Democratic Attacks On The Supreme Court Confuse Patterns of Principle with Politics

440px-Sheldon_Whitehouse_2010Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing and the opening statement of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse attacking the conservatives on the Supreme Court as a virtual ideological cabal.  I have always found Whitehouse an articulate and insightful member of the Congress.  He was not alone in these attacks.  However, I found the attack on the current justices to be unwarranted and distorted.  There is a tendency when you disagree with a decision like Hobby Lobby to conclude that the motivations of the justices must therefore be raw politics.  The possibility that the justices, including Justice Kennedy, are following a coherent jurisprudential view is dismissed in favor of partisanship.

Here is the column:

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” If so, the start of the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh this week displayed undeniable genius.

Indeed, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island demonstrated just how nimble most members of Congress are in holding diametrically opposed positions without a whiff of self-awareness. He began his opening statement by asking, “When is a pattern evidence of bias?” It was meant to demonize the conservative majority of the Supreme Court as blind ideologues for voting together. This pattern, however, is equally found among Democratic nominees and their supporters.

Whitehouse described a voting pattern of a conservative cabal that he described as the “Roberts Five” of “Republican appointees” who “go raiding off together” and “no Democratic appointee joins them.” He noted his staff discovered that the five conservatives justices routinely voted together and thus displayed obvious bias. Why else, he suggested, would the conservatives vote so often as a five justice bloc?

It could reflect a common view of the law. Moreover, Whitehouse ignored the countervailing “pattern” of those four justices always found in dissent in the same 5-4 decisions. While the voting consistency of conservatives was treated as a vile demonstration of partisanship, the same consistency of liberals was treated as an inspiring demonstration of principle.

Putting aside Whitehouse’s own bias in identifying a pattern of bias, he, like many others, confuse principle with politics. We should want our justices to have consistent voting records based on their views of jurisprudence. The alternative is outcome driven justices who adopt conflicting interpretations to reach the “right” result. To their credit, liberal justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg follow a consistent view of the Constitution, allowing for more evolutionary rights as part of a “living” Constitution. While this view certainly has many detractors over the fluidity and indeterminacy of the underlying rights, these justices have a reasoned and good faith foundation for their approach.

Despite Whitehouse’s refusal to acknowledge it, so do conservative justices. The “pattern” he finds in block voting reflects a consistent interpretation that is largely more textual and static. Both sides have had notable and suspicious departures in their approaches, but they largely adhere to long held jurisprudential approaches. Part of Whitehouse’s evidence was that “in 73 partisan decisions where there’s a big Republican interest at stake, the big Republican interest wins. Every. Damned. Time.”

Of course, many of these cases involve opposing views that would support traditionally Democratic interests. Every. Damned. Time. For example, Whitehouse pointed to the recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME,which overturned a 40-year precedent in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. Abood was a boon for unions in requiring employees to pay a union despite objections to its activities or political campaigns. The decision in Janus also reflected a longstanding view of the First Amendment that such fees constitute compelled speech. That decision expanded protections for free speech. Likewise, Whitehouse cited “bonus decisions advancing far-right social agenda” like Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which expanded First Amendment protections of free speech.

Whitehouse cited CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin in declaring that “Roberts has served the interests” of the “contemporary Republican Party.” This statement, of course, ignores that the liberal bloc of the Supreme Court supports traditional Democratic interests in the same cases, from supporting mandatory union fees of nonunion members to the denial of free speech rights for corporations in political campaigns. Whitehouse and others simply dismiss any explanation for conservative voting patterns as the result of partisan or extremist ideology.

Whitehouse railed against how this “Roberts Five” majority was secured through secret funding of confirmation and electoral campaigns by groups “with dark money. The identity of the big donors? A deep, dark secret.” Once again, Whitehouse and his colleagues ignore the millions spent by liberal groups with “dark money” sources. Just as conservative groups identified by Whitehouse have funded the campaign in support of Kavanaugh’s nomination, liberal groups did the same to support Elena Kagan’s nomination and to oppose the Neil Gorsuch’s nomination.

The Washington Post details how Demand Justice, a group run by former aides to Hillary Clinton and President Obama, has spent millions to try to block the Kavanaugh’s confirmation by setting up shop within another nonprofit. This allowed it to mask both the names of its donors and their contributions. Likewise, Sixteen Thirty Fund raises unlimited amounts of money from undisclosed donors for distribution to liberal causes.

