A commenter asks, apropos the Camara controversy:
What about a law review submission by a professor who left his faithful and pregnant wife for a 23 year old former student? While most of us agree that is inappropriate behavior, I can't imagine any serious law journal even considering rejecting an article on that basis. (Maybe because it would eliminate several prominent legal academics?)
Great question; let's also assume that he didn't just leave his wife, but cheated on her, and let's assume that there are no mitigating circumstances. (I think adultery is wrong, but in some situations it may be less wrong than in others -- for instance, if the cheated-on spouse deliberately alienated the cheater through cruelty of various sorts.)
Bad behavior? You bet. Does it reveal a character defect? Sure. Could someone even spin it out as identity politics, as reflecting the professor's mistreatment of women? Definitely. (I think this is just general scumminess, not sexism in any meaningful sense, but others might disagree -- or might rightly condemn the guy just for his scumminess.) Is it at least roughly as bad as using the term "nig" in a publicly distributed outline? I think it is; though racial epithets are offensive and rude, and often affect many people rather than just one (or more likely a few, given that the professor's behavior affects both his wife and their children, current and forthcoming), the harm inflicted by adultery and abandonment of one's children is generally much more intense.
But this has zilch to do with the important question, which is: Does the law review article advance our understanding of law? They're not giving the author a decency award, they're publishing an article for the benefit of readers and of the profession. The same goes with other forms of misconduct, whether or not race is involved.
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