Politico has found an unsigned law review note that Obama authored for the Harvard Law Review.
As president of the Harvard Law Review and a law professor in Chicago, Senator Barack Obama refined his legal thinking, but left a scant paper trail. His name doesn't appear on any legal scholarship.
But an unsigned — and previously unattributed — 1990 article unearthed by Politico offers a glimpse at Obama's views on abortion policy and the law during his student days, and provides a rare addition to his body of work.
The six-page summary, tucked into the third volume of the year's Harvard Law Review, considers the charged, if peripheral, question of whether fetuses should be able to file lawsuits against their mothers. Obama's answer, like most courts': No. He wrote approvingly of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that the unborn cannot sue their mothers for negligence, and he suggested that allowing fetuses to sue would violate the mother's rights and could, perversely, cause her to take more risks with her pregnancy.
Analyzing the article on the merits is, well, well
above our pay grade outside our expertise.
It still seems odd that neither Obama nor his campaign chose to make this article available from the beginning, and in fact chose to wait until the media found it and confronted him with it. Politico says it this way:
The case comment was published a month before he became president.
But Obama has never mentioned his law review piece, a demurral that's part of his campaign's broader pattern of rarely volunteering information or documents about the candidate, even when relatively innocuous. When Politico reporters working on a story about Obama's law review presidency earlier this year asked if he had written for the review, a spokesman responded accurately - but narrowly - that "as the president of the Law Review, Obama didn't write articles, he edited and reviewed them."
But the really good news here is we can add this law review article to his Presidential Library!