Monday, March 9, 2009

Even more on the possible sanctions for John Yoo

We "legal ethicists" must be on the same wavelength! A few minutes after I finished the previous two posts, I started getting email messages from a discussion list I am in about the same topic. Seems like a lot of people are discussing this today. Because the e-mail discussion list is not public, let me try to summarize some of the main points here:

There should be sanctions because there is there's accountability for bad faith legal work all the time. Yoo believes he's right, but no one else does.

The problem is that Yoo's memos were a good faith opinion; he believed what he said. The fact that others now think his opinion was "beyond the pale" does not mean it was in bad faith or deliberately false.

Yes, he believes he's right about this, but no one else does.

But there are legislators and others who believe torture is acceptable under certain circumstances. It is hard to call Yoo's opinions “so far outside the range of reasonable professional disagreement” when people in power then, and now, continue to hold such opinions.

Also, it is dangerous to embrace a standard that holds any extreme minority opinion to be worthy of discipline simply because "the experts" are aligned against it.

No comments:

Post a Comment