Alexander's Column

The Clinton testimony: 'Not legally false'

Mark Alexander · May 12, 2000

Mr. Clinton, fighting disbarment for perjury, claims in a legal brief to the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct that his statements under oath last year were misleading and evasive but were “not legally false.” (Shades of Gore’s “No controlling legal authority…”?) Specifically, the 11th page of Clinton’s brief states: “Many categories of responses which are misleading, evasive, nonresponsive or frustrating are nevertheless not legally ‘false,’ ” including “literally truthful answers that imply facts that are not true.”

Matthew Glavin of the Southeastern Legal Foundation notes, “The facts of the case are not in dispute. The President lied under oath and obstructed justice, was held in contempt by a federal court judge, and did not appeal that decision, all of which run counter to the most basic rules required of those who hold law licenses and the nation’s judicial system in their hands. I will characterize the President’s defense of his law license as a flawed attempt to make a political argument out of a legal matter. As we have said from the beginning, truthfulness is not an aspirational goal for attorneys.”

In addition to reforming the legal definition of “truth,” Clinton completed a two-day “school reform” tour in an effort to appease his NEA supporters. He says that home-schooled children should “have to prove that they’re learning on a regular basis” – or be forced to go to school. “I think that states should…get the home schoolers organized.”

Michael Farris, president and founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, responded to Clinton’s remarks, saying, “There’s no one right way to home school your child. The one-size fits all approach to education is the reason public schools are struggling. The strength of home schooling is our ability to individualize the education of each child.”

Memo to the Educator in Chief: According to a 1998 study of 20,760 students in 11,930 families conducted by the University of Maryland’s Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, “In every subject and at every grade level of the ITBS and TAP batteries, home school students scored significantly higher than their public and private school counterparts.” Perhaps the government schools need to get “unorganized.”

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