The Mournful Nostalgia of the Conservative Intellectual Elite

Writing think pieces filled with a mournful nostalgia for the conservatism of yesteryear seems to be one of the core requirements of being a member of the conservative intellectual elite. Though Yuval Levin has argued that a suffocating nostalgia was the foundation of Trump’s campaign, conservatives like Levin and others eager to write

By | 2017-08-11T14:39:39+00:00 August 9th, 2017|

Milo Yiannopoulos’ ‘Dangerous’: A Manifesto for the Transgressive Right

When the Richard Strauss opera "Salome," based on Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name, first premiered in the United States, critics dismissed it as tasteless and boring: nothing but schlock produced for the shock value. The truth, as composer and academic Robert Greenberg observes in his “Great Works” course on “How to

By | 2017-07-11T21:23:41+00:00 July 8th, 2017|

Plain Talk about Law School Rot

The legal academy is a strange place. It differs from other intellectual disciplines in that legal scholarship is published mainly in student-edited law reviews, not peer-reviewed journals. Most faculty members at elite law schools have never practiced law, or have done so only briefly and usually without professional distinction. The curricula at many

By | 2017-05-12T21:26:09+00:00 May 7th, 2017|

Why Republicans Cannot Bear Trump’s Spending Plan in One Easy Lesson

The White House on Thursday released what officials variously described as a “skinny budget,” a “hard power budget,” and—most memorably—an “America First” budget that begins “a New Chapter of American Greatness.” (I’m partial to the last one.) As flattering as that sounds, the truth is President Trump’s first budget outline is far from “great.” The

By | 2017-03-17T13:35:32+00:00 March 17th, 2017|

With Gorsuch, Trump Picked the One Man Who Would Check His Power

The day after a Supreme Court nomination announcement is like Christmas morning for court watchers. It’s even more special, really, because we only get a Supreme Court nomination every five years or so. We spend the day analyzing the nominee from every imaginable perspective—contemplating what his academic credentials, legal experience, judicial record, or even biographical

By | 2017-02-02T15:00:22+00:00 February 1st, 2017|

A #NeverTrump Libertarian Wakes Up

I was a “Never Trumper” libertarian almost from the beginning. (That’s actually a bit of a misnomer. I have hated to call myself a libertarian for years; “classical liberal” is a better fit.) I declared in December 2015 that I would not support Donald Trump if he won the Republican nomination. I also wrote many

By | 2017-01-19T15:45:27+00:00 January 19th, 2017|

Law Professors Not “Above the Fray” in their Opposition to Sessions

Attorney General-nominee U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is sworn in at his Senate confirmation hearing on January 10, 2017. More than 1,500 law professors signed a letter opposing him—as if it matters. The U.S. Senate this week will almost certainly vote to confirm Jeff Sessions of Alabama as the next attorney general. One

By | 2017-01-18T21:45:46+00:00 January 18th, 2017|

A Fractured Coalition on Judicial Nominees

Mark Pulliam, a prolific legal writer and commentator on American conservatism, recently provided a Kirkian assessment of libertarians, wherein he argued that libertarians have exercised too much pull over the legal conservative movement. Pulliam exhorts President-elect Trump to resist the libertarian temptation in nominating federal judges. In particular, Pulliam objects to the endorsement of “judicial engagement” by

By | 2017-01-15T18:54:26+00:00 January 15th, 2017|