May 28, 2016

"Fix law schools’ diversity problem, NOW!"

Says Instapundit, referring to intellectual diversity and quoting a Scott Rasmussen piece that cites a James Lindgren study that shows 82% of lawprofs are Democrats and 11% — that many?! — are Republican. "Fewer than half" — that many?! — "are Christian."

I passed on blogging that Rasmussen piece when I noticed it yesterday, but I'm blogging it today because of Instapundit's reaction, which might ring clear to blog readers but is utterly (and, I assume, deliberately) obtuse from my perspective within the law academy.

You don't fix what you don't see as a problem. First, I think the 82/11% balance is not going to be seen as an underrepresentation of conservatives. Who says the academic political midpoint is right where the 2 major parties divide? The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair. The political parties are trying to win elections. As for Christians — half Christians is plenty of Christians. I'm surprised it's that much, but you want ideas and ways of thinking represented, not a correspondence to the numbers in the population. Why build in a majority viewpoint that replicates the viewpoint present in the population? You want debate and challenging assumptions.

Second, and I suspect this was your response to my first point, there are many liberals and lefties who don't want debate from the right and who are intent on excluding at least some conservative thinking as unworthy of serious consideration. This attitude was crisply displayed by lawprof Mark Tushnet in a blog post that got a lot of attention a few weeks ago:
The culture wars are over; they lost, we won... My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all... (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.)
That's the part that got the most attention, but I was more struck by this, under the "fuck Anthony Kennedy" heading:
There’s a lot of liberal constitutional scholarship taking Anthony Kennedy’s “thought” and other conservative opinions as a guide to potentially liberal outcomes if only the cases are massaged properly. Stop it.
As someone who used to write a lot of law review articles that did take Anthony Kennedy's writing seriously — with that very idea of connecting it to liberal outcomes — this gave me a nauseated, sinking feeling. I believe that most of what I spent decades writing was regarded by many of those who hold power within academia as toxic because it gave air to what they wanted to die. Those things conservatives say are not supposed to be understood or shown any respect. They are beyond the pale of decent debate. Since the academy defines the range of professional debate for itself, it processes the diversity problem into a nonproblem.

Third, there's the idea that the students are ill-served if the lawprofs don't give them a full range of opinion. But, again, what is the relevant range? And think of how lawprofs operating over the decades can shape the entire legal profession's notion of what counts as the range of what counts as legitimate, lawyerly opinion. The opportunity is so tempting. And you don't have to feel bad about it once you believe what you want to believe: It's not wrong, it's right.

104 comments:

Achilles said...

There are far too many lawyers in this country.

David Begley said...

In law school I knew the political party of only two professors and even then it didn't interfere with their teaching.

Politics have no business in the teaching of the law.

Phunctor said...

I'm happy to see this root and branch repudiation of the pernicious doctrine of disparate impact. Would it also be timely to notice that "disparity" itself is nothing more than a dishonest gimmick to save racial preferences?

Tom said...

I think Glenn is pulling a Saul Alinsky - use their own rules against them. It's obviously Glenn is in the minority and is fighting the majority. It can be done with logos or pathos. Alinksy right recognizes that pathos often wins these arguments. And, Glenn isn't trying to change the law professors - he's trying to reduce the market of law students. He's trying to create a boycott or at least fuel the one currently in progress. Law school is now a bad deal and he's citing "liberal law professors" as a mindset and structural reason for it. As someone who thankfully avoided law school, I tend to agree.

Gusty Winds said...

Lawyering isn't about representing or seeking the truth. It's about winning and losing.

So let's not pretend there's some intellectual or moral justification for liberal dominance in higher education. You can maybe see how it would easily overtake liberal arts, law schools etc...

But now it even pollutes the sciences. On campus, liberals have won. Students, their families, and truths have lost.

It's all just full of shit.

Good job. Y'all deserve a big fat raise and life long job protection.

buwaya puti said...

All you are saying is that the profession - legal education - is decadent. It's no longer a useful field if it it's only purpose is to please itself, and not to supply some external need.
Granted that the field of law in general seems to itself be devolving into a ritualistic rationalizer for a venue that merely ratifies the will of the winner of a power struggle.

Amadeus 48 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

"The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair."

I wish I could believe this statement.

As far as what they are "aiming at": they are a hunter shooting at where they want the deer to be, not where the deer actually is.

I am Laslo.

David Begley said...

The real problem is that too many law profs went to Harvard and Yale.

Original Mike said...

"The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair."

You don't think that mission would be helped by intellectual diversity?

YoungHegelian said...

...there are many liberals and lefties who don't want debate from the right and who are intent on excluding at least some conservative thinking as unworthy of serious consideration.

Oh, Professor, you are so charming with your touching faith in classic constitutional liberalism! But, that's not what surrounds you & us now.

History has been through this, & multiple times, too. Anyone ever read Koestler's "Darkness at Noon"? Or a history of the Cultural Revolution? Of course, the Party Line (i.e. the range of permitted "discourse") changes on a whim. Of course the Party Line is contradictory. The purpose of the Party Line is not ideological coherence. The Party Line is a tool to crush the Enemies of the Revolution at whim. Failures to abide by the Party Line can thus be overlooked for someone is not the enemy of the moment, only to have their past misdeed brought up as needed.

