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Don’t write rec letters for fascists


Sounds like a pretty non-controversial rule, right?


Two years ago today, a group of insurrectionists, whipped into a frenzy by former President Trump’s false rhetoric about a stolen election, waged an attack on the U.S. Capitol, seeking to subvert American democracy. During the course of that tumultuous day, Trump made several calls to legal counsel—including to Mark Martin, a former North Carolina Supreme Court justice, who was then dean of Regent University School of Law and an informal Trump adviser.

Martin won’t tell Inside Higher Ed what he told Trump that day, citing confidentiality.

But according to details in the final report from the bipartisan House of Representatives committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack, “Martin advised President Trump that Vice President Pence possessed the constitutional authority to impede the electoral count” in a phone call that lasted seven minutes. That advice has since been debunked by numerous lawyers and independent fact checkers.

BTW, the claim of confidentiality here is complete bunk, as Martin himself acknowledges when he turns around and insists he was never in an attorney-client relationship with Trump, which he wasn’t. In other words there’s no legal barrier to Martin revealing what he told Trump, but in any case such a revelation is unnecessary, since his advice to the aspiring tyrant has been public knowledge for two years now:

High Point University announced Martin’s appointment as the law school dean last June, touting his time as the chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, as an associate judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and his role at Regent University.

The High Point news release made no mention of Martin’s involvement with Trump on Jan. 6, which, while opaque, was well documented; The New York Times reported on Martin’s questionable legal advice mere days after the insurrection, noting that he was part of a team of lawyers connected to Trump that intended to push ahead with a lawsuit based on unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Now I don’t know about you, but before I recommend somebody for a high profile job like Law School Dean, I always make it a point to google the person, to make sure there isn’t a New York Times front page story about his participation in a seditious insurrection. It’s just one of those simple life rules that can save the recommender from looking ridiculous.

Nevertheless, a man like Erwin Chemerinsky can obviously afford to look ridiculous:

“Mark Martin is the ideal person to be the founding dean of the new law school at High Point University. His experience as a lawyer, as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and as a law school dean all make him superbly qualified to lead this new law school. With him at the helm, they are already far on the way to creating an outstanding law school,” Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley Law and president of the Association of American Law Schools, said in the press release.

On a less facetious note, anybody who in any way supports or tolerates Trumpism, which currently means pretty much any Republican, needs to be ostracized in every practical way possible by everyone who doesn’t.

That this even has to be said two years after January 6th 2021 is a sad commentary on how much many high status Even the Liberal types like Chemerinsky are willing to do to oppose the gathering fascist tide, which is nothing.

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