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Proud Member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

Let's face it, there's a really good reason to be a conservative at law school: it's just more fun. Take the latest breathless communique to hit my inbox from the Columbia Law School Chapter of the American Constitution Society, regarding Cass Sunnstein's presentation of his new book:

"Radicals in Robes" takes judicial philosophy out of the law schools and shows what it means when it intersects partisan politics. It pulls away the veil of rhetoric from a dangerous and radical right-wing movement and issues a strong and passionate warning about what conservatives really intend.

Dangerous! Radical! A movement so hidden in a veil of rhetoric that it takes "the least necessary organization in legal education" to tell us what it really intends! Just reading this makes me want to show up at the next Federalist Society function in a long black cape and a Dick Dastardly mustache. Sadly, they've not taught me the secret handshake, handed me the hidden decoder ring, or invited me to the smoke filled room where the folks really behind Judge Roberts nomination reveal their secret agenda. I blame it on the fact that I can't do a very good evil laugh.

A pity, because getting something like this from a law school group is really laughable.


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So, I guess this means that we'll see you at the Sunstein event? You're very welcome to come. I've invited the Fed Soc via Spencer. Wednesday, 7 pm, JG 104. The rhetoric of the announcement appears to offend you, but you ought to acknowledge that the discussion is quite serious: the judicial philosophy expounded by the Rehnquist, and now (inevitably) Roberts Courts is certainly a turn away from the Warren Court, and the direction continues to sharpen. The rhetoric of originalism and textualism *does* imply specific doctrinal consequences without directly addressing them. Sharply limited Commerce Clause and Fourteenth Amendment enforcement powers are important examples. The implications are open to debate, and it's a debate that the ACS and Fed Soc should and can engage each other in. And I have a favor to ask: I'd like to read the bit about the ACS being "unnecesary," but the link led to a redirect that didn't take me to the entry. Would you mind sending or posting it?
First, the rhetoric isn't offensive. It's merely silly. Secondly, while the topic itself may be serious, your email (and, it seems, the publisher's blurb for his book) is not. As for the Federalist Society showing up... I'm sure they will, but I can't see why they should. What's the point of showing up to discuss whether or not your "veil" of "extremism" has been "ripped off," and to convince the ACS that they're not "dangerous"? It brings to mind the old law chestnut about "have you stopped beating your wife yet?" Finally, the link you're looking for is here.
Just out of curiosity. Did you read the Dean's speech to incoming students? How did a radical reactionary like that get to lead our fine institution? Of course, I think he is spot on in his remarks but I am still astonished that he has not attracted more controversy. I wonder if there are any more moderate law school deans to be found amongst the top twenty law schools in the country. I suspect not. Sorry for the digression.
No, I didn't, Joel. Do you have a link to it?
No. I got it in the mail. I guess they must send it out just to alumni. Lots of good stuff in it about Lincoln suspending Habeas Corpus and how a lawyer can be crucial to preserving freedom by upholding the rule of law. If you know any third years from last year, they might have kept a copy.

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