Here’s one for the embittered crowd: While we’ve all heard about the Annenberg Challenge, I think few, if any, of us have heard about Obama’s eight years as director of the Joyce Foundation. You’d think he would have been playing up a directorship, considering that it would prove executive experience. Of course, perhaps it’s because the executive experience was directed at a political hot potato: using Foundation money to bulk up the number of anti-Second Amendment law review articles in an effort to convince judges that scholarly trends were hostile to guns. David T. Hardy has the story (footnotes omitted):
During Obama’s tenure, the Joyce Foundation board planned and implemented a program targeting the Supreme Court. The work began five years into Obama’s directorship, when the Foundation had experience in turning its millions into anti-gun “grassroots” organizations, but none at converting cash into legal scholarship.
The plan’s objective was bold: the judicial obliteration of the Second Amendment.
Joyce’s directors found a vulnerable point. When judges cannot rely upon past decisions, they sometimes turn to law review articles. Law reviews are impartial, and famed for meticulous cite-checking. They are also produced on a shoestring. Authors of articles receive no compensation; editors are law students who work for a tiny stipend.
In 1999, midway through Obama’s tenure, the Joyce board voted to grant the Chicago-Kent Law Review $84,000, a staggering sum by law review standards. The Review promptly published an issue in which all articles attacked the individual right view of the Second Amendment.
In a breach of law review custom, Chicago-Kent let an “outsider” serve as editor; he was Carl Bogus, a faculty member of a different law school. Bogus had a unique distinction: he had been a director of Handgun Control Inc. (today’s Brady Campaign), and was on the advisory board of the Joyce-funded Violence Policy Center.
Bogus solicited only articles hostile to the individual right view of the Second Amendment, offering authors $5,000 each. But word leaked out, and Prof. Randy Barnett of Boston University volunteered to write in defense of the individual right to arms. Bogus refused to allow him to write for the review, later explaining that “sometimes a more balanced debate is best served by an unbalanced symposium.” Prof. James Lindgren, a former Chicago-Kent faculty member, remembers that when Barnett sought an explanation he “was given conflicting reasons, but the opposition of the Joyce Foundation was one that surfaced at some time.” Joyce had bought a veto power over the review’s content.
Joyce Foundation apparently believed it held this power over the entire university. Glenn Reynolds later recalled that when he and two other professors were scheduled to discuss the Second Amendment on campus, Joyce’s staffers “objected strenuously” to their being allowed to speak, protesting that Joyce Foundation was being cheated by an “‘agenda of balance’ that was inconsistent with the Symposium’s purpose.” Joyce next bought up an issue of Fordham Law Review.
The plan worked, too, with those paid-for law review articles being used in Court’s as evidence against the Second Amendment’s plain meaning.
And don’t forget Obama’s role in all this: this was his executive experience, because he was the director. While Palin’s executive experience was lowering taxes, getting pipe lines built, negotiating with oil companies and getting rid of corrupt politicians, Obama’s was using the power of money to corrupt and subvert the marketplace of ideas. Indeed, given Obama’s tenure on the Harvard Law Review, one has to wonder whether it was he who figured out the power of law reviews when it comes to shaping judicial opinion.
You should definitely read the whole article, which also details other creative subversive approaches the Joyce Foundation came up with, and then forward it to anyone you know who supports the Second Amendment.
Hat tip: Confederate Yankee