Working Paper No. 12-10:
The Usefulness of Constitutional Law

Author(s):

Nelson Lund

Date Posted: February 2012

Availability:
Abstract (below) | Full text (most recent) on SSRN

Abstract:

This short comment responds to Michael Stokes Paulsen’s “The Uselessness of Constitutional Law”, http://libertylawsite.org/liberty-forum/the-uselessness-of-constitutional-law/, Paulsen makes the provocative suggestion that Constitutional Law be removed from the required curriculum at every law school in the country, and offered only as a Great Books/Great Cases elective. His goal is to foster a general liberal education that does not contribute to the corrupt, result-oriented culture of legal reasoning fostered by the Supreme Court and the legal professoriate.

This response to Paulsen suggests that if his entirely plausible accusations are valid, his proposed correction is simultaneously too bold and too timid. Too bold because it sacrifices an opportunity to help students become better lawyers. Too timid because it does not propose the kind of genuinely liberal education that would equip students to undertake a serious rethinking and reform of the degenerate culture that he condemns.