April 18, 2017

My law school is as ideologically left as the average lawprof who teaches Feminist Legal Theory.

That's what I learned from Figure 2 and Figure 4 in this article "The Legal Academy’s Ideological Uniformity," by Adam Bonica, Adam Chilton, Kyle Rozema, & Maya Sen (who are lawprofs at Stanford, Chicago, Northwestern, and Harvard).

I got there via Paul Caron, who nudged me to notice that the University of Wisconsin Law School is the 3d most left-wing law school, according to the study. If you limit your view to the top 50 law schools, we're #1:
I know you're going to say: And that was before Althouse retired. But I think the calculation was done by looking at campaign contributions. I give money to nobody.

Here's Jonathan Adler:
Assuming there is substantial ideological uniformity in the legal academy, and that this is a problem, there remains the problem of what to do about it. 
Here's my idea for any law school that wants to look less conspicuous in the next study that's done with this methodology. The professors should find some innocuous or liberal Republicans or Republicans who were going to win anyway and throw some money at them.

But that's just me and my lateral thinking. The main solutions being talked about are: 1. affirmative action for conservatives, which seems to go against everybody's predilections, and 2. some vague commitment to intellectual diversity. As Adler puts is: "the way forward begins with efforts to cultivate an appreciation of the value of differing perspectives and viewpoints and a broader recognition that ideological uniformity undermines effective legal education."

I disagree with Adler. I think professors at a pervasively left-wing law school would readily agree with the intellectual diversity abstraction. It would change nothing. Maybe Adler would push back and say that he wrote "cultivate an appreciation" — there needs to be more growth in appreciation — and "broader recognition" — there's recognition but it should be wider. I don't know. It's so anodyne. The way forward begins... Begins! I see this going nowhere.

82 comments:

Birkel said...

Predicted response:
What is happening at George Mason?

Matthew Sablan said...

"2. some vague commitment to intellectual diversity."

-- I'd be perfectly happy to just have universities like Berkeley step in and stop hecklers from vetoing things.

madAsHell said...

Those that can't, teach!!

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

Self-correcting problem. Trump and Gorsuch are setting the tone of what kind of legal talent will be needed in the future. This will eventually trickle down to place like Madison. Legal talent specializing in feminist legal theory can always find pro boner gigs.

Sebastian said...

"Here's my idea for any law school that wants to look less conspicuous in the next study that's done with this methodology. The professors should find some innocuous or liberal Republicans or Republicans who were going to win anyway and throw some money at them." Yeah, sure, that'll persuade everybody that those schools are less lefty.

"Adler opines that "the way forward begins with efforts to cultivate an appreciation of the value of differing perspectives and viewpoints and a broader recognition that ideological uniformity undermines effective legal education." Laughable. The only differing perspectives valued on the left are left vs. far left. What's there to "appreciate" in reactionary nonsense? Uniformity in appreciation of lefty truth is inherently right and promotes victory in the legal culture wars. What's not to like?

Owen said...

Prof. A, I agree with your skepticism. If there is anything law professors are good at, it's creating and navigating clouds of words. Adler's words won't change a thing. If donors suddenly started conditioning their generosity on the creation of new Institutes for conservative jurisprudence and endowed chairs for teachers who think like Alito or Gorsuch, maybe then the schools would re-center. But there are not enough such donors nor scholars whom they could support, to make an early or widespread change. IMHO. It took us 60 years to get here, it will probably take us that long to get "back." By then, of course, the world will have changed, changed utterly.

It is what it is.

AprilApple said...

The blue brainwash.

Lance said...

Require two hours of annual ideological diversity training. It worked for sexual harassment, right?

Michael K said...

The problem will probably be taken care of by the evolution of society.

Lawyers are having trouble finding jobs and law schools, granted low ranked schools, are closing.

If the US manages to reform government along the lines Trump and Sessions and the other cabinet members intend, there will be much less for left wing lawyers to do. I imagine most of Yale LS graduates go into government.

Less government , less demand for Yale graduates.

