[L]awyers and courts who practice in the area and scholars who write in the field ... exhibited a broad and stable consensus for some time on certain principles regarding the treatment of detainees during times of war and the status and applicability of the protections of the Geneva Conventions. Recent events, largely centered on the policies and actions of the Bush administration, have led to a debate that has disrupted that consensus. For that reason, a set of principles about which there was probably little disagreement (and hence little political polarization) fifteen years ago are now the subject of active dispute. In that highly specific context, those seeking to preserve the prior consensus are termed "liberal" while those seeking to replace that prior consensus with a more aggressive view of executive power are termed "conservative." (The labels are inapt here, of course, since it is the "liberal" position that seeks to preserve the old arrangement.)
-- Our colleague, Professor Tobias Barrington Wolff (Penn Law) (right), using an example familiar to readers of our Guantánamo series in his contribution to an investigation into ideology and academia that another colleague, Professor Brian Leiter (Chicago Law), initiated at his Law School Reports blog.