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Some interesting (or at least fun) data on law professor campaign contributions:

So far, people listing their occupation as "law professor" have donated $18,365 to Republicans, and $149,542 to Democrats. Those who list their occupation as "professor of law" have donated $500 to Republicans, and $34,565 to Democrats.

A caution on extrapolating from those data points: on the one hand, the Democratic candidates in general [that is, from the public at large] have raised much more money than have the Republicans; on the other hand, given the much smaller number of Republican law professors, donating to a campaign is more likely to help get a Republican professor a future political appointment, perhaps giving an extra incentive to some Republicans to donate.

Ninety-seven self-described law professors have donated to Barack Obama, only thirty-five to Hillary Clinton. Fred Thompson is the Republican favorite, with seven donors, compared to Giuliani's five and McCain's four. Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, and Dennis Kucinich have none.

Note that this is not even close to the complete universe of law professor donations. Many, perhaps most, law professors list their occupation as professor, not law professor. At Harvard, for example, Dershowitz, Elhauge, and Singer call themselves "law professor," but Mack, Stone, Tushnet, Wilkins refer to themselves simply as "professors," Tribe lists his occupation as "attorney," and Ogletree doesn't list an occupation. Even more obscure are Michelman and Parker, who don't use the word "law" in describing either their profession ("professor") or their employer ("Harvard University"). Nevertheless, the list of "law professor" and "professor of law" donations is likely representative of the greater universe of law professor donations.

A few other items I noticed: Drew Days, Bill Clinton's Solicitor General, contributed to Tom Vilsack's [???] campaign, but not to Hillary's. Professors sometimes considered "conservative," at least by legal academy standards, such as former Yale dean Tony Kronman, Harvard's Einer Elhauge, and Cardozo's Marci Hamilton, are Barack Obama contributors. Stanford Dean Larry Kramer has donated to both Clinton and Obama.

Plus, a non-law professor tidbit: Colin Powell is backing McCain. And an inside-baseball libertarian tidbit: Lew Rockwell, former Ron Paul chief of staff and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, who is perhaps the most vocal and vehement Ron Paul supporter in the blogosphere and perhaps the world, apparently hasn't given the good doctor at least $200 (the FEC reporting threshold), if anything.

Mr. X (www):
And an inside-baseball libertarian tidbit: Lew Rockwell, former Ron Paul chief of staff and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, who is perhaps the most vocal and vehement Ron Paul supporter in the blogosphere and perhaps the world, apparently hasn't given the good doctor a penny.


I don't know if this is the case, but it's possible that he didn't contribute because of libertarian opposition to the Federal Campaign Finance reporting system on free speech grounds.
1.7.2008 7:01am
Ted Frank (www):
Or Rockwell might have contributed below the FEC reporting threshold.
1.7.2008 7:15am
dearieme:
Who's going to tell us how much the Chinese Government has contributed to la Clinton's campaign?
1.7.2008 7:52am
SlimAndSlam:
Let's see:

"Law professors" contribute about 8 times as much to Democrats as they do to Republicans.
"Professors of law" contribute about 70 times as much to Democrats as they do to Republicans.

Any guesses on the reason for the disparity? ("Small sample size" is probably the most likely reason, but that isn't any fun, is it?)
1.7.2008 9:31am
Waldensian (mail):
The numbers could be even more skewed, since donations to Guiliani are best characterized as donations to a Democrat.
1.7.2008 9:44am
alkali (mail):
One fact that may affect the reported numbers is that Barack Obama is a relatively recent graduate of Harvard Law School (class of 1991) and has friends on the faculty. Prof. David Wilkins has been active in fundraising for Obama among present and former HLS faculty and the faculty of other law schools in Boston. I think Prof. Tribe has also been active. That might explain a substantial part of the disparity.

(To be clear, I'm certainly not contending that there aren't more Democrats than Republicans among law school professors, and I'm sure there would be some disparity in any event.)
1.7.2008 10:03am
Ted Frank (www):
Obama would have friends on the Chicago faculty, too.

On the other hand, there are faculty members out there who served in the Bill Clinton administration, or went to school with the Clintons. Personal relationships are unlikely to be the sole source of the nearly 3-1 disparity between Obama and Clinton (much less the 19-1 disparity between Obama and Giuliani).
1.7.2008 10:29am
independent (mail) (www):
Doesn't surprise me much (now).. We spent some time on social statistics in college and I noticed that partisanship is independent of education until you look at Ph.D.s &JDs vs. non-doctoral graduate degrees. Doctors, lawyers, and professors overwhelmingly consider themselves Democratic while accountants, MBAs, and other people with professional/master's degree programs are overwhelmingly Republican.
1.7.2008 10:43am
NickM (mail) (www):
Rockwell is battling the FEC over whether he is making excessive/illegal in-kind contributions to the Ron Paul campaign via LewRockwell.com. It actually makes sense for him not to give a financial contribution under those circumstances.

Nick
1.7.2008 11:31am
Justin (mail):
Any guesses on the reason for the disparity?

The disparity of political preferences amongst students at top law schools who want to go into academia probably plays a role.
1.7.2008 11:39am
Brian G (mail) (www):
I am shocked, shocked to see these statistics.

Seriously, the really shocking part is that the Republicans received $500 from a law professor. I knew one law professor at my entire law school who was Republican. Stunningly, he can't seem to get a tenure-track position.
1.7.2008 12:08pm
PLR:
Any guesses on the reason for the disparity?

Law professors have emotional attachments to silly notions like the rule of law, the separation of powers and the writ of habeas corpus.
1.7.2008 12:14pm
frankcross (mail):
Any info on age differentials available?
1.7.2008 12:29pm
Thoughtful (mail):
Law professors have emotional attachments to silly notions like the rule of law, the separation of powers and the writ of habeas corpus.

