VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Mon Apr 23 11:09:13 PDT 2007
I appreciate Prof. Alexander's concerns, which she is certainly
entitled to air. And if the list had a general practice of not using
"argumentative, polemical characterizations," Prof. Scaperlanda might be
reasonably expected to tone the characterizations down a bit.
(Likewise, if he wishes to do so, for rhetorical reasons, I would
But given the nature of past list discussions, it seems hard to me
to condemn Prof. Scaperlanda, who doubtless sincerely and not
unreasonably believes that the intact D&X of a second-trimester fetus is
"brutal killing" -- a position that others may disagree with, but hardly
strikes me as outlandish or patently unreasonable, even to those who see
it unreasonable to treat the destruction of a few-day-old collection of
cells as "brutal killing" -- for using such a description.
I take it, for instance, that a death penalty opponent would be
entitled, given the practice on the list, to call execution by
electrocution "brutal murder," even if many do not believe execution to
be "murder," do not believe that killers condemned to death have a right
to life, and do not believe electrocution to be particularly brutal.
Perhaps less vivid or conclusory terms would be more conducive to
persuasion; perhaps not; but I doubt they would violate list standards
as they have developed. It seems the same is true as to the actions
involved in intact D & X of a second-trimester (or third-trimester)
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Janet Alexander
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 9:36 AM
To: Scaperlanda, Michael A.; Lynne Henderson; Andrew Koppelman
Cc: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: regret
Dear Professor Scaperlanda,
Would you kindly spare the rest of the list these
argumentative, polemical characterizations? You have made your point --
you think intact D&X is immoral. Others on the list do not agree and
have quite different, though perhaps equally strong, views about the
morality of the Supreme Court's decision. I have tried to spare the
list the responses that have gone through my mind each time I read some
such propagandistic phrase as "brutally killed." I am afraid I am going
to have to resign from the list if this doesn't stop.
Janet Cooper Alexander
Frederick I. Richman Professor of Law
Stanford Law School
Stanford CA 94301-8610
At 08:12 AM 4/23/2007 -0500, Scaperlanda, Michael A. wrote:
Lynne, are you suggesting that the psychological harm
the mother suffers in choosing to have her partially born child brutally
killed is similar to the harm suffered when one chooses "Stanford over
Yale, law over medicine"? Or, did I miss understand you?
Associate Dean for Research
Edwards Family Chair in Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law
300 W. Timberdell Rd.
Norman, Oklahoma 73019
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