Like the voting pattern, the use of the same “dark money” corporations by the left are dismissed while conservative groups are demonized. Why? Because “they” are wrong and “we” are right. Democrats proved equally selective on the question of qualifications. Whitehouse denounced Kavanaugh as a “Republican political operative his whole career, who has never tried a case.” In doing so, he ignored the same lack of litigation experience by Kagan, who additionally had no experience as a federal judge, unlike Kavanaugh with 12 years on the bench. Yet, Whitehouse enthusiastically supported Kagan during her nomination.

Finally, Whitehouse denounced Kavanaugh’s use of “confirmation etiquette” as a “sham.” He demanded that Kavanaugh answer specific questions about his willingness to overturn cases like Roe v. Wade rather than “telling the committee fairy tales about stare decisis.” Yet, such “fairy tales” were happily accepted by Whitehouse and his colleagues when uttered by Democratic nominees. When asked about the case, Kagan replied, “I do not believe it would be appropriate for me to comment on the merits of Roe v. Wade other than to say that it is settled law entitled to presidential weight. The application of Roe to future cases and even its continued validity are issues likely to come before the court in the future.”

Whitehouse seems either blissfully unaware or willfully blind to the clear pattern shown by Democratic appointees. Since both parties show the same patterns, it does not constitute any evidence in distinguishing Republican from Democratic nominees. Ironically, one of the “Roberts Five” is retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has been praised by most Democratic senators for his independence and integrity. Kennedy was the “swing” vote not because the four liberal justices swung to him. The liberal justices remained just as fixed as the conservative justices. It was Kennedy who followed a principled path that occasionally took him to the left over concerns for due process or personal dignity.

However, Kennedy’s principled stands did not make his colleagues unprincipled. The four justices to his right and the four justices to his left simply held more unyielding jurisprudential views. You can disagree with those views without seeing a consistent approach as evidence of bias. In other words, what Whitehouse decried in the hearings is actually a pattern of principle on both sides of the Supreme Court.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

203 thoughts on “Democratic Attacks On The Supreme Court Confuse Patterns of Principle with Politics”

  1. “I Wrote Some of the Stolen Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About”

    “He should be impeached, not elevated.”

    By LISA GRAVES

    September 7, 2018

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/judge-brett-kavanaugh-should-be-impeached-for-lying-during-his-confirmation-hearings.html

    Excerpt:

    “This week, as part of his efforts to be elevated to the highest court in the land, he has calmly continued to deceive, falsely claiming that it would have been perfectly normal for him to receive secret Democratic letters, talking points, and other materials. And if this absurd notion were somehow true, it would not even be consistent with what he testified to 12 and 14 years ago. Back then, he didn’t state it would have been normal for him to receive secret Democratic strategy materials.

    “Instead, he explicitly and repeatedly went out of his way to say he never had access to any such materials. These objectively false statements were offered under oath to convince the committee of something that was untrue. It was clearly intentional, with Kavanaugh going so far as to correct Sen. Kennedy when the senator described the document situation accurately.

    “That’s why—without even getting into other reasonable objections to his nomination—he should not be confirmed.

    “In fact, by his own standard, he should clearly be impeached.”

  2. Shame on you Turley! Way to cherry pick the least important exchange during the whole damn hearing!

    How about Kavano lying under oath about receiving stolen emails from Democratic Senators? The ones marked Confidential, addressed to Leahy and had Kavano’s email address at the top.

    Or how about Republican Senators not releasing documents, until requested, but after receiving the download of said documents?
    Makes no damn sense right?

    What about Burk, Kavono’s buddy, the one in charge of classifying all of Kavano’s writings! 😳 You know, the lawyer that represents the GOP, White House, Bannon, and Priebus?
    I guess You don’t give a shit about law material being reviewed by the opposing teams lawyer instead of the National Archives now that you’re on TV a lot?
    Maybe you’re bought out by the GOP too, or you just really want those Trump tax breaks?

    I stopped reading you when you told your audience there was no reason to vote against DeVos for Secretary of Education.
    But I saw you on tv the last few months and thought maybe you came to your senses. I was way wrong.

