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(Justice Clarence)Thomas having effect on law school
OnlineAthens.com ^ | 5/13/03 | Kate Carter

Posted on 05/13/2003 5:56:18 AM PDT by CFW

By Kate Carter
kcarter@onlineathens.com

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will address UGA's law school graduation Saturday.

When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas delivers the graduation speech at the University of Georgia School of Law Saturday, it will mark the culmination of a four-month controversy that has piqued emotions and, in some cases, pitted faculty against students.

Nearly four months ago, David Shipley, dean of the law school, announced that Thomas, as a native Georgian and a member of the nation's highest court, would deliver the 2003 commencement address. Shipley and the three students who chose Thomas were criticized by law professor Eugene Wilkes - among others - for choosing a speaker who Wilkes said had a lamentable record on human rights.

But on April 22, a petition signed by 11 faculty members and 50 students sparked new debate. The petition read, ''We, as students, faculty and staff of the law school, have placed our signatures below to express our objection to the process and result of this year's commencement speaker. The process was under-inclusive, clandestine and divisive. The result, too, is divisive and is disrespectful of a substantial number of graduating students and their families.''

Josh Belinfante, president of the Federalist Society and one of the three students who helped select Thomas, said Monday that the petition used overly invective language.

''It went almost to the level of personal attacks,'' said Belinfante. ''I have no problem with people registering opposition or dissent. But neither I, or Megan Jones, or Rebecca Franklin (the other two students responsible for the selection of Thomas) were ever contacted or offered an opportunity to explain what occurred.''

In response to the petition, Belinfante wrote a letter to students, explaining the selection process and registering his disappointment that those who drafted the petition never approached anyone involved in the decision.

He also sent a letter to the faculty who had signed the petition, criticizing them for signing ''something accusing a student-led process of being divisive, clandestine and disrespectful without contacting any of the students.''

Belinfante said that he and some fellow classmates ''who are very supportive and very active in the law school community'' have reduced the amount of money they will contribute to the 2003 class gift.

According to Phyllis Cooke, director of annual giving, the Legacy 2003 Class Gift Program decreased by approximately $2,000 when a ''handful'' of students, who were disturbed by the petition denouncing the selection of Thomas, decided to reduce their gift amount. Cooke said the fund, however, has risen again to $11,896.

Wilkes, who said he has received ''hate-filled'' e-mails from around the country - including one signed ''Mohammed Stalin Hussein'' - said he will deliver his own speech at the Tate Student Center on Saturday. He said he will discuss Thomas's judicial record at the same time Thomas delivers the commencement address.

Wilkes, who has been accused publicly of infrequently attending graduation, said he never made any claim to be a faithful graduation attendee. But he said Thomas's presence ruled out any chance that he would have attended.

''It's been very stressful. It's been very stressful for the law school,'' said Wilkes. ''That's one of the reasons this petition says this is so divisive.''

UGA law professor Jim Ponsoldt said he thinks the debate ''has gotten a little out of hand,'' even though he thinks Thomas should not be able to deliver the graduation speech.

''It's the fact of the graduation speech that makes a difference,'' said Ponsoldt. ''Because it is an endorsement by the law school of him.''

But UGA law professor Ray Patterson, who said he disagrees with most of Thomas's positions, does not think Thomas's invitation to speak at graduation represents an institutional endorsement of Thomas's politics.

''It's a lot of nonsense for people to raise objections to his speaking at the graduation,'' he said. ''I think his position is something that deserves respect, whether you agree with his personal views or not.''

Likewise, Timika Woods, president of the Black Law Student Association, said she does not agree with Thomas's decisions, but does not think he should be banned from delivering the graduation speech. Rather, in a letter to Shipley, Woods said that BLSA members simply expressed disappointment that more students did not have the chance to participate in the selection process.

Shipley said one result of the controversy is a new, formal policy on choosing the graduation speaker. Unlike past years, when the selection has been an informal process, all members of the graduating class can submit nominations, and representatives from all student organizations discuss the nominations and come up with a short list. The dean will then make the final decision, based on the student-generated list of names.

