TIM NOAH is hot on the trail of my old law professor Stephen Carter, regarding his abstention from the Kass Council report.

Carter’s not talking, and Noah — rather unfairly in my opinion — suggests that Carter dropped out to promote his novel. I suspect this is an effort to provoke Carter into returning Noah’s calls, rather than a serious accusation. My guess is that Carter agreed to serve on the panel, then gave up when it was obvious that the Bush Administration had already made up its mind anyway, without waiting to hear what the Council had to say. But that’s just a guess, as I haven’t spoken to Carter about it.