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Ideological Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

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Ideological Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy (5814): Most significant substantive legal disputes you all confront in law school are "resolved" at least as much by reference to ideological predispositions as any sort of logic internal to legal analysis. We will begin the seminar by discussing distinct views about what ideological messages are conveyed at law school. But the bulk of the course is devoted to a series of questions that arise for those of us who believe that ideology is important. We first study what I would characterize as Right-wing orthodoxy in the law schools, an orthodoxy that took shape in the early days of the Federalist Society. Its key procedural features were allegiance to originalism and textualism, its key substantive features full-throated or "soft" economic libertarianism and hostility to legal rules that attended to status and identity. We then look at Right-wing heterodoxy: resistance to these conventional positions from commentators who reject in significant part these tenets, typically in favor of a more activist, significantly theocratic state or the ethno-nationalism associated with the MAGA movement. We then study 21st century progressive orthodoxy (with its strong focus on countering identity-based subordination) and progressive heterodoxy We will be looking especially carefully at some or all of the following controversies: the centrality of diversity, implicit bias, disability accommodation, accommodation to religious objectors to antidiscrimination law, campus speech and "climate" issues, and gender-based violence (including harassment.). Students will be expected to prepare three 5-7 page reaction papers over the course of the term, one of which must be handed in before class. The three papers will count 80% and participation and attendance 20%.


Ideological Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy | LAW 5814 Section 01 Class #34914

  • 2 Units
  • Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO1 - Substantive and Procedural Law
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
    • LO4 - Ability to Communicate Effectively in Writing
  • Course Category:
    • Law and Humanities
    • Law and Social Sciences
    • Legal Theory-Jurisprudence

  • 2023-2024 Spring ( )
  • Thu
  • Room: LAW 272
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