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  • “Trump Voters and Modern American Legal Academia”

    Posted by Jonathan on April 8th, 2016 (All posts by )

    A biting critique of recent public arguments by liberal academics, by Seth Barrett Tillman:

    There is a final possibility. Apparently, some non-originalists believe they are part of a victimized, long-suffering, powerless, discrete, insular intellectual minority. As Professor Jack Balkin, a prominent commentator (but not one of the Alliance-for-Justice-350), wrote:

    Accepting that opposition as the proper frame for debate just locks liberals into a clever rhetorical strategy created by movement conservatives in the 1980s, who wanted to put themselves on the side of the American constitutional tradition, and liberals on the outside looking in. [here] [here] (emphasis added)
     
    and,
     
    The notion that in order for liberals to believe in a living Constitution they have to reject originalism in all of its forms is the biggest canard ever foisted on them. [here] [here] (emphasis added)[3]

    In this intellectual milieu, signing a letter you do not really believe is not hypocrisy: it is virtue. Thus, signing such a letter is the natural and justified response of victims to an unfair world imposed upon them by malevolent intellectual forces which have deformed reasoned, public debate. That’s not hypocrisy: that’s something else entirely. I am going to refrain from characterizing that reason, but I expect the public will take the hint.
     
    Is it any wonder that millions of Americans vote for Trump?

    Worth reading in its entirety.

     

    2 Responses to ““Trump Voters and Modern American Legal Academia””

    1. dearieme Says:

      I don’t understand how there can be an intellectually coherent anti-originalist doctrine. Once you say that you don’t give a fig for what the educated laymen of the time thought the Constitution meant, how is there any alternative to judges as tyrants? Doesn’t “living Constitution” mean “my cronies and I will just make it up at the time”?

    2. David Foster Says:

      How about “living tenure agreements” and “living retirement plans” for these academics, along with “living property deeds” for their houses?