< link rel="DCTERMS.replaces" href="http://fumare.us/" > < meta name="DC.identifier" content="http://fumare.blogspot.com" > <!-- --><style type="text/css">@import url(https://www.blogger.com/static/v1/v-css/navbar/3334278262-classic.css); div.b-mobile {display:none;} </style> </head> <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12407651\x26blogName\x3dFUMARE\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://fumare.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://fumare.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d6298351012122011485', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>


Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Modest Proposal

Recent reports have confirmed that Dobranski and Monaghan are solidifying their strangle-hold on AMSL. With the removal of Professors Safranek, Lyons, and Pucillo and the hiring of new professors at AMSL, the Dean is stacking the deck to ensure that the Founding Faculty and those other faculty critical of the school's governance are now outnumbered. The practical effect of this is to resolve the ABA's concern over the standard violation with newer faculty who may take the side of the Dean. Now, to be fair, I am not judging the posture of these new faculty members. They will make up their own minds as to the governance issues. To say the least, the position the Dean finds himself in is quite convenient even if Prof. Sonne is eventually planning to move to California (he is isn't he?). Similarly, there are credible reports that the composition of the SBA has changed with the entrance of the new 1L class. Indeed, some of these 1L representatives have expressed a desire to compose a statement of confidence in Dobranski's administration and a public thank you to Michael Novak for his recent piece on National Review Online. Whether this is further evidence of diminished standards and the acceptance of intellectually-challenged students or whether this is the overzealous workings of individuals lacking in historical perspective, I do not know. What is apparent, however, is that the alumni (and some independent voices) remains the only group who is making any appreciable noise as to the injustices perpetrated on our alma mater by Messrs. Monaghan and Dobranski.

What then to do? I think that I am correct when I state that lawyers are generally risk averse. If this is laudable at all, it is in that it demonstrates the underlying virtue of prudentia--which is made concrete in discretion of action. Sometimes, however, taking a risk is necessary. The risk I suggest may be radical, but I think it sane in that it gets to the roots. It may be difficult, but it should not be left untried simply because it is difficult. It should only be left untried if there is no will to do it. I contend that the will to do it is there, the people to do it are there, and the resources to do it are there. The "it" that I speak of is the maintenance of Catholic legal education in southeast Michigan. Let Mr. Monaghan develop his Catholic Disneyland in Florida, let us start a new law school in Michigan--small, Catholic, ABA accredited, a community effort and with a curriculum informed by the teachings of Church and a natural law jurisprudence.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? The Founding Faculty have done this before, let us encourage them to do it again! This is an express call to the Founding Faculty and their fellow travellers to unite in an effort to maintain this education in Michigan. I am confident that intellectual support would be forthcoming from the broader Academy as evidenced by the recent statement by the Mirror of Justice scholars as well as such Catholic luminaries as Ed Peters and Janet Smith. In addition, I am also confident that Professor Charles Rice would lend his name to such a venture. Further, the good relations forged with the legal profession in the Midwest would serve well in such a project. Friends in the federal and state judiciaries as well as in firms and government practice would surely lend support. Most importantly, I think there might be a few others who would be interested. Whence the money? Obviously essential. Bottom line we need to get it! We need to pound the pavement and realize that it will not come as easily as it did for the founding of AMSL. Nor do we want money that comes with strings attached! Perhaps we ought to take the Mother Angelica approach and pray before the Blessed Sacrament.

I ask my colleagues here on FUMARE to support this proposal and add anything else that I may have missed. Further, I ask the alumni of Ave Maria School of Law to consider such a proposal and pool efforts with our Founding Faculty to maintain this educational opportunity in Michigan. It is not the intent of this post to give the details for a plan of action, rather it is a broad outline for an end result. I leave the details to those smarter ones among us. Again, this should only be left untried if there is no will to do it. I believe the will to do it is there. I believe that the mission of such a school is not the intellectual property of Tom Monaghan, rather it is our birthright as human persons and our inheritance as children of Mother Church.