We discussed how the celebration of Joe Biden’s election has been lost as a “unifying” and “healing” moment for many who call for blacklisting and retaliation against anyone deemed “complicit” in Trump-era. In fact, I have been writing for years about growing McCarthyism in our country and the growing threats to both freedom of speech and academic freedom. This hateful or awkward rhetoric occasionally comes from law professors, but most academics have retained a degree of caution and tolerance. Because of this, it was disappointing to read a bizarre attack by the University of Colorado law professor Paul Campus, who compared my discussion of possible voting irregularities to Holocaust denial.
Writer for a legal page titled Lawyers, Guns and Money, Professor Campus has been very critical of my discussion of the recent challenges presented this morning in the 2020 presidential election. The segment looked at the recent decision in Pennsylvania that the Secretary of State had broken the law in extending a deadline. I also touched on President Obama’s comments on how these challenges could undermine democracy. I have found that confirming the number of votes only strengthens democracy, especially when identifying problems in future elections.
My comments on the Michigan software controversy were the focus of the publication and, more generally, my statement that we need to review the actual evidence emerging from these cases. I have stated repeatedly that I do not believe that the current challenges are likely to overturn the election of Biden as elected president. However, I have found that there is no reason not to consider these challenges and address issues. There have been irregularities ranging from the improper order in Pennsylvania to a small number of identified deceased voters in Nevada to the controversy over the accounting error in Michigan. I reiterated that these are still localized problems and there is no evidence of systemic problems that would upset the results in different states.
In terms of software, I have repeatedly raised the Michigan issue in interviews and found that the votes have been returned to Trump and we don’t know if such human errors have occurred outside of this district. I have repeatedly found that it has been caught and corrected. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson confirmed that an Antrim County employee reported the mishap, which miscounted 6,000 Trump votes, as a Biden vote. The misleading of Trump votes as Biden votes was quickly corrected. That is why I have said repeatedly that this was not a case of fraud or shameful purpose. The point is, there is good reason to check if others have made such mistakes as human mistakes. The “vulnerability” of the system indicated the fact that there was clearly a period when the ballots could be misplaced through human error. (In this morning’s interview, one of the hosts reiterated that this was human error and stated that this issue did not affect actual votes. I had already established that this affected a district and was due to human error Host added that it appears that only five counties had computer issues and only one was affecting Dominion software). The reason Dominion was found being used in many other districts and states was to cite claims that a system prone to such human error could affect other ballots across the country.
However, Campus ignores the exact interview he is referring to, falsely claiming that I am “telling lies on national television to promote a paranoid conspiracy theory accepted by tens of millions of Americans: that the presidential election stole Donald Trump from massive voters were fraud. “
Every interview I have given has included a statement that there is no such evidence and that such evidence is unlikely to emerge. While some claimed that there were no serious irregularities for Biden within 24 hours of the call for proposals, I have found that we are still awaiting evidence in these cases. At the same time, I criticized Trump’s legal team (in an interview with Campos) and previously said it was time for the team to come forward with alleged evidence. I have also criticized President Trump for his rhetoric. In fact, liberal websites have cited my interviews as doubts about the evidence of widespread fraud.
However, Campos stated that this comment was a denial of the Holocaust. (Incidentally, it contains a tweet from someone who falsely suggests that I did not disclose that the software in Michigan could indeed have been the result of human error. I specifically stated in the interview that it was human error and that it’s there was no evidence of a nefarious purpose). I argued that regardless of the results, it would be useful to study the performance of new systems and software:
“What I don’t understand about this onslaught to end all challenges is what is being achieved here? People who treat the President-Elect as the President-Elect. Most of us support him in making the switch.
But we also see no great harm to democracy in ensuring that the votes are counted. If nothing else, not only for his election but also for future elections. This is a completely different choice. We used new systems, new software; shouldn’t we look at this and solve these questions? “
However, Campos requested my resignation for expressing such views:
Should a history department continue to employ a Holocaust denier? Let me sharpen that a little: Should a history department continue to employ a Holocaust denier whose academic specialty is the Holocaust? …
To pursue this analogy further, Turley is a kind of lying troll who only asks questions about whether the gas chambers and death camps really exist, and of course acknowledges that many Jews – maybe hundreds of thousands! – died of “harsh conditions” in the concentration camps etc etc, so actually slander him by calling him a Holocaust denier etc etc … (By the way, before anyone gets to that point, I don’t know if Turley is Jewish himself or if he lost his family in the Holcaust [sic] etc. etc. because the analogy is definitely m’kay snowflakes?).
Campos continues to urge my faculty and professors to avoid me everywhere. He also notes that ideally I would be fired for such an interview:
“If Turley were a member of the contract faculty, it would be appropriate to dismiss him immediately to promote paranoid conspiracy theories directly related to his area of alleged professional competence …” It’s a tricky question, but it’s a real one, and Turley should at least be pissed off and shunned by anyone in law with a brain and a conscience. “
We discussed efforts to dismiss professors who express dissenting views on the basis or demands of the recent protests, including efforts to oust a leading economist from the University of Chicago and a leading linguistics professor at Harvard. It is part of a wave of intolerance that is sweeping our colleges and newsrooms.
It is, therefore, an ironic moment for someone who has written about the growing intolerance of dissenting views on our campus and the efforts to fire academics. Some have been geared towards engaging in what is referred to as “bilateral rhetoric” rather than promoting a preferred narrative or point of view.
Campos argues that it would be “appropriate to dismiss any professor” who stated that we should allow these challenges to be heard even though they are not and are unlikely to have evidence of systemic fraud to support these findings to reverse. This is a view of academic freedom and point of view tolerance shared by some scholars.
I’m not the first academic Campos to quit for his views. In the end, I would defend Campos by making such views public. Unlike Professor Campos, I do not believe that he should be fired for holding opposing views or even calling for others to be fired. That’s the cost of free speech. Indeed, Professor Campos is the cost of free speech.
In particular, the CNN Legal Analyst and Stanford Professor Rangappa sent a link that people can use to contact the law school during my interview, presumably to comply with requests to quit. Just for the sake of illustration, I previously criticized Rangappa for fucking a student who criticized her and a baseless attack on Nikki Haley. She has also called for Trump attorneys to be sanctioned.