The (Un?)Bearable Liteness of E-Mail: Historians, Impeachment, and Bush v. Gore
Historians have recently used the Internet to circulate political statements about law. This paper explores the statements they issued against President Clinton's impeachment and President Bush's inauguration. It pays special attention to impeachment, comparing the position taken by historians with that taken by the law professors. While concluding that such statements can be useful, the author advises historians lacking the expertise to evaluate the positions taken in a statement to proceed carefully in signing it. She suggests that historians sign only such documents whose scholarship they have made a preliminary assessment that they could individually defend publicly. She also urges historians to craft statements that give the public a sense of the methods they use in interpreting the past.
THE BUCHMANN FACULTY OF LAW | TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY