Of Rocks and the Right

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 23 2008 4:11 PM

Of Rocks and the Right

Eric, comparing legal analysis to the hard sciences simply doesn't make much sense to me; if you could get all lawyers and judges to agree on an objective and methodology, then perhaps the comparison would be apt, but that's obviously not the state of affairs.

(That said, you seem to beg the question in your comparison. If geologists' methodologies did break down along political/ideological lines, then wouldn't we likely identify various schools as "conservative geology" and "liberal geology"?) 

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It seems to me that the better comparison is to, say, economics, and that science rather clearly has politically identified schools (Austrian economics more clearly recognized as a conservative school; Kensyian a more leftish one).

Again, you ask, why not call "conservative jurisprudence" that which tends to arrive at conservative outcomes? Perfectly fair question; indeed, that was the basic point of the 1994 Ernest Young article I cited yesterday. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with you; for the purposes of this post, I'm merely saying that that's not the end to which I employed the term "conservative jurisprudence" in my Thursday post. You raise a nice point, but, as I candidly admitted earlier in the discussion, it's just not one to which I've given too much consideration, and as such I'd feel a little out of place shooting from the hip here!  Perhaps "conservative jurisprudence" should be denoted by its "conservative" results; perhaps it should be judged by its "conservative" premises. For now, I'll conservatively withhold judgment.