Shipley said that despite the controversy, he believes the ''overwhelming response'' to Thomas's invitation has been positive.

''I know one thing,'' said Shipley. ''Freedom of speech is alive and well here.''


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: clarencethomas; commencements; thomas; uga

1 posted on 05/13/2003 5:56:18 AM PDT by CFW
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To: freedomlover; redlipstick
Wilkes, who said he has received ''hate-filled'' e-mails from around the country - including one signed ''Mohammed Stalin Hussein'' - ...

Okay, anyone want to "fess up"?

2 posted on 05/13/2003 5:58:50 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW; mountaineer
Meanwhile, in contrast to x42,a truly great man and speaker, gets The Treatment.

Will we see vindication & justice in our lives?

3 posted on 05/13/2003 6:06:21 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher (Is Reality Optional?)
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To: CFW
''It's a lot of nonsense for people to raise objections to his speaking at the graduation,'' he said. ''I think his position is something that deserves respect, whether you agree with his personal views or not.''

If he wasn't seated at the Supreme Court, would they ever be aware of his personal views.

4 posted on 05/13/2003 6:06:57 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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To: CFW
Nope, wasn't me.

Open memo to Prof. Wilkes: Check your Six!!!


5 posted on 05/13/2003 6:08:05 AM PDT by Night Hides Not
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To: Molly Pitcher
Perhaps if x42 and masturbated on stage Mr. Wilkes would show up dance a minstral number in honor of the Bent One.
6 posted on 05/13/2003 6:10:31 AM PDT by zarf (Republicans for Sharpton 2004)
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To: zarf
Perhaps if x42 showed up and masturbated on stage Mr. Wilkes would come and dance a minstral number in honor of the Bent One.
7 posted on 05/13/2003 6:11:37 AM PDT by zarf (Republicans for Sharpton 2004)
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To: Night Hides Not
Wilkes is walking around here with a very long face this week. Between Carl Issacs (finally) being put to death, and the law school failing to cave into his BS, he is not having a great end of the semester at the law school.

You should see some of the emails that are going back and forth. One actually had the subject line: "Wilkes is a jackass". That one was from a student.

8 posted on 05/13/2003 6:11:54 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
UGA law professor Jim Ponsoldt said he thinks the debate ''has gotten a little out of hand,'' even though he thinks Thomas should not be able to deliver the graduation speech. Another example of the TOLERANT left. Just don't disagree with them, or you're persona non grata. These people make me sick!!!!!!!
9 posted on 05/13/2003 6:17:39 AM PDT by Mister Baredog ((They wanted to kill 50,000 of us on 9/11, we will never forget!))
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To: Molly Pitcher
Yes, we will.
10 posted on 05/13/2003 6:18:46 AM PDT by 7thson (I think it takes a big dog to weigh a 100 pounds.)
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To: Night Hides Not
This is the kind of vehicle I want when driving in DC.
11 posted on 05/13/2003 6:19:16 AM PDT by 7thson (I think it takes a big dog to weigh a 100 pounds.)
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To: CFW
What is amazing is what is missing. If conservatives were trying to block Thomas from speaking, it would be a racial issue. What is interesting is that nobody has even mentioned the PC issue of students and faculty at a Georgia Law School attempting to bar a black speaker...
12 posted on 05/13/2003 6:19:22 AM PDT by Abogado
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To: Abogado
If conservatives were trying to block Thomas from speaking, it would be a racial issue.

You are so correct.

13 posted on 05/13/2003 6:21:05 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
Isn't Wilkes supposed to be concentrating on exams and grades this week?
I am troubled to the depths of Daschle at the thought of this person giving my son a grade.
14 posted on 05/13/2003 6:25:33 AM PDT by EllaMinnow ("We won't gloat. We don't need to. It's enough just to watch them sulk.")
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To: redlipstick
Isn't Wilkes supposed to be concentrating on exams and grades this week?

Hopefully, he will at least get his exams graded before concentrating on writing his speech for his protest. However, he loves to see his name in print, so I'm sure that speech is probably top priority. The liberal Flagpole Magazine publishes every word Wilkes utters.