    Your bias is crystal clear. I’ll find another Constitutional lawyer to read. Your lack of interest in the actual crises going on in our country is quite disturbing.

    Ps. You have zero business criticizing manufactured bias and liberal outrage when Booker was threatened with expulsion by your beloved GOP Senator!
    Shame on you Turley!!

    1. How much are you paying to read the blog? It’s free but you want to dictate what Professor Turley writes about. Leave. You aren’t making much sense anyhow. The Hill paid him for this piece and he put it on his blog.

  3. Trump says one day his speeches will be as famous as Lincoln’s. Yes, this one will qualify [from twitter]:

    “Four score — no more like eleven years ago — I fathered on this continent, a fifth child, conceived with a third wife, to whom I was so little dedicated, that I propositioned a porn star and a playmate to have an affair.”

    1. ” conceived with a third wife,”

      Who cares other than an individual so embarrassed by his former Alias that he had to create a new one.

  4. Turley argues that “corporations”, fictional entities created to maximize profits and limit the financial recoveries of people who get screwed over by them, somehow have acquired sufficient attributes of human personhood to qualify for a “right to free speech”, which Democrats try to curtail. The absurdity of the argument that a fictional corporation has equal “free speech” rights to a human being is apparent on its face, but as we all know, this fiction was advanced solely to allow corporations to use their ample resources to influence elections benefitting Republicans mostly. This ruling comes, of course, from conservative judges, and is as partisan as it gets. Reality has to be stretched beyond the point of reason to arrive at this result. Can a corporation vote? If not, then why should the usual rules limiting political contributions to campaigns not apply to them? Of course, ordinary folk don’t benefit from campaign contributions by corporations. Turley attempts to create a false equivalency by elevating the views of extreme conservatives with a pro-business, pro-NRA, anti-civil rights, anti-free choice, anti-health care for all and other radical views opposed by the majority of Americans to Justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan whom he claims also have an agenda. Problem with this argument is that the voting patterns of Judges Ginsberg, Sotomayor and Kagan align with the views of the majority of Americans on major issues. The context of all of this is, of course, the attempt to shove Kavanaugh down everyone’s throat, despite the fact that his nomination is opposed by most Americans according to a poll released yesterday. This is also why Republicans are hiding documents authored by Kavanaugh, they are trying to hurry the vote and why Kavanaugh is equivocating in answering simple questions about views he has expressed in writing about important matters likely to come before the Supreme Court. Among documents that recently came to light is a piece Kavanaugh wrote about how judicial nominees could word their responses to questions in order to appear to agree that Roe v. Wade was “established law”, but still have an out for overruling Roe down the road on the grounds that legitimate legal scholars disagree that it is stare decisis and/or that the Court can always reconsider prior rulings. Teaching judicial candidates how to lie about their true beliefs in order to achieve a favorable vote is very troubling. Kavanaugh was added to the Federalist Society list of potential judges they approve of after the Mueller investigation heated up. The main reason is that he would oppose Fatso getting subpoenaed or brought to justice while still in office. So, there you have it. Fatso is personally choosing the Judges who would decide whether he can be subpoenaed. If that doesn’t bother you, there’s something wrong with you.

    So, Turley, speaking of equivalencies, why should Democrats, who, in opposing Kavanaugh, are carrying out the will of the majority of Americans, be rushed into a hurry-up vote when McConnell and the Republicans wouldn’t even give Merrick Garland a hearing, and wouldn’t even schedule any hearings on any of the federal judicial appointments advanced by President Obama? Hundreds of posts sat vacant, but now, we’re in a big fat hurry. The argument was that it was wrong for a lame-duck President to have the ability to appoint a Judge to the Supreme Court or Article III Judges who would be there for decades. If this is the true reason, then why not wait for the results of the midterm elections, or, importantly, the results of the Mueller investigation before proceeding with appointment of a Supreme Court justice ? Fatso is already an unindicted co-conspirator to a felony. Why should he be allowed to name someone to the Supreme Court who could help him escape impeachment or responsibility for his conduct? Could there possibly be something partisan going on here? Are Republicans so desperate to do away with consumer and environmental protections and so wanting tax cuts that they forgot to be Americans first? Jon: your arguments for equivalency fall flat.

