than Arlen Specter, who's soon to be teaching Penn Law students all about Superprecedents.

Micha Elyi said...

(1) "Federalism" is a description.

(2) The purported savings of Obama-scam-care are from tax hikes. Tax cuts, under the Republican House's new rules that garage mahal mischaracterized, don't add to the deficit - spending above revenues is what produces a deficit. A repeal of the Obama-outrage is perfectly within the House's rules as reformed by the incoming Republican majority.

Milhouse said...

Contrary to RichardS and MikeR, the Jewish marriage ceremony certainly does involve oaths. In particular, if Feingold had a traditional Jewish marriage he took these two oaths (as best as I can translate them):

♥ "Be my wife under the laws of Moses and Israel, and I will work for, honour, feed, and sustain you, after the manner of Jewish husbands, who work for, honour, feed, and sustain their wives honestly. And I will give you the bride-price that is your lawful right, and your food, clothing, necessities, and intimacy as is the way of the whole world."

♥ "I accept on myself and on my heirs after me the obligation to make the payments specified in this document. I subject to this obligation whatever assets I shall own anywhere in the world, whether I own them now or shall acquire them in the future, whether or not they are usually seizable by creditors, and even the coat on my shoulders; they shall all be subject to seizure in order to make the payments specified by this document, whether during my life or after it, from this day and forever."

That said, I can't see how the fact that he is getting divorced implies in any way that he has broken either of those oaths.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Ann Althouse
RE: Divorced! TWICE??!?

Was I the only one who thought how strange it was to hear a man piously invoke a passionate fidelity to an oath when he had -- so conspicuously -- gone back on the marriage oath twice? -- Ann Althouse

Actually, my question is WHO FILED FOR THE DIVORCES? He? Or those SHES?

As well as WHY? Infidelity? On whose part?

I've been divorced. TWICE, myself. Both times the women filed.

The first so that she could marry her boss who left his wife and family of 20 years to marry someone younger. She to marry 'up' in the world, to a senior partner in a successful CPA firm.

The second left when I became a REAL christian. She was a Scientologist. Still is, based on reports from our daughter.

So it's more than just someone has divorced. Twice. I'd like to know the details.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Devil is ALWAYS in the details.]

Dan said...

Do you suppose that he makes a distinction between legal and merely prosecuting duties so obviously clear (such as writing / reading bills of reasonably short-length, so that they may be understood by us peasants [not to mention by them])?

Mick said...

Really? How about his oath to defend the Constitution from foreign and domestic enemies? He has committed treason, and allowed a non natural born Citizen (father never a citizen, and the pic of the COLB on a websight is hearsay, and proof of nothing) to Usurp the Presidency.
Of course it is also w/ the help of a willfully blind media, and an educated class of "Law profs" who turn a blin eye.

Carol Corbett said...

Kinda like Newt Gingrich, huh?

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Mick
RE: Indeed

How about his oath to defend the Constitution from foreign and domestic enemies? He has committed treason.... -- Mick

And not just that, but also in the bill that bears his name as well as his emphasis in the original text of this thread.

How so?

Because McCain-Feingold muzzles the American people in their freedom of expression.

My wife ran for the state legislature on the Republican ticket. Neighbors who admired her refused to donate to her campaign saying they were afraid of retribution by the Democrat party if they found out about the donation through the disclosure clauses.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Liberals aren't. Progressives' won't.]

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Carol Corbett
RE: Newt

Kinda like Newt Gingrich, huh? -- Carol Corbett

As if anyone with any sense would elect Newt to anything other than dog-catcher these days.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. He's given new significance to the famous Monty Python and the Holy Grail line of....

She turned me into a Newt.

But in his case, he didn't 'get bettah'.

smith said...

When I was at BPP studying my famous law professors the, vast, majority of my class at Holborn had TCs. I can't speak for Waterloo though, didn't know anyone over there but did here that the situation was almost the opposite. Really strange.

famous law professors