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Who Graded Gregory Watson?

- January 11, 2010

A “piece”:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/books/review/Liptak-t.html?ref=books&pagewanted=all on annotated versions of the US constitution by Adam Liptak in the _NYT Book Review_ has this bit at the end:

both authors tell the story of Gregory Watson, a University of Texas undergraduate who wrote a paper on one of the amendments proposed at the time of the Bill of Rights but not adopted. It would have made Congressional pay raises effective only after the next election. Watson started a letter-writing campaign, noting that in this case there was no deadline for ratification. The upshot was the most recent amendment, the 27th, ratified in 1992. Characteristically, it is Lipsky who includes the killer detail. Watson’s professor, unconvinced that the amendment was still pending, gave him a C.

So which University of Texas professor (presumably a professor of political science) gave him the C? John Sides, who formerly graced the department at UT Austin? Skeptics might retort that Sides is much too youthful to have been around campus in the 1980s. But they haven’t seen the portrait in his attic.