Logical reasoning

How the Chemerinsky affair would look as an LSAT problem.

The LSAT used to have a section full of logic puzzles: “If nine dwarves are sitting in a circle, each wearing a green hat or a red hat, and no three consecutive dwarves have red hats, then what color was the bear?” or some such.

Recent events remind me of those puzzles.


1. That Chancellor Michael Drake of UC Irvine says that the establishment of a “world-class law school” there is his “overarching priority;”

2. That Drake also says that made a “management decision” that “Professor Chemerinsky and I would not be able to partner effectively to build a world-class law school at UC Irvine,” and so, having hired Chemerinsky, promptly de-hired him; and

3. Drake, having run into an unexpected sh*tstorm about the de-hiring, has now decided to un-de-hire Chemerinsky;

then what is the maximum number of the following statements that could all be true:

A. Drake is a truth-teller.

B. Drake understands how to create a world-class law school.

C. Drake intends to remain as chancellor.

The answer is left as an exercise for the reader.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com