December 21, 2009

Supreme Court ideology and the career paths of Supreme Court clerks.

A new study shows:
Clerks from conservative chambers are now less likely to teach. If they do, they are more likely to join the faculties of conservative and religious law schools. Republican administrations are now much more likely to hire clerks from conservative chambers, and Democratic administrations from liberal ones. Even law firm hiring splits along ideological lines....

The rise of the organized conservative legal movement, including notably the Federalist Society, seems to have changed that, perhaps as a result of the sense among conservatives that law school faculties are overwhelmingly liberal.

“Certain kids coming out of the conservative movement were not feeling comfortable with traditional law schools,” said Harvey Rishikof, another author of the study and a law professor at the National War College.


Jim said...

This is the world that the Leftist thought police have wrought. By systematically going after any conservative thinker in higher academia, they are discrediting their own institutions. The only difference is that the rise of free- or right-thinking institutions is now highlighting what hotbeds of conformist thought that the vast majority of universities and colleges have become.

Isn't it funny how we see over and over again, the "free love" and "fight the man" hippies and "revolutionaries" of the 60s have grown up to become the most Stalinist bunch of group-thinkers this country has ever seen?

Paul said...

"...perhaps as a result of the sense among conservatives that law school faculties are overwhelmingly liberal."

"Sense"? Ann, isn't it the simple truth of the matter?

vbspurs said...

Until about 1990, the study shows, there was no particular correlation between a justice’s ideological leanings and what his or her clerks did with their lives.

Remember when I commented once that Robert Bork changed the face of America? America was always political before that -- but after 1990, it became split into ideologies.


Media Mentions said...

Ok, so I was browsing the net for news today, and came across this one: Now you tell me what kind of logic is behind this. Any pro-decision arguments?

Sometimes I don't know what's happening anymore.

Well, that's my schpeel for today


MadisonMan said...

That's unfortunate. Brilliant minds are not unique to a particular ideological leaning, and you're missing out on brilliance if you only look left or right.

Geoff Matthews said...

Media Mentions:

Take it from another angle. If someone went rock climbing, and they fell and became paralyzed, would an insurance company have to pay out because of this accident?

I really don't know. But it is shocking that sex can facilitate paralysis.

caseym54 said...

Isn't this like some 1920's newspaper saying that southern negroes were less likely to vote and blaming it on the formation of the NAACP? Or saying there are no female professionals because women are more comfortable as homemakers?

How about: Law schools routinely reject teaching applicants who are viewed as conservative. But I guess that possibility never enters the Times' collective mind. For roughly similar reasons.

Victor Erimita said...

The ideologically rigid Left has taken over almost all meaningful institutions in America and is enforcing thought, speech and action conformity everywhere. These people don't care that the majority of Americans don't agree with their philosophy. They simply intend, through continued control of these institutions, to force theirs on on the rest of this. This is abundantly clear and will only be reversed by some kind of great awakening and backlash, which is not in sight at the moment. The Tea Parties may be a sign that something like that is happening, but the vast majority of Americans are asleep as their culture and legal system is stolen from them by "liberal" fascists. As we see more and more each year, citizens have less and less say in the devolution of their nation. That is precisely the design of the Left.

Dan Hamilton said...

And the Left will blame this on the Right. They will say the Right caused this and only way to get a tolerant bi-partasian law education is to avoid those far right wing law schools that are so intolerant of any real ideas.

Chuck said...

Also, this just in ... the sun rises in the East.

paul a'barge said...


bobby said...


Read the opinion. The policy covered "bodily Injuries occasioned solely through external, violent and accidental means."

Words matter. That's my shpiel for today.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Media Mentions:

I used to work in disability, and the distinction between accident and illness was an issue a lot more often than you would think.

I know that from your perspective, it just looks like this: "Guy's disabled, he should get disability benefits," but the fact is that the policy was only to cover accidents, not illnesses. He was left paralyzed by an illness, herpes.

His argument is somewhat akin to my arguing that, because I didn't intend to destroy my liver by drinking too much, my alcoholic cirrhosis was accidental. The sex aspect just creates a sensational headline.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

I recall one former clerk for a conservative justice who was greeted with outright hostility by a substantial part of the faculty at a top law school. Despite being a brilliant professor, one of the most popular teachers at his old school and immensely popular during his visit, these faculty members made it clear that he was not welcome. Fortunately a strong dean prevailed and this professor was hired, but it's easy to understand why other former clerks would say screwed and not go where they were not wanted.

Sam U. said...

And those who did not have the most prestigious clerkship of all end of blogging and claiming that Supreme Court clerkships aren't all they are cracked up to be.

You are very transparent on this one, Althouse.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Sam U.,
When did Althouse say that clerkships aren't all that they are cracked up to be? And how do you know she didn't have one (granted, she's never mentioned one that I've noticed, but it sure seems like the sort of thing she would do).

-Lyssa (a non-former clerk, but for 2 judges who are members of differing political parties).

Jason said...

Disability and long term care insurance is all about definitions. The language in the contract matters. Companies routinely use more restrictive language in order to restrict their exposure to risk, and therefore offer lower premiums.

Here's the problem - if you're buying DI or LTC from a broker, and he pulls out a spreadsheet with quotes from five different companies, and you just pick the one with the lowest premium, don't be surprised if you get what you pay for.

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