A couple weeks ago I was disappointed to learn that far-left liberal law professor Erwin Chemerinsky was the lead candidate to be the first dean of the new law school at the University of California, Irvine.
Chemerinsky, who was a longtime professor at the USC law school, has been teaching at Duke University the last few years.
Now comes word that UCI recently hired Chemerinsky, and then turned around and let him go yesterday because the Chancellor suddenly realized Chemerinsky's overt political views would be a target for criticism. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
Chemerinsky confirms to the Wall Street Journal's legal blog that he was unhired. He said, "I’ve been a liberal law professor for 28 years... I expected there would be some concern about me. My hope was that I’d address it by making the law school open to all viewpoints."
Some comments at the WSJ site, which are purportedly from Duke Law students, indicate Chemerinsky may not have been open to all viewpoints in his classes.
While I agree these events make UCI look bad in the sense that they seem to have been clueless about who they were hiring, I think this reversal ultimately was a positive move by UCI, and very unexpected considering the campus is widely considered to be a liberal "sea of blue" in relatively conservative Orange County. Hopefully the university will hire someone who is more interested in training lawyers to follow the law than in attempting to have new law created through judicial decisions.
More from Thomas Lifson at American Thinker.
Update: Professor Bainbridge weighs in, and the L.A. Times now has a story on their website.
More from the Orange County Register.
Late Update: Hugh Hewitt has been ranting that UCI is indulging in government censorship, not hiring Chemerinsky because of what he believes. The irony in that statement is that Chemerinsky regularly advocates that exact kind of government censorship, working to prevent strict constructionist judges, who believe in closely adhering to written laws, from being confirmed to their positions -- because of what they believe.
Hugh also said that he does believe in universities firing liars like Ward Churchill. This Patterico post, quoting Chemerinsky on Justices Roberts and Alito, suggests to me that Chemerinsky and the truth do not always walk hand in hand.