The Left is very fond of seeing its opponents as "embedded in historical discourses", e.g. racism, sexism, etc. It somehow sees itself as having jumped over its own shadow, & doesn't see itself as embedded in an "historical discourse". Ahhh, but it is. This is Will to Power masquerading as social conscience.

rhhardin said...

If you leave the population behind, then the law doesn't work no matter what. People stop respecting it. Which in many areas has happened.

Real American said...

lefties push diversity of skin color because they believe that skin color is a proxy for differing points of view. Except when they get this skin color diversity they enforce a conformity of leftist orthodoxy, so there is no real diversity of views, which they claim is their goal. Using political party as a proxy for differing views is a far better way to get actual diversity of views than race and is far less likely to result in this leftist conformity on in academia. but that's not what they want, so...

Hagar said...

When Althouse was born there was still some truth to the political parties being about winning elections - "the reds" and "the blues" were still split over other ancient issues, but both parties had "liberal" and "conservative" individuals and wings, and the politicians could cooperate across party lines for what both parties saw as the "general welfare."
This is no longer true, and the basic reason is that the "progressives" have taken control of of the Democratic Party to the extent that "conservatives" are no longer welcome there, nor for that matter are those we once knew as "liberals."
And the present academia is "progressive," not "liberal."

Paddy O said...

Because I don't know anything about law schools, I'm wondering if there are schools that are considered conservative, where they have more conservative scholars.

In a lot of fields, a particular school might be imbalanced, but the balance is made up by having a diversity of different schools with different approaches and priorities. This way scholars can find an intellectual home while still actively participating with the wider academy in conferences, publishing, etc.

buwaya puti said...

If one sees the courts, the legal system, and of course those who train their personnel and theorize on some grand level about it all, as serving a a sacerdotal function, providing ritual and rationalization rather than a practical social function such as the mediation and resolution of disputes, it becomes clear.
They see their role as training a priesthood, and creating a dogmatic theology. There is no role for heretics and freethinkers in such a system because they don't serve the purpose of the institution or the system.
They don't deserve societies' support because most don't share their religion.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"If you leave the population behind, then the law doesn't work no matter what. People stop respecting it. Which in many areas has happened."

That's what struck me while reading Althouse's weirdly oblivious take on this. Law has no meaning outside the people under it. None whatsoever. When the law only serves the strident Left, then the Right no longer has an obligation to recognize it.

We are coming very close to a time when American presidents or governors will simply tell an ideologically monolithic judiciary to go fuck itself. Not a good thing, but inevitable.

walter said...

" I'm blogging it today because of Instapundit's reaction, which might ring clear to blog readers but is utterly (and, I assume, deliberately) obtuse from my perspective "

Instapundit's reaction was tongue in cheek. Your Altparse was "obtuse".

cubanbob said...

Laslo Spatula said...
"The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair."

I wish I could believe this statement.

As far as what they are "aiming at": they are a hunter shooting at where they want the deer to be, not where the deer actually is.

I am Laslo.

5/28/16, 10:44 AM"

Laslo, hats off. Your analogy is perfect.

mikee said...

It wasn't the Republicans or the Christians who changed 'equality of opportunity' into "equality of outcome" at the federal level, but now that the law says disparate impact is bad, why would you expect those disparately impacted in a negative way NOT to point out the non-diversity of any institution, and claim redress for their group?

Individual rights were tossed by the Dems in favor of collective privilege (i.e., "private law" for select groups) and this is what we all get for their doing so.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"You don't fix what you don't see as a problem" is why Insta used CAPITAL letters and the exclamation point in hopes of helping to allow the blind (through arrogance mainly) vision.

He has lead these horses to the water knowing full well they are highly unlikely to drink it.

As Garth Books taught, life isn't about finish lines, but indeed instead the chase.

Guildofcannonballs said...

#bringbackourgirls is a message deserving of the criticism Althouse aimed toward Insta here.

It is near evil in its inability to label evil evil.

Ann Althouse said...

"That's what struck me while reading Althouse's weirdly oblivious take on this. Law has no meaning outside the people under it. None whatsoever. When the law only serves the strident Left, then the Right no longer has an obligation to recognize it."

The judges are all people who have been filtered through law school, especially Harvard and Yale. Picture that, over time.

David said...

I practically never have trouble following what you are saying, but this time I do. I'm tired and will read it again later with a hope of improving my comprehension and having something useful to say.

Ann Althouse said...

@walter

You need to see my word "deliberately."

Ann Althouse said...

"As far as what they are "aiming at": they are a hunter shooting at where they want the deer to be, not where the deer actually is."

Doesn't matter for the point I am making, which is why I spoke of aim, not result.

n.n said...

The Establishment of the progressive liberals' Pro-choice Church has been an unmitigated social, moral, and humanitarian disaster perpetuated through usurpation of constitutional authority and sustained through a legal orthodoxy.

This all makes sense with the proper characterization of logical domains and concepts, and the development of principles that are internally, externally, and mutually consistent.

MayBee said...

"And you don't have to feel bad about it once you believe what you want to believe: It's not wrong, it's right. "

I don't see how this is different from any other problem people have but are content with.

Jim Crow laws were right to the people who put them in place.
Maoists who committed the purges were right to the people doing them.

In other words, everything people do on their own behalf is justifiable to them. I don't see how what you are saying is any different than that.

Laslo Spatula said...

" I spoke of aim, not result."

So did I.

