Announcing A Tri-Journal Note Exchange Between the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the Texas Review of Law & Politics

I commend the journals for this forward-thinking move, and encourage other law schools to establish journals for conservative, libertarian, textualist, originalist, and classical liberal scholarship.


Throughout my career, I have been proud to associate with three journals that promote conservative, libertarian, textualist, originalist, and classical liberal scholarship: the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty (on whose Board I sit), the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the Texas Review of Law & Politics. These outlets provide critical outlets for right-of-center authors. I've approached each of these journals to publish works that would not find a home in most progressive mainstream law journals. As law reviews continue to pursue inclusive policies, they will inevitably exclude conservative legal thought. Moreover, conservative law students will find it more difficult to join law journals, get their notes published, and become editors. Look no further than the Georgetown Law Journal.

The editors of the NYU JLL, the Georgetown JLPP, and TROLP have recognized this creeping problem. And they have adopted an important, forward-looking solution: a Tri-Journal Notes Exchange.

Earlier today, we, as Editors-in-Chief of the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the Texas Review of Law & Politics, formally announced the launch of a Tri-Journal Notes Exchange to our Members. As Editors-in-Chief of three of the country's student-edited law journals committed to publishing conservative, libertarian, textualist, originalist, and classical liberal scholarship, we believe this project is vitally important to not only our respective publications, but to the legal community at large.

The establishment of the Exchange is part of our cross-journal commitment to promoting a cross- campus culture of collaboration, marked by an emphasis on intellectual cross-pollination and the advancement of student scholarship. At this time, the Notes Exchange is only open to current student editors at the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the Texas Review of Law & Politics.

For now, the policy is only open to student editors at the three journals. But the editors extend an invitation to other schools to participate:

Our long-term ambition is to open this Notes Exchange up to current law students at all other law schools and dramatically expand our capacity to publish student scholarship. To this end, we look forward to welcoming journals that share our vision for advancing conservative, libertarian, textualist, originalist, classical liberal, and heterodox scholarship to the Exchange in the future. We strongly encourage motivated students and faculty members at institutions around the country to follow on the path the founders of our journals set out on decades ago and work to establish editorially and culturally independent publications on your own campuses.

I hope other schools can participate in this consortium. The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, the flagship Federalist Society Journal, should join this movement. And other law schools with a critical mass of conservative students should establish new journals. The most likely candidates are Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, Penn, Virginia, Michigan, Northwestern, and Duke.

In the future, flagship law journals will become inhospitable to scholarship that challenges progressive orthodoxies. Savvy action today can build the institutions that maintain homes for conservative legal thought well into the future. Interested students should reach out to me with any questions. I am happy to help facilitate discussions.

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  1. The correct philosophy is utilitarianism. Today, the common law is based on reason. the central doctrine of the common law. The technical definition is, the ability to perceive God. It was thought to be the best guide for moral decisions because intellect is corrupted since the Fall from Eden and by the Seven Deadly Sins. The best guide to what is reasonable is, of course, the New Testament. In an excellent brief, from which the brief format was copied, St. Thomas made his compelling arguments. Read St. Thomas for the best IRAC you have ever seen. The New Testament is the story of one man. So when you see the word, reason or reasonable, that refers to Jesus. The word, reason, in any lawyer utterance, is thus illegal in our secular nation. Conservative support for Catholic doctrine is not helpful.

    It should be updated to the more mathematical, more legal, utilitarian calculation. Before doing so, one should learn the criticism and weakness of this approach. If someone knows of a better approach, I would like to hear about it.

    1. Utilitarianism is a godless, unreasonable doctrine, Mr. Bentham. Furthermore, to many things are unquantifiable, and utilitarianism presume a sort of scientific measurable way to evaluate human happiness and flourishing. It’s a sort of hybrid “Enlightenment” cross with industrial revolution planning, as if you can take the logic of non-messy Newtonian physics and industrial planning of that era and apply it to human relations and the creation of flourishing societies. While order is preferable to disorder, it doesn’t work that way, and never has.

      I’m not understanding what you mean by Catholic doctrine being not helpful to conservatives…are you arguing against that “common good conservatism” steeped in Catholic doctrine?

      1. There are many more problems with it than you list. Many are to the extreme, such as the use of babies for organs. They are briefly covered in the article. One advantage is that it does no involve a deity, which is illegal in our secular nation.

        1. To be clear, the word, reason, or reasonable, violates the Establishment Clause. The lawyer profession has covered up its technical meaning in Scholasticism, but it is the core doctrine, the central word of the common law. It should be banned.

          Replace it with the word, useful.

          1. You know, the Founders were fairly anti-Catholic, despite at least one being involved with the drafting of the Constitution and some evidence that Washington converted on his deathbed.

            “Reason,” to them, did not mean what you think it means. They did not engage in anyway with the works of Thomas Aquinas, preferring Greek and Roman classics in the education of their elites. In the constitution, “reasonable” as sort of a catch-all, used in a few places (like the 4th Amendment) because it would impossible to spell out every scenario, plus “reasonable” as a word was a process of compromise. “Reasonable” means different things to different people and they were okay with that. They knew that those words would let the interpretation of what X provision actually means play itself out in practice over time.

            1. They followed 80% of the law of Henry of Bratton. He used the word thst way.

              1. Do you realize, what you’ve discovered, is something called “path dependency” and not a deliberate effort to do any sort of specific Catholic philosophical thinking and apply it to the constitution?

