Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Prof. Ronald Sullivan, Sacrificed to the Mob

Count the ways.

Bill Clinton was credibly accused of rape. Not a problem. We want to put his wife in the White House… to reward her for enabling him.

Joe Biden walks up to women and simulates a rape… by grabbing their shoulders and thrusting his nose in their pheromone-saturated hair. Not a problem. We want to make him president of the United States. What better reward can there be.

When it comes to double standards and moral hypocrisy the American left is world class.

Nothing about those events seems to have triggered the delicate snowflakes of Winthrop House, a residential at Harvard University. And yet, Law Professor Ronald Sullivan was removed from his role as residential dean at Winthrop because students were traumatized by the fact that he had signed on to the Harvey Weinstein defense team.

Being a criminal lawyer, Sullivan had chosen to defend an unpopular defendant. By the way, as you know, Harvey was best friends with the Clintons. And, the law firm that represented him had as a partner one Kirsten Gillibrand, fearless defender of women’s rights.

Kaveh Shahrooz has the story in Quillette (via Maggie’s Farm)

And yet Sullivan found himself pilloried in recent months because of his decision to join the legal defense team of alleged Hollywood rapist Harvey Weinstein, with activists claiming that Sullivan’s role in the case undercut his responsibility to make students of Winthrop House feel “welcomed, supported, and encouraged to raise their voices against any form of discrimination.” It also was claimed that “victims of sexual assault and rape” at Harvard would find Sullivan’s presence “not only upsetting, but deeply trauma-inducing.” Only after Sullivan joined Weinstein’s legal defence team did critics start publicizing allegations of a supposedly “toxic atmosphere” at Winthrop.

Anyway, Sullivan asked to be removed from the Weinstein defense team, so the point was moot.

Well, not exactly, the Dean of Harvard College, one Rakesh Khurana removed Sullivan and his wife from their positions at Winthrop. Shahrooz properly calls it a craven surrender to a mob. Everyone, left, right and center is denouncing the move. Everyone knows that giving in to mob pressure invites more mob pressure. So Dean Khurana will go down in history as a profile in cowardice, a weak-kneed excuse for a man… one who could not stand up and defend a lawyer who was representing an unpopular client.

Evidently, the American university system is rotting, like a fish, from the head down.


David Foster said...

It is not just the university system: it was inevitable that the attitudes inculcated in this system would seep out into the larger society, and they indeed have.

In 1933, when Hitler became Chancellor, Sebastian Haffner was working as a junior lawyer (refendar) in the Prussian High Court, the Kammergericht. He was comforted by the continuity of the legal process:

"The newspapers might report that the constitution was in ruins. Here every paragraph of the Civil Code was still valid and was mulled over and analyzed as carefully as ever…The Chancellor could daily utter the vilest abuse against the Jews; there was nonetheless still a Jewish Kammergerichtsrat (high court judge) and member of our senate who continued to give his astute and careful judgments, and these judgments had the full weight of the law and could set the entire apparatus of the state in motion for their enforcement–even if the highest office-holder of that state daily called their author a ‘parasite’, a ‘subhuman’ or a ‘plague’."

But things would soon change:

"It was strange to sit in the Kammergericht again, the same courtroom, the same seats, acting as if nothing had happened. The same ushers stood at the doors and ensured, as ever, that the dignity of the court was not disturbed. Even the judges were for the most part the same people. Of course, the Jewish judge was no longer there. He had not even been dismissed. He was an old gentleman and had served under the Kaiser, so he had been moved to an administrative position at some Amtsgericht (lower court). His position on the senate was taken by an open-faced, blond young Amtsgerichtsrat, with glowing cheeks, who did not seem to belong among the grave Kammergerichtsrats…It was whispered that in private the newcomer was something high up in the SS."

The new judge didn’t seem to know much about law, but asserted his points in a “fresh, confident voice.”

"We Refendars, who had just passed our exams, exchanged looks while he expounded. At last the president of the senate remarked with perfect politeness, ‘Colleague, could it be that you have overlooked paragraph 816 of the Civil Code?’ At which the new high court judge looked embarrassed…leafed through his copy of the code and then admitted lightly, ‘Oh, yes. Well, then it’s just the other way around.’ Those were the triumphs of the older law.

There were, however, other cases–cases in which the newcomer did not back down…stating that here the paragraph of the law must yield precedence; he would instruct his co-judges that the meaning was more important than the letter of the law…Then, with the gesture of a romantic stage hero, he would insist on some untenable decision. It was piteous to observe the faces of the older Kammergerichtsrats as this went on. They looked at their notes with an expression of indescribable dejection, while their fingers nervously twisted a paper-clip or a piece of blotting paper. They were used to failing candidates for the Assessor examination for spouting the kind of nonsense that was now being presented as the pinnacle of wisdom; but now this nonsense was backed by the full power of the state, by the threat of dismissal for lack of national reliability, loss of livelihood, the concentration camp…They begged for a little understanding for the Civil Code and tried to save what they could."

When Law Yields to Absolute Power:


UbuMaccabee said...

White Wimmin' Twitter Mob > Black Male Jurist. Interesting twist in the intersectional hierarchy.

Fredrick said...

I'm sure his formative years in India played no part in his understanding of America and our system of higher education. BTW a nice bio on he and his wife:

Sam L. said...

Can you say "I foresee a lawsuit", boys and girls? Yes, I KNEW you could.

UbuMaccabee said...

Fred, why is his mouth wide open?

I noticed they both attended Cornell, no surprise there.

"His background is in organizational sociology and organizational behavior. Most of his research focuses on the institutions and process by which business elites are selected and socialized." Oh, that's why his mouth is wide open.

"a boutique advisory firm created to allow top-tier, high caliber MBA’s the opportunity to work flexibly with corporate clients and non-profit organizations on strategic and operational initiatives." Leftist activism + corporate money.

"The Revolt of the Elites," in one web bio.

UbuMaccabee said...

Now Sullivan is bailing on Harvey. Coward.

I'm officially cheering for Harvey Weinstein. I hope he shows up for the trail in a black leather suit and tells the whole world every detail of his sordid life. Names, positions, and details. Swing for the fences, Harvey, the fix is in, you may as well go down swinging.

Anonymous said...

Evidently, the American university system is rotting, like a fish, from the head down.

So is ours starting with Cambridge.

Sam L. said...

The Ivies are the poison kind.