Monday, September 10, 2007

Department of "Well, Duh!"

The Carnegie Legal Reporting Program blog notes that there might actually be some worthwhile legal scholarship out there after all--and suggests that the mainstream media might benefit by doing real research rather than their typical stenography of think-tank pundits:

Fashionable thinking dictates that journalists and practicing lawyers ignore or mock the usefulness of legal scholarship. What could those academics possibly tell us that's newsworthy or practical? Linda Greenhouse and her readers benefit from her refusal to buy into that anti-intellectual snobbery. Her Supreme Court Memo today cites numerous papers and books, and quotes their authors, on an important set of legal and political questions: Can and should we limit Supreme Court justices' tenure? The questions are hardly novel to those who study the Constitution and the federal judiciary. The debate, it turns out, has been raging for some time -- fueled in part by Chief Justice William Rehnquist's refusal to leave the Court despite his ultimately fatal illness. By simply reading what's out there already, and talking to those who read what's out there, Greenhouse produced a well-sourced, relevant and timely story. And she teaches a lesson about where news and sources might be lurking.

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