But 'aim' implies a target.

My statement stands on the validity of the target.

I am Laslo.

tommy putzu said...

Conservatives made a mistake giving up on institutions, including the academy, the popular arts and many but not all) of mainline Protestant churches. Once liberals got control of those institutions, these institutions "took sides" in their policies and positions and effectively alienated people with views on the "sides" that lost. Over time, conservatives (and libertarians for that matter) declined to participate. Althouse may think it is no big deal that there are few Republicans, and a far smaller percentage of Christians, but it undermines the credibility of these institutions. Outside of itself, few take the academy seriously as scholarship. That is why there are so many think tanks, which do far more advanced thinking. Movies and plays all come from a decidedly liberal perspective, and at this point all they are doing is preaching to the choir, as it were. Fox News flourishes because reporting as a profession is nearly always from a liberal perspective, so they provded an outlet for people who were dismissed.

Althouse mounts a spirited defense of the academy but it is from the perspective of an insider who does not appreciate how the academy is viewed outside its gates.

Andrew Koenig said...

I know someone who takes offense at the term "politically correct" because, in her opinion, the appropriate term is simply "correct."

tim in vermont said...

Would it also be timely to notice that "disparity" itself is nothing more than a dishonest gimmick to save racial preferences?

Two postulates will help you understand anything:

1) It's turtles all the way down.

2) All of the assholes are on the other side.

buwaya puti said...

"picture that, over time"
It doesn't take THAT much time to get a reaction.
The old regime thinks it's unassailable until it is, and usually from a direction they never anticipated.

damikesc said...

You don't fix what you don't see as a problem. First, I think the 82/11% balance is not going to be seen as an underrepresentation of conservatives. Who says the academic political midpoint is right where the 2 major parties divide?

If women were as under-represented, would you not see a problem? Do we not see complaints that blacks are under-represented, when there are more black law profs than conservatives?

You're correct, you will not fix a problem when you do not see a problem. But you cannot force anybody to see a problem.

As for Christians — half Christians is plenty of Christians.

In a country that is overwhelmingly Christian? Perhaps pro-abortion is the majority view in the legal profession because of a suppression of the opposing views.

My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all... (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.) That's the part that got the most attention, but I was more struck by this, under the "fuck Anthony Kennedy" heading:

Given that the law profession is systematically keeping conservatives out...why should we go the legal route, when it is tilted against us? Why should we eschew violence, when we are WAY better armed than you? Dramatically so.

If the "legitimate" means won't treat you fairly, then being legitimate isn't enticing. If one sees a profound double standard in how crimes are treated, then why should anybody follow the laws?

Remember, you stated that Critical Race Theory was fairly normal in legal education. That is a PROFOUND problem.

Third, there's the idea that the students are ill-served if the lawprofs don't give them a full range of opinion. But, again, what is the relevant range?

If a college decided to have no female or black professors, would you be so inquisitive about the value of having them in the first place?

The judges are all people who have been filtered through law school, especially Harvard and Yale. Picture that, over time.

It's getting worse. A decade ago, would ANYBODY have taken such idiocy as "affirmative consent" rules as being serious? They are no basically the rules for many, many college campuses and it will only get worse. Did anybody take "triggering" as anything remotely serious? No, but it is now being used to stifle dissent more and more.

The same professors who see no problem are churning out students even more oblivious than they are.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Those statistics match pretty well with the stats on the media, and with the rest of the college/university faculty. Big factor in why we're in the mess we are in now.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"Fewer than half" — that many?! — "are Christian." Well, in the spirit of this blog's unwavering dedication to linguistic precision and splitting hairs, fewer than half can be anything from 0 to half minus 1.


“I believe that most of what I spent decades writing was regarded by many of those who hold power within academia as toxic because it gave air to what they wanted to die.” Yes. Did you just realize that? Progs don't need no stinking' libs no more.

“it processes the diversity problem into a nonproblem.” The only diversity problem is the skin-color and white-male-privilege diversity problem.

"there's the idea that the students are ill-served if the lawprofs don't give them a full range of opinion. But, again, what is the relevant range?" Exactly what our Prog overlords, taught by the Tushnets of the world, tell us it is.

Because you occasionally appear to analyze their claims as if they are made in good faith, as if they have anything to do with the pursuit of "truth," some of us here tend to become a little impatient. We are cynical that way, and we have a lot to be cynical about.

Birkel said...

Revolutions have been fought for less.

I believe that Althouse is taking the view and voice of her Progressive peers in this post. The willfully blinkered perspective is easy to mimic. There is little reason to believe reality - this time - will fail to intrude.

The academy faces a revolution and it isbpowerless to long resist.

Birkel said...

Stupid extra 'b' where I meant a space to go.

bagoh20 said...

This is why it's such a shame that Trump is not a conservative and consistent. His election would be such an awesome rebuke. Instead, if he wins, the message will be simply that a lot of Americans were pissed off, but about what will be argued forever.

cyrus83 said...

If the purpose of academia is debate and challenging assumptions, it needs a healthy enough number of people who will do that. Politics may be an imperfect and dirty vehicle, but since all politics is directed toward electing those who either write, execute, or interpret laws, it cannot be a good thing that those who teach law skew overwhelmingly toward one political party.

