Local Lawmakers to Weigh in on War Crimes Charges against Law Prof
Posted Dec 5, 2008 9:12 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The Berkeley, Calif., City Council has scheduled a vote next week on a war crimes resolution targeting a law professor who wrote a so-called torture memo while working in the Justice Department.
The Berkeley measure demands that the United States bring war crimes charges against John Yoo, a constitutional and international law professor at the University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Yoo wrote a 2003 memo justifying harsh interrogation tactics for terrorism suspects. The memo said criminal statutes barring torture don’t apply to military interrogators questioning al-Qaida suspects overseas.
The Berkeley council resolution also calls on the law school to offer students the option to study under different professors. Boalt spokeswoman Susan Gluss told the Chronicle that no students are forced to take classes with Yoo since the school has several professors who teach in his subject areas.
Gluss said Yoo is well-liked and encourages different viewpoints in his classroom.
"We respect the politics of Berkeley, home of the free speech movement, and their right to debate this issue," Gluss told the Chronicle. "They can pass this measure, but it won't have any bearing on the university's policy."
Hat tip to How Appealing.