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Religious Law Schools and Political Diversity.-- Adam Litvak has an article in the New York Times describing Jerry Falwell's Liberty Law School.

Excerpt:
The new law schools say they are a sort of counterweight to the views that dominate the legal academy.

"The prevailing orthodoxy at the elite law schools is an extreme rationalism that draws a strong distinction between faith and reason," said Bruce W. Green, Liberty's dean.

The claim that professors at the leading law schools tilt to the left is supported by statistics. According to a forthcoming study of 21 top law schools from 1991 to 2002 by John McGinnis, a law professor at Northwestern University, approximately 80 percent of the professors at those schools who made campaign contributions primarily supported Democrats, while 15 percent primarily supported Republicans.

Peter H. Schuck, a law professor at Yale, where 92 percent of faculty political contributions went to Democrats, said Dean Green was right to question whether religious perspectives are welcomed at mainstream law schools.

"There is a sort of soft tolerance of competing views," Professor Schuck, who described himself as a political moderate, said, "but no real interest in exposing students to seriously developed contrary points of view that proceed from a strong faith-based perspective. Fundamentalism is derided."
I was interviewed by Litvak for the story but said nothing worth quoting.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Critical Christian Studies?
  2. Law Schools, Political Causes, and Exclusion:
  3. Religious Law Schools and Political Diversity.--
Law Schools, Political Causes, and Exclusion: Should law schools take sides on what they perceive as questions of justice and morality? Will Baude considers the dangers of doing so in a post you can access here.

  In my view, there are interesting parallels between this debate and Eugene's recent posts on using religious views as the basis for political beliefs (see here, here, and, for an offshoot discussion, here and here). In both cases, the question is whether we should decide to exclude a set of views as illegitimate — simply beyond acceptable argument — and if so, when. I have no particular expertise on this question, but I wonder if attitudes here tend to reflect in-group, out-group identification more than the abstract principles they tend to trumpet.

  UPDATE: Will responds to my suggestion in an update to his post. To be a bit clearer, my guess is that those more willing to mark off sets of ideas as illegitimate would tend to have a strong sense of in-group/out-group identification. Exposure to ideological diversity tends to cut the other way, I think: my sense is that the more people you know well who think differently than you do, the likelier you are to recognize the legitimacy of a broader set of ideas.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Critical Christian Studies?
  2. Law Schools, Political Causes, and Exclusion:
  3. Religious Law Schools and Political Diversity.--
Critical Christian Studies?

Chris Newman writes about devoutly Christian law schools, accreditation standards, Critical Race Theory, and more. A friend had e-mailed him:

I believe these schools are scary. Although it seems axiomatic that judges bring their personal moralities to bear on their decisions, and is likewise axiomatic that those morals shall often stem from religious precepts, I find quite disturbing the recent trend toward religious law schools. I can only hope they are never accredited. This is so because, it seems to me, their students are highly inclined to view the law through the prism of Christian dogma. Not only does this not make for a good attorney, I rue the possibility that such persons would, inevitably, be in positions to fill judcial posts. There can be no room in such positions for people who believe that "God's Law" is more important than "man's " law. Because, by their presence at these schools, these students are wedded to the principle of the superiority of God's Law over man's law, I do not believe that they can ever be really fit to serve in judicial roles. Because they are not fit to serve in such roles, the easiest way to keep them out of such roles is to refuse accreditation for their law schools.

To read Chris's response, go here.