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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Students and Prawfs' Politics

Last week, Eric blogged about an experiment in which he surveyed the students in one class to find out what they perceived to be his political leanings. He found the students were all over the map. The post received some good comments to the post, some pointing out the benefits to the experiment and one commenter stating he would have demanded a refund for a "ridiculously self-important exercise in conceit."

But Adam Benforado, guesting at The Faculty Lounge, suggests a different way in which the information Eric sought might be of interest. Adam points to an article in The New York Times last weekend in which Obama's former students tried to predict what kind of Supreme Court justice he is likely to appoint--based largely or exclusively on their perceptions of him from class. Adam pointed out that students spend a lot of time trying to guess their prawfs' politics, although not very successfully. Adam reports (indicating he inquired in a way somewhat similar to what Eric had done):

I’ve had students absolutely certain that I was liberal, conservative, gay, straight, widowed, Christian, Jewish, and the owner of an Aston Martin (I wish), among other things.

So maybe the point of Eric's experiment was to give the students some grounding for when they are interviewed by The New York Times (or whatever replaces it) when President Eric Johnson is getting ready to name his first Court nominee.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 5, 2009 at 07:31 PM in Howard Wasserman | Permalink


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Interesting. Some professors are more opaque than others on this point. I wouldn't feel confident guessing at the politics of 80% or so of the professors I had in law school, but some of them were quite obvious (at least I think they were)

Posted by: krs | May 6, 2009 2:28:44 PM

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