If Trump fails, the US will probably go into long term decline and the same phenomenon will occur but with a worse outcome.

320Busdriver said...

My oldest, a junior in college(biz, finance), is entertaining the thought of a law degree. Aided and encouraged no doubt, by his Aunt, a UW law alum, who is now GC for a large multinational.

Is it still true, as the good Dr. said, that the profession is still suffering from an overabundance of atty's. Is it folly to even encourage this path, despite his interest in the subject? If one were to go down that path, where are the better jobs in the field?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Less fussing w/ gal, poor and minority law but more military law, estate planning, oil and gas, securities regulation, admiralty, sports law, and equity

=

problem fixed.


You're welcome.

chickelit said...

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...Less fussing w/ gal, poor and minority law but more military law, estate planning, oil and gas, securities regulation, admiralty, sports law, and equity

Why not acredit foreign -- i.e., Mexican -- law and medical schools. Let their hurdles be our hurdles. It's what the left wants after all.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, they definitely have date data re the donations they were looking at, apparently goin' back to 1979.

So, imho, it would have been interesting to see how the lib-ness has changed chronologically.

Ya gots to imagine that coming off of Ws military adventurism, there could have been a spike in hopey changey v McPalin.

OTOH, many (most? all?) of these lib lawprofs probably peg the libmeter red line regardless of the milieu.

Birches said...

I suspect there might be more conservatives at these blinding blue law schools, but they are all closeted. One only gives campaign contributions if one doesn't fear reprisals. I don't know how to fix the wider culture that makes many of us feel like we have to keep our conservative political views private.

Earnest Prole said...

You've mischaracterized the study. It documents the proportion of faculty contributions to Republican and Democratic politicians, which the study refers to as conservatives and liberals. Leftism is not a study category. Genuine leftists tend to view Republicans and Democrats as Coke and Pepsi.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Do you think the feminist legal theorists are giving money to political candidates? And if you're just donating for cover, wouldn't it be better to find liberal Republicans who are going to lose anyway?

Oso Negro said...

I do not think the problem is with law schools, but rather the nature of people who would become lawyers. Of five siblings in my family, two were lawyers, one of them is a law school dean. It is my observation that people who go to law school tend to be attracted to formulations of the following construction: "society could be greatly improved if only people were required to ___________". And, by golly, they know just what "____________" should be!

Or perhaps it is in the nature of humankind, which, generation after generation, provides us with legions of such individuals. In any case, I have noted that the volume of legislation increases year after year, and in my 60 years, my personal freedom has always decreased and never increased. As a consequence, an individual who aspires to personal freedom will necessarily have a tenuous relationship with the law.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"And if you're just donating for cover, wouldn't it be better to find liberal Republicans who are going to lose anyway?"

Better to pick the most hardcore con who is guaranteed to win their district no matter what. (One that's guaranteed to lose works, too.)

Best bang for the buck re skewing this data.

Chuck said...

Ah, yes. Time again for my periodic re-quoting of the late great Justice Scalia. From his seminal dissent, in Lawrence v. Texas. (For the uninitiated, Lawrence was the not-so-innocent beginning to the line of cases -- and specifically contradicting and earlier line of precedential cases -- that led us from the declaration in 2003 that a Texas anti-sodomy law was unconstitutional, to the declaration in 2015 that every state law and constitution defining marriage in traditional terms was unconstitutional.)

So without further ado:
"Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct. I noted in an earlier opinion the fact that the American Association of Law Schools (to which any reputable law school must seek to belong) excludes from membership any school that refuses to ban from its job-interview facilities a law firm (no matter how small) that does not wish to hire as a prospective partner a person who openly engages in homosexual conduct. See Romer, supra, at 653.
"One of the most revealing statements in today’s opinion is the Court’s grim warning that the criminalization of homosexual conduct is “an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and in the private spheres.” Ante, at 14. It is clear from this that the Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed. Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive. The Court views it as 'discrimination' which it is the function of our judgments to deter. So imbued is the Court with the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously 'mainstream'; that in most States what the Court calls 'discrimination' against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly legal; that proposals to ban such 'discrimination' under Title VII have repeatedly been rejected by Congress, see Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994, S. 2238, 103d Cong., 2d Sess. (1994); Civil Rights Amendments, H. R. 5452, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. (1975); that in some cases such 'discrimination' is mandated by federal statute, see 10 U.S.C. § 654(b)(1) (mandating discharge from the armed forces of any service member who engages in or intends to engage in homosexual acts); and that in some cases such 'discrimination' is a constitutional right, see Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000)."