15 posted on 05/13/2003 6:37:11 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
I Googled Eugene Wilkes, Georgia Law Professor, and found this (emphases mine):
16 posted on 05/13/2003 6:39:00 AM PDT by newgeezer ("diversity" [is just an excuse for] bigotry, lower standards and condescending to minorities. --Rush)
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To: 7thson
You could probably get one pretty cheap, but parts may be a problem. The picture is of a self-propelled Chaparral short range air defense system. During the late-70's, I served in a composite Chaparral/towed Vulcan (20mm gun) battalion in Germany.

I wonder if these systems, or upgraded versions, are still around. All I know is that my unit, 6/56 ADA (motto - Night Hides Not) was deactivated during the 90s.

The four years that I spent at 6/56 were a wonderful experience. Platoon Leader (Chaprral and Vulcan), Maintenance Officer, Asst. S-3 (Operations Officer), Asst. S-4 (Supply Officer), and S-4, were the positions I served in. I arrived as a butterbar (2LT), and left as a Captain.

Culturally, it was a great experience, as I was able to live in Traben-Trarbach, a small town on the Mosel River, for 3 years.

17 posted on 05/13/2003 6:39:47 AM PDT by Night Hides Not
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To: newgeezer
Oh yeah, that's him alright! I think that's part of the 9 page email everyone at the law school received from Wilkes regarding the reasons Justice Thomas should not give the commencement address.
18 posted on 05/13/2003 6:41:33 AM PDT by CFW
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To: Night Hides Not
Night Hides Not...I think you took a wrong turn somewhere. Check your map. You are definitely lost.
19 posted on 05/13/2003 6:42:46 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
''It's been very stressful. It's been very stressful for the law school,'' said Wilkes.

And who made it stressful? WILKES!

20 posted on 05/13/2003 6:44:55 AM PDT by kcordell
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To: CFW
Clarence Thomas is a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. It is a great honor to attend one of his rare public appearances. Thomas is being hounded, as always, for being a wrong-thinking black man in the eyes of the left. A traitor. There is only one correct political place for people with dark skin -- on the Democratic plantation. Now Estrada is getting the Thomas treatment. These people should all be ashamed of themselves. (I know, I know, they are incapable of shame.) They are the lowest of the low.
21 posted on 05/13/2003 6:49:24 AM PDT by Starrgaizr
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To: CFW
Huh? Please expand on your comment. Thanks!
22 posted on 05/13/2003 6:51:24 AM PDT by Night Hides Not
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To: Molly Pitcher
Will we see vindication & justice in our lives?

Yeah, when Bush stops pussying around and just puts every held-up nominee into office using recess appointments...Estrada, Own, Pickering, and dozens others who have been blocked by the unprecedented Socialist cabal. Every day these nominees are kept off the court is a victory for the march of Socialism in America. Enough of the Senate pattycake with Democrats...RECESS APPOINTMENTS ON MEMORIAL DAY.

23 posted on 05/13/2003 6:53:16 AM PDT by montag813
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To: Abogado
If conservatives were trying to block Thomas from speaking, it would be a racial issue.

It may yet be a racial issue. The outrage of the Left is well documented regarding Thomas as, in their words, an "Uncle Tom" (sold out to whitey).

The peer pressure to maintain or grow the 90% of the black vote for Gore must be enormous. One has to admire the 10% having the fortitude to think independently.

24 posted on 05/13/2003 6:53:22 AM PDT by newgeezer ("diversity" [is just an excuse for] bigotry, lower standards and condescending to minorities. --Rush)
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To: Night Hides Not
Huh? Please expand on your comment. Thanks

Oops sorry. In reading your previous post, I thought you had inadvertantly replied on the wrong thread. We are discussing Justice Thomas and you are giving the specs to some awesome piece of machine.

Now I see you were actually responding to a post here. I'm sorry, I apologize. You have to admit, your post does look out of place.

25 posted on 05/13/2003 6:57:44 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
You have to admit, your post does look out of place.

