Steve Teles at FireDogLake

by Henry Farrell on March 29, 2009

I am hosting a “discussion”: on Steve Teles’ book on the rise of the conservative legal movement at _FireDogLake._ We will be having a CT Seminar on the book in a couple of months, so if you want to get a flavor of it, drop on by now (or buy the book at “Amazon”: or “Powells”: Also check out Rachel Morris’s “article”: in the _Washington Monthly_ which draws heavily on Steve’s research (and provides a nice summary of it).



John Quiggin 03.30.09 at 9:48 am

I couldn’t register at FDL, and the topic I wanted to raise hadn’t come up as far as I saw. Teles refers to the “heroic” conception of lawyers, and I guess the mirror image of this is the “judicial activist” so dreaded by conservatives.

A couple of questions occur to me:

First, now that the ‘conservatives’ have the majority on a lot of courts, will we see more activism from their side. The 2nd amendment cases are one instance, but I can imagine them trying to revive Lochner, if the crisis hadn’t made that kind of thing politically inopportune.

Second, I have the impression that the results of heroic lawyers aren’t as durable as those of successful legislators (Roe v Wade stands as a counterexample, but the same outcome has occurred in lots of countries, by different legal processes).


Henry 03.31.09 at 3:21 am

One of the interesting things about the book is that it points up a lot of already-existing lawyerly activism on the right – the eminent domain stuff is a good case in point. And I think that David ‘Lochner was teh Awsum’ Bernstein is due to come out with something new soon (no doubt to be heralded by thirty odd posts exhorting Volokh readers to buy the book).

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