As far as truth, I have a hard time buying the case that most of the academy is after what is true than just after what they want to be true. If the former was the case, there would be a consistent frame of interpretation applied to law and sometimes the law would say what you personally would rather it not say. But curiously enough, at least when it comes to a Progressive interpretation of law, parts of the constitution are interpreted broadly enough to find many rights not expressed explicitly in the text, yet a very strict constructionist interpretation is used when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, and the 10th Amendment for most practical purposes does not exist. That sounds more like "the constitution says what we say it does" than "the constitution says what it says".

Gahrie said...

My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all... (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.)

Did you ever take a History class? World War I was won by people who think like you do...and took a hard line against the losers after World War I, which went a long way to causing World war II.

In contrast, after World War II, we treated Germany and Japan with great compassion and accommodation. We spent billions rebuilding their economies and feeding their people. We built modern, democratic, free market economies and political institutions, and then turned them loose.

bagoh20 said...

I dropped out of college my senior year back when there were dinosaurs, I wish I could do it now. It didn't send the message I'd hoped for back then.

robother said...

About half "Christians." Speaking of the Left's Long March through the Institutions.

Both Law and Religion are simply Alinsky tool boxes, useful sources for the winners to post hoc justify why the losers shouldn't revolt against their new bosses. At some point, though, the Tushnets need to dispense with the fictional niceties, and savor naked power.

bagoh20 said...

"And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.".

I thought it was the hardliners who lost that war, but like I said, I'm a college drop out.

Jupiter said...

"The culture wars are over; they lost, we won...".

I would say he is right about the first part. The culture wars were fought, and lost. He supposes that his side won, because he expects his opponents to acknowledge defeat and acquiesce in his rule. The Left forged an alliance of interest groups to attack the center. The center did not hold. But that does not mean that Tushnet and his friends have become the center, and can rule.

What it means is that America is over. People who adhere to the Constitution are not conservatives, they are reactionaries. The nation is now a collection of warring tribes, organized as interest groups, intent upon their interests. The only tribe that is not so organized is my own, the White People. We are the largest tribe, and the most powerful. We had supposed that America was our nation, and we loved and cherished her as such. But that was then, and this is now, and we are beginning to get the picture.

bagoh20 said...

I bet the honest percentages of left vs right in a Chinese college aren't much different.

Gahrie said...

You do understand that this:

Those things conservatives say are not supposed to be understood or shown any respect. They are beyond the pale of decent debate

is only possible because of this:

the 82/11% balance is not going to be seen as an underrepresentation of conservatives. Who says the academic political midpoint is right where the 2 major parties divide?

and how do you square these two thoughts:

The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair.

Those things conservatives say are not supposed to be understood or shown any respect. They are beyond the pale of decent debate?

Alex said...

When conservatives are mainly motivated by religion, why should their views be taken into account by people who are guided by reason and logic(liberals)?

bagoh20 said...

"The culture wars are over; they lost, we won...".

Baghdad Bob, got himself a new gig.

Alex said...

bagoh - you really think your side won the culture wars?

Chuck said...

I very much agree with the comments of David Begley. My law school experience was the same. It was easy to presume that most of the faculty leaned liberal, and voted Democrat. I am quite certain not all of them did. But it didn't make much difference at all in their classroom teaching, and nobody's grade depended on politics, because politics didn't figure -- at all -- in any of the material or exams.

Having said that, I will say again as I have before; universities in general are fiercely political and almost universally intensely politically correct.

So we have law school legal aid clinics that aren't just helping indigent defendants; they are getting involved in green politics, environmental activism, civil rights litigation, voting rights colloquia, etc., etc.

And as Justice Scalia pointed out in his great dissent in Lawrence v Texas, at the time of that case, any law school worth anything had to be a member of the American Association of Law Schools. And the AALS required of every member school that the school not allow any law firm, corporation, organization or other prospective employer that discriminated against homosexuals to do interviews on campus. For a long time, that included the Judge Advocate General Corps of every branch of the U.S. military.

It's curious to me, that the public would overlook a lot of what is institutionalized liberalism in law schools, and instead try to poke around in faculty members' personal belief systems.


khesanh0802 said...

I agree with David Begley at 1053. It would be a real boost if Trump were able to nominate 2 or 3 justices that all came from schools in flyover country.

Gahrie said...

When conservatives are mainly motivated by religion, why should their views be taken into account by people who are guided by reason and logic(liberals)?

Go back and read Roe V Wade again.

Michael K said...

"Lawyering isn't about representing or seeking the truth. It's about winning and losing."

I was involved in a trial as a witness and saw this at work. The defense lawyer told me, "I am a bleeding heart liberal but this is business."

He was defending a guy who shot the man he found in bed with his wife. I had treated the guy that was shot. He survived but was crippled. The defense was that the shooter had acted in self defense. "Self defense" against a naked man when you are holding a shotgun on him ?

Never mind. The assistant DA was an affirmative action law school grad. The defense lawyer knew what he was doing.

The defense got a "not guilty" verdict. I was very impressed.

That was 30 years ago. I wonder if lawyers are as smart today?

iowan2 said...

We are far from what we had at one time. States had state run churches! Yes after the ratification of the constitution, States owned and operated churches. Because thats what the people wanted, and it did not run afoul the constitution. Public education was close to 100% Protestant based. For those offended, they simply opened private Catholic schools. In my youth there was a common refrain, you could almost hear daily, "well, you dont have to make a federal case out of it!" Uttered when a person was mocking you about seeking outside redress to mediate a dispute. It was mocking because everyone knew intuitively that the federal govt power was enumerated and limited.

