From Presser's column about the lawprof letter:
The pious pontification of the law professoriate has become cliche in modern America, leading many pundits (correctly in my view) to criticize our current president for his tendency to think like a law professor, and to view the world in the abstract, removed and unrealistic way in which it is seen from the faculty lounge....Presser has a big critique of lawprofs that goes beyond the immediate question whether Sessions should be confirmed. He even ends with a call to teach "law as a repository of timeless truths." I'd love to see the letter the 1,100 lawprofs could write against the notion that the law ought to be taught as timeless truth.
The exaggerated self-importance of the teacher of law is buttressed by immersion in an ideology very different from what most senators and most Americans believe about the law in particular and the world in general.....
That ideology is a culmination of a century of the ascendance in the law school of a set of beliefs that seem to convince most professors that the law is really no different from politics and that it is infinitely malleable. For too long, they say, the law has has [sic] been used as a tool of the rich and powerful to oppress women, minorities and the powerless. It should be the task of judges, legislators, and lawyers alone, they say, to interpret the Constitution and laws and to use that malleability to redistribute power and resources to the oppressed....
Their ideological zeal and the inevitable tendency of ideologues to believe in the insincerity and malice of those who disagree with them have led them to believe the spurious charges that torpedoed Sessions' judicial nomination decades ago, and to see him as an enemy to the groups they favor.
Presser's column includes material that appears in the first 2 pages of his "Law Professors" book, such as a quote. You can read the pages in the book, here. It's put like this in the column:
One law professor, Harvard's Duncan Kennedy, nicely limned the problem, when he declared, as a law student at Yale, that his teachers were "either astoundingly intellectually self-confident or just plain smug." He went on to state that their classroom gestures seemed to say, "I am brilliant. I am famous in the only community that matters. I am doing the most difficult and most desirable thing in the world, and doing it well. I am being a Law Professor." Kennedy published those words in 1970, but the problem is even worse now.It feels very Trumpian to scoff at lawprofs' "extraordinary arrogance and presumption," but Kennedy was speaking from the radical left. Kennedy is associated with the Critical Legal Studies movement, which utterly rejected the idea of "law as a repository of timeless truths."
Is this all to intra-lawprof?
We're about to end our formal relationship with the lawprof President. Some throes are involved. Perhaps it's best to avert our eyes.