Musings at the AALS

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By Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law

Am at the AALS Conference and woke too early so thought I would put down awoke musings.

1. American Chutzpah at the ICC on positive complementarity

State Department types are working with the ICC to encourage the development of national institutions for accountability for the kinds of crimes the ICC addresses: war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggressive war.

I was pleased to learn that the irony of this was not lost on other states who point out the pitiful US approach to this on its torture and War in Iraq.

2. Mismatch Theory Nonsense

Richard Sanders still has not come up with an answer as to the view of so-called mismatched minorities at elite schools as to receiving their degrees from those schools.  Sigh.

3. Globalization of law

Great session. Comments consistent with past 30 years of experience. Pushed for more minorities to be let in the game.

4. Bush-Obama continuity

Constitutional law breakfast – liberal/conservative space extremely narrow. Bush continuity again expressed with regard to his second term. They did not mention first term lying us into War in Iraq and massive worldwide torture campaign that the Senate Intelligence Committee Torture Report of December 13, 2012 said was ineffective AND counterproductive. On non-application of law, pointed to Judge McMahon’s Al-Awlaki opinion pointing out his killing might be viewed as murder and comparing this troubling action against an American citizen with the torture in the Bush administration. Why was non-application of torture and murder laws not problematic as a failure to comply with the take care clause? They did not like this point of view and thought Judge McMahon’s dicta was misplaced. I think she was right on.

5. Minority luncheon

Beautiful honoring of progress of many people and of Hank Richardson and Janai Nelson.