The Sleep of Reason
A very strange thing is happening in legal academia. The left and the right have joined forces, and the center is under attack. What makes this so unusual is that law has traditionally been a field of centrists. The common law background, drummed into every first year law student, tends to leave lawyers with a taste for incremental rather than sudden change.' Further experience with the doctrine of stare decisis and the methods of legal reasoning only strengthens this tendency. Even those students who come in eager to change the world rarely survive more than a few years in practice before realizing the futility of hoping for radical decisions from judges who have spent a lifetime internalizing the careful and methodical pace of the common law. Some adjust; others go into politics, which may offer more hope of radical transformations. Apparently, however, the most unrepentant idealists have been gravitating toward academia, where they are now attacking legal centrism at its source.