William Baude on How to Treat the Powerful

How Should Universities (Especially Law Schools) Treat The Powerful?

Jacob Levy has a two-part series on how we honor powerful people, starting with the issue of confederate monuments and then moving on to how we should treat people who worked for the government to do bad stuff. One of the core arguments is that we generally give powerful people too much credit, honor, and respect, so trends that cut back against that are probably good. I think he has persuaded me that this is correct. [...]

As I understand the application of Levy's theory to a law school, it would mean that a student group like the Federalist Society is free to invite any speaker they wish, but the law school might offer an endowed lecture or an honorary degree only to a former Solicitor General in the Obama administration and not in the Trump administration.

This is especially thought-provoking because law schools and the legal profession more generally are so hungrily focused on power and prestige. Students who become lawyers will often need to convince powerful people of their client's positions. Some of those students will go on to become the powerful people themselves. Some of their professors are still angling for those positions of power.

Read more at Reason

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