Lawrence V. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)(Scalia,J., dissenting).

You can now see how, by dint of sheer force from federal court decisions that were all "products of courts, that were themselves products of a law profession culture," that had "taken sides in the culture wars" (another line from later in that Scalia dissent), even some of the basis for Scalia's dissent in 2003 is being stripped away. Not by elective referenda or representative legislation, but by courts and by specific actors (like law school cultural icon Barack Obama) taking unilateral action.


Rick said...

The solution is for some schools to openly disavow legal academia's left wing orientation and the "diversity" subterfuge which covers their political efforts. I don't have any particular schools in mind but it seems natural for high ranked schools in strongly red states to take this approach. Trustees at those schools less likely universally in thrall to the left, and faculty resistance amounts to the claim they have the right to use tax dollars to attack taxpayers.

Gahrie said...

Genuine leftists tend to view Republicans and Democrats as Coke and Pepsi.

Yet one more thing they're wrong about.

Jack Wayne said...

So long as we have a Constitution that promotes class distinctions we will have a mostly Big-government (lefty) law profession. If we ever have a government that actually promotes equality under the law, we will move away from Big-government lawyering.

Kevin said...

"the way forward begins with efforts to cultivate an appreciation of the value of differing perspectives and viewpoints"

Isn't that exactly what liberals say they're all about? And isn't this evidence that it's just a bunch of crap?

Balfegor said...

The thing that is weird about liberal dominance of the legal academy is that law, of all subjects, isn't strongly "liberal" in its underlying orientation. Still less so given that the supreme arbiter of American law (the Supreme Court) has been right of center for a generation.

Now, law is intrisically more liberal than, say engineering or physics. To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and the natural inclination of a legal scholar is to believe that every problem could be solved through the judicious application of more and more law. There's exceptions, sure, just as there are men with hammers who will sometimes see the wisdom in forbearing from hammering a nail, but that's the normal inclination of a man given the legal toolset. And the inclination to resolve all differences through more laws (viz. the terror of the sword) is certainly not a conservative inclination, even if it doesn't map perfectly onto liberal inclinations.

But still. Conservatives have been writing American laws for generations. Conservatives have been deciding American cases for at least a generation. There's a problem when the people who claim to be studying the law are so wholly opposed to the people drafting and applying the laws. It's like sending a bunch of fundamentalist missionaries to study the religious practices of the Bushmen. Of course they're going to come back and say it's all heathen devil worship!

Joe Olson said...

As one of your former students, your politics never came through. I had two class with you and could never really figure out what your personal politics were and I appreciated that very much. Larry Church may have been the only other prof who was as unbiased as you.

Gahrie said...


You can now see how, by dint of sheer force from federal court decisions that were all "products of courts, that were themselves products of a law profession culture," that had "taken sides in the culture wars

In other words, the courts have become dominated by judges who absurdly twist the meanings of words to mean whatever they would need to mean to allow them to bestow victory on any party the judge feels empathy with.

Apparently that's a terrible idea for statutory interpretation, but just fine and dandy when it comes to Constitutional interpretation.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"there are men with hammers who will sometimes see the wisdom in forbearing from hammering a nail"

The problem isn't hammering nails. Missin' the mark there, bro.

Plus, gals have hammers too.



Carry on.

Balfegor said...

Re: 3rdGradePB_GoodPerson:

The problem isn't hammering nails. Missin' the mark there, bro.

Fair enough . . . hammering things that look like nails but aren't really.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yeah, sure, that'll persuade everybody that those schools are less lefty."

Read the article and get back to me.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Balfegor said...

...Still less so given that the supreme arbiter of American law (the Supreme Court) has been right of center for a generation.

What makes you say that the Supreme Court has been right of center? What cases have they decided that are to the right of the average American?

FleetUSA said...

My guess is that the today's students are not so left wing. The profs are mostly from the 60's & 90's when progressive law teachers were in vogue. How to test that?

The BubFather said...

As each of my sons went through college, they all admitted they lied/bullshat their way through some classes that REQUIRED them to lean left because of the professors DEMANDS that they think like him/her. All the

boys wanted was to take the prerequisite class, get a grade and move on. All the kids taking the class would joke about how Professor Smith (him or her, didn't matter) was a total lefty and you'd better write your paper about social justice where immigrant Hispanics have the right to immediate citizenship or criminals need love and understanding. Students understand this more than you all think. They just want to take the class and move on....in the meantime, what a pile of crap it is to ding one kid who writes conservatively and praise another who writes 'progressively.'

Chuck said...

Michael K said...
...
If the US manages to reform government along the lines Trump and Sessions and the other cabinet members intend, there will be much less for left wing lawyers to do. I imagine most of Yale LS graduates go into government.


Well, since you brought Trump into it, let's be clear that the numbers show you to be wrong. The handiest set of numbers I found, were from the Yale Law class of 2014; it might take a while to sort out all of the details, but whatever. If you can find other years, have at it.

The Yale Law class of 2014 had 202 graduates.

84 of them (40%) went to private law firms.

Now it is true that 65 of them (31%) went into judicial clerkships, but that is only technically "government" work. Because virtually no judicial clerks remain as clerks beyond 2 or 3 years. Often less. It would be like saying that most medical school grads go into government work, because so many of them go into residencies and then fellowships. After clerkships, my guess is that Yale Law grads are equally likely to go into private practice, law school teaching, or public sector work. Just like med school grads.

Only 13 (6.2%) Yale Law grads from the Class of 2014 went into full time public sector employment directly.

That compares with one of the lesser sub-categories of private-sector work categories, business and industry; 15 (7.2%)

Link:
https://law.yale.edu/student-life/career-development/employment-data/class-2014-employment

The lesson here is that anytime you bring "Trump" into an otherwise interesting conversation, you are likely to be wrong, and you are likely to run that conversation into the ditch.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Here's my idea for any law school that wants to look less conspicuous in the next study that's done with this methodology. The professors should find some innocuous or liberal Republicans or Republicans who were going to win anyway and throw some money at them.

As soon as a metric becomes a target, it ceases to be a useful metric.

( Note I'm not correcting the good Professor. Her point is that the liberal professors can make the metric useless, without changing the actual left-right balance, and without undermining the liberal politicians they support. )

wildswan said...

We have a sort of Protestant Revolution and break up all the humanistic departments - law, history, literature - which no longer have a common identity - into what they are which is three or four groups of identity studies. Students chose which identity to follow. From this flows funding.

Michael K said...

I'm sticking to my resolution.

wildswan said...

Rather than a "Papacy", a department and a department head who controls jobs and funding, and denies them to heretics, we should have "churches", identity studies chosen freely on the basis of their teaching. Rome has fallen-Western Civ is over, it's the new Dark Ages. Break up university departments, form identity studies in their place and let the struggle begin. And may the best teaching win.

Sebastian said...

"Read the article and get back to me." I read the actual paper. So?

DKWalser said...

By this metric it appears that BYU and Pepperdine are fairly balanced. They are the only schools on the list that are balanced.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sebastian said...

"Read the article and get back to me." I read the actual paper. So?

Now re-read the Professor's suggestion. It was about appearing less conspicuous in a study such as this.

Balfegor said...

Re: Ignorance is Bliss:

What makes you say that the Supreme Court has been right of center? What cases have they decided that are to the right of the average American?
Let's take it from 1994 (when we had a long and static court until 2005). Four liberals (Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Bryer), two conservatives (Scalia and Thomas), and three people who I think would generally be viewed as centre-right (Rehnquist, O'Connor, and Kennedy). That mix gave us the first case since Roosevelt's court packing scheme to suggest there could be limits on Congress's commerce clause power. There are other cases too, of course -- not radically conservative, but a clear break from the past.

Since then, Rehnquist has been replaced by Roberts (center-right for center-right), Souter has been replaced by Sotomayor (liberal for liberal), Stevens has been replaced by Kagan (liberal for liberal), and Scalia has been replaced by Gorsuch (conservative for ??). That's a pretty stable political balance for over 20 years. It looks centre right to me, but however you judge it, it's significantly more conservative than legal academe.

Fernandinande said...

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

Known Unknown said...

""Yeah, sure, that'll persuade everybody that those schools are less lefty."

Read the article and get back to me."

So Adler argues for a superficial solution, and you disagree with him, however, I'm curious as to what you would favor as a solution to such a problem.

Ann Althouse said...

""Read the article and get back to me." I read the actual paper. So?"

If you understood the methodology, you should know why my solution would work and you'd be taking back what you said.

I don't believe you read the paper, not according to my definition of reading.

Chuck said...

Michael K said...
I'm sticking to my resolution.

You keep on "imagining."

Ann Althouse said...

'So Adler argues for a superficial solution, and you disagree with him, however, I'm curious as to what you would favor as a solution to such a problem."

I don't necessarily think there is a solution, but I think openly talking about it as a problem is of some use. Maybe more schools will think they need a token conservative or two. A tame pet. Someone polished with elite credentials.

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

"I don't believe you read the paper, not according to my definition of reading." Now that's funny.

Still, for once we get a testable hypothesis at Althouse. Let's have the definition, and I'll tell you whether your "belief" is correct.

Of course, the point implied by my original sarcastic remark is that the same methodology applied in the paper would register shifts in donations and hence in ideological profiles, making formerly conspicuously lefty institutions conspicuously inconspicuous. 5 years from now an analytically inclined blogger might even look at the new data and say, "hey, I wonder if these clever law faculty found some innocuous or liberal Republicans or Republicans who were going to win anyway to throw money at. Surely they don't believe that we believe that they became ideologically more diverse or moderate, do they?"

buwaya puti said...

A solution of course would be another long march through the institutions. This could be a right-wing charity, subsidizing the education of promising conservative students through an academic career. A Phd with zero debt. This may not succeed in every case, but a sufficiently rigorous oversight and sufficient numbers may overcome.
The left managed this in an era of lower costs and government subsidies, but a conservative one will require deep private pockets.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Balfegor said...

It looks centre right to me, but however you judge it, it's significantly more conservative than legal academe.

I guess the real question is center of what? I agree that they are well to the right of the legal academe, and, to a smaller degree, to the right of some past Supreme Courts. My argument was that they are not to the right of the country as a whole.

Gahrie said...

I don't necessarily think there is a solution, but I think openly talking about it as a problem is of some use. Maybe more schools will think they need a token Black or two. A tame pet. Someone polished with elite credentials.

I don't necessarily think there is a solution, but I think openly talking about it as a problem is of some use. Maybe more schools will think they need a token woman or two. A tame pet. Someone polished with elite credentials.

I don't necessarily think there is a solution, but I think openly talking about it as a problem is of some use. Maybe more schools will think they need a token homosexual or two. A tame pet. Someone polished with elite credentials.

Balfegor said...

Re: Althouse:

Maybe more schools will think they need a token conservative or two. A tame pet. Someone polished with elite credentials.

That sounds useless. But the problem is a cultural problem, and tokenism isn't going to solve that. It's sort of like all those post-election think pieces that told Progressives they need to stop sounding so smug. No, sounding smug wasn't the problem -- it was being smug. Progressive activists -- especially unemployed progressive activists living in their parents' basements -- needed to be told the hard truth that they don't really have anything to be smug about in the first place (posh progressives do have something to smug about, viz. that they are considerably richer than you, just not the things they are smug about).

But people shied away from that, presented it as a messaging problem, not a substantive problem.

Here, the problem is only going to be solved if people acknowledge that it's a real problem, not just a problem of optics vis-a-vis the laiety. Diversity tokens are great for optics but they're totally useless if people are adopting them to patch up the optics in lieu of acknowledging that they have a problem themselves.

Known Unknown said...

I agree there is no "solution" outside of a market-based one.

Perhaps awareness will lead prospective students to choose different law schools based in part on the intellectual diversity of the staff, but that will happen slowly or not at all.

Unknown said...

The way forward is to aggressively investigate and punish those who are committing bigotry towards those who do not agree with the hive.

johns said...

IANAL but I think a partial solution would be to eliminate the craziest leftwing courses like critical legal theory. Also, enforce the rules so there is less leftwing "venting" by faculty. Make them behave, like Althouse apparently did, so that students can't figure out which way they lean on all the issues.
The craziness is not uniform through all parts of the campuses even today. I have a daughter at UCLA studying science. She is definitely a Democrat, environmentalist, and interested in politics, but she is not part of the snowflake brigade and doesn't seem to pay any attention to the nuttier developments on campus.
I did my graduate work at Chicago. I am proud of its free speech tradition. There are lots of crazy leftwingers there, but they can't eliminate other points of view because, at least so far, the university values intellectual honesty

Balfegor said...

RE: johns:

IANAL but I think a partial solution would be to eliminate the craziest leftwing courses like critical legal theory.

I disagree. I actually don't think critical legal studies are "wrong" necessarily, and I think it can be worthwhile for law students to be exposed to the view that the understanding of "law" is contingent on social context, that it embeds particular cultural assumptions and all that. On some level, this is trivially true, but there's some value in teasing out how law and culture interact in various contexts.

There are some scholars whose scholarship takes a back-seat to "activism" sure. Some of the modern offshoots of critical legal theory, like Critical Race Theory, do seem intellectually worthless, since they basically assume their conclusion (i.e. that everything is about white supremacy) and then twist all evidence to support that conclusion.

But the building blocks of these modern "critical" studies aren't all bad.

John Lynch said...

My father was an econ prof (he's now deceased) and he used his role on hiring committees to block hiring liberal economists to the Business School. That's how the game is played. No one will say it but it's true and Althouse knows it.

The only way to change who gets hired is to change who does the hiring. Suggestions:

1. Have emeritus profs have more influence on hiring. They tend to be less ideological (if for no reason other than remembering a less ideological past) and won't have to work with the people they are hiring.

2. Give alumni some kind of voice. They tend to be far less radical. Have an alumni vote on new tenured hires. If people are too crazy they get the boot.

3. Active administrative involvement in hiring an ideological diverse faculty. Take hiring away from current faculty. Otherwise political hiring is inevitable.

John Lynch said...

Another problem is that many disciplines are created to be left wing. I cannot imagine a conservative Women's Studies professor. Or Lit Theory. Or any number of others. On the other hand, there's no conservative analogs. You can have liberal economists, geologists, etc.

John Lynch said...

Having so many liberal or leftie profs on campus, even in different disciplines, inevitably bleeds into everything. If you have 100 "Studies" profs on campus that's bound to affect everything else over time. They serve on committees, vote in faculty elections, etc.

Gahrie said...

I cannot imagine a conservative Women's Studies professor

That one's easy...it's the heterosexual one.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"That sounds useless."

That's how I intended it to sound.

"Here, the problem is only going to be solved if people acknowledge that it's a real problem...."

I don't see that happening.

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

"Here, the problem is only going to be solved if people acknowledge that it's a real problem...."

I don't see that happening.


It has been happening for a quite a while now. The problem is you, and your colleagues weren't listening, because the people acknowledging the problem were conservatives.

Your relatively new found discovery of Leftist bias on college campuses and the media would be amusing if it wasn't so very very late.

Unknown said...

I graduated from BYU law school, one of the two "Balanced" schools in the top 50.

BYU itself has a deeply conservative student body, by nature. So the Law School is an outlier, of sorts.

I recall being there during the Bush/Gore election. My con law prof was a Democrat, and man did we give him grief. Someone put up one of those great "Sore/Loserman" bumper stickers before he came into class one day. To his credit he took it well.

I think BYU has seized a niche in that as far as I know, no one else does as much work on religious liberty as they do. Only natural, of course, since it's a religious school from a religious tradition that was heavily and legally persecuted despite the 1st Amendment. Indeed, I suspect that is one of the main goals for the LDS church investing enormous sums into BYU Law (it's probably the best legal education for the money, hands down, because the LDS church subsidizes it heavily) is because of the large number of religious liberty lawyers. Plus it doesn't hurt that BYU Law has a pipeline to clerking for Thomas, either.

--Vance

Balfegor said...

Re: Gahrie:

It has been happening for a quite a while now. The problem is you, and your colleagues weren't listening, because the people acknowledging the problem were conservatives.

But that's exactly what makes this problem unsolvable at the present time. The people who see it as a problem are either external to or marginal within academe. The solutions that can be forced -- whether by the market or by social pressure -- are cosmetic. Maybe over a span of years and years those cosmetic corrections can grow into something real, sort of in the way that the most extreme [identity]-studies fields started out as a sop to the kind of violent protesters who had menaced the universities in the 60s, but are now crowding out ordinary scholarship in the humanities, and have even begun to infect the hard sciences. But I have my doubts.

Robert Cook said...

@ Chuck at 9:45AM:

The long rant by Scalia that you quote amounts not to any careful legal reasoning but to an open expression of his own bias against homosexuals and homosexuality and for those who championed the rights of homosexuals. Simply substitute the word "negro" for homosexuals and transplant the opinion to the 19th Century and it would have fit right in with judicial decisions upholding the separation of the races.

Robert Cook said...

"'Genuine leftists tend to view Republicans and Democrats as Coke and Pepsi.'

"Yet one more thing they're wrong about."


Yes. It's more like they're Coke and Diet Coke.

mockturtle said...

Simply substitute the word "negro" for homosexuals and transplant the opinion to the 19th Century and it would have fit right in with judicial decisions upholding the separation of the races.

Cookie, to equate sexual preference with race is not just racist but appallingly ignorant.

Gahrie said...

Simply substitute the word "negro" for homosexuals and transplant the opinion to the 19th Century and it would have fit right in with judicial decisions upholding the separation of the races.

Yeah..if you totally ignore the fact that homosexuality is a behavior and race isn't.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie, to equate sexual preference with race is not just racist but appallingly ignorant."

"Yeah..if you totally ignore the fact that homosexuality is a behavior and race isn't."

It is behavior that, as expressed by all or nearly all self-identified homosexuals, is "in-born." That is, they didn't choose to be homosexual, but were born that way. The science can't pinpoint the causes of homosexuality, but this is the stated experience of those who are homosexual. Therefore, it is no more erasable or changeable than race, and the same rights that pertain to citizens of every race should rightly apply to citizens of homosexual behavioral orientation. There has never been a convincing or rational argument made to the contrary.

Michael K said...

"It is behavior that, as expressed by all or nearly all self-identified homosexuals, is "in-born."

That may be true although there are doubts that I consider reasonable.

The fact that race is obvious (unless you are Rachel Dolezel) makes a big difference.

The "rights" of homosexuals are not in question. Their status as a privileged class might be.

Gahrie said...

It is behavior that, as expressed by all or nearly all self-identified homosexuals, is "in-born." That is, they didn't choose to be homosexual, but were born that way

Try saying that on a college campus today.

It's all about fluidity and choice, spectrums, today.

openidname said...

No wonder Prof. Althouse thinks she's a moderate.

Chuck said...

Robert Cook said...
@ Chuck at 9:45AM:

The long rant by Scalia that you quote amounts not to any careful legal reasoning but to an open expression of his own bias against homosexuals and homosexuality and for those who championed the rights of homosexuals. Simply substitute the word "negro" for homosexuals and transplant the opinion to the 19th Century and it would have fit right in with judicial decisions upholding the separation of the races.

