Gail Heriot is appalled that the editors of a law journal have editorial standards:
Being a conservative can make it a little harder to get one’s articles published in a traditional law review. And if one is writing about race or sex, it can be quite a bit harder. (I don’t even try; I go straight for the specialty law reviews that were founded in part for the purpose of ensuring that articles by conservative scholars get published.)
I was therefore pleased to learn that my colleague Larry Alexander—one of the University of San Diego’s Warren Distinguished Professors of Law—had been invited to write for the Emory Law Journal and that Larry had chosen to write on a race-related theme.
But it was not to be. After offering to publish Larry’s essay (which was for a Festschrift for Professor Michael Perry) and then trying to edit away the meat of his argument, the ELJ has now withdrawn its acceptance. Editor-in-Chief Danielle Kerker sent an ultimatum to Larry: Either “greatly revise” the essay or the ELJ will have to “withdraw our publication offer.” Larry understood how destructive to academic values it would be to cower under such pressure. He declined to revise the article. Good for him.
Stick it to the man by refusing to revise your manuscript for publication!
One telling thing about the original blog is that there was no link to the manuscript in question (the blog’s founder would add one later on). There’s a reason for that:
Because for some people, “academic freedom” means “having no intellectual standards whatsoever and just saying whatever racist garbage comes into your head”— Michael Bérubé (@MichaelBerube1) January 4, 2022
Needless to say, the whole idea that journal editors declining to publish a manuscript is some kind of free speech issue is incoherent nonsense; it’s what journals that aren’t open access do. And to paraphrase Paul, a manuscript containing a lot of racist drivel you’ve already heard a million times before and can find any day at the Daily Caller or V-Dare is an excellent reason for not publishing it in your journal; one of the very best in fact. An editor asking an author to cut out arguments like “Green v. New Kent County is Nazism” and “slavery was good for African-Americans” is doing them a favor, not violating their rights.
Remember how recently Alexander’s sometime co-author Amy Wax went on a podcast where she approvingly quoted a fascist leader and then got more literally and unambiguously racist from there? Well, just to bring things full circle: