The Atlantic

Elite Law Schools Turn Against Conservatism

Affluent, highly-educated enclaves are moving sharply leftward, curtailing the space for pluralism.
Source: Rebecca Cook / Reuters

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a conservative who has flourished in institutions dominated by liberals. Over the course of a long legal career, he has cultivated cordial relationships with a number of prominent liberal legal academics and lawyers, some of whom spoke on his behalf after he was nominated to the Supreme Court. Since Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault, many of these erstwhile allies have pulled back, presumably out of a sense that he wasn’t the man they thought they knew or, more cynically, because they concluded that continuing to defend him would be a bad career move, or some combination of the two. But even before then, it was clear that something had changed.

There is no question that for the advice they’d given, leaving at least some professors with the sense that their off-the-cuff remarks would henceforth be subject to intense political scrutiny. What we are witnessing is not just a fierce confirmation battle but an ideological and cultural phase shift. The modus vivendi that has allowed conservatives like Kavanaugh to build their social and cultural capital in liberal institutions is coming undone.

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