Introductory post by Prof. Fabio Rojas (Indiana) here (along with great questions):
Over the next week or so, we’ll have a back and forth with Steve Teles, whose 2008 book chronicles the emergence of the conservative legal establishment. The book has been hailed by many as an important account of late 20th century American politics. In a nutshell: Sometime around the 1970s, conservatives realized that their electoral victories could be undermined by the courts. The reason is that courts are highly dependent on legal theory and precedent. Without a serious alternative to liberal jurisprudence, it was often impossible for conservative policies to survive judicial review. The solution? Create an intellectual alternative to liberalism so that judges could rely on rigorous thinking when overturning liberal policies or approving conservative ones. This intellectual alternative was hatched in a network of scholars and organizations in the 70s, 80s and 90s and allowed a generation of judges to support new laws.
First response post by Prof. Steven Teles here. (Anyone interested in Law and Economics must read this.)
Second question post by Prof. Rojas here, asking some great sociological/social movements perspective questions.