Nine faculty members at Minnesota Law School have released a strongly worded letter protesting the temporary appointment of Robert Delahunty, who assisted former Bush Administration attorney John Yoo in drafting one of the "torture memos," to teach a class at that law school:
We believe that in making the decision in this particular case, the Co-Deans had been unaware of the grave intitutional implications of hiring Mr. Delahunty and we call on them to rectify the situation. We can only assume that the Law School would not have hired Enron officials to teach accounting to our students. Nor should we hire, even on a temporary basis, a lawyer so directly implicated in what many in the international community regard as war crimes.
The Department of Health and Human Services has released a statement in support of controversial appointee Dr. Eric Keroack to oversee federal family planning funds. Keroack has been criticised for holding unusual views on the impact premarital intercourse has on human biochemistry. According to one prominent feminist blogger:
At the Annual Abstinence Leadership Conference in Kansas, Keroack defended abstinence (in an aptly titled talk, "If I Only Had a Brain") by claiming that sex causes people to go through oxytocin withdrawal which in turn prevents people from bonding in relationships. Seriously.
[Keroack] explained that oxytocin is released during positive social interaction, massage, hugs, "trust" encounters, and sexual intercourse. "It promotes bonding by reducing fear and anxiety in social settings, increasing trust and trustworthiness, reducing stress and pain, and decreasing social aggression," he said.
But apparently if you've had sex with too many people you use up all that oxytocin: "People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual." Hear that? Too many sexual partners and you'll never love again!
Doug Berman points to an Arizona county's new policy which forbids plea bargains which do not entail prison time to defendants with prior convictions.
Jack Balkin argues that the Constitution protects two separate rights to abortion:
The first right to abortion is a woman's right not to be forced by the state to bear children at risk to her life or health. The second right is a woman's right not to be forced by the state to become a mother and thus to take on the responsibilities of parenthood, which, in our society are far more burdensome for women than for men. Although the first right to abortion continues throughout pregnancy, the second right need not. It only requires that women have a reasonable time to decide whether or not to become mothers and a fair and realistic opportunity to make that choice.
A new Ohio law is being criticised for disenfranchising 144 voters.
and finally, Seventh Circuit Judge (and ACSBlog Guest Blogger) Richard Posner will become the first federal judge to deliver a lecture via Second Life.