In the wake of the Obama administration’s nomination of Elena Kagan, Dean of Harvard Law School, for solicitor general, a movement is afoot to draft my dear dad-in-law, Charlie Nesson, for the deanship. A blogger describing himself as “HLS’s least wealthy and influential alumnus” makes the case:
He’s good at building organizations (and getting money to do so): witness the fabulous success of the Berkman Center, which he founded. He’s very well-known and popular. Everyone knows he’s a an extremely-short-short-list candidate for smartest guy ever to set foot in HLS. And my agents have recently informed me that he’s appeared on Colbert.
He’s not afraid to stand up and get into fisticuffs with corporate America on the side of good, over and over. Of course, he is also always ready to stand up to the government on the side of the angels. He’s one of the most feared discussion moderators out there (many, many fools have fallen stammering to the black turtleneck and measured voice), and could probably keep the legendary herd of cats that is the HLS faculty from clawing the drapery completely to shreds as well as could anyone. He is unquestionably independent, not in anyone’s pay or committed to anyone’s ideology. Finally, he knows the difference between “an important issue” and “an issue of immense triviality,” something that can’t be said of 99.9% of academics or lawyers.
When pigs fly.