                Your ideological hero of utilitarianism, Betham, wanted to standardize English law from the hodge-podge of common law decisions and old laws (like the high number of crimes that warranted the death penalty) that had built up over the centuries. But for the most part the system worked because the English judges weren’t unusually corrupt (unlike Parliament at the time, where seats were bought and sold like commodities) and they used everyday “reason” to apply to the cases in front of them.

    2. “The correct philosophy is utilitarianism.”

      Utilitarianism is a metaphor gone metastatic. Tell me, is “Utility” a scalar or vector quantity? What’s the square root of a stubbed toe?

      You can’t actually do “calculations” on things you can’t attribute objective numbers to. You can only pretend to do calculations.

      And pretend calculations provide all the excuse somebody needs to rationalize whatever it is they meant to do anyway.

      1. It’s like appeals to “reason”. You can reason your way into pretty much anything.

        Here is an example a utilitarianism fail that is admittedly much better as the meme. Your wife decided to sleep with a random stranger. The guy is happier for the lay. Your wife is as well. If you never find out, or don’t look into suspicions that develop because you don’t want to be unhappy that you could be a cuck, the total level of happiness in the world is increased, therefore, adultery is utilitarian.

        1. Adultery is not nice. It can get utterly vomit worthy, like birthing anencephalic babies to harvest their organs. Like anything else, let us not go to extremes.

          I am open to an alternative that does not involve a deity, in violation of the Establishment Clause. Or amend the Establishment Clause to avoid getting rid of the entire common law.

          1. Acquaint yourself with the is/ought problem in philosophy. (AKA “Hume’s law”.) There really isn’t any objective basis for morality, it’s not a feature of the universe, it’s just a human idea.

            Once you start talking about morality, you’re on an equal footing with those Catholics, or any other religion. You’ve left science behind.

            This is not to say that you can’t reason logically about morality. For instance, Rand was quite right that the non-contradiction principle applies. It’s just that, somewhere in your argument, there’s going to be a premise that you can’t prove by reference to objective facts, that is, fundamentally, just an opinion.

            1. The ability to perceive God in the law is prohibited by the Establishment Clause. Find another word than reason. This is from 10th Grade World History. Yet, the lawyer profession is in denial, or knows about it, is covering it up, and lying.

          2. Brett answered much better than I could. Thanks.

      2. What’s the square root of a stubbed toe?

        If we cared enough, we could certainly determine how much time and money people are willing to spend to treat one, and we could see what resources and actions they’re willing (or not) to devote to avoiding one.

  2. The other concept the lawyer should know is the dose-response curve of all remedies. Too little does not work. Too much is toxic. Absolutist stances from either corner are easy. It is hard work to delineate this curve. Because the sole tool of the law is punishment, it is always a procedure on the body. A fine takes away the time and labor of a body, since every dollar ever made came from labor.

    Legal remedies should be tested in small jurisdictions, shown to be effective, not toxic. The unexpected consequences should be worked out. Then enact the remedy in larger jurisdiction. That is a lot of work. However, the current sloppy guess work has resulted in the failure of every self stated goal of every law subject. You are getting our $trillion, so you lawyers do not care about being effective. However, these journals should come around to modernization as a goal, to empirical testing of remedies. They should recognize that absolutes and extremes are toxic, and will fail.

  3. I suppose my supposition a few weeks ago that there would be “conservative” journals and “liberal” journals was already well under way.

  4. Con 1: Guys – we’re not winning the cultural war. What can we do to turn the tide?

    Con 2: I know! Let’s turn inwards and hug each other. At least we’ll feel good (um even though we continue to lose the war outside).

    Errybody: YAAAY!!!!

  5. Will this development be marked as the moment at which conservatives reversed the tide of the American culture war, making the Republican platform of backwardness, intolerance, superstition, insularity, and ignorance the prevailing force in our national marketplace of ideas?

    Or will the liberal-libertarian mainstream continue to shape our national progress — on a foundation of reason, inclusiveness, modernity, science, education, and tolerance — against the wishes and efforts of conservatives?

  6. What, exactly, is an interjournal Notes Exchange? What does it do? Is it a new secondary market to buy and sell the journals’ securitized debts?

    Perhaps not. But from reading the post, I wouldn’t know.

    1. ReaderY, if I had to guess, I would say the Notes Exchange is a shared digital space, with MS OneNote as the collaborative backbone.

    2. As I understand it, universities have their own journals, open to publishing the works of those universities’ students and faculty. So, if a university’s journal goes ‘woke’, suddenly half the ideological spectrum could be barred from publishing.

      This represents an agreement to open the journals to submissions from other universities, so that conservative students and faculty at left-wing universities won’t be totally locked out of publishing.

      1. Um, no, I don’t think that’s how journals work.

        1. Then enlighten us with your citation count, and your vast depth of experience on this issue.

    3. The two very different answers given so far tend to suggest that nobody has a clue what this thing is.

  7. ” As law reviews continue to pursue inclusive policies, they will inevitably exclude conservative legal thought. ”


    1. You have to understand that ‘inclusive’ is used in its Orwellian sense here; “Inclusive” policies systematically exclude wrongthink.

      1. Yeah, sort of like the Rev really hates those intolerant bigots…

  8. “As law reviews continue to pursue inclusive policies”

    Someone as intelligent as you are shouldn’t be making the beginner mistake of letting the Left control the language.

    Their policies aren’t inclusive, since they exclude everyone who disagrees with them. At best they are “inclusive”.

  9. Legitimate journals publish plenty of clinger content, much as mainstream law schools hire plenty of right-wing law professors.

    This is just movement conservative lack-of-virtue signaling, with the customary whining about getting pummeled at the marketplace of ideas.

    1. Start shopping the Caracas apartment. All Commies are to go.

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