The Right Coast

June 09, 2004
Academic Diversity -- Yeah right
By Mike Rappaport

I just received the most recent issue of the Minnesota Law Review in my mailbox. It includes a symposium on Lawrence v. Texas, the controversial Supreme Court decision holding that the Constitution forbids government from prohibiting consensual same sex sexual activity. There are seven articles in the symposium, but not a single one is by a critic of the decision. This is fairly typical of the legal academy these days.

It is of course possible that some scholars who participated in the symposium chose not to write articles for the Journal. It is also possible that the organizers of the symposium tried to invite critics of the decision, but none were available. Perhaps. But I can see no mention of either possibility in the Introduction to the symposium. Had academic diversity really been a goal, one would have expected some discussion to let the world know the symposium was more diverse than the publications make it appear.

Is it not ironic that a decision celebrated as protecting the rights of minorities against the majority is honored by an academic majority which sees no need to consider the academic minority? Ironic, yes; unusual, no.