Harvard Tenure Battle Puts ‘Critical Legal Studies’ on Trial – NYTimes.com

By , December 19, 2009 9:38 am

A LONGSTANDING battle that has turned Harvard Law School into what departing professor David M. Trubek called “the Beirut of legal education” has flared again this summer because of a bitter tenure dispute. Members of a heterodox scholarly movement known as Critical Legal Studies contend that conservatives at Harvard blocked the tenure bids of two of their adherents, Clare Dalton and Mr. Trubek, because of their political views, an assertion that the school’s dean denies.

Scholars allied with the movement believe that the law is not founded on independent, neutral principles of justice. Rather, they contend, it is an expression of an oppressive social and economic status quo. The movement derived in part from the “legal realists” of the 1920′s and 1930′s, a skeptical group opposed by the more conventional theorists who have come to prevail at most law schools. But in some ways, the standoff is a war of the generations. The “crits” are a diverse group, but many were educated in the 1960′s and exposed to radical ideologies.

via Harvard Tenure Battle Puts ‘Critical Legal Studies’ on Trial – NYTimes.com.

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