    1. Turley argues that “corporations”, fictional entities created to maximize profits and limit the financial recoveries of people who get screwed over by them, somehow have acquired sufficient attributes of human personhood to qualify for a “right to free speech”, which Democrats try to curtail. The absurdity of the argument that a fictional corporation has equal “free speech”

      Do you fancy The New York Times Company is a proprietorship or a partnership? Is it your contention the government can shut them down because they’re incorporated?

      1. Utterly disconnected and irrelevant, but it looks good on you, though.

        this is to “I often get so confused that I cut and paste the wrong stuff” spaz

    2. Like the ole saying goes since Citizens United, I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.

      1. Didn’t Weissman do that to Arthur Andersen? Wasn’t that wonderful? Wasn’t it great how many people lost their jobs and as a result possibly their homes and other possesions.

        You want to execute before you contemplate the results. You are too shortsighted.

        1. What’s with you people on the right-wing, don’t any of you have a sense of humor? Jeez, ya voted for the clown didn’t ya?

          1. Fishwings, we do have a sense of humor but as we have seen on late night TV shows humor is secondary to stupidity. You call Trump a clown. You don’t even understand bankruptcy which you were discussing so how can you draw any sophisticated conclusions? I’ve provided you with a lot of numbers that are metrics demonstrating Trumps success. Let me give you a specific example which I don’t think you will understand.

            2017 a married couple , no children, filing jointly, income of $60,879, taking a standard deduction and paying $4,657 in payroll taxes leaves a net income of $51,143.

            Utilizing the BLS 3% increase in weakly earnings and after all the deductions their increase in take home pay is nearly70% higher than the 2.9% rate of inflation. That is a substantial increase. If they had one child it would be 90% higher than the inflation rate

            Try those numbers out for size.

        2. Allan – my nephew worked for Arthur Anderson when Weissman took them down and he has not worked a regular job since.

  5. Good article . Note that today’s Democrat Party has been Hi-jacked by the Clinton’s and Obama and are not Liberals but Far Leftist. They mostly have adopted Khrushschev’s Communist Goals for America (1959) that were read into the Congression Record by Democrat Congressman from Fla. Albert S. Herlong in Jan 1963 Vol 109, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Appendix, pp. A34-35) That Democrat unlike those of today was warning Congress and all Americans about Socialist-Communists.

    Krushschev in 1959n at the UN also said: “You Americans are so gullible…You won’t accept Communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses.”

    Communist gaols included:
    1. Eliminate prayer or any religious expression in schools on the ground it violates the principle of ‘separation of church and state’.
    2. Discredit American Culture….Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and divorce.
    3. Present homosexuality , degenetacy and promiscuity as normal, healthy, natural. In 1950 members of the Communist Party U.S.A. helped form the Mattachine Society, the nations first homosexual rights organization.
    4. Infiltrate churches and replace revealed religion with ‘social religion’.
    5. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity.
    6. Control schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda.
    7 Soften school curriculums. Get control of teachers associations. Put the party line in textbooks …Control student newspapers.
    8. Sow chaos, use America’s laws against them
    Who knows this stuff today? Darn few and that’s our fault and our problem.

    When you read these commie goals you can see they sound exactly like the Dems new party line. One pushed by the Clinton’s Obama, Pelosi & Schumer.

    Dan Kormanik
    Bedford, CT. 24523

    1. You’re half right.

      Substitute Russian organized crime for commie and Trump/GOP for democrats and you’ll be totally right. Keep walking toward the light.

    2. Daniel, are your commenting from a 1950’s time-warp??

      These arguments are straight from the pages of “Red Channels”, the McCarthy era newsletter that was used for blacklisting ‘communist sympathizers’.

      1. Peter, it seems that you and a lot of your friends are proposing a lot of things that were on that list. In fact Alinsky who Hillary was a follower of recommended some of the same points.

    3. Haha. Ridiculous nonsense, but funny. The day glo bozo seems to be working off of your “script.” Pro tip: the wackjob-wingnut chorus is pretty full around here; we’ll call you.

      this is to “I’ve go a lot more sh*t from the 60 years ago, just ask me” danny

  6. At the exact same time that President Obama is in Chicago robustly defending democratic principles, Trump is on AF1 suggesting that Sessions and the DOJ investigate to identify the op-ed writer because it’s about national security [hint, it isn’t].