Thanks for the reply, and yes, the post does look out of place.

So, to try and get back to the subject at hand, I bet Justice Thomas would look great in this machine, as he sends a Chaparral heat-seeking missile up Prof. Wilkes' a$$.

26 posted on 05/13/2003 7:03:50 AM PDT by Night Hides Not
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To: newgeezer; CFW
I think that the caricature of Justice Thomas illustrating Wilkes' article in Flagpole Magazine (link in post 15) is racist and disturbing.

Excuse me, I forgot that only conservatives can be called racist.
27 posted on 05/13/2003 7:04:44 AM PDT by EllaMinnow ("We won't gloat. We don't need to. It's enough just to watch them sulk.")
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To: Night Hides Not
So, to try and get back to the subject at hand, I bet Justice Thomas would look great in this machine, as he sends a Chaparral heat-seeking missile up Prof. Wilkes' a$$.

Agreed. LOL. It should be an interesting weekend. I'll post newspaper articles and updates next week.

28 posted on 05/13/2003 7:08:52 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
I wonder if there is a list of recent UGA law school commencement speakers. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the positions of the speaker should be irrelevant, at least that is the argument when universities endorse commencement speeches by persons such Mumia (whatever the rest of his name is), a convicted murderer, and others of his ilk. The cry by the left is always that we must allow free speech, even by those (they say) that they oppose. Free speech is dead and buried at UGA, I guess.
29 posted on 05/13/2003 7:17:08 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: NCLaw441
Law School Graduation 2002 - U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson (Thompson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Deputy Attorney General on May 10, 2001)

Law School Graduation 2001 - Senior Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (President Jimmy Carter appointed Kravitch to the federal bench in 1979)

Law School Graduation 2000 - Governor Roy E. Barnes(D)

30 posted on 05/13/2003 7:26:32 AM PDT by CFW
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To: Night Hides Not
I wonder if these systems, or upgraded versions, are still around.

Neither the Vulcan or Chap are in the US Army inventory (not even the National Guard). However, I was at North McGrager Range about 2 years ago and all the Chaps were there being refurbished for FMS. The only C/V you'll see are on display.

IT FLIES, IT DIES!!

31 posted on 05/13/2003 8:10:25 AM PDT by where's_the_Outrage?
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To: CFW
Thanks for that information. You rule. Too bad no real sinister lefties, though.
32 posted on 05/13/2003 8:16:17 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: newgeezer
"It may yet be a racial issue."

It IS a racial issue; if Justice Thomas were white, there would be no particular controversy.

When you're a slave to the Party line, black is white, or gray, or green, depending on the Party line.

Obedient leftists have no trouble acclaiming the execrable Byrd, and slandering the courageous Thomas.

I'm astonished that most lefties and liberals claim to have read Orwell's 1984; perhaps it is just that they read it to gain tips on how to succeed within their maleficent world.

All together now...'Heads On Pikes!
33 posted on 05/13/2003 8:34:54 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: headsonpikes; NCLaw441; redlipstick; All
Law address drawing national notice

By Janis Reid
jreid@onlineathens.com

A shower of local and national media attention will accompany U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' 10 a.m. Saturday commencement address at the University of Georgia School of Law.

David Shipley, dean of the law school, announced four months ago that Thomas, a native Georgian, would give the 2003 commencement address.

Shortly after that announcement, Shipley and the three students who chose Thomas were criticized by UGA law professor Eugene Wilkes and others for choosing a speaker Wilkes said has a ''lamentable record on individual rights issues.''

Late last month, a petition signed by 11 faculty members and 50 students emerged. The petition took issue with the ''process and result'' of Thomas' selection, calling it ''under-inclusive, clandestine and divisive.''

Thomas was first chosen by a group of law students comprised of the third-year president and vice president, and the second-year vice president. The three students then forwarded their choice to Shipley for approval.

Even though a few groups - such as the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and the Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary organizations - have expressed interest in protesting during Thomas' speech Saturday, Wilkes was the only person, as of Thursday afternoon, to have obtained a permit to protest on the UGA campus.

