Moral Outrage at Yale Law School:

Seventeen year-old Kiwi Camara uses the word "nigs" to refer to African Americans as an unusually young Harvard law student. He later apologizes, and denies that he harbors ill feelings towards African Americans. Several years later, editors at the Yale Law Journal, unaware of his controversial past, offer to publish an article he wrote in a symposium issue, and later invite him to speak at the relevant symposium. When the "community" discovers Camara's past, all hell breaks loose at Yale, with outraged students arguing that a moral reprobate like Camara should not be allowed to publish in the hallowed Journal, much less speak in Yale's hallowed halls. Camara apologizes again, unequivocally. (See previous VC coverage by Eugene here.) Nevertheless, mass meetings, protests, etc. ensue, culminating last Friday when 1/3 of the symposium audience walked out on Camara's talk.

By contrast, when I was a Yale Law student, the Law Journal accepted an article by convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is, as Stuart Taylor summed it up in 1995, "probably an unrepentant killer who on December 9, 1981, stood over 26-year-old Daniel Faulkner and put a bullet between his eyes while the already wounded officer lay helpless on his back." (For even more certainty on the issue, see here and here, among other sources.] You can find the article at 100 Yale L.J. 993 (1991). As far as I can recall, the only student outrage I witnessed over this publication was some grumbling by a few Federalist Society types. (The Journal, of which I was a member, did receive a fair number of outraged letters from alumni and others who had read about the controversy elsewhere.)

Granted, the law students who currently attend Yale are not the same people as the students who attended Yale in 1991, and are not responsible to the indifference displayed in 1991 to the Journal publishing a convicted murderer's work. It's possible that the students who have been outraged over Camara would have been even more outraged over Abu-Jamal, but given the left-wing orthodoxy [which holds Abu Jamal is an innocent "political prisoner"] that has long pervaded the most activist element of the Yale Law student body, I sincerely doubt it.

Not surprisingly, I don't look to the Yale Law student body as my moral compass.