Monday, March 9, 2009

More on whether John Yoo should be disbarred

Since my post a few days ago on whether John Yoo should be disbarred I have been reading many of the news items on the subject. I found a column which I think makes one of the best cases I have seen against him. It all comes down to what you think is the type of dishonesty needed to trigger a violation of rules like Model Rule 8.4.

The author of the column does a good job of pointing out that Yoo has a history of intellectual dishonesty, but he also asserts that there is no reason to impute him with evil motives. He also points out that the new head of Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen, has stated that she does not question Yoo's sincerity in claiming that he told the White House what the law was.

Again, the case against Yoo seems to come down to an attack on his intellectual honesty. The author the column linked above makes his case against Yoo on the argument that Yoo's scholarship is dubious and characterized by deliberate distortions and what he calls "blatant intellectual dishonesty" and "deceitful methods of advocacy." Others have argued that Yoo's memos offer conclusions that were "simply not a plausible reading of the case law" that some of this other opinions are "unsupported," "argued without any citation of authority," and that they contain "questionable statutory interpretations," "errors," "unusual lack of care and sobriety in their legal analysis," and offer "cursory and one-sided legal arguments."

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