Bullshit.

I'm gonna keep this simple, in a way that would not earn me a passing grade on one of Professor Althouse's exams, but in a way that even you might understand.

Our Constitution, which once countenanced slavery, was amended. It was amended in 1865 (Amendment XII), to make slavery non-existent in the United States. It was amended in 1868 (Amendment (XIV), to make sure that federal civil rights were not barred by the states. And it was again amended in 1870 (Amendment XV), to insure that rights could not be abridged "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

After the Civil War, those constitutional amendments represented the necessary democratic (small-d) heavy lifting to make racial discrimination a matter of constitutional protection.

That kind of democratic heavy-lifting was never done, with homosexual rights. There's nothing about homosexual rights in the Constitution, and it is blindingly clear to everyone, that when the Constitution was adopted in 1789, and the Bill of Rights passed, and when the aforementioned civil rights amendments were drafted, absolutely no one thought they were being passed to protect a right to homosexual sodomy. They did very clearly intend to proscribe unequal treatment under the law, of persons on account of race. They said so.

This is not a matter of dusting off some ancient legal text, or clinging to some crazy outmoded way of thinking. If you had read all of Justice Scalia's dissent in Lawrence, or if you had read Judge Sutton's opinion for the Sixth Circuit in Obergefell, you never would have said something so stupid about Justice Scalia's personal views on homosexuality. Because they both invited the proponents of homosexual rights to pursue their goals in the regular marketplace of constitutional ideas. So too did Chief Justice Roberts in Obergefell,.

If they wanted a constitutional right to same sex marriage, for instance, they should have pursued an constitutional amendment on the subject. Because that is the right way, to make societal changes of that nature. Like the 18 year-old vote. Or the women's vote. Or national prohibition of alcohol. Or the repeal of such an amendment concerning alcohol. All of them, constitutional amendments.

Douglas said...

320busdriver - I tell young people who are interested in going to law school that they should go if they really want to be a lawyer. In some ways, this is a great time to go to law school - it's a lot easier to get into a good school, and it's a lot easier to get a discount on tuition (a/k/a scholarship money). On the other hand, it's a lot harder to get a job at a prestigious big law firm or at a prestigious prosecutor's office, and forget about getting a job teaching law - that market has completely dried up. If you really want to be a lawyer, it won't matter if you wind up defending DUI cases instead of defending Fortune 500 clients, so you should go to law school. But it's a really lousy time to go to law school because you can't figure out what to do with your life.

mockturtle said...

Well stated, Chuck @9:47.

bagoh20 said...

The reality shown in the graphic is sad.

Robert Cook said...

@ Chuck at 9:42 PM:

The 14th amendment applies to all citizens, and makes no exceptions for homosexuals. It says no State shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

That it took so many decades later before homosexuals were granted "equal protection of the laws" is testament only to our ingrained cultural bias against homosexuality, (just as it took many decades later before prohibition against interracial marriage was deemed unconstitutional because of our ingrained cultural bias against races other than "white").

Gahrie said...

It is behavior that, as expressed by all or nearly all self-identified pedophiles, is "in-born." That is, they didn't choose to be a pedophile, but were born that way

Robert Cook said...

"It is behavior that, as expressed by all or nearly all self-identified pedophiles, is 'in-born.' That is, they didn't choose to be a pedophile, but were born that way."

This might be so, and if so, it is a tragedy for those so born, as there is no ethical basis or possibility of making their objects of desire legally available to them. The difference between homosexual relations between consenting adults and sexual relations between adults and children is that children cannot consent. (Just as animals cannot consent to those with a penchant for bestiality.)

Children lack the physical and/or cognitive and emotional development to resist coercion by powerful adults or to make reasoned consent in cases where the coercion is not brutally physical but is through psychological manipulation.

In other words,legalizing pedophilia would be legalizing harmful behavior, while there is nothing intrinsically harmful about homosexual behavior between consenting adults.