Wednesday, May 6, 2015

98% of Harvard Law School's Political Contributions Go to Democrats: Who Are the 2%?

98% of Harvard Law School Political Contributions Go to Democrats: Who are the 2%? A recent report shows that Harvard Law School faculty gave 98% of their political contributions to Democrats, exceeding the general Harvard giving rate of 96% to Democrats. The Harvard contribution rate parallels the overall Ivy League political contribution rate. 96% of Ivy League professor’s contributions went to President Obama in 2012. Brown University was the most extreme with 129 faculty members donating $67,728 to the President with but one professor donating $500 to Governor Romney. The bias is not limited to the Ivys. The faculties at the great private non-Ivys, Stanford, MIT, CalTech, and Duke are similarly favorable to Democrats. University of California professors contributed $414,351 to democrats during the 2010 midterms compared to only $69,630 to Republicans. A 2009 study at the University of Oregon of 111 registered voters in the departments of journalism, law, politic science, economics, and sociology turned up only two registered Republicans. All this proves is what we already know. The Academy is overwhelmingly liberal, indeed progressive. The Academy is big on diversity: racial diversity, socio-economic diversity, sexual diversity, and gender diversity - all types of diversity, except political diversity. Conservatives are an endangered species at the nation’s elite institutions. Indeed, conservatives sometimes stay in the academic closet at institutions. Another recent study shows the currently most underrepresented groups among law professors are “Whites, Christians, Republicans, Males” - quite a change from when I started teaching law in 1972. In addition, very few women professors are Republicans. Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans, but elections in recent years show a roughly evenly divided electorate. The legal Academy is far to the left of the American populace. Decades of diversifying the legal Academy to make it more representative have rendered it less representative of America. A survey by the University of California Los Angeles showed in 2010-2011 12.4% of full time faculty members were far left and 50.3% were liberal, with 25.4 % middle of the road, 11.5% conservative, and 0.4% far right. Professors profess objective neutrality in their teaching. Regardless of the protestations of classroom neutrality by liberal professors, the reality is that some let their biases affect their teaching. It may also show up in a more subtle way – the curriculum. Courses that can be labeled “revisionist” or “anti-American” are common. It manifests itself in liberal professors and students protesting the presence of conservative commencement speakers, regular speakers, and presentations. All too often, academic freedom is stronger for liberals than conservatives in the Academy. Anecdotes abound of conservative students being discriminated against by liberal professors. One is one too many. The Academy has become the bastion of political correctness. Where is that 2% at Harvard Law? Somewhere in the tenured ranks.

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