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Sarah Ludington: The Dogs that Did Not Bark: Academic Freedom, Tenure, and the Silence of the Legal Academy During World War II

During World War II, the legal academy was virtually uncritical of the government’s conduct of the war, despite some obvious domestic abuses of civil rights, such as the internment of Japanese-Americans. This silence has largely been ignored in the literature about the history of legal education. This Article argues that there are many strands of causation for this silence. On an obvious level, World War II was a popular war fought against a fascist threat, and left-leaning academics generally supported the war. On a less obvious level, law school enrollment plummeted during the war, and the numbers of full-time law professors dropped by half. Of those professors “laid off” during the war, many took employment in government agencies and thus effectively silenced themselves. Finally, the American Association of Law Schools had only adopted a strong position on and in 1940. The commitment to academic freedom and was insecure in many institutions and was only weakened by the severe economic strain of the war. To illustrate the effect of these larger forces, this Article tells the stories of five professors who criticized domestic policy during the war and the institutional consequences of their dissent. Of those professors, only one – a tenured professor at New York University – was fired during the war. While the basic building blocks of legal academies are the same today as they were in World War II, other factors such as strong institutional commitments to academic freedom and , a robust First Amendment, and economic prosperity have significantly changed the roles that law professors are empowered to play in society, most significantly as the watchdogs of government.

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Welcome

Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Eoin O'Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie - the Irish for rights.

"Cearta" really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

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What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

Meanwhile, please bear with me until I find a new RSS+Blogroll solution

Thanks,

Eoin.

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This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I am happy for you to reuse and adapt my content, provided that you attribute it to me, and do not use it commercially. Thanks. Eoin

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