The Rev. Jerry Falwell will open a law school this month in hopes of training a generation of attorneys who will fight for conservative causes.
“We want to infiltrate the culture with men and women of God who are skilled in the legal profession,” Falwell said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “We’ll be as far to the right as Harvard is to the left.”
Graduates of the law school — part of Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, which is affiliated with his Baptist ministry — could tackle such issues as abortion rights and gay marriage, Falwell said. Classes begin Monday for the first-year class of 61 law students.
“I’d love to fight Roe v. Wade,” said incoming law student Heidi Thompson, 33, a Liberty graduate who has been working as a high school counselor in Orlando, Fla.
Classroom lectures and discussions will fuse the teachings of the Bible with the U.S. Constitution, stressing the connections between faith, law and morality, said law school Dean Bruce Green, who has experience in civil liberties litigation.
“There is a strong need for this,” said Green, who believes many of his colleagues take sides on abortion and genetic engineering without first considering what is morally right.
Joe Conn, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the law school is part of Falwell’scrusade to get the government to carry out his agenda.
“When Falwell talks about using the legal system to advance his personal religious beliefs, I get a whiff of the Taliban,” Conn said. “This is a very diverse country with many different religious beliefs, and when you set up a law school to try to get the government and legal system to conform to only one of them, you’re leaving everybody else out.”
(My emphasis, of course.) Fuse religion and the Constitution? but but but… Any of the remaining legal eagles want to comment on this?
Look, I think Falwell’s a grade-A nutbar asshole, too, but from my perspective as a lawyer, this school is not a big deal.
Law students graduating from Falwell’s school will still have to know the law as it exists, not as they wish it were. They’ll still need to know the difference between a tort and a crime, the elements of a contract, yadda, yadda, yadda. The school will still need ABA accredation for its students to sit for the bar exam of most states, and its students will still have to pass the bar before they can practice.
And once they’re practicing, they’ll need to be able to know and apply the law or they’ll find themselves on a rapid road to starvation and/or disbarment.
Yeah, yeah, Falwell wants to change the law. But any lawyer can make efforts to do that. And people prone to apply to Falwell’s school are not people who need to be convinced that religion should play a more central role in society. All of those people will be going to law school somewhere, and most of them would be dedicated to changing the law to suit their worldview anyway.
Frankly, I like the fact that this school exists, because I can easily use it as a means of determining whether a lawyer’s opinion is worth listening to. I can pretty much dismiss Falwell’s grads out of hand. I need to listen to a Yale grad for awhile before I can determine if he’s a religious nutter.
That IS one of the things most P&R can agree on. Liberal/conservative (of course, the latter is me) most are libertarian to one degree or another.
But yeah, although I agree with most of the Repub’s platform, the part I find most… distasteful… is the religion. I was raised Jewish but I’m pretty much agnostic. I wish they’d tone it down, especially on the extreme right. Anyone in the Limbaugh/Coulter area, I’d bet good money is a Catholic. You don’t get that far out there without being religious.
I bet they aren’t. From what I’ve learned Catholics are anti-establishment underdogs in America, almost like socialists. The Christian corner of the political right is occupied by various flavors of Calvinists who think Catholics are heretics if not outright demonspawn.
What will be interesting is how much pressure there is on Republican-appointed judges to take these guys on as clerks. One of the keys to influence, power and/or wealth in the American legal system is who you clerk for when you get out of law school. I imagine that on their own merits, most of the people coming out of this program might have trouble finding good clerkships, but some judges may get the impression that picking clerks out of an ideologically reliable university like Liberty might help them in advance in a Republican administration…
It was the late summer of 1988. The young JMJ, freshly graduated from hi skool and a newly minted man of the world, was waiting around to leave his hometown for college, and most of his friends were already gone — but one, who had a job as a security guard at the local music venue, still called him up and got him into shows for free.
One Friday they had nothing better to do than go see a late-career Richard Marx, who didn’t even fill up the pavilion, let alone sit anyone on the lawn. To preserve their hard-ass image, they wore the Metallica shirts they’d bought at the Monsters of Rock stadium show back in June, and stood in the back row with cigarettes lit and sleeves rolled back Axl-style.
The mulleted rocker on stage was trying to stir up the crowd with between-song banter, with only mild success. He was obviously expecting a big cheer when he said that he and the band thought rap was “a bunch of shit” — but this was suburban DC, not suburban Indiana, and he was met with silence. A silence which JMJ and his friend then resoundingly filled.
“I FUCKED YOUR MOOOOOOOOOOM,” we yelled in unison, and Richard Marx took a step back on stage, and heads swiveled across the pavilion. Oh, the power and the pride of suburban scumbaggery.
I bet they aren’t. From what I’ve learned Catholics are anti-establishment underdogs in America, almost like socialists. The Christian corner of the political right is occupied by various flavors of Calvinists who think Catholics are heretics if not outright demonspawn.[/quote]
my post to this last night got eaten, here is an instant replay…
Mr. Kerry is also running very strong among Catholics, topping Mr. Bush, 52% to 37%, showing that not only has Bush’s courting of them failed, but his use of wedge issues like gay marriage and partial birth abortion have failed to separate Catholic voters from Kerry.
you know bob jones university, that crazy religous place bush spoke at? lot of anti-catholic guys. bush sent an apology letter to some bishop for speaking there. i (a goes to church twice a year catholic) decided i didn’t like him very much starting right about…there.
Mr. Bush is the kind of guy you have over for a saturday afternoon barbeque so he can get drunk, be a “good 'ol boy” and remind you of why you went to college. Mr. Kerry is the guy you call over for your every 6th-month cocktail party with the boss.