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Liberal Law Partner Asks if it is Wrong to Discriminate Against Conservatives

Liberals have portrayed themselves as being tolerant of differing viewpoints, but, like Tiger Woods, their image and their behavior are diametrically opposed to each other. A partner in a law firm submitted a question to an ethicist in a newspaper asking if it is wrong to discriminate against conservatives in hiring. From Above the Law:

That was the question posed in yesterday's popular Ethicist column, in the New York Times. Here's the question that a reader posed to columnist Randy Cohen:
While interviewing law students for jobs as paid summer interns and full-time associates for my firm, I noticed several had résumés listing their activities in the Federalist Society. Some of my partners have conservative views similar to those of the society, but I do not. These students' politics would not affect their professional function, but my review is meant to consider their judgment and personality (though I don't need to give reasons for the assessments given). May I recommend not hiring someone solely because of his or her politics? NAME WITHHELD, GREENWICH, CONN.

Ah, Greenwich -- limousine liberalism, anyone? We are not surprised that this question came from the left side of the aisle. In our experience, liberals -- despite their self-proclaimed commitment to "tolerance" -- are far more intolerant of people with divergent views. To liberals, the political is so often personal; if you don't agree with their entire orthodoxy, you are per se a bad person.

Okay, we're stepping off our soapbox. How did the Ethicist respond?

Find out -- and discover whether the partner took the Ethicist's advice, plus take a reader poll -- after the jump.

Cohen told the partner that he or she cannot discriminate on ideological grounds against conservatives:

If candidates can do the job, bathe regularly and work well with others, you should hire them. As you note, their "politics do not affect their function." Is it your position that only people who share your politics should be allowed to make a living? It was odious when membership in the Federalist Society was all but required for some jobs in the Justice Department; it is no more appealing to make that affiliation a bar to employment at your firm.

So, did the liberal take th ethicist's advice? Of course not:

Believing that all the applicants were qualified, but able to hire only a few, this person recommended rejecting each member of the Federalist Society.

Read the entire post. Be warned. It is an indication of what we will see in the future as leftists with this partner's belief system work overtime to take over our economy and our health care system.


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Comments (21)

Wonder if he took lessons f... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Wonder if he took lessons from the last Dept of Justice.

Or this one. ... (Below threshold)

Or this one.

As I turn this over in my h... (Below threshold)
James H:

As I turn this over in my head, a few things occur to me:

1) What if the law firm has political clients who object to having Federalist Society members working on their cases?

2) Especially if the firm takes on cases that conflict with Federalist Society precepts, would it be fair to ask the applicant (at interview) how his politics would affect his work on those cases?

3) Is it fair to analyze the applicant's activities outside of work while evaluating him? For example, if the law firm is a plaintiff's-side medimal firm, shouldn't a law-review paper entitled "An Argument Against Non-Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases" count as a strike against him?

Not sure why you posted, ar... (Below threshold)

Not sure why you posted, are you surprised this happens... or upset that it does?

If the former, c'mon, you weren't born yesterday, people have long discriminated against others with different viewpoints, lifestyles, backgrounds and so on and in favor of people with similar backgrounds and lifestyles. With all other factors being equal (and sometimes when they're not), a graduate of one school will often favor a fellow graduate, someone interested in sports will favor someone of like interests. there is a reason one of the big rules of getting hired is to build a rapport with the hiring manager and to avoid saying or doing anything that alienates the hiring manager.

And with the exception of legally proscribed discrimination factors (race, sex, age, etc.), there's nothing wrong with the final tie-breaker taking lifestyle-type issues into account. Should liberals be able to work with conservatives? Sure, but they often don't or can't (and vice versa), and since workplace rapport is critical, a hiring manager ought to take into account the degree to which the new hire will be able to blend into the workplace. And if two people have the same credentials, go with the person you're most comfortable with.

It interesting because it i... (Below threshold)

It interesting because it is one of the few times when liberals can be accused of hypocrisy based on their own standards. Tolerance and global warming are 2 of the few ideals where liberals actually stake out a position and of course in both cases you almost never see a liberal adhering to them.

I'm not surprised. Up here... (Below threshold)

I'm not surprised. Up here in Maine, a school counselor is in danger of losing his license to practice because he spoke in favor of overturning the gay marriage law.

