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Home/Rod Dreher/Law Schools Fall To Revolutionaries

Law Schools Fall To Revolutionaries

Ketanji Brown Jackson answering Ted Cruz's queries on CRT yesterday

Here’s a very, very powerful addition to my danger of conservative complacency post.

Writing on Bari Weiss’s invaluable Substack, Aaron Sibarium details the corruption of the American legal profession by wokeness. Y’all, this is a five-alarm situation. Excerpts:

Read it all. Seriously, every word. As scholar Eric Kaufmann said over the weekend (see my link in the first graf), conservative voters and politicians have to make fighting wokeness in the culture war their No. 1 priority. If they don’t, we are going to lose our freedom. It really is that simple.

The people who lived under totalitarianism in the Soviet bloc were the first to understand the true nature of the changes sweeping over America in this last decade. I tell their story in Live Not By Lies, and share their advice on how to resist it. If you have previously thought the idea of “soft totalitarianism” was unduly alarmist, I invite you to read Sibarium’s report and reconsider. If you are the kind of person who think that wokeness is a fad among the young, and that they’ll grow out of it, you are not only wrong, you are dangerously wrong.

This week, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is appearing before the Senate in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Two years ago, in a law school lecture, she discussed Critical Race theorists who were influential in shaping her thinking. Here is a link to the text of the lecture. She also praised the fraudulent 1619 Project. Well, Critical Race Theory came up yesterday in questioning:

But it was a question about whether or not infants were racist that drew the first detectable sign of exasperation from Judge Jackson, who sits on the board of trustees at Georgetown Day School, a private school in Washington where the city’s elite — both conservative and liberal — send their children.

Wielding a stack of children’s books, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, had an aide display several large color photos from a children’s book called “Antiracist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi.

“This is a book that is taught at Georgetown Day School to students in pre-K through second grade,” Mr. Cruz said from the dais. “Do you agree with this book that is being taught with kids that babies are racist?”

Judge Jackson audibly sighed before leaning into the microphone.

“Senator,” she said, “I do not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist, or though they are not valued, or though they are less than, that they are victims, that they are oppressors. I do not believe in any of that.”

During his 30 minutes of questioning, Mr. Cruz questioned Judge Jackson on her views of race, racism and critical race theory. Critical race theory is a field of study in law schools that argues that laws and institutions can incorporate structural racial bias, but Republicans have used the term as a way to criticize educational materials that describe ideas of racism, racial privilege or inequality.

After he was done with “Antiracist Baby,” Mr. Cruz asked Judge Jackson about whether or not she had read any of the children’s books. And she continued to tell the senator that she was not sure how the children’s books related to her work as a judge.

“I have not reviewed any of those books, any of those ideas,” Judge Jackson said. “They don’t come up as my work as a judge, which I am respectfully here to address.”

Earlier in his questioning process, Mr. Cruz quoted Judge Jackson’s praise of Georgetown Day’s “rigorous progressive education that is dedicated to fostering critical thinking, independence and social justice.” Judge Jackson replied that the school was private, and every “parent who joins the community does so willingly, with an understanding that they are joining a community that is designed to make sure that every child is valued.”

It’s a fair line of questioning. Someone who was against the principles of Critical Race Theory ought to have been eager to criticize the school’s racist policies. Moreover it ought to have been easy for the judge to give to Sen. Marsha Blackburn the definition she asked for:

“Do you interpret Justice Ginsburg’s meaning of men and women as male and female?” Blackburn pressed. Jackson did not comment on the matter.

“Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman?’” the senator asked.

“Can I provide a definition? No,” Jackson responded. “I can’t.”

“You can’t?” Blackburn asked.

“Not in this context, I’m not a biologist,” the judge replied.

“Do you believe the meaning of the word woman is so unclear and controversial that you can’t give me a definition?” Blackburn pressed.

“Senator, in my work as a judge, what I do is I address disputes. If there’s a dispute about a definition, people make arguments, and I look at the law, and I decide,” Jackson said.

This is completely disingenuous. Judge Brown knows well that judges like her are required to make these decisions in cases involving transgender civil rights claims. Her refusal to answer the question straightforwardly tells us what we need to know.

Judge Jackson is both a radical and a mainstream 2022 liberal, in the sense that Aaron Sibarium means in his piece. That is, it’s clear that she would be a reliable vector to Supreme Court deliberations of the kind of culture-war radicalism that has consumed law schools. I have a relatively expansive view of SCOTUS nominations, thinking that presidents should generally get their nominees confirmed absent some grave reason not to. In these times, though, and with the serious threat that gender ideology and CRT pose to the fundamental social and constitutional order, I would not vote to confirm any judicial nominee who was not explicitly opposed to both. This is too important to the country’s present and future.

UPDATE: Look at this — here is the clip. This is morally insane. You don’t need to be a biologist to answer this question. The fact the Judge Jackson can’t do it — or rather, will not do it — tells us everything we need to know about her. I would vote against her nomination for this reason alone. A potential Supreme Court justice who declines to define “woman” is not fit for the office.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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