Illinois basketball and Trayvon Martin

Two recent news stories dealing with racial spoils and polarization prompt this post.

It has been widely reported that the search for the new head basketball coach at the University of Illinois is not going well. The Illinois athletic director, Mike Thomas, has been looking for a black head coach to replace the dismissed Bruce Weber. This discriminatory search may have been triggered because two of the university’s trustees were upset that the new football coach is white. The prime candidate, Shaka Smart, of Virginia Commonwealth University, an outstanding young coach, turned down Illinois’s very lucrative offer. This reminds us of the celebrated racial incident involving our former economics teacher, Frank Pierson, and one of our intellectual heroes, Thomas Sowell.  Continue reading

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Judicial Politics – round 2

Just as we thought we were through with the unremitting efforts to prevent reform of the Missouri Plan, here comes the new President of the Missouri Bar Association, Lynn Whaley Vogel, to echo the impassioned pleas of Skip Walther. See our comments below about Mr. Walther’s op-ed in our round 1 post. Mrs. Vogel has produced many articles and videos extolling the virtues of the Missouri Plan. You just might think the trial lawyers had some skin in this game. Their strident, one-sided arguments belong in the category ‘How dumb do they think we are?’ Continue reading

Judicial Politics

A Columbia attorney, Mr. Skip Walther, past President of the Missouri Bar Association, has been writing op-ed upon op-ed for the Columbia Daily Tribune and other newspapers extoling the virtues of the Missouri Plan. Today’s Tribune ( March 18, 2912) presents his latest screed, “Spring brings judicial politics.”
The Missouri Plan provides for the Bar Association to nominate three candidates to fill each high judicial appointment; the governor then must pick one. What, says Mr. Walther, could be more merit-based and less political than this?
A closer look will reveal that the Missouri Plan, while it may have worked well in the 1940s and 1950s, has been under the control of trial or plaintiff’s attorneys in a highly political process hidden from public view. Continue reading