Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kenneth Starr extols free speech in U of L lecture

Freedom of speech and religion was the central theme in a lecture at the law school yesterday by Kenneth Starr, the former independent counsel from the Bill Clinton era. About 100 students, faculty members, and local attorneys attended the inaugural William Marshall Bullitt Lecture in the school's Allen Courtroom. A story about the lecture also made the front of the Metro section in today's Courier-Journal. Starr is perhaps best known for his hard-nosed probe of the Monica Lewinsky affair, but he also is a former Solicitor General and U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the District of Columbia. And he made several comments yesterday that showed me he can't be easily painted into a single political corner. For example, he defended lawyers representing accused Al-Quada terrorists, and said a few nice things about President Obama. He also stressed the importance of civility in politics, and talked about the importance of freedom of speech for all groups, including corporations. Image, above right, from Pepperdine Law.