    What a great juxtaposition of two presidents, Obama, who understands constitutional government and democratic principles, and Trump, who understands nothing but his own craven self-interest.

    1. Yes, ‘democratic principles’ like lying to voters, spying on journalists, spying on the Senate, spying on the Senators who opposed his Iran deal, sending billions to Iran as they chant death to America, spying on his political opposition, being at war every single day for his two terms in office, yet still accepting a Peace Prize for just ‘being Obama.’ Oh, and he just told us not to forget where this booming economy comes from — him, of course, and his “robust” pro-business and pro-growth policies? Yeah, not so much.

        1. Yeah, LOL. So much for presidential courtesy being given to your successor by staying out of the political fray and the election cycle, just as Bush did for Obama — and as every other president has given to their successors, right?

            1. Yes, the desperation of losing an election calls for desperate measures –like refusing to accept the results of the election, and then calling on the last occupant of the office to go out on the campaign trail and bash his successor only a year and a half after vacating the office he held for eight years prior? Yes, that’s exactly what desperation looks like.

              1. That’s what hits you. You win some and you lose some in political competition. See all this butt-hurt about Citizens United, a rare appellate court decision which actually inconvenienced them. They haven’t given the matter half-a-minute of thought and cannot explain their position coherently It’s just wah wah wah I didn’t get my way. Do you notice also how retro Natacha sounds? Forty years ago, much of liberal discourse was supplied by economic illiterates like Ralph Nader and Barbara Ehrenreich. If the Democratic Party is improved in any measure in that time, it’s that they stopped taking such people seriously.

              2. Desparation? As if. What is that ticking sound?

                this is to “maybe I’ll convince myself he’s not a traitorous imbecile” t-hot bob

                1. Marky Mark Mark – I saw that “ticking sound” meme on another site and since I know you lack originality, I figured you stole it. Is this going to become a “thing” with you like those “pro-tips” from the boy’s locker room? Asking for a friend.

                2. Yes Mark, however you want to spell it, it’s called desPAHrayshun.

                  Tell us again what Obama did during eight years in the White House besides taking great vacations and partying with Hollywood celebrities when he wasn’t busy weaponizing the instruments of government against his political enemies? Eight years of Obama is precisely why we have President Trump. So yeah, put Obama out on the campaign trail. That’ll work. What’s that ticking sound?

                  1. President Barack HUSSEIN Obama was the greatest President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces since Harry Truman. Moreover, prior to his marriage, he undoubtedly had “access” to the white women. Thanks for playing.

                    this is to “I wish I had a ‘hannity was here’ tattoo across my lower back” t-hot bob

          1. Woodrow Wilson was an invalid after the fall of 1919 so not saying much, Warren Harding died in office, Franklin Roosevelt died in office, John Kennedy died in office; Lyndon Johnson had relinquished office because discredited; was quite ill (popping nitroglycerin at social gatherings and public events), and determined to enjoy what time he had left; and Richard Nixon’s efforts to reconstruct a public career were crucially dependent on him not speaking as a political partisan (something Republican politicians certainly did not want in any case). Ronald Reagan’s presence of mind was in rapid decline from mid-1993 to early 1995 and he formally withdrew from public life in the fall of 1994.

            Not sure how frequent were their interventions, but:

            1. Teddy Roosevelt remained very much a part of public life after 1908 and tried to take the presidency away from his successor in 1912.

            2. Wm. Howard Taft was a public office holder from 1921 until his death in 1930. Not sure what his political statements were.

            3. Calvin Coolidge wrote a newspaper column.

            4. Herbert Hoover vigorously promoted his views for over 30 years and that included from time to time critiquing the Roosevelt Administration. His sons refused to refer for publication some of his manuscripts because they thought these would be injurious to his reputation.

            5. Gerald Ford campaigned for Ronald Reagan in 1980, starting with an astringent speech contra Jimmy Carter at the 1980 Republican convention.

            6. Jimmy Carter wasn’t adverse to shooting his mouth off from time to time contra Reagan and contra Bush the Younger.

            If anyone was keeping their own counsel willingly, it would have been Truman, Eisenhower, and the Bushes. I’d have been pleased for the Bushes to have continued to do so. Interesting how Bill Clinton successfully ingratiated himself with them and interesting how Donald Trump roused them from their slumbers when BO never could.

