Sunday, May 16, 2010

In Defense Of Elitism

Here's an interesting view on elitism and the Supreme Court from the Dean of Cal's Law School and a former Clinton Administration official.

Some similarities here between Edley and our blog hero Jonah Goldberg, who has also written in defense of elitism here and here.

Bottom line for both it would seem is that there are simply some places in our society where an "elite" isn't such a bad thing. The Supreme Court strikes me as one of them.


"The Hammer" said...

Well not having read the article let me just say this. The idea that Harvard or Yale grads are any smarter or better prepared for the rigors of leadership is absurd. Look, there's some very bright people who go to those schools. But they're are also filled with legacies, you know, kids from "the best" families who don't have the sense to pour piss out of a boot. THOSE kids are ones who are spoon fed through the law and business schools. THEY are the ones hired by Goldman Sachs and the hacht nasse Law firms. THEY are running things into the ground, the Harvard educated incompetent inept asshole.
Where the hell is the University of Minnesota nominees for the court? UVA, Carolina, Alabama, Michigan and on and on and on. I'm sick to friggin death of the Northeast Power corridor running this country. They couldn't run shit on their best day and we need to kick them out on their Ivy League asses!
Goddamnit this ain't England. We don't have an aristocracy. They do not have a right to rule. We need a cultural revolution. They are more than willing to criticize you and how you live your life but they haven't change a bit. Nor will they until we throw them out.

Ghost of Halloween Past said...

I think there's a fair bit of representation from some of our best and brightest undergraduate schools among the current Supreme Court justices. Maybe Princeton's had a bit more than its fair share, but what very different individuals we have.

I agree that there's a surprising gap where UVa Law is concerned :) , but honestly, do you really think that someone who could get in to Harvard or Yale Law on the basis of merit would choose to attend University of Alabama Law School or Carolina? And if so, would they truly expect to get the best possible education, insight into the Law, and an enduring network of relationships with the people who are most able to make a change in the world?

- Roberts (GWB appointee): Harvard College / Harvard Law

- Stevens (Ford appointee): University of Chicago (B.A.), Northwestern University School of Law (J.D.)

- Scalia (Reagan appointee): Georgetown University (B.A.), Harvard Law School (J.D.)

- Kennedy (Reagan appointee) : Stanford University (B.A.), London School of Economics, Harvard Law School (LL.B.)

- Thomas (Bush appointee): College of the Holy Cross, Yale Law School

- Ginsberg (Clinton appointee): Cornell University, Columbia Law School

- Breyer (Clinton appointee): Stanford University, Magdalen College, Oxford, Harvard Law School

- Alito (GWB appointee): Princeton University (B.A.), Yale Law School (J.D.)

- Sotomayor (Obama appointee): Princeton University (A.B.), Yale Law School (J.D.)

I think you'd be surprised at the efforts Harvard and Yale go to to reach out to the very brightest outside what you might expect to be the usual feeder schools.

"The Hammer" said...

You're making my point. One goes to those schools to tap into the power structure. But what do they do? What do they contribute? The movers and shakers in this country are the guys in the boonies. People like the California tech guys and those hicks from Bentonville. All the Ivy produces is lawyers and liberals.
Listen, court justices have dictatorial powers...FOR A LIFETIME! I don't think the framers intended them to be so powerful (Hell, John Marshall is probably spinning in his grave). But if we're going to have an all powerful priesthood appointed for a lifetime with unlimited powers (many have showed they could care less what the Constitution actually says) then they need to come from all parts of the country with different life experiences etc. NOT just from the accepted elite schools.

Mudge said...

Hammer - Love the new picture!

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Just what was it you thought the founders wanted the court to do for a lifetime Hammer? Because it seems clear to me that they certainly wanted the supreme court justices to have lifetime appointments. Judicial review was established in 1803, so it's not as though they've just stumbled across these "dictatorial" powers. Whatever you think about the elites, these schools and the like, I don't think you're on thick ice with what the court has become.

"The Hammer" said...

I think it dangerous when you have courts restricting clearly enunciated rights and creating phantom rights out of whole cloth.
Take abortion, it's covered under the "privacy clause" of the Constitution. Really? CW if you can show me in the Constitution where it mentions abortion or even a right to privacy I'll send you a box of VSGs.
All I'm saying is unlimited unrestricted power is dangerous and the power these people have taken is restricted to them by the 10th. Amendment. Many of these issues even as a practical matter would be best handled by the States.
And one last word about these "elite" schools. All I'm saying is there are some very good and qualified people who didn't go to schools in New England or Palo Alto and they should be considered too.

"The Hammer" said...

Here we go...
An Irish/Catholic makes the point much better than than a Redneck.

Robert Thorn said...

This sounds like an argument for quotas.

Doc Milnamo said...

BTW Hammer, to answer the question posted on your "About Me" Page - "Ok I'll play along, who played bass guitar for the Doors", there are two possible answers:

1. Nobody played the bass guitar, per se.
2. Ray Manzarek played a keyboard bass with his left hand.

Doc Milnamo - Culturally elite and proud of it!

"The Hammer" said...

Not altogether true Doc. While Manzarek did indeed approximate a bass with keyboards, they certainly used a real bass guitar (studio musician?) on many of their recordings. Also, they must have gone on the road with a bassist for reasons of practicality (lots of bands go on the road with extra musicians). So, the question stands. Who played bass for the Doors?

Doc Milnamo said...

Studio musicians filling-in on a few songs on an album don't count. I don't believe The Doors (1965-1971) toured with a bassist, nor was there ever a member who strictly played bass guitar.

"The Hammer" said...

True enough, but I was looking for a name.

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