Protesters Assemble Outside Debate Moderated by Yoo

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Protesters stationed themselves at Boalt Hall School of Law yesterday to protest Law Professor John Yoo's moderation of a debate about the meaning of the ninth amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Visiting faculty debated inside Boalt Hall while a coalition of about 20 protesters-some dressed in orange jumpsuits-rallied and handed out flyers outside the hall.

About half of the protesters moved inside the building but were not allowed in the room where the debate was held, said UCPD Lt. Alex Yao.

Stephanie Tang, an event organizer for World Can't Wait, said the coalition opposes Yoo's authoring of alleged torture memos during his time as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush administration.

Yao said the protests were peaceful, there were no arrests and there were no disruptions in the room where the debate was held.

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a report on Feb. 19 that cleared Yoo of "professional misconduct" but found that he had exercised "poor judgment" in authoring the memos.

Liz Jackson, a law student and member of the Boalt Alliance to Abolish Torture who protested outside of the debate room, said she disagreed with the findings of the report.

"The facts laid out in the report (state) ... these are our professional rules, and the torture memos are violations of those rules," Jackson said.

While a dozen students at Boalt Hall said they were unwilling to speak on the record about the controversy surrounding Yoo, others said they were unaware of the protesters' presence at yesterday's debate or during previous protests.

"I haven't seen them around campus," said third-year law student Nate Bennett-Fleming.

Tang said the coalition plans to protest today against Jay Bybee, another former Justice Department official who supervised Yoo during the Bush administration, while he is in attendance at the James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco. Tang said the group also plans to protest at the Boalt Hall graduation ceremony on May 14th.


Contact James Zhao at [email protected]

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