And Hugh Hewitt wonders if this will complicate UCI's accreditation process.
STILL MORE: Steve Hayward emails:
As a native Californian and long-time watcher of Orange County politics, I am very skeptical that Donald Bren had anything to do with the Chemerinsky debacle. Although Bren is a major Republican donor, he is no conservative ideologue. In fact, in intra-party fights in Orange County and in California generally, movement conservatives have always counted on Bren to be on the other side.
The Irvine Foundation, which is mostly his baby, gives overwhelmingly to mainstream to liberal causes. Bren is the ultimate Establishment guy, and would, I think, be delighted to have someone of Chemerinsky's national stature as the founding dean. This angle doesn't ring true.
My suspicion is that if the Regents were behind this, it was not pressure from Bren, but because some faction on the Regents has their own stealth candidate for the job (or maybe even the governor), and is using the "conservative objections" angle as a smokescreen. In any event, count me among conservatives who are appalled. We don't want to "get" Chemerinky; we want to argue with him, frequently and publicly. To his credit, he is happy to engage us, which is why the likes of Hugh Hewitt and John Eastman (my graduate school roommate at Claremont) support his appointment.
Interesting. Maybe someone should call Bren and ask him.