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Opinions on Political/O&G Messaging at UofC?


CndnViking

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Diplock
  • Lawyer

I find some of what @SNAILSposts to be a bit ridiculous and lacking in balance but on the topic of reflexive backlash to certain conservative views in law school, he is not entirely wrong. I still remember in first year criminal law there was this huge problem with the concept of honest but mistaken belief in consent as relates to sexual assault. In other words, a class full of students ostensibly trying to learn this area of law were aghast at the idea there could ever be a situation where a complaint subjectively felt she was being sexually assaulted but where the accused - with the presumption of innocence - could still defend himself on any basis. In the era of believe all victims, these students of the law genuinely were offended that accusation and guilt were not always the same thing.

So, yeah. Just confirming it happens.

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

@Diplock I’m not sure you’re using the term “socially conservative” properly. 

Social conservatism isn’t just a catch-