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Deeds' Law Review Articles

Rosalind Helderman

Over the past few days, a number of people have asked a very reasonable question: So what did Democrat Creigh Deeds write his thesis about?

The answer: He didn't write a thesis. That's what he said in an interview Wednesday, and it matches what we found some days ago when we searched the library collections of Concord College in West Virginia, where he got his undergrad degree, and Wake Forest University, where he attended law school.

Deeds did write two articles published in the Wake Forest Law Review in 1983 and 1984, posted here for your reading pleasure.

Creigh Deeds' 1983 Wake Forest Law Review article

Creigh Deeds' 1984 Wake Forest Law Review article

Having had that exciting task, we must say it's hard to imagine either getting anyone's hearts beating.

One article analyzed a 1982 ruling by the 4th Circuit of Appeals that required that prosecutors make a preliminary showing of "relevance and necessity" before a grand jury subpoena could be enforced against the attorney of the target of a grand jury's inquiry. Deeds praised the ruling but wrote that he thought the court should have decided the case using the Sixth Amendment, which it did not.

The other article argues that a two-prong test established by the Supreme Court for allowing hearsay evidence to be used to establish probable cause for obtaining a search warrant in a 1969 case was superior to a "totality of circumstances" test the court replaced it with in a subsequent 1983 ruling.

Legal eagles out there, please take a look and let us know what you think in the comments section.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 3, 2009; 8:17 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

Thank you.

I assumed all along that the reason McDonnell wrote a thesis was that he was earning a joint degree (or you could call it a double degree), both an M.A. in public policy and a law degree.

A thesis is normally required for an M.A., normally not required for a law degree. So McDonnell had to do a thesis for the M.A.

Deeds was earning a law degree, so there wouldn't typically be a thesis for that.

Those are general rules of thumb, though, so I'm glad you confirmed the specifics for these particular men.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | September 3, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Is Concord College even a real school?

Posted by: JTR555 | September 3, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

One fact that Ms. Helderman should have included was Creigh Deeds age at the time he wrote those articles: mid-20s. While I wouldn't want to demean the capacity of a 25-year-old to comment intelligently on public policy, it is a considerably younger age than 34, especially for one, like Deeds, who seems to have "gone straight through" college and law school. These were likely course papers that he later published, so they were likely written before he had "entered the real world" of post-collegiate life. It is a far cry from, in one's mid-30s, deliberately setting out to cultivate an extreme right-wing reputation in order to go into politics as a conservative Christian activist.

Posted by: uh_huhh | September 3, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

One fact that Ms. Helderman should have included was Creigh Deeds age at the time he wrote those articles: mid-20s. While I wouldn't want to demean the capacity of a 25-year-old to comment intelligently on public policy, it is a considerably younger age than 34, especially for one, like Deeds, who seems to have "gone straight through" college and law school. These were likely course papers that he later published, so they were likely written before he had "entered the real world" of post-collegiate life. It is a far cry from, in one's mid-30s, deliberately setting out to cultivate an extreme right-wing reputation in order to go into politics as a conservative Christian activist.

This is nonsense. He was in Law School already, he knew what he was writing and his take on policies already.

And with regard to the second case I agree with him. The totality of the circumstances test when combined with the Good Faith Exception decision the Supreme Court also created leads to a very loose standard for getting search warrants.

Posted by: niceday971 | September 3, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

niceday971:
"This is nonsense. He was in Law School already, he knew what he was writing and his take on policies already."
-----
So McDonnel's 9 additional years of life experience can be totally discounted? Wait a minute, that's very Christian of McDonnell, no real life then showing up in his 30's to save the world ...

Posted by: shhhhh | September 3, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Yep...Concord is a real school. From USNews:

"Concord University contributes to the quality of cultural and economic life in southern West Virginia through collaboration with both public and private organizations and agencies and through extension of its support and assistance into the region it serves."

Makes me want to rush right out and vote for Deeds.

Posted by: SUBLIMEWOODY | September 3, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"quality of cultural and economic life in southern West Virginia"

They have cultural and economic life there?

What did Deeds study at Concord -- animal husbandry? Is that were he learned how to castrate cattle?

Posted by: JTR555 | September 3, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse


Is Concord College even a real school?

Posted by: JTR555 | September 3, 2009 9:44 AM

-----------

LOL - posted by a supporter of the guy who went to Pat Robertson University law school. Boy, that's a real center of academic excellence.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | September 3, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse


Oh and speaking of the candidate from Pat Robertson University Law School...

Who the heck in this age and time uses the word "fornicators" in an academic paper? WTF does McDowell think? That we're in the middle ages?

That he could use such precise academic language and still graduate tells one everything they need to know about Pat Robertson University Law School and McDowell.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | September 3, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Good points, Hawaiiexpat. Keep in mind, too, that we're talking about Pat Robertson University of 1989, not today. Whatever it is today, it was an unaccredited nut-land in the 1980s, which explains how anyone there could have thought it scholarly to refer to people as "fornicators" or, for that matter, to treat a collection of right-wing talking points as a genuine masters thesis.

Posted by: uh_huhh | September 3, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

niceday971, I wasn't agreeing or disagreeing with Deeds' arguments in his law review articles or saying that the age was the crucial factor. I said it was an additional fact that should have been included because McDonnell has tried to portray his work as some kind of "youthful indiscretion."

Deeds' articles address a couple of technical, evidentiary questions in criminal law. I might agree with both of them. But at the time he wrote them he had little or no experience as a prosecutor or defense counsel, so I wouldn't give a great deal of weight to them, even if we were going to start scrutinizing the course papers of the 25-year-old law student.

But the most important point, obviously, is that there's nothing in them to suggest anything disqualifying for office, or even especially controversial. They're fairly run-of-the-mill law student papers.

In contrast, I do think it is telling when someone in his mid-30s with a family, work life, and manifest personal agenda seeks out a right-wing institution to produce a right-wing action plan for effectively moving the government toward theocracy. There's enough life experience to make the clear fanaticism highly relevant in evaluating the man as a candidate, even though two decades later. I personally doubt that some who was such an extreme zealot driven by religious dogma at 34 has changed all that much in the ensuing 20 years, no matter how well his handlers try to make him appear to have experienced repeated epiphanies.

Posted by: uh_huhh | September 3, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Hawaiiexpat wrote: "Oh and speaking of the candidate from Pat Robertson University Law School...Who the heck in this age and time uses the word "fornicators" in an academic paper? WTF does McDowell think? That we're in the middle ages?"

What? Did you think he was getting an American Law degree? The legal term "fornicators" is a biblical legal description. So now you know which law his degree applies to and consequently just how much he understands of American law.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 3, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Concord University (formerly College) is a real, public university in West Virginia that is quite proud of having Sen. Deeds as an alumnus. I am a graduate of Concord University.

Posted by: callj22 | September 3, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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