Today the President decrees bathroom policy.

Isnt everyone mad about the govt, at all levels denying the citizens the power to self govern?

Alex said...

Go back and read Roe V Wade again.

It's all about the right to privacy(1A, 4A, 9A, 14A), I see no error in Justice Blackmun's logic. Rehnquist was already being a fascist dick.

Alex said...

Isnt everyone mad about the govt, at all levels denying the citizens the power to self govern?

It all starts with lunch counters. Once a white lunch counter operator could no longer deny service based on his principles to whomever, the Pandora's Box was unleashed. There is no public freedom of association since the 1960s.

Fen said...

Oh lookie. Another liberal explaining why the rules shouldn't apply to her profession.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair.

Assumes facts not in evidence.

bagoh20 said...

"bagoh - you really think your side won the culture wars?"

I'm not really on a side - kinda like Switzerland, but it seems to me the war is far from over. Outside of education and the media, liberalism is hardly in control. Republicans have been dominating elections at every level of government except the Presidential for a while, and are on an upswing. Much of where the left has dominated a long time, including academia, is on the verge of collapse or at least serious reevaluation. I'm like Switzerland a few weeks after D-day. I see the sun coming up.

Gahrie said...

It's all about the right to privacy(1A, 4A, 9A, 14A), I see no error in Justice Blackmun's logic. Rehnquist was already being a fascist dick.

What right to privacy? The word privacy doesn't even appear in the Constitution.

It was about inventing a "right" to privacy by claiming that an abstraction emerging from a perceived shadow surrounding some cherry picked and unrelated Amendments granted this here-to-unknown "right" specifically so they could include the "right" to kill your child under such a privacy "right".

The 'right" to privacy is no more logical than he Resurrection of Christ.

iowan2 said...

Alex, along as you leave out the person your killing, you have some, shacky ground, to stand on. But, the constitution does not determine when that person gains protection. Therefore the people, and only the people make that determination. Any other solution denies the people the power that is theirs alone.

That's exactly what I am talking about. Power wrested from the citizens by a judiciary that, constitutionally lacks the power they claim.

Alex said...

Gahrie - if privacy doesn't exist as a right, than I am fully within my rights to open your mail to my heart's content! You really didn't think this thing through in your zeal to ban a abortions. All in Jebus name of course.

Praise Jebus.

bagoh20 said...

"The academy is thinking through ideas and data..."

If that were true this story would have no basis.

bagoh20 said...

"The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair. "

Infact, I think it's just the opposite sequence. They decide what is true, then aim (or manufacture) appropriate ideas and data to defend it.

Michael K said...

Much of where the left has dominated a long time, including academia, is on the verge of collapse or at least serious reevaluation.

Yes, Venezuela is calling and wants its Socialism back. Just like it was before Chavez took them on a decade sleigh ride.

Genetics is taking us all to the place where bullshit evaporates.

The ideological left is trying to hold the doors shut but the crack keeps getting wider.

Achilles said...

Abortion is mention once specifically in the constitution. Both right and left need to learn to read.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Achilles said...

You begin to see why during popular insurrections the academics are the first group to go.

In this case though I see the lawyers going first.

walter said...

Ann Althouse said...

@walter

You need to see my word "deliberately."
--
Saw it. You wondered about that? If you got the humor, it wouldn't have triggered your Altparse. Maybe you should have listed Rasmussen's article as the trigger...or skipped Instapundit's obvious joke altogether.

Bruce Hayden said...

There are plenty of places in law school where it probably doesn't matter that much. I am thinking Contracts, Civil Procedure, Crim Pro, Crim law, etc (note I left out Torts). But there are places where I think it probably does. Gender Law, maybe Domestic Relations, Black Law, Hispanic Law, Environmental Law mostly just turn out activists (though my Natural Resourses class was quite good). They bring in activists to teach these classes, and turn out activists, blind to the other side. And then there is Con Law. Inevitably a required course, because it shows up on the bar exam. What does the Constitution mean? What does it mean when probably a distinct majority in this country believe in an organilist Constitution, a social contract going back through the generations to its signing, and most legal academics seem to believe in a living Constitution, malleable to the whims of the leadership of an often bare majority, often, it seems legislating from the bench contrary to a large majority of the populace? Do Con Law profs regularly teach both philosophies equally? Or do many of them see their subject matter as a vehicle for change in a direction they are predisposed in direction that they see as right and just? I have a hard time seeing the Justices of 50-100 years ago accepting the legislative rewriting done by Justices Roberts and Kennedy in the ObamaCare cases. That these "conservative" Justices would accede to that sort of Executive overreach is worrisome to me. And wonder whether the near uninimity of the legal academy helped color their decisions.

Let me add to the last though a proviso that my Con Law prof was well known to be fairly progressive, but managed to teach ithe class down the middle to the extent that a majority of the class formally protested to the dean when he asked an (obviously feminist) female student to take the anti-abortion side when we were discussing Roe v Wade et seq. I worry though that he and his generation are nearing retirement, and whether the next generation will understand that finding a fundamental right in the penumbras and emaninations of the Constitution was a fairly thin reed to have built this edifice, which is still arguably still so contentious nearing 4 decades later (since it arguably probably should have been settled politically, not judicially by activist judges). Would we have the furor of males being allowed in female bathrooms, if these cases had not gone the way that they did? Are there still that many Con Law profs asking their classes to do what he did, that someone sympathetic to the winning side, argue the other side in class? And can their students then understand why a distinct majority in this country reject third trimester abortions, regardless of how many judges rule that they are required by a Constitution that mentions neither abortion nor privacy?

