Law Schools are Indoctrinating Rather Than Educating

Don Racheter

This press release comes from the Iowa Association of Scholars, an affiliate of NAS. It draws attention to the case of Teresa Wagner, which NAS wrote about in July in "'They So Despise Her Politics' - Do Conservative Faculty Candidates Get a Fair Shake?"

Press Release: Iowa Association of Scholars 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday, October 28, 2010
Contact:  Dr. Don Racheter, President (319) 385-3462

MOUNT PLEASANT, IAWhether Iowans should vote to retain three Supreme Court Justices has been much in the news.  These three were part of the seven judge majority who overturned the 1998 Defense of Marriage Act which was adopted in the Iowa General Assembly by a large bi-partisan majority and signed into law by former Governor Tom Vilsack (D).  Those advocating a “NO” vote in these retention elections argue that the Court has unconstitutionally “made law” because of the “politically correct liberal bias” of these appointed Judges, and their desire to substitute their views for those of the vast majority of Iowans and the lawmakers democratically elected by the people.

However, a more fundamental issue is how these judges came to have such a distorted view of their role in our constitutional republic; how the law schools are indoctrinating these political elites rather than properly educating them.  Here in Iowa, our taxpayer-supported law school in Iowa City is currently being sued for political bias.  The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has posted documents from this case, Wagner v. Jones, which includes a written admission by Associate Dean Jon Carlson that professors may have opposed an applicant “because they so despise her politics.”  The 50-member faculty has only one Republican, hired 26 years ago.  Concerned citizens can view these documents for themselves below and at: /articles/They_So_Despise_Her_Politics_-_Do_Conservative_Faculty_Candidates_Get_a_Fai.

The Iowa Association of Scholars, the NAS affiliate for our state, believes this case raises serious concerns about the hiring practices at the Iowa College of Law and the supposed impartiality of our legal institutions generally.  When people “so despise” certain politics, can they really be neutral in our justice system?  When judges have ties to the entity being sued, don’t they have a duty to recuse themselves from the case?  Would it not be better public policy if future lawyers heard from professors with a variety of political and ideological perspectives instead of only one point of view—especially in law schools which are not private but supported by taxpayer funds?  As you consider whom to vote for in the upcoming election, you might want to solicit the candidates’ views on these issues.

For an interview or more information, contact Dr. Don Racheter, President, Iowa Association of Scholars, at (319) 385-3462.

Documents from the Lawsuit

1.      Associate Dean Jon Carlson Communications

a. At the Time of the Interview: Email to Dean Jones the Morning After the Faculty Vote
b. Two Years After Interview: Letter to the Editor

2.   Documents from the time of the Interview

a. Student Reviews the Day of the Interview
b. Faculty Reaction One Hour After Interview (“job talk”)
c. Law Librarian Response to “job talk” the Day of the Interview
d. Faculty Appointments Committee Recommendation

3.   Pleadings

a. Complaint plus exhibits
b. Answer

4.   Dean Jones Documents

a. Deposition pages of Dean Jones
b. Appointment Letters Authored & Signed by Dean Jones
c. Separate Slot for Dean Jones to Interview Candidates

5.   Other

a. Deposition pages of Randall Bezanson
b. Court Order of Mar 30, 2010
c. Plaintiff’s Brief in Support of Motion to Alter Judgment (1)
d. Plaintiff’s Brief in Support of Motion to Alter Judgment (2) 
e. Appellate Brief   *NEW*

For the full court file, see PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Documents) at www.pacer.gov (registration required and charges apply).    

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