All the intolerant, arrogan... (Below threshold)

All the intolerant, arrogant jerks I am acquainted with...all of them are libs. Me thinks Stevie Sturm is a intolerant jerk also.

Liberals think its perfectl... (Below threshold)

Liberals think its perfectly okay to discriminate against conservatives especialy in such stink holes like SAN FRANSISCO and U.C. BERKELEY and U.C. SANTA CRUZ

The problem with a monocult... (Below threshold)

The problem with a monoculture is its participants insulate themselves from intellectual challenges. They never have to defend themselves and they become mentally lazy.

This is true in academia, the media and now the legal profession. Hiring and promotion preferences maintian this insularity.

But at some point their unchallenged exaggerations become outright falsehoods and they get caught, big time.

It happened with CNN's Peter Arnett with the Tailwind scandal (poison gas used against US "defectors" in Laos), the Rathergate scandal and now Climategate. In each case the vetting process overlooked the fraud because those who did the fact checking held the same views as the perpetrators. Intellectual laziness prevailed.

But when the stories faced the true light of day, they blew up in their faces. And in all three cases, they never knew what hit them.

then there's at least one c... (Below threshold)

then there's at least one conservative who's an intolerant jerk.

and where do you get intolerant from my comment? One can choose to associate with people of like interests without being intolerant of those with differing viewpoints and interests. I prefer to talk politics with other conservatives and doing so doesn't make me intolerant of liberals.

Too bad the people discrimi... (Below threshold)

Too bad the people discriminated against can't find out if they truly were denied a job because of political affiliation. Make a hell of a lawsuit.

GF: when did political pers... (Below threshold)

GF: when did political persuasion become a protected class? There's no rule against private employers hiring/firing on one's political views. And I know you're not, but you sure sound like a whiny liberal who isn't getting his way when you immediately think of suing because someone does something you don't like. Not everything in life is actionable and not getting hired because one is a conservative is one of those things.

Corky: In the case... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:


In the case of law firms, it would behoove a firm to have a range of employees, and not just in terms of gender, sexual preference, and physical capability. A range of views and opinions is more likely to identify potential strategies on behalf of their clients, and also potential vulnerabilities.

A monoculture is more efficient, but is inevitably more vulnerable if the conditions that support that monoculture are ever put to the test.

Stinking self centered Libe... (Below threshold)

Stinking self centered Liberals..

Worst president ever!

"Wonder if he took lesso... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

"Wonder if he took lessons from the last Dept of Justice."

Bingo! Under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales the Justice Department routinely discriminated in exactly this fashion - avoiding the hiring of non-Christian non right-wingers for US Attorney positions created by the illegal firing of US Attorneys selected by Karl Rove.

If Obama did that the fruit loopy right wing blogosphere would be pissing their BVDs in anguish over the socialist takeover of the Justice Department.

This would be the same right wing fruit loops who eagerly defended the US Attorney scandal as "Bush had the right to do whatever he wanted".

Imperialism is Que-kool if it's your MacDaddy is the WH....

My god stevie you are so in... (Below threshold)

My god stevie you are so intolerant.

Thanks Michael. It's just r... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

Thanks Michael. It's just really hard to compete with the stinging smart comebacks some of the commenters around here use...

Stinking self centered Liberals..

Worst president ever!

Wow. Now what liberal has a chance when smart as a whip folks like that are running around?

Stevie's a real gas. Quoti... (Below threshold)

Stevie's a real gas. Quoting that paragon of virtue and dare I say "peer-review" WIKIPEDIA!

This would be the ... (Below threshold)
This would be the same right wing fruit loops who eagerly defended the US Attorney scandal as "Bush had the right to do whatever he wanted".

Hey, remember way back when, in the late 1990s, when Bill Clinton fired all 50 US attorneys and replaced them with candidates of his own choosing? And remember how nobody complained that he didn't have the right to do this? Yeah, those were the days.

"If Obama did that the frui... (Below threshold)

"If Obama did that the fruit loopy right wing blogosphere would be pissing their BVDs in anguish over the socialist takeover of the Justice Department."

Oh, I suppose that Obama firing the US Attorney who was investigating the misapropriations of Americore funds by an Obama crony doesn't count as an abuse of power in your mind. Somehow I am not surprised.

s green "for US Attorn... (Below threshold)

s green "for US Attorney positions created by the illegal firing of US Attorneys selected by Karl Rove."

And your proof of it's illegality is what?






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