Gahrie said...

if privacy doesn't exist as a right, than I am fully within my rights to open your mail to my heart's content!

No there is a law making it a crime to open or tamper with someone else's mail. It is a law however...not a Constitutional right.

There is a vast difference between legislation protecting privacy, and a Constitutional right to privacy.

Gahrie said...

All in Jebus name of course.

I oppose abortion because of the fact that I am not a Christian. I don't believe in an afterlife, so I believe those children killed in the name of convenience have been denied the right to exist for eternity.

hombre said...

"Since the academy defines the range of professional debate for itself, it processes the diversity problem into a nonproblem."

The lefties in the academy with whom I am familiar would not only agree that 80% to 11% would set the stage for a productive debate, but would need the edge

Michael K said...

" It is a law however...not a Constitutional right."

He doesn't know about that stuff. Laws ? What laws ?

rcocean said...

Conservatives need to stop worshiping the Courts and "The Constitution". The Legal profession -and the SCOTUS in particular - has been a battering ram used by the Left over the last 60 years to impose their (minority) views on society.

When 5 SCOTUS judges including Reagan appointee William "Drama Queen" Kennedy decide that Gay marriage is a "Constitutional Right" you'd think even the biggest conservative Boob would understand that we have a hostile elite in charge.

Curb the power of the Judiciary and the Lawyers or just give up and let the Left Win. Take your pick.

buwaya puti said...

Debate topic:
Law schools are enemies of the people and should be eliminated.

Pro:

Con:

Balfegor said...

Candidly, I thought law school was a complete and total waste of time (and money), and that we would be better served if we either
(1) reverted to the old model: pass the Bar and practice a few years under supervision of a licensed attorney, or
(2) adopted the (former) Japanese/Korean model: take the Bar, and after you pass, go through some basic training, and then a rotation through courts, prosecutor's office, private practice, and of late, in-house counsel.

So the reform I'd push, really, is to make law school optional. Which is more or less the opposite of the approach taken in Wisconsin, where it's the bar exam that's optional if you graduate with a JD from the University of Wisconsin.

Anyhow, law school diversity doesn't bother me particularly because very, very few of the people who are going into law school are going there for the "intellectual" experience, and law school is not well designed to inculcate respect for law as an intellectual discipline (I must say, I had a great deal more respect for legal thought going in than I did coming out -- coming out, my view was that it was all a lot of nonsensical rhetoric at the best of times, and that there is no reason in law, only terrible power). This is a bit insulting to our host, so I apologise, but in the hierarchy of man's mental achievements, the law as an academic study is a bonbon, not an "intellectual feast." Bonbon's are nice! I like one from time to time. But it's not a crisis if the bonbons are all chocolate flavoured.

Now, if we decide to take bonbon's terribly seriously, yes, I suppose "all chocolate" is a problem, but that just shows our want of perspective. Law is not the most important thing, and we shouldn't act as though it is. A society in which law is allowed to become the primary means of settling disagreements (of all sorts, not just political or philosophical) is a very parched and desiccated sort of society, and we should all hope we can pull back from that apocalypse wherein we lawyers have utterly vanquished the tattered remnants of our civil society, and in all the hours of the night and the day, men are become slaves to that terrible, sightless god which is called the Law.

Michael said...

I don't believe "less than half" means "almost half." 1% is less than half.

All these lefty lawyers are going to work for the Govt. in any case where Christianity is considered on a par with the religion of peace but with less protection.

n.n said...

Achilles:

So, the constitution grants women the right, through omission, to commit elective abortion (i.e. terminate a human life/evolution) of unwanted, inconvenient [wholly innocent] human lives?

When does a human life acquire and retain her unalienable rights to life, liberty, etc.? One day past conception? Six months into her evolution? An arbitrary period thereafter? Or is it always negotiable?

What other gods and rights lurk in the twilight fringe of secular religions (e.g. pro-choice)?

Premeditated termination (e.g. abortion, murder) and clinical cannibalism of human life by the millions annually is the progressive liberals' version of the "final solution" and human experiments. Libertarians need to check their liberalism and process a reconciliation of moral and natural imperatives. They are following a progressive slope with their cousins.

As for the constitution, it names two parties:

to ourselves (We the People) and our Posterity

Abortionists, planners, and pro-choicers generally, have cited religious/moral doctrine delivered by gods from the twilight zone, as well as a long-held fantasy (i.e. spontaneous conception), then presented their religion and faith to the people by liberal and libertarian judges, as justification to selectively exclude and arbitrarily deprive a human being of her unalienable rights under our constitution.

James Pawlak said...

Now, will law professors offer President Jefferson's view: "On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to to the probable one in which it was passed." [Please specially note that the term "trying" was used as in "boiling down" something (eg Whale blubber or the Constitution) to obtain what the actors wish (eg Whale oil or perverse decisions by judges "making law from the bench"; About which please see the novel Moby Dick.)

Chris N said...

