May 6, 2009

"My first love is teaching and scholarship."

Michael McConnell resigns from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals — after a mere 7 years — to teach at Stanford.

Better to be a lawprof than a judge, don't you think?

At the link: pity for the law clerks who are now plunged into the job market.


T Mack said...

So I guess this means he will never practice law again.
Just like you Anne.
Why don't you invite him to start a
blog. It's fun, easy and cool.

Joseph said...

He probably joined the Court of Appeals because he thought it would help him get to the Supreme Court. But now it looks like there's not going to be an opening for him anytime soon, and by the time there is, he'll probably be deemed too old.

Irene said...

McConnell closes his resignation letter by stating, "Please know that you are in my prayers for the awesome responsibility to which you have been called." Awesome.

Ann Althouse said...

"McConnell closes his resignation letter by stating, "Please know that you are in my prayers for the awesome responsibility to which you have been called." Awesome."

Because the people didn't elect Obama. God annointed him.

Irene said...


Palladian said...

Yes, the use of the word "called" makes my skin crawl.

So how many more judges are going to retire in order to allow Obama to insert his operatives into the court system?

rhhardin said...

Obama gets to decide who to nuke when a US city is wiped out.

That dilemma was what Bush was trying to prevent.

It's up there on the awesome list again now.

Sprezzatura said...

Because the people didn't elect Obama. God anointed him.My first thought was that this must be a source of some confusion for some folks who were certain that W was anointed, because now they must believe that God wants BHO.

But, then I remembered all the "outs." For example, maybe these folks think God sent BHO because he's punishing us for gay folks, you know, like New Orleans. Or, maybe these folks think God sent BHO as a step toward the second coming. There are probably an infinite number of explanations, that can explain God's choice of BHO w/o hinting that God may approve of BHO. Thank God for that--I would guess that many do.

Chris said...

"Because the people didn't elect Obama. God annointed him."

Don't we have the relationship between primary and secondary causation clear yet?

Bissage said...

(1) Just as Barack Obama was called to the Presidency, so to, it is fair to say that Michael McConnell was called to the bench.

But then he stepped down.


It's an old maxim of the law: As between multiple constructions, the mischievous is prefered.

(Maybe it sounds better in the Latin.)

(2) As far as names go, “McConnell” is just plain greedy.

What’s so terrible about “McOnel?”

I have a bumper sticker on my car: “Spell simply, that others may simply spell.”

Richard Dolan said...

Called to the Bench, called to the Bar, called a taxi, called out. What's your calling?

Not much to get excited about in "called", and hardly a reason to reach for the flea powder.

The idea that a lawprof has a greater impact on public policy debates seems pretty dubious. Mostly they write stuff -- law review articles, typically -- that no one reads. People pay attention to appellate opinions (the parties have no choice, and the rest of us tune in on occasion too). Anyway, being a judge doesn't stop you from churning out the same kind of scholarly stuff if that's what you want to do. Justice Scalia and Breyer have done it while serving on the bench, as have many court of appeals judges. Posner is a one-man publishing factory, perhaps surpassed only by Judge Weinstein of the EDNY.

McConnell is in his early 50s and has three kids. I don't know whether they're still in school but I wouldn't be surprised if his move to Stanford had more to do with them than anything else.

Unknown said...

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Modern scholarship dates this passage, which is from Paul's epistle to the Romans, to the mid-to late 50s AD, possibly later. Nero was emperor at the time.

So yeah, I think it ought to make one's skin crawl to think Obama was "called", even if you do believe it :) Heck, maybe especially if you do.

Once written, twice... said...

Can someone explain to me why right wingers go on and on about President Obama being "annointed (sic)"? It just come off as creepy.

Also, McConnell helped Obama get a fellowship at the University of Chicago Law school when he was a professor there. I realize it might surprise some people here but there are some personal relationships that rise above the political.

Eli Blake said...

L.E. Lee:

It's because they don't want to face the facts:

For example, Obama:

1. Got more votes than any candidate in history

2. Became the first Presidential candidate to win an outright majority in twenty years

3. Also got the highest percentage of the popular vote in twenty years, and the highest percentage of the popular vote a Democrat had gotten in 44 years

But righties would rather go on for the umpteenth time and claim that Obama was somehow not legitimately elected.

And the funny thing is, the major changes in the Government that we see now can probably be chalked up to righties. They did such a good job of trashing Hillary Clinton for years that Democrats were hungry to pick someone else. And we did, and he's doing bold things with the economy that four or eight more years of focus group, micropolling, political consultant driven and ultimately DLC-oriented Clintonism would never have dared to try. I mean, imagine the Clintons putting the union in charge of Chrysler! Obama is bold enough to do it. I love it!

AlphaLiberal said...

Do judges get sabbaticals?

What a racket!

The Elder said...

"Better to be a lawprof than a judge, don't you think?"

Sometimes one can find a way to be both!

But only one provides for sabbaticals.

Brian said...

McConnell could retain his job as federal judge still teach & write books & attend legal conferences &...but then I guess he's not Judge Posner of the 7th Circuit.

But then Judge Posner is not really Posner either. The public personae we call "Judge Posner" is really a group of 5 androids created in the 80's in the 80's by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), to preserve continuity of government in the event of a nuclear attack on the homeland.

kentuckyliz said...

I always thought that the creepy modern Catholic hymn "God Has Chosen Me" by Bernadette Farrell should have been The Big O's campaign theme song. Or election night. Or Inauguration Day.

Goes nicely with the Obama Messiah art meme. Lots of those available for viewing on Google Images. Here's one that is based on the Divine Mercy image:

Listen to a piece of the song here:

1. God has chosen me, God has chosen me
to bring good news to the poor.
God has chosen me, God has chosen me
to bring new sight to those searching for light:
God has chosen me, chosen me:
And to tell the world that God's kingdom is near,
to remove oppression and breakdown fear,
yes, God's time is near, God's time is near,
God's time is near, God's time is near.
2. God has chosen me, God has chosen me
to set alight a new fire.
God has chosen me, God has chosen me
to bring to birth a new kingdom on earth:
God has chosen me, chosen me:
3. God is calling me, God is calling me
in all whose cry is unheard.
God is calling me, God is calling me
to raise up the voice with no power or choice:
God is calling me, calling me:

(I have this song in my iTunes because we were trying to sample and learn some newer music in our hymnal. This one didn't make the cut because we couldn't think of any circumstances we'd use it for.)