Wilkes will be delivering his own speech at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Tate Center Plaza to discuss Thomas' judicial record.

Heidi Murphy, director of communications for the law school, said the security measures that will be taken for Thomas' appearance will be similar to those taken with last year's high-profile law school commencement speaker, Deputy U.S. Attorney Larry Thompson.

Murphy could not say exactly what security measures would be taken, however, because security for both Thomas and Thompson is handled by their own security staffs.

But Murphy said there would be ''definitely more'' news coverage of Thomas' speech than of last year's address. ''We'll have more media attention than we've had in a long time,'' she said.

According to Murphy, television news outlets with plans to cover Saturday's commencement include ''NBC Nightly News,'' the Fox News cable network, Atlanta's Fox network affiliate, Atlanta's CBS News and C-SPAN, the cable public affairs network.

Print news sources scheduled to cover the event include Knight-Ridder, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Athens Banner-Herald.

34 posted on 05/16/2003 5:06:41 AM PDT by CFW
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To: Night Hides Not
Thomas suits UGA law graduation because he's divisive

If there was ever any question about the significance of Clarence Thomas' place in American history, it has been answered in recent months. Few individuals carry such influence and intrigue that the mere possibility of their presence can spark a frenzy. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thomas has a secure place in this select group.

The announcement late last year that Thomas would be the commencement speaker at the University of Georgia School of Law graduation immediately sparked debate, inflamed emotions and brought calls for protest. The furor subsided for a few months, but, as Saturday's graduation draws closer, it has returned with a vengeance.

In late April, 11 faculty members and 50 students signed a petition which helped revive the debate over Thomas. The petition read, ''We, as students, faculty and staff of he law school, have placed our signatures below to express our objection to the process and result of this year's commencement speaker. The process was under-inclusive, clandestine and divisive. The result, too, is divisive and is disrespectful of a substantial number of graduating students and their families.''

It's somewhat amusing to hear lawyers complain about the divisiveness of a situation. Makes you wonder whether they picked the right line of work. Few professions encounter or even create more differences in opinion than the law. If some of the lawyers-in-training at the university are offended by a little dissent over a graduation speaker, how will they cope when pitted against other attorneys in a trial or negotiation?

As for this criticism of the selection process, the issues are legitimate, but the motivation certainly seems suspect. Last year, three student leaders approached David Shipley, dean of the law school, about inviting Thomas to give the graduation address. At the time the law school had only an informal process for selecting commencement speakers. Sometimes students would make suggestions, other years it was left up to the dean to decide who to invite.

Given the lack of outrage in previous years, it seems this process of choosing graduation speakers didn't ruffle too many feathers before. It was only when the invitation was given to a firebrand whose remarks might not follow the typically staid commencement mold that people suddenly started complaining about the selection process.

As a result of this uproar, a more formal process for choosing speakers was established for future graduations. Students in the graduating class will be invited to make nominations, which will then be discussed by a committee of representatives from all law school student organizations. The committee then will compile a short list of nominees, and the dean will make the final decision.

While these revisions should improve the selection process - if nothing else by taking some of the pressure off the dean - we hope they don't prevent outspoken or controversial individuals from being invited. Some of the most provocative and influential people hold opinions that challenge our way of thinking and evoke passionate and often contrary reactions. If this new process results in bland speakers who say only what people want to hear, then its inclusiveness at one end will lead to exclusion at the other.

As a native Georgian and member of the nation's highest court, Thomas' selection as commencement speaker for UGA's law school graduation is not only appropriate, but may also make the event more memorable. Yet, his remarks need not win over the entire audience for the speech to be successful. Certainly those who often disagree with him shouldn't expect this day to be different. The most important thing any commencement speech can do is make people think. If Justice Thomas achieves that goal, then the tumultuous months leading up to his address will have been worthwhile.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Friday, May 16, 2003.

