I thoroughly enjoyed Jack Balkin’s Constitutional Redemption, and I found myself largely in agreement with many of Jack’s major claims. But overall, I find it hard to share his optimism.
At its core, Balkin’s constitutional jurisprudence is one founded upon faith — a faith in redemption. He concludes his book with the following paragraph (SPOILER ALERT):
The longstanding attacks on legal scholarship all seem to assume a particular relationship between theory and practice, one that I believe is flawed. Recently, I responded to one such critique. There are others, with Justice Roberts and many other judges and practitioners claiming that legal scholarship isn’t worth their attention and isn’t useful to the practice of law.
Much has already been written about David Segal’s article in the N.Y. Times, What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering. I join the strong critiques of this piece in condemning it as a lousy piece of journalism — more of a one-sided hack job, riddled with errors. It belongs on the op-ed page of a trashy paper.
Lior Strahilevitz, Deputy Dean and Sidley Austin Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School recently published a brilliant new book, Information and Exclusion (Yale University Press 2011). Like all of Lior’s work, the book is creative, thought-provoking, and compelling. There are books that make strong and convincing arguments, and these are good, but then there are the rare books that not only do this, but make you think in a different way. That’s what Lior achieves in his book, and that’s quite an achievement.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Lior about the book.