Guilty pleasure

Photo credit:  eric molina.  Used pursuant to Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. The image has not been altered.

Photo credit: eric molina. Used pursuant to Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. The image has not been altered. (There is a possibility that only Scott Greenfield and close followers of Simple Justice will understand the true significance of this photo.)


In my post, The evisceration of Dahlia Lithwick, I referred to Ms.Lithwick as being “very bright.” Among a lot of other things, I also added: ” Lithwick can be a tiresome scold. Taking her down several pegs is a good thing if you care about intellectual rigor and the national legal commentariat.” I “pimped” Scott Greenfield’s incisive critique off Lithwick’s comparison of the Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence to other Constitutional values that she evidently holds more dear.

Rick Hansen Hasen, a law professor and blogger, responded with a post entitled, “Judge Kopf Calls Dahlia Lithwick a ‘Tiresome Scold.‘” Professor Hansen’s Hasen’s first sentence reads this way “Keeping it classy, as usual. (More here.).” Subsequently,  Michelle Olsen ‏@AppellateDaily chimed in, writing, among other things, “To show my cards, I find honest criticism (à la @ScottGreenfield) helpful, rooting for ‘evisceration’ of a ‘scold,” weird.'” In response, Professor Hansen Hasen wrote, “Not just weird, but sexist” and in a second tweet, “But we should expect this from judge who writes about ‘ample chests’ of lawyers arguing before him.”

I confess to taking guilty pleasure in annoying law professors who have never made their living trying cases and who dictate manners to others when a fellow “highbrow” is grilled. Now, I both admit and realize that “guilty pleasure” is the “distillation of all the worst qualities of the middlebrow.” But, unlike Professor Hansen Hasen, I have never thought of myself otherwise.


*Corrected at 4:55 PM on October 27, 2014 to correctly spell Professor Hasen’s name.


6 responses

  1. Judge, I think your Freudian slip may be showing though in America being a scold is not limited to women, a defense I had already provided. Weird is too much but you could have written something less provocative. Cruel comments about law profs and trials represents the assumption of trial lawyers that only they really practice law. While I have tried cases the hardest part of law practice is doing appeals for diva trial lawyers and then arguing in front of a panel including a District Judge called up and performing for his judicial superiors.

  2. Pingback: Judge Kopf Continues to Inappropriate Remarks; Time for Him to Retire | Election Law Blog

  3. Judge I never took myself as seriously as Prof. Hansen and I am repenting for too often being a pompous ass of an academic. Compared to Hansen my sins were venial. Ignore him, his are the effusions of an adolescent intellect.

  4. repenting lawyer,

    I don’t assume that trial lawyers are the only ones who really practice law. If I gave that impression, I apologize. I do think that trying cases will teach you two things: (1) what real civility means; and (2) how to take a punch but not take it personally (except when you should). All the best.


  5. RGK,
    I am enjoying that the sandwich looks like a tongue sticking out.

    Without expressing an opinion on your specific argument (I ain’t read it as I don’t have time right now), I generally approve of harrassing law professors. Why? Professors get paid to nerd rage (see against other Professors by publishing their nerd rage in a law journal. They might as well get some fencing practice against people outside their little circle. I’ve found that it’s good for mental hygiene to try out ideas on people outside of your own social circle to see whether the ideas are worth a damn in the real world.


  6. Southern Law Student, You mean law professors read one another, nobody read my articles though Mom, God rest her, tried.

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