35 posted on 05/16/2003 5:09:53 AM PDT by CFW
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To: Molly Pitcher; All
Rumors around here are that Fox News O'Reilly Factor will be interviewing some of the professors that signed the protest petition on the show Monday.
36 posted on 05/16/2003 5:54:54 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
I had Wilkes as a law professor in the mid-70s. He was your typical liberal, shifty eyed, kind of wimpy. This whole protest thing is but another attempt to silence conservatives. Liberals lack tolerance.
37 posted on 05/16/2003 5:59:35 AM PDT by rcofdayton
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To: rcofdayton
He was your typical liberal, shifty eyed, kind of wimpy..

He hasn't changed. LOL!

38 posted on 05/16/2003 6:01:31 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
What the heck is going on in Athens? If ever I thought of a place as a bastion of conservatism and no tolernace for PC bs, Athens was it! First the Jim Harrick mess, now the football team suspensions, and finally this a**hole who wants to stop Clarence Thomas from speaking at commencement. He even has the nerve to say Justice Thomas has a horrible human rights record! That's quite a stretch, to say that about a Supreme Court Justice!
39 posted on 05/16/2003 6:07:17 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: Rummyfan
The liberals have taken over the town. The current President of the University is trying to turn the entire campus into greenspace.

The mayor wants to make it against the law to have more than two unrelated people living in a rental house (in a college town?!!??). It's ridiculous.

40 posted on 05/16/2003 6:12:33 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
I saw a short segment on this last night on Brit Hume's show.
No Wilkes, but they interviewed another law professor. I think his name is Poinsett?
41 posted on 05/16/2003 7:05:10 AM PDT by EllaMinnow ("We won't gloat. We don't need to. It's enough just to watch them sulk.")
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To: CFW
Bump. I'd love to attend Thomas' address; I hope it's a barnburner. ;^)
42 posted on 05/16/2003 7:07:19 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: redlipstick
Professor Ponsoldt

Professional Biographical Information: James F. Ponsoldt joined the University of Georgia School of Law faculty in 1978 and was appointed as the Joseph Henry Lumpkin Professor of Law in 1997. He specializes in the areas of antitrust, corporations, criminal procedure and communications law.

Recent scholarship includes "Entrapment When the Spoken Word is the Crime" in Fordham Law Review (2000) (with Stephen Marsh); "The Judicial Legitimization of Horizontal Price-fixing among Partially Integrated Heath Care Providers: An Antitrust/Health Care Case Study," in the Alabama Law Review (1999) (with Lance McMillian); and "Refusals to Deal in ‘Locked-In' Health Care Markets" in the Utah Law Review (1996).

He is presently working on several articles, including one on Rule of Reason analysis, another on vertical restraints analysis in the EU and the U.S., and a third on race sensitivity in school assignment plans.

43 posted on 05/16/2003 7:09:25 AM PDT by CFW
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To: CFW
Ponsoldt. I want to remember that name.
He's a real pip.
44 posted on 05/16/2003 8:41:26 AM PDT by EllaMinnow ("We won't gloat. We don't need to. It's enough just to watch them sulk.")
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To: Rummyfan

Updated Friday, May 16 at 10:55 AM


UGA coach charged with DUI

ATHENS - University of Georgia assistant football coach Neal Callaway was arrested last month on a drunk driving charge in Oconee County, authorities reported Friday.

Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said Callaway, 47, the offensive coordinator at Georgia, was arrested April 18 at 7:30 p.m. by the Georgia State Patrol at a license checkpoint.

He was charged with DUI, having an open container of alcohol (beer) and improper backing. He was released on $618 bond, Berry said.

Callaway served a 24-hour sentence on the charges in the Oconee County jail May 10, he said.

Callaway had a blood alcohol level of 0.098, slightly above the 0.08 limit under Georgia law, said state patrol spokesman Gordy Wright.

He said officers observed a vehicle backing up after it approached the checkpoint, so they pulled it over, checked it out and arrested Callaway


45 posted on 05/16/2003 9:09:38 AM PDT by CFW
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To: redlipstick; headsonpikes
If anyone is interested in Wilkes' speech at his "protest" during graduation ceremonies. It is here.

Warning: Triple Barf alert is warranted.

46 posted on 05/28/2003 10:35:08 AM PDT by CFW
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