Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee is often called the dean of statehouse columnists. Today, he joins me in criticizing the proposed UC Irvine law school, albeit only on fiscal grounds, not on the school's obvious leftist political orientation. I'll take any support I can get for killing this wasteful proposal to add even more lawyers to the already abundant supply.
Our highways and streets are congested, we face a looming water supply crisis, and schools are forever seeking more money to expand and repair, to name but three of the most obvious demand-supply squeezes. Anyone could list many others.
But a shortage of lawyers? Cynics would contend that California, one of the nation's more litigious states, has about a 90 percent oversupply of lawyers already. [....]
That doesn't mean, of course, that UC Irvine will abandon its quest for a law school as an institutional aggrandizement. The UC Board of Regents has already approved it. Irvine officials say they'll do it regardless of what CPEC says.
That arrogance underscores the fact that ultimately, UC Irvine's entering the lawyer business is a political decision, not an educational one. That's how we wound up with a skeletal University of California campus on the outskirts of Merced that is falling short of its lofty enrollment projections and is having difficulty retaining faculty.