Professors who are Democrats... have an average article ideology of -2.67 with a 90% confidence interval of -3.13 to -2.21. Using a t-test, we can say that this is statistically different from zero (p-value < 0.00). Professors who are Republicans... have an average article ideology of 0.17 with a 90% confidence interval of -0.72 to 1.10. For these professors, we cannot reject the possibility that the true net ideology of their articles is zero (p-value = 0.72). In other words, our data suggest that Democrats in our sample do not write articles that are on balance neutral, but that Republicans in our sample may write articles that are on balance neutral. ...Now, one might wonder whether the study itself is biased, and somehow sees what is conservative as neutral, but let's assume something real has been observed and ask why:
The most plausible explanation is that if the dominant ethos in the top law schools is liberal or left-wing, then Republicans are likely to conceal their ideological views in their writings. Republican professors might fear that scholarship that appears conservative may be rejected by leftleaning law review editors, and disparaged or ignored by their colleagues, which will damage their chances for promotions, research money, and lateral appointments. This would explain why even [those who have not made contributions to either political party] tilt left. Republicans could suppress their ideological views by avoiding controversial topics, taking refuge in fields that have little ideological valence, focusing on empirical or analytical work, or simply writing things that they don’t believe.That sounds likely, except to the extent that it assumes that political beliefs are deep and fundamental to a person's being. I would assume that people care most fundamentally about acceptance in the group and personal success, in which case, you'd take on the politics prevalent within your environment. It's like religion, isn't it? How many of the exemplars of the faith really believe it? Most are responding, emotionally, to what they need — acceptance, love, money — and fending off what they fear — rejection, contempt, poverty.