City Law School Honoring Barred Bubba

Carl Campanile - The New York Post - March 14,2001

Bill Clinton, who has been barred from practicing law, is getting an award from a prestigious city law school - and some students are up in arms.

Two student groups at Benjamin Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University will on Monday give their "Advocate for Peace" award to the ex-president, who agreed to surrender his Arkansas law license for five years and pay a $25,000 fine in a deal with the independent counsel.

"I'm offended. It's embarrassing. It doesn't reflect well on our school, the administration or the student groups . . . bestowing the award on him," said student Marc Stein.

"We're honoring a man who has no respect for the law, a man who admitted to misleading a federal court, if not perjuring himself. The guy has to give up his law practice as a result of the special counsel's investigation - and we're giving him an award."

Joseph Bonventre argued that Clinton is a bad example for prospective lawyers.

"It's wrong. It's hypocritical," he said. Seth Alhadeff said he was perplexed as to why Clinton is getting a peace award, considering that Mideast peace talks blew up, and tensions and violence in the region are the worst in years.

"It's irresponsible to bring someone with Clinton's character to the law school. He was disbarred, impeached, and he wanted to win the Nobel [Peace] Prize," Alhadeff said.

"I don't see him as a role model as a leader, lawyer or a peacemaker. In the international realm, he didn't accomplish anything."

But many students enthusiastically welcome Clinton.

"I think Clinton was beneficial for the Middle East. He was a great diplomat," said Mattias Eng.

"The award is for his overseas effort. You have to separate his personal life from his professional life."

Student Jodi Tesser said Clinton's visit is a coup for Cardozo.

"He's done great things for the country on the economy and international issues. His presence at Cardozo reflects favorably on the school."

Rachel Zentz said she's a big Clinton fan, and urged critics to cut him some slack.

"He's getting a peace prize, not an ethics award. I'm sure he's not the only attorney who's cheated on his wife," Zentz said.

"I wish Clinton were still president. I think he's sexy."

Justice4JP Comment

Apellate Court Justice Stephen Williams termed the Pollard case, "a complete and gross miscarriage of justice." Jonathan Pollard's new legal case (see Court Case Page) reveals a travesty of justice that has gone unchallenged for 16 years.

The decision by Benjamin Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University to honor Bill Clinton is troubling. This is the man who repeatedly reneged on commitments to release Jonathan Pollard and who refused to commute Jonathan's sentence in spite of a wealth of evidence that his sentence is grossly disproprotionate and was unjustly obtained.

Moreover, honoring the former president in the wake of the tainted pardons that he did grant seems particularly inappropriate. It reflects poorly on the Jewish community and does the premier American Jewish law school no credit.

See Also:
  • The Clemency Page
  • The Court Case 2000-2001 Page
  • The Facts Page