WIll They Come When you Call?

Jeremy Paul, University of Connecticut School of Law


... Let us further distinguish between two sorts of arguments available to national leaders so that we might connect the topic of political leadership with ideas more familiar to legal scholarship. ... Equal pay for equal work is an appealing slogan unless everyone doubts that any real content can be given to ideas such as equality. ... This is no place for a thorough review but let us briefly consider three prominent ideas in recent legal scholarship: the so-called deconstruction of equality; the critique of rights; and the challenge to the public/private distinction. ... Contemporary legal scholarship, however, contains a more scorched earth attack on the idea of equality. ... Last but certainly not least is the way in which contemporary legal scholarship has challenged core ideas upon which generalized notions of freedom have come to depend. ... Once again, an abstraction proves less than fruitful for determining a particular course of action. ... Nothing in the contemporary legal scholarship I describe above directly undermines the ability of strong leaders to head firmly in a particular direction. ... And, it makes sense for those writing in the legal academy to be particularly suspicious of judges who employ rights arguments, equality arguments, or freedom arguments. ... What I hope to accomplish in this essay, however, is to turn our attention to the significance of contemporary legal scholarship for the rhetoric of leaders. ...