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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, November 24, 2018

NY Times: Conservative Heritage Foundation Revives Training Academy For Judicial Law Clerks

HeritageFollowing up on my previous posts:

New York Times, Conservative Heritage Foundation Revives Training Academy for Judicial Clerks, by Adam Liptak:

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative group that has played a leading role in moving the courts to the right, is reviving a “federal judicial clerkship academy,” according to materials posted on Wednesday on the group’s website.

The foundation canceled an earlier version of the program last month after an article in The New York Times raised questions about some of its features, including requirements that participants keep teaching materials secret and promise not to use what they learned “for any purpose contrary to the mission or interest of the Heritage Foundation.”

John Malcolm, a Heritage Foundation official, said the revised program eliminated those requirements, which he said had been the subject of widespread and warranted criticism. “We led with our chin, and we got hit,” he said. “It was a self-inflicted wound.”

“The language that was in the original application was totally unnecessary and was just a misguided attempt to protect the reputations of the people who were involved,” Mr. Malcolm said. “But it was silly, and we shouldn’t have done it. It was never our intention to have some kind of loyalty oath. People do not have to be loyal to the Heritage Foundation.” ...

The Heritage Foundation will pay for travel expenses to Washington, hotel rooms and meals during the two-day program in February. The faculty, which is set to include three sitting judges, is mostly but not entirely conservative, and the sessions will largely focus on practical advice, legal writing and technical legal issues like mootness and abstention. ...

The participating judges are all prominent conservatives: Judge Carlos T. Bea of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who was appointed by President George W. Bush; Judge Edith H. Jones, of the Fifth Circuit, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan; and Justice Thomas R. Lee, of the Utah Supreme Court, who served as a law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court.

Critics of the canceled program said it was an attempt at indoctrination, a charge Mr. Malcolm rejected. “The notion that over the course of a two-day conference that we could indoctrinate law students — very bright men and women who are about to complete three years of their own indoctrination at their own law schools — is preposterous on its face,” he said.

“The purpose of this is not to indoctrinate anybody,” he said. “The purpose is to provide some training in things that lots of law schools just don’t teach. You’ve only got a year, you’ve got to excel, and you’ve got to hit the ground running. You confront all sorts of things during an appellate clerkship that they just don’t teach you in law school.”

Legal Education | Permalink


As Yale, Harvard, and other law schools are essentially academies for training liberal law clerks, I don't see why this one is any worse

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Nov 24, 2018 3:07:49 AM

@ Mike - here's a "like" for you.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Nov 24, 2018 7:22:21 AM

"As Yale, Harvard, and other law schools are essentially academies for training liberal law clerks [aside from the legions of conservative lawyer, judges, SCOTUS justices, Senators, etc. who came out of HLS and YLS that I'm choosing to ignore to make a disingenuous point]"

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Nov 24, 2018 5:48:56 PM