In almost every state, law students who pass their state bar examination, which allows them to practice law, take an oath to support the U.S. Constitution.
But the country’s top law schools teach future lawyers and judges the opposite.
Many now teach that the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the nation since its ratification in 1788, is broken and should be scrapped.
At least that’s what two members of conservative think tanks believe after reviewing courses at the country’s Top 10 law schools, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2022. They examined the teaching at Yale, Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia universities and others.
Law professors at elite schools are open about their disdain for the U.S. Constitution, the researchers found.
“They’re saying they want to get rid of the Constitution—they’re making no secret about it,” said J. Christian Adams, president and general counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation. He’s also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center and former DOJ counsel, agreed.
The radicalization of law schools is a threat to freedom not previously encountered in the nation’s history, Mr. von Spakovsky said.
“In fact, some of them are very direct in teaching kids that they need to be revolutionaries, according to these courses that these law school students are taking,” he told The Epoch Times.
Pitching the Ditching of the Constitution
In 2022, Ryan D. Doerfler and Samuel Moyn—who teach law at Harvard and Yale universities, respectively—wrote a New York Times editorial titled “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed.”
In it, they wrote that the struggle over the Constitution has proven to be a dead end for liberals. They called the founding document “undemocratic” and “inadequate.”
“The real need is not to reclaim the Constitution, as many would have it, but instead to reclaim America from constitutionalism,” they wrote in the piece.
The writers reasoned that it would be far better if liberal legislators had the power to make a case for abortion and labor rights on their own merits without having “to bother with the Constitution.”
That way of thinking has pushed law schools increasingly to the political left over the past decade, Mr. Adams said.
“The stuff they’re teaching now is straight-up Marxist. There’s a big difference from just 10 years ago.”
Mr. von Spakovsky and Mr. Adams have been sounding the alarm about what’s happening within the country’s law schools through articles examining law school curricula.
Schools often teach that the Constitution is a tool of discrimination that must be uprooted, Mr. von Spakovsky said.
The idea that the Constitution and the United States are hopelessly flawed stems from critical race theory (CRT) and the concept of promoting social justice.
CRT has been spotlighted by works such as The 1619 Project by New York Times writers.
The 1619 Project, widely lauded by the political left, paints the United States as a country founded on slavery. It characterizes the nation’s Founding Fathers as racists.
While The 1619 Project has been rejected by many academics, historians, and politicians, its teachings have been embraced vigorously by the left. Many have held it up as a model of how history should be taught to children and college students.
The ideology upholds that thinking that “our Constitution is a patriarchal, oppressive document used to suppress minorities and just about everyone else,” Mr. von Spakovsky said. “And we are supposedly a systematically racist, misogynist society, and these law students need to go out and preach and practice revolution.”
Classes such as “Decentralized Resistance” and “Law and Inequality” at Yale University are examples of the far-left infiltration of law schools, Mr. Adams claims in his series of articles.
The “Decentralized Resistance” class is about social change that results from “everyday resistance.” Accumulating widespread and numerous acts of everyday resistance can precipitate “quasi-revolutionary” change, class instruction tells law students, Mr. Adams said.
“Law and Inequality” explores “inequality along lines of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and class,” he said.
This kind of classroom instruction has given rise to the far-left notion that prisons should be emptied because they’re “racist,” Mr. von Spakovsky said.
The popularization of these ideas also led to the election of George Soros-funded prosecutors in Democrat-run cities. Mr. Soros is a Hungarian-born businessman who has donated billions to left-wing causes.
Conservatives lament that Soros-friendly prosecutors care more about criminals than their victims and allow them to go unpunished while crime spirals out of control.
Left-wing ideology holds that laws wrongly target minorities more than white people. Proponents of that thinking say society needs to find a more equitable way of dealing with crime, such as using social workers to rehabilitate lawbreakers instead of putting them behind bars.
“What they want is lawyers and judges who simply decide cases based on ideology, not on the law,” Mr. von Spakovsky said.
Cancel culture, censorship on social media platforms, and the rise of activists who successfully shut down opposing speakers work together to demonstrate the left’s “unbelievable contempt” for the First Amendment, the bedrock of democracy, Mr. von Spakovsky said.
“They literally equate words with violence,” he said.
“So if you are expressing any kind of opinions that they disagree with, [they argue that] you don’t have a First Amendment right to engage in that kind of speech because it suppresses minorities and others,” he said.
Several classes at Stanford University demonstrated a shift away from the more routine courses on torts and contracts to classes with a more militant tone, Mr. von Spakovsky wrote in his articles.
Stanford law school offers “Violence, Resistance, and the Law,” which teaches how the law “suppresses and invites resistance” and identifies the “subjects against whom legal violence is deployed.”
“The State of Democratic Discourse” course at Stanford is “devoted to a candid discussion about the current state of public discourse, both nationally and in universities, focusing especially on misinformation and intimidation.”