Health Care Question - Scalia a likely 5th vote in favor?
schweber at polisci.wisc.edu
Tue Mar 23 05:55:08 PDT 2010
I sincerely wonder which side of the coin (values or doctrine) we should
be emphasizing with our students and our scholarship (accepting students
must learn doctrine for bar exam and talking the talk purposes). I
promise not to mention this "values" things again (at least for while).
This comes up quite often, of course. So I'll toss in two cents.
It all depends on what we conceive to be our mission as teachers. If
our mission is to make students better prognosticators of individual
justices' likely decisions, then the attitudinal model is undoubtedly
useful. If our mission is to teach our students the conceptual language
that is used in this country to debate constitutional questions in
courts, then the doctrine is not quite so epiphenomenal as all that,
particularly if we teach it with a critical eye (as I am sure we all do,
although I am equally sure that we critique the reasoning from varied
perspectives). And if we think that some part of our mission is to try
to educate our students to be good constitutional citizens -- that is,
if there is an element of civic aspiration involved in educating
citizens about their constitution and the work of institutions that
employ it -- then we might worry that teaching a focus on judges'
"values" in the sense that Eric uses the term breeds a cheap and easy
cynicism. We might even worry about what attitudes such teaching breeds
among our nation's lawyers.
Dept. of Poli Sci
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