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Blogging Ethics and the Sotomayor Nomination

Over on National Review Online, Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center has been quite appropriately attacking comments made by Judge Sotomayor, which seem to undermine the constitutional distinction between judging and legislating. He has been constantly attacked by an anonymous blogger on a website called Obsidinan Wings. Now, Ed has unmasked this blogger -- he is professor John Blevins of South Texas School of Law.

Incredibly, Blevins has defended his anonymous sniping as ethical: he didn't want to get in trouble with his law school, he didn't want to embarrass his family, he didn't want to offend his students. What Blevins didn't want to do, sez me, is take responsibility for his opinions. When you attack someone by name, you name yourself -- we are not in revolutionary times where the original Publius could go appropriately unnamed.

On the substantive debate between Blevins and Whelan, I think Whelan easily has the upper hand, but readers can decide this for themselves. On the propriety of hiding behind a pseudonym while sniping at a critic who is out in the open, I see no redeeming argument. I hope the South Texas tenure committee is watching and taking note.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.