Editor's Note: Senate Judiciary Committee Scandal Resurfaces
In the past week, the Senate Judiciary Committee scandal generally referred to as "Memogate" has resurfaced, with an intriguing new twist.
On March 24, Curt Levey, General Counsel of the Committee for Justice, published an op-ed in the New York Sun, raising questions regarding the Columbia Law School appointment of Olatunde "Olati" Johnson to that school's faculty. Levey pointed out that the current President of Columbia University is Lee Bollinger, former President of the University of Michigan at the time of the major affirmative action case that bears his name, Gratz v. Bollinger.
Johnson's nexus to the case was first as an attorney who worked on it, then as an aide to U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). While working for Kennedy, Johnson involved herself directly in an effort to delay the confirmation of a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which was scheduled to hear the case. Her purpose was to affect the make-up of the court in favor of the University of Michigan, unequivocally outlined in a memo she wrote to Kennedy.
Following publication of Levey's op-ed, the blogosphere has begun churning with a number of postings regarding the issue, some coming from representatives of Columbia Law School defending the Johnson faculty appointment.
Since the Center for Individual Freedom broke the original news story that outlined Johnson's involvement in the case and later filed an Ethics Complaint against her, we herewith link to that original story to provide context for the controversy. While CFIF has acted with considerable restraint regarding discussions of the ethics complaint against Johnson (and another against Elaine Jones), some comments from Columbia Law School, which have attempted to minimize the ethics concerns raised against Johnson, require that we speak out, and we shall do so in coming days.March 30, 2006
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