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Tarullo's arc: from Crit to Fed governor

President-elect Obama has named one of his top economic advisers, Georgetown lawprof Daniel Tarullo, to fill a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. A law professor would ordinarily be an unusual pick for the central bank, but some guess that Tarullo's role will be to push for more stringent financial regulation, a topic closer to his academic interests. National Journal's James Barnes has described him as the Obama campaign's "go-to guy on currency, foreign investment, and trade".

Legal-academia-watchers may also remember Prof. Tarullo's name because of his role in the now-decayed Critical Legal Studies movement, which for a few years was the hottest new thing in the nation's law schools, with its penchant for high theory, "trashing" and deconstruction of prescribed norms and concepts, and contempt for liberal legalism. As this series of Harvard Crimson articles recalls, Tarullo was one of three CLS adherents whose denial of tenure at Harvard in the 1980s became a cause celebre badly dividing the institution. (The others were Clare Dalton and David Trubek.) Twenty years is a long time, of course, and we shouldn't assume that Tarullo's views haven't evolved since then. Perhaps the moral is that being denied tenure at Harvard Law is by no means the end of the world.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.