Many have identified the weaknesses in Deresiewicz's jeremiad. In his forthcoming novel, Supreme Ambitions, David Lat, founder of the legal blog Above the Law, takes a different approach. What happens, he asks, to all those excellent sheep after graduation? His answer won't surprise many: The sheep get herded to law school.
Today the Supreme Court announced it would not hear a marriage equality case in the near future, turning down several appeals of lower court rulings that voided bans on same-sex marriage. No doubt this is a disappointment to many who have been waiting for the Court to declare marriage equality a constitutionally protected right. Yet the decision is still a major victory for LGBT rights. Same-sex marriage is absolutely necessary for our country to fulfill its constitutional promises of equal protection and due process of law. Yet there were good reasons for the Court to hold off on deciding the marriage question this term.
A good deal of the growing lack of confidence in the Supreme Court these days is due precisely to the concern that the justices are increasingly voting in ways that reflect the political values and preferences of the presidents who appointed them. Americans, in other words, increasingly believe that the justices are voting as "Republicans and Democrats." If this is so, it is not because the justices are "repaying" the favor of their appointment, but because presidents have gotten better at selecting nominees whose judicial approaches are likely to lead them to vote in ways that more or less conform to the appointing president's own political values and preferences. But is any of this true? To test this possibility, I did a simple, back-of-the-envelope "study."
New York State has long been a leader in advancing women's equality, stretching back to the Seneca Falls Convention 166 years ago this weekend. Sadly, as we mark this important anniversary, hard-won victories by the women's rights movement are being threatened by a radical right wing that seeks to roll back the progress we've made.
The ability for ordinary working people to organize and collectively bargain over their wages and working conditions is a fundamental human right. It is a right just as critical to a democratic society as the right to free speech and the right to vote. Over the last 30 years many in corporate America and the big Wall Street banks have conducted a sustained attack on that human right. Unionization dropped from 20.1 percent of the workforce in 1983 to 11. 3 percent in 2013 -- and the results are there for everyone to see. The simple fact is that absent government regulation and collective bargaining agreements, the market by itself does not assure that everyone shares in the fruits of society's increased economic productivity. In fact, we know that just the opposite is true.