Though not, it seems, to silly notions like the inalienable right to life, liberty, and property...
1.7.2008 1:26pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Law professors are disproportionately supporting the ouster of a party whose leader has shown an utter and complete contempt for the rule of law. . . . Shocker.

Relatedly, people who do not approve of the Bush administration (I don't want to use the fallacious term "left" to describe them as it is about 65-70 percent of the country) are generally much, much, much more motivated than those who support it. AN example can be seen in the Iowa cauceses -- close to 3x as many people showed up for the Dem caucuses than the Repub ones, in a state that Bush carried.

Seriously, how many people out there -- besides fringe nutters in the blogosphere -- are really saying, with a lot of real passion, "we really, really, need to continue the policies of this administration" and then compare to the number who are saying the opposite with passion (whether you agree with the passion or not). That, plus the unique stake of legal "issues" being raised by Bush, should explain the disparity in fundraising here.
1.7.2008 1:39pm
Smokey:
Though not, it seems, to silly notions like the inalienable right to life, liberty, and property...
ZING-G-G-G!!
1.7.2008 1:44pm
frankcross (mail):
Completely OT, but doesn't the concept of an "inalienable" right to property sound really dumb? Much of the point of property is the right to sell it.
1.7.2008 1:52pm
ejo:
shocking that the faculties of law schools skew donations to the Democrats? are the professors who post here the only ones who aren't aware of how left wing the academy is?
1.7.2008 2:14pm
Fub:
frankcross wrote at 1.7.2008 1:52pm:
Completely OT, but doesn't the concept of an "inalienable" right to property sound really dumb? Much of the point of property is the right to sell it.
Yabbut "inalienable right to hold alienable rights to property" also sounds kind of odd, no?
1.7.2008 2:21pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
donations to Guiliani are best characterized as donations to a Democrat

Considering that Giuliani is regarded by most Dems as the candidate they least want to see in the White House (given his views on dictatorialexecutive fiat power) from the Republican field (with possible exception of Huck), I am surprised by this. But then again, after I learned from Jonah Goldberg that liberals are fascists, it makes sense.
1.7.2008 2:21pm
Happyshooter:
I am shocked. I know most schools have diversity as a goal, so I expected more from them.
1.7.2008 3:19pm
Cornellian (mail):
I'll bet that, on average, the "professors of law" are older and more Kingsfield-like than the "law professors."
1.7.2008 4:51pm
ronnie dobbs (mail):
The numbers quoted above pretty much reflect my experience in law school (there was one registered Republican on the entire UNC Law faculty--he's long since retired, leaving the faculty a pristine, conservative/libertarian-free environment).
1.7.2008 5:25pm
Greg Bunger (mail):
I can shed a little light on one puzzling donation. Drew Days and Tom Vilsack are both graduates of Hamilton College.
1.7.2008 8:21pm
anonymous (mail):
This is why I support the end of tenure.
1.7.2008 8:24pm
rrm (mail):
PLR + Crazytrain = BDS
1.7.2008 8:46pm
Waldensian (mail):

Considering that Giuliani is regarded by most Dems as the candidate they least want to see in the White House (given his views on dictatorialexecutive fiat power) from the Republican field (with possible exception of Huck), I am surprised by this.

Guns. Abortion. Repeat.
1.7.2008 8:46pm
TomHynes (mail):
Sounds like a good research paper: Is contributing a good investment for law professors?

1. Identify the law professors who receive a presidential appointment during a four year term.

2. How many total law professors are there?

3. Which ones gave to the President?

4. Which ones gave to someone else and not the President?

5. Does it vary by amount - is a $1,000 contribution five times as effective as a $1,000 contribution.

6. What is the chance that a law professor doing this research ever gets appointed to anything?
1.7.2008 8:58pm
liberty (mail) (www):

And an inside-baseball libertarian tidbit: Lew Rockwell, former Ron Paul chief of staff and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute


Whoa... somehow I missed both of those: his connection to Ron Paul, but even more surprising, his presidency at the Mises Institute. I guess that explains some of their wack-job articles..but they have some really good stuff there too.


Completely OT, but doesn't the concept of an "inalienable" right to property sound really dumb? Much of the point of property is the right to sell it.


No. It is a clever jibe, but in all seriousness, it doesn't sound dumb at all. Your right to property doesn't mean your right specifically to one piece of property which of course you may enter into contract to trade or give up or sell. A right to property in fact protects that choice as well as your choice to purchase new property.

Maybe it was this expansive meaning that led Jefferson to choose "pursuit of happiness" instead of "property" in the declaration.
1.8.2008 11:39am
hmmmm:
How about a post on the following:

http://pajamasmedia.com/2008/01/ron_paul.php

"A damning New Republic expose on Ron Paul shows the "libertarian" Republican candidate to be a racist, a homophobe and an anti-Semite. Will his diehard supporters continue to defend a man who called Martin Luther King a gay pedophile? Daniel Koffler, a former Paul sympathizer, has a compendium of the Texas congressman's creepiest hits, pulled straight from his decades-old newsletter."
1.8.2008 3:10pm
A Guest:
I always found it a terrible restraint on speech that political contributions are somehow "public information." Living in Seattle and having strongly small-l libertarian crossed with somewhat conservative political views, but working in a business where nearly all of the leaders are extremely partisan democrats (including working as fundraisers for gubernatorial and senate candidates) I have not made contributions for exactly this reason.

Call me a chicken, but I have a family and a mortgage (not sub-prime ;-) )
1.9.2008 1:12am