  7. Kavanaugh is quite the liar and dissembler. It was painful to watch. He’ll be confirmed and fit right in with the Trump gang.

    And there will be decades ahead of whispered stories about how the wives, partners, one night stands, adulterous lovers, daughters, and daughters-in-law of republicans in congress and pro-life men everywhere, especially the well to do, were able to get an “illegal” abortion while the men and these women continue on with their public hypocrisy.

      1. paragraph one: informed observation of the hearings
        paragraph two: years of watching Republican hypocrisy on moral and social issues. How many abortions do you think Trump has insisted upon and paid for and hushed up?

        1. JJ you continue with vacuous talk. If you are truly informed then it should be easy for you to relay facts and proof. Your assumption that Trump may have paid for abortions has nothing to do with the hearings but a lot to do with your maturity.

        2. How many abortions do you think Trump has insisted upon and paid for and hushed up?

          None that anyone knows of. Put up or shut up you crappy four-flusher.

          1. Spastic, ‘how would we know’???? Trump is well-established for his use of non-disclosure agreements. He may have sponsored several abortions and more than likely did.

            Trump’s public image was that of a playboy for at least 30 years. It’s absurd for you to even post such a self-righteous comment. We know who Trump ‘is’ and ‘was’. You’re only kidding yourself if you think Trump had no involvement ever with women who aborted.

            1. IOW, if you can imagine it, it’s true.

              Tell us about John Kennedy’s love children, or about Bill Clinton’s.

                1. He was pro-choice until he launched his presidential bid.

                  Where and when did he ever say a word about the subject?

            2. Pete: you may be right. There are references in his NDAs to abortions and illegitimate children. But, as we know, no matter what comes to light about Trump, his 30% will always be there.

        1. I recommend two books:

          Because you’re in the sucker market for partisan Democratic literature. You read them after you read that remaindered copy of Joseph Wilson’s Politics of Truth.

    1. Well you see, J.J., when the daughters of nice Republicans get knocked up, they need a discreet and understanding doctor to address the issue. Those nice Republicans will then confide to friends, in hushed tones, how their daughters were not emotionally equipped to carry the pregnancies. ..But if a truck stop waitress has an unplanned pregnancy, that’s her own damn fault and she must live the consequences.

      1. hen the daughters of nice Republicans get knocked up, they need a discreet and understanding doctor to address the issue.

        You should not be motivated by fantasy.

      1. PH,the point with TSTD, aka DSS is the more she doth protest without revealing who she really is she just comes off as an anonymous paid company stooge.Sorta like Rayne and Bmaz over at Emptywheel. each one of them has great well articulated positions, sometimes emotional as well, but none the less their anonymity discounts large portions of their legitimacy. Me I’m just an average person who reads a lot and will occasionally step into an argument.

        1. Well Bob, the first thing you have to know is that they are right at all times no matter what the subject is, and their opinions are always fact and anybody else is some low life far-left scum.

            1. I would tell you to shove your head up your a**, but you would only tell me the view is better from what you see.

          1. I’m fascinated and will have to dig deeper into Rothbart and Nutter. The main critique I was looking for was the weight she gave to the contributions of Manne.
            Here’s a quote, from the paper you link to, which I find informative involving that accusation on Mac Clean’s part involving Buchanan’s global influence on the judiciary:

            “There is little doubt that the American legal system has changed under the influence of
            the law and economics movement, but it can hardly be attributed to Manne’s seminar and
            Koch money only. Until the mid-1970s, “Manne had been considered a marginal, even
            eccentric, character in the legal academy” (Teles 2007, p. 108). By then, the Law and
            Economics movement was already visible, and and the most visible figures were at Chicago –
            in particular Richard Posner and William Landes. Ignoring this aspect of the story allows
            MacLean, once again, to avoid the role that Chicago played in the development of economic
            and free-market ideas. In addition, one should also note that the Olin Foundation was
            arguably the most important foundation that contributed to the development of law and
            economics, not only funded Manne’s seminars but also programs from other law schools in
            the United States—Chicago, UVA, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell and Georgetown.
            Besides the Olin Foundation, there were many other funders, making the Charles Koch
            foundation only one of them.”

            Thanks again for the link.

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