I take Althouse's point that within many quarters, it's not even viewed as a problem, and if it is, likely not a serious problem at all.

I suspect there will continue to be erosion and control by further Left elements too, within many of these institutions.

The race, sex, gender ideological worldview will be assumed generally correct, or not too objectionable; certainly not enough to upset the Enlightened assumptions shared amongst an elite plurality/majority at any given moment.

Michael K said...

better served if we either
(1) reverted to the old model: pass the Bar and practice a few years under supervision of a licensed attorney,


Coolidge elected the old model and his friend Dwight Morrow went to Columbia law school.

Coolidge did pretty well.

Steven Davis said...

Color me not surprised. I attended my GF's daughter's graduation from Northeastern law school yesterday and two of the professors found it necessary to insult republicans and slam Trump supporters as knuckle draggers in their commencement speeches.

Douglas said...

Young Hegelian said it all.

Unknown said...

Wait a minute--if it's true that roughly half are identifying themselves as Christians (and, I know, "less than half" can mean one, but I think in context it probably means close to half), then the remainder are either Jewish, or, possibly, depending on how the question was asked, out atheists. That seems high, even for the law teaching profession. I would have thought more likely that 1/4 were Jewish (keeping in mind that Jews are about 3% of the population.)
However, the answer may be affected by the way politically conservative Christians use the word "Christian" nowadays. As someone who grew up Episcopalian (also about 3% of the population, which I was surprised to find out was so low), I used to consider myself sort of a noncommittal, "cultural" Christian. But nowadays, Christian with a capital "C" can be mistaken to necessarily indicate fundamentalist of some stripe. However, there are very few fundies in the mainstream academy--certainly not enough to account for a large proportion of all law professors. All Roman or Orthodox Catholics would probably have no problem identifying as "Christian," as would Southern Baptists and maybe some Methodists, but a lot of old line Protestants--Episcopalian, Congregational, Northern Baptists, Unitarians, cultural Methodists of the Hilary Clinton variety, etc.--might feel uncomfortable identifying as specifically "Christian"--again, depending on how the question was asked.
So, I'm not sure how many non-fundamentalist, highly-educated people would answer "Christian," in a survey like this--in fact, I'd say probably about half, comprised of the Catholics and of Southern Protestants, but not of Northern Protestants. The numbers of Moslems, Hindus, Jains, "animists," Bahaiis, Buddhists, etc., is likewise very small. What I bet you have here is roughly 50% still comfortable calling themselves "Christian," roughly 25% Jewish, and roughly 25% culturally Christian, but uncomfortable with the designation in this circumstance. That's only a problem in this "highly Christian country" if you have a problem with Jews being "over represented" in the learned professions.

Jon Burack said...

"a nauseated, sinking feeling"

I can't say this for me has to do with law school matters specifically. I will say it applies perfectly to the news today that Erika and Nicholas Christakis have left Yale. Coming as it does on the heels of a faculty report calling for yet more "diversity" of every sort except thought and speech, the departure of this couple has to be a defining moment. Unless something VERY drastic sets in to turn around the relentless steamroller of ideology on our elite campuses, I think the abandonment of Yale by these two victims of its unbelievable cowardice and intolerance will be a symbol of a far more substantial abandonment to come. Mizzou's problems are going to be Yale's. It may only be two individuals, but that's all it takes. Independence of ANY sort is now dead at Yale, no matter what the precise ratio of conservatives and liberals is there. It is over for Yale. And it will be over for more institutions as the crisis unfolds. A "sinking" feeling? You bet.

JamesB.BKK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JamesB.BKK said...

Ann's money quote: "The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair."

That there are these alternative and independent stated goals: (i) true and accurate or (ii) just and fair, means that something can be considered by the academy to be just and fair while the thing is both untrue and inaccurate, but the untruth and inaccuracy don't matter. The unmoored "just and fair" test is where people disagree, and to exclude other more liberal views, the progressives in charge of the academy promote more and more results that are "just and fair" to their own group or that while thought by them, perhaps genuinely, to be "just and fair" are neither. It is not about political party representation that is at issue, but the absence of segments of thought that tend to be identified with other parties.

But this gets us back to saw that, "Republicans think Democrats are wrong, and Democrats think Republicans are evil." At least the properly trained ones, such as Tushnet by his signaling. Yes, Republicans are just like the defeated populations of Germany and Japan. But why did Tushnet not mention the populations of Italy, and Vichy France, and the remnants of the Ottoman Empire on the side of the Axis Powers?

protestmanager said...

Ann Althouse demonstrated great obtuseness and wrote:

You don't fix what you don't see as a problem. First, I think the 82/11% balance is not going to be seen as an underrepresentation of conservatives. Who says the academic political midpoint is right where the 2 major parties divide? The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair.

1: America is pretty much 50 - 50 Republican - Democrat. If you wish to argue that the poll isn't all American's the burden of proof is on you.

2: "Justice" and "fairness" are inherently political concepts. If you don't understand that, you're so intellectually inferior that you have no business "teaching' in any putatively intellectual field. As the American people are paying for those schools, we have the right to demand that the views of justice and fairness match those of America, not those of a dishonest left-wing cabal.

3: Anyone who claims that the Right has no ideas or data is simply showing her own bigotry, hatred, and ignorance.

You fail, professor.

JamesB.BKK said...

@Real American: Lefties cannot possibly expect skin color or other inherent trait to determine POV. Otherwise, they would not enforce such tyrannical group think by so severely punishing dissent among their manipulated racialist and further subdivided immutable ethnic subgroups. Also, that would be terribly unscientific. They claim that skin color is a meaningful test of "diversity" only as a ruse, so they can appeal to baser human nature to gain power, including mostly that worst of traits: envy. Democrats have always been racists and are now continuing that condition by being racialists (which somehow is not beyond the pale as acceptable thought and discourse at academy where all this deep thought goes on apparently!). It is the party of US slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK after all. Adherence to Islamist doctrine is now racialist too, even though the condition first affected Arab nomads called Saracens who then through slaughter spread it into Europe, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa (places holding the three traditional races) and thus is a concept that is patently absurd but asserted by the smart people nonetheless.

Achilles said...

n.n said...
"Achilles:

So, the constitution grants women the right, through omission, to commit elective abortion (i.e. terminate a human life/evolution) of unwanted, inconvenient [wholly innocent] human lives?

When does a human life acquire and retain her unalienable rights to life, liberty, etc.? One day past conception? Six months into her evolution? An arbitrary period thereafter? Or is it always negotiable?

What other gods and rights lurk in the twilight fringe of secular religions (e.g. pro-choice)?"

No. The Constitution is very fucking clear that STATES write the laws concerning these matters. Not the federal government. You people are just as frustratingly stupid about marriage.

The federal government has no place banning abortion or forcing states to observe a "right to privacy." As long as you give the federal government has the power to ban abortions you also give them the power to keep states from banning abortions. If you think the federal government has the power to enforce who can get married, it has the power to enforce who can get married.

Achilles said...

buwaya puti said...
"Debate topic:
Law schools are enemies of the people and should be eliminated."

Pro: They are enemies of the people and should be eliminated. 80% donated to Obama? They are also leaching off the taxpayer to boot. Lawyers should be a trade as mentioned above. Paralegals do all of the work anyways. If we just enforced contracts as written and understood we wouldn't need to pay people $300-$400 an hour to make things up. And standard rates of 35% take on damage penalties in judgments? Our medical bills are a strong percentage higher because of lawyers suing every hospital that exists and providing almost nothing of value.

Con: Contracts would be shorter and not have nearly as many words. I am having a lot of trouble figuring out how lawyers make my life or anyone's life better.

MayBee said...

Nick Kristof addresses this again. He tries once again to tell people they have a problem, rather than explain why the academics think they don't have a problem does, as Althouse does here.

JAORE said...

"you want ideas and ways of thinking represented, not a correspondence to the numbers in the population. "

Wow. I wonder if the general theme of this concept could be applied elsewhere in the body politic......

JAORE said...

Annnnnnd if it were 82-11 in the other direction would THAT reflect a noble reflection of truth and honesty? Or would it reflect a horrifyingly unbalanced application of power?

Birkel said...

JAORE:
Obviously it was a sign of the Patriarchy, Racism and Xtianist Oppression when the numbers were reversed. Now it is a sign of nothing.

Because, Will to Power, they explained.

Brad said...

Alex said...
When conservatives are mainly motivated by religion, why should their views be taken into account by people who are guided by reason and logic(liberals)?


Or, to put it a bit more accurately ... "Why should their views be taken into account by people who worship themselves?"

Mark said...

"The culture wars are over; they lost, we won"

I find this to be an interesting comment. While this may be true, you have to look at HOW they won. Almost all of the cultural war battles were won with ersatz judicial decisions.

No matter what your opinion of abortion, Roe v Wade is a major stretch of judicial power. The same can be said for just about every other "battle".

And what are the costs?

We clearly have a Constitution that holds limited meaning. We have basically killed federalism and the values that brings to the citizens.

SukieTawdry said...

The academy is thinking through ideas and data and aiming at what is true and accurate or just and fair.

Oh, I doubt that's what the academy is about. The academy seems fairly firmly fixed on what it considers just and fair. The trick is making what it deems just and fair appear accurate and true. And even if it were the academy's thinking, such seems highly inappropriate for law school.

Gallifreakin said...

Hmm, so we lost and need to get over it?
And fund it!?
Hell to the no and stop taking my money to support my enemies.

JRH, esq. said...

Well, Prof, you have perfectly illustrated why I stopped reading your blog in one breathtakingly arrogant post. Clearly, you have left the law behind and have embraced the naked will to power as the justification for your existence. Perfection has been acheived, it is simply the will of the elite, nothing more or less.

Because this worldview always ends well for the people who hold it, right? Maybe this time there will be no nemesis to be invoked by hubris, and no Third Estate unwilling to underwrite the well-desrved indulgences of the First and Second Estates.

Rest assured those of us who see the patterns of history know better. And some of us will laugh when the inevitable leveling takes place. The mob will not be denied by their self-annointed "betters" for long.

Phunctor said...

Because this worldview always ends well for the people who hold it, right? Maybe this time there will be no nemesis to be invoked by hubris, and no Third Estate unwilling to underwrite the well-desrved indulgences of the First and Second Estates.

Do you even reason, bro? Their may conceivably have been a thought under all that sarcasm and obfuscation, but in the end, if you're pining for the mob, I can do no better than:

www.classicly.com/download-the-french-revolution-pdf

Phunctor said...

Lol. s/Their/There/
Sorry about that.