Here’s an account of what went down in Professor Peter Tague’s criminal law class this morning, from a 1L at Georgetown Law:Today’s class was partially on the validity of informants not explaining their sources. [Professor Tague] started off class at around 9 am EST by telling us not to tell anyone, but that we might find it interesting that tomorrow, Roberts would be announcing his retirement for health concerns. He refused to tell anyone how he knew. Then, at around 9:30, he let everyone in on the joke.
Note the timestamps on the Radar posts. The first one came out at 6:10 a.m., i.e., the Pacific Time equivalent of 9:10 a.m. Eastern time. The retraction came out at 6:36 a.m., i.e., the
Pacific Time equivalent of 9:36 a.m. Eastern — shortly after Professor Tague let his class in on the joke.
A second Georgetown Law student confirms this account:Our criminal justice professor started our 9 am lecture with the news that roberts will be resigning tomorow for health reasons — that he could not handle the administrative burdens of the job. He would not say how he knows — but halfway through our lecture on the credibility and reliability of informants he revealed that the Roberts rumor was made up to show how someone you ordinarily think is credible and reliable (ie a law professor) can disseminate inaccurate information.
By then the horse was out of the barn — and running at a gallop:[B]etween the hour when the class began and when he revealed that he made it up, plenty of students txted and IM’ed their friends and family…. [So] there’s a very good chance that the Roberts rumor that spread like wildfire on the internet was sparked by an eccentric law professor trying to make a point.