Too liberal for OC?

UC Irvine officials hired and then turned around and fired Erwin Chemerinsky as their new dean for their soon-to-be law school because Chemerinsky is considered to be too liberal.

According to Chemerinsky, UCI Chancellor Michael Drake flew to Raleigh, North Carolina on Tuesday to withdraw the offer that was made to Chemerinsky face-to-face.  Chemerinsky’s hiring would have to be approved by the University of California Board of Regents before it was final.

From the Orange County Register:

Chemerinsky said he picked Drake up in his car from the airport, and was told in the car the offer was being rescinded. The rest of the conversation took place in a hotel lobby near the airport.”He said significant opposition had developed against me. He said he didn’t realize how much conservatives would be out to get me,” Chemerinsky said. “He told me he felt it would be a bloody fight at the Board of Regents, and, even if I was confirmed, the fight would do damage to the law school.”

Chemerinsky is a nationally known constitutional scholar; he has been on the faculty of USC for 21 years; he currently works at Duke University.  He is well known for his support of separation of church and state, and abortion rights.

UCI says that they will release a statement later today on the hiring-then-firing (or the Oanh Nguyen-Laming) of Chemerinsky.

Chemerinsky said he intended to be a law dean for “all of Orange County,” not merely the political left.”I wasn’t going to be a liberal dean, I was going to be a dean for all viewpoints,” he said.

Drake asked him to agree to tell the public that the firing was a mutual decision, but Chemerinsky said he refused.

“I said I would tell the truth, and I am,” Chemerinsky said.

Why wasn’t Chemerinsky’s background considered before he was offered a job?  And why is it such a big deal to be a vocal liberal in Orange County?

[Orange County Register]

  8 comments for “Too liberal for OC?

  1. Publius
    September 12, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Attracting a big name like Erwin Chemerinsky from a major law school like Duke was a major coup for a startup like UCI.
    Too bad they blew it. Big time.
    To answer your question, Mike, it’s all about control. If you and a few of your buddies have controlled the discussion at every level in OC, and you see some of that power slipping away, you’ll hold on tight to whatever you have left. It’s all a threat to your power.
    The existence of this blog is a threat to the DeVores, Cunninghams, and D’Anconias or OC.
    Love the reference to Westminster and Kim Oanh Nguyen-Lam.

  2. Anonymous
    September 12, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Wow. This is a spot on the rep of UCI. What a foolish and awful blunder. You don’t offer people jobs and then rescind them for political reasons without it becoming a scar on your reputation – especially academic institutions. It brings you down a peg from the position of reasoned discourse that supports your institutional existence. Too bad for UCI. He’ll just stay at Duke, which looks a little more like the better school as a result of this.

  3. Long time politico
    September 12, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Well, at least he didn’t get ‘Borked’.

  4. September 12, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    I’m a UC Irvine alumni. If they end up getting some bland figure from Bush’s Justice Department I’m going to complain like a m*****f*****.


  5. just asking
    September 12, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    This is a great loss for OC and UCI’s reputation in particular. Not sure if its Erwin Chemerinsky’s support of, what that thingy called, oh yeah The Constitution! It has been a thorn in the sides of right-wing nutjobs and wacked out leftists since it was written. Which means it is well written!

    Maybe UCI can hire some used up UCLA hack lawyer. I’m sure many want to get away from LA since they can’t beat my Trojans and win a bowl game in the same year!

    Fight on!

  6. Aunt Millie
    September 12, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    UCI’s Chancellor is a pathetic coward.

    He should commit seppuku from the shame this brings us all.

  7. September 12, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    The existence of this blog is a threat to the DeVores, Cunninghams, and D’Anconias or OC.

    Nothing gets past you you, does it Publius?

    Now I’ll go back to feeling threatened by 😉

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    September 12, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Is that a smiley face I see?! Careful, or I’ll start calling you Andrew.

    I do agree with Publius that the conversation in OC has, for too long, been a Conservative Republican monologue. Matt’s approach to allowing comments of dissent on OC Blog and the Progressive POV on this Blog do move our democracy forward.

Comments are closed.