Yale Law School continues to provide the field of battle to the right-wing proxy war over American society. They want school rules against discriminatory conduct tossed and students punished for voicing opinions — if you want a window into what Sam Alito’s perfect society might look like, there are folks trying to make Yale Law the pilot project.
The latest comes on the heels of Alito’s leaked Dobbs opinion planning to toss a half century of settled reproductive rights law in the trash and, by its explicit reasoning, yank the rug out of a score of additional solid precedent.
It turns out that the most elite law students in the country have opinions about this radical shift. This isn’t a shock. But the Washington Free Beacon — the de facto field marshal of the Yale Law proxy war — is willing to gin up some shock to mobilize its audience.
So the Washington Free Beacon tweeted out the story.
Let’s be entirely clear, the social media post that gets star billing in this story about the shocking war on conservatives asks “why are [FedSoc students] still coming to our parties?”
Hardly a wild-eyed query and a curious one for the Washington Free Beacon to hang its hat on since it ranted for weeks about FedSoc’s divine right to hold a party with a racist theme because they should be able to do whatever they want with their parties. Hmmmmmmmm.
Other posts suggested that watching Alito blow up both constitutional law and stare decisis proves that our legal institutions are deeply flawed and minor reform can no longer fix them. Which… not exactly a far-fetched take either.
The article names the students posting this stuff on social media, which earned a rebuke from conservative law professor Orin Kerr, who tweeted:
He goes on to say that naming students and exposing them to potential career consequences crosses the line.
Professor Kerr is very consistent on this point. Above the Law generally avoids naming law students on the grounds that they may not have figured out how the law works yet. That said, when you start hearing from 3Ls about to step into powerful positions, the argument that they aren’t fully in command of what they’re doing gets a lot weaker.
For instance, Kerr objected when we identified Stanford grads trying to convince the school to take away another student’s diploma for making fun of FedSoc. They were days away from graduation, but more importantly their jobs were secure. The whole point of the story wasn’t the students, but the powerful conservative judges they were clerking for (which made identification inevitable based on the size of clerk classes). The judges were never going to punish them for this — the story was about the judges actively seeking out and rewarding trollish behavior.
Meanwhile, the Washington Free Beacon article makes a point of saying they contacted a student’s future boss, Judge Lewis Liman of the Southern District of New York (who “did not respond to a request for comment”). Reading between the lines, because the Free Beacon sees that Judge Liman was nominated by Donald Trump, the outlet is snitching to him in hopes of some kind of twisted fealty to the conservative cause (even though his nomination had a lot more to do with a deal between Trump and Chuck Schumer than party affiliation).
That’s a far more troubling worldview — and one that prove’s the student’s point — than anything in the Yale social media posts. Plus, the article’s intent to lean on Judge Liman shows a remarkable level of disrespect and offends me personally since I both worked for Judge Liman and then with him as a co-defendant counsel on a number of matters.
In any event, one article was about telling the public what matters to a handful of powerful judges and the other is about pressuring a judge to fire someone. That’s a pretty significant difference.
But this whole story gets even better when another prominent conservative legal figure ducks his head into the conversation. Ilya Shapiro, fresh off the “Lesser Black Women” rolled in to complain about Kerr’s stance.
Moments later… we needed to report a murder.
Congratulations on winning the internet.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.
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