Justice Alito Calls Law School Rankings “an Abomination”

Analyzing the top news stories across the web
April 26 2014 7:29 AM

Justice Samuel Alito Calls Law School Rankings “an Abomination”

Justice Samuel Alito.
I'm so disappointed in you, U.S. News & World Report.

Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

In a new interview with The American Spectator, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito suggested U.S. News & World Report’s law school rankings are a money-making gimmick.

“I really don’t like this categorization of schools as first, second, and third-tier,” Alito told the Spectator.


“The U.S. News and World Report rankings of law schools are an abomination,” he added. “The legal profession and the country would be better off if they were eliminated. I gather that all these rankings are one of these things that keeps U.S. News and World Report in the black—unlike Newsweek.”

The conservative justice’s attitude about law school rankings is reflected in his choice of clerks. Between 2009 and 2010, only two of his eight clerks graduated from Ivy League law schools, the Spectator reported.

Alito is not the first Supreme Court justice to attack law school rankings or to express a willingness to hire clerks who didn’t go to Ivy League schools. Justice Clarence Thomas has said U.S. News’ law school rankings encourage bias against grads of lower-ranked schools—a discrimination not unlike that against women and minorities.

Others have criticized U.S. News’ rankings, including the Northwestern law professor Steven J. Harper. Harper has complained that much of the ranking depends on surveys sent out to law school deans and faculty members who may not have set foot on the campus of the schools they’re rating.

Erin Fuchs is the legal editor at Business Insider. Follow her on Twitter.


Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 18 2014 1:34 PM Americans Fault Obama for Giving Them Exactly the Anti-ISIS Strategy They Want
Sept. 18 2014 2:18 PM The NFL Is Not a Nonprofit So why does it get to act like one?
Sept. 18 2014 2:00 PM On the Death of My Homophobic Dog I named him Liberace, but I couldn’t have chosen a less appropriate namesake for this coarse, emotionally withholding Norwich terrier.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 12:03 PM The NFL Opines on “the Role of the Female”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Everyday That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 2:03 PM Ryan Adams’ New Song Is a Reminder That He’s One of His Generation’s Best Songwriters
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 1:24 PM Can the Celebrities Whose Photos Were Stolen Really Sue Apple? It may be harder to prove “harm” than it seems.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.