|| Are Ivy League Law Schools Anti-Christian|
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Leagues do not practice diversity and equal opportunity
you are White / Christian / and don't believe the world doesn't owe you a living
you oppose affirmative action and believe in equal opportunity
marriage can only occur between an man and a woman
League Schools don't want you
these standards Ivy League Schools should be awarding honorary degrees to all
member of the Libertarian Party
ideology contrary to the Ivy League's religious roots
Says Ivy League Stiffs Conservative Justices
the nation’s Ivy League schools giving short shrift to conservative U.S.
Supreme Court justices when they confer honorary degrees? A survey by one law
professor suggests the answer is yes, and that the reason is ideology.
the 14 honorary degrees bestowed by Ivy League institutions to living justices,
12 went to those on the high court’s left side, said conservative legal
scholar John McGinnis of Northwestern University School of Law. The two
exceptions, from Brown and Yale, went to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a
moderate conservative, he said.
degrees are the highest symbol of recognition that universities can bestow,”
in a recent post on the
Online Library of Law and Liberty. “And the Ivy League retains the greatest
reputation for excellence in American higher education. Thus, it is of more than
a little interest that these institutions find excellence overwhelmingly in
justices on the left of the judiciary.”
in an interview, said he is “generally interested in the question of the
influence of elites on the structure of law, and, of course, the Ivy League is
that.” That general interest became particular, he added, when he read that
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was to receive another honorary degree. He decided
to examine which justices were receiving Ivy League universities’ honorary
perhaps the court’s most liberal justice, is the record holder with honorary
degrees from every Ivy League university except Cornell, which doesn’t award
them, he said.
Sonia Sotomayor has one each from Princeton and Yale—her alma maters. Justice
Samuel Alito Jr., who graduated from both of those schools, has yet to be
Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens and David Souter—also viewed as left of
center—have one each from the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and
how about the court’s main conservatives: Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.
(Harvard College and Harvard Law graduate), and justices Antonin Scalia (Harvard
Law), Anthony Kennedy (Harvard Law) and Clarence Thomas (Yale Law)? No Ivy
League honorary degrees.
makes this performance even more obviously ideologically driven is that these
academic institutions have neglected the one who has had the most academic
influence—Antonin Scalia,” McGinnis wrote. “Regardless of whether one
agrees with him, his textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in
constitutional interpretation have been driving the academic debate. And Chief
Justice John Roberts is widely regarded as a very able chief—the first among
equals—as well as perhaps the best oral advocate of his generation.”
the Ivy League schools tried to bestow honorary degrees on the court’s living
conservative justices but ran into practical problems—schedule conflicts,
etc.—or even a dislike of honorary degrees?
possible, of course,” McGinnis said. “Still, it’s interesting that the
only people with schedule conflicts or problems are the justices on one side of
the court. That’s not a very powerful reason.”
degrees, it is believed, began with European institutions in the late Middle
Ages. In America, George Washington received one of the first—in 1776 from
Harvard, the nation’s oldest university. Today, most universities that confer
honorary degrees do so upon recommendations by committees comprising faculty,
administrators, trustees or others.
his book, “Versions of Academic Freedom: From Professionalism to
Revolution,” literary theorist and legal scholar Stanley Fish rejected the
notion that an honorary degree award is a strong statement of a university’s
own values. He wrote: “By conferring an honorary degree, a university
recognizes the significance—in the sense of magnitude—of the recipient’s
labors; it does not endorse them.”
colleague, Andrew Koppelman, represents the law school on Northwestern
University’s honorary degree committee, and he rejects Fish’s view of those
is obviously wrong about the significance of honorary degrees,” he said.
“Suppose that a university gave an honorary degree—while he was still
alive—to Osama bin Laden, in recognition of the fact that he managed to have
political effects of enormous magnitude. Would Fish support that?
even if you applied Fish’s standard, it would be odd that Sotomayor and not
Scalia gets honorary degrees,” Koppelman said. “Thus far, Scalia’s work on
the court has been far more significant.”
for McGinnis’ survey, Koppelman, who is to the left of McGinnis, said, “I
agree with John on this one. His evidence of political bias is pretty
Law School does not give out honorary degrees—the university does the
bestowing. Yale’s website lists its criteria for the awards: "Since the
commencement of 1702, the Yale Corp. has awarded honorary degrees to recognize
outstanding achievement. Currently, the honorary degrees awarded annually at the
university’s commencement are the highest honors conferred by Yale. From
Martin Luther King Jr. to Frank Lloyd Wright and Cole Porter, those who have
received honorary degrees represent collectively the aspirations of this
the political realm, honorary degree recipients have included Hillary Clinton
and presidents George W. Bush and Gerald Ford, according to the university.
to whether ideology is a factor, a university representative said, “We
wouldn’t have information for you on the work of the honorary degree committee
regarding the candidates they may consider. We only announce the names of degree
Princeton spokesman declined to discuss details about any individual considered
for an honorary degree, but said they are awarded only if 80 percent of a
committee comprising trustees, faculty and students approves. The full board of
trustees makes the final decision.
plays no role in making decisions about honorary degrees. Please note that we
awarded our honorary degree to Justice Sotomayor in 2001, long before she was
named to the Supreme Court,” the spokesman said.
what universities have awarded honorary degrees to the high court’s
conservative justices? Here is a sample:
College of the Holy Cross.
William & Mary, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Catholic University of
America Columbus School of Law, Marymount University, University of Notre Dame.
New York University, University of the Pacific.
College of the Holy Cross, The John Marshall Law School.
Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law; St. Mary’s College in
Notre Dame, Indiana, Seton Hall University School of Law.
believes the different treatment of justices on the right and left “offers
some indirect evidence” that professors on the right also suffer
discrimination at elite law schools.
all, the faculty and the administration of the law schools likely have some
influence on who gets honorary degrees,” he wrote. “And no doubt there is
likely to be a similar message in many classrooms about which justices are
worthy of emulation.”
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