October 3, 2022

SELF-DELUSION ON THE LEFT, MARK JOSEPH STERN EDITION: The Supreme Court Is Blowing Up Law School, Too. Inside the growing furor among professors who have had enough.Stern writes that constitutional law professors are “giving up on the Supreme Court.” He writes:

The problem, it’s worth emphasizing, is not that the Supreme Court is issuing decisions with which left-leaning professors disagree. It’s that the court seems to be reaching many of these conclusions in defiance of centuries of standards, rejecting precedent and moderation in favor of aggressive, partisan-tinged motivated reasoning. Plenty of progressive professors have long viewed the court with skepticism, and many professors, right- and left-leaning, have criticized the reasoning behind certain opinions for decades. But it’s only in recent years—with the manipulation of the justice selection process combined with clear, results-oriented cynicism in decisions—that the problem has seemed so acute that they feel it affects their ability to teach constitutional law.

Actually, the fact that the Court is solidly conservative, and the constitutional law professoriate overwhelming liberal or further left, is exactly the problem. In the past, the left could count on the Court for sporadic big victories: same-sex marriage, affirmative action, abortion. Now they can’t, so they have turned against the Court. We all know that left-learning lawprofs would be dancing in the streets if SCOTUS were equally aggressive to the left. And indeed, while Stern portrays discontent with the Court as a question of professional standards rather than ideology, he does not manage to find a single right-leaning professor to quote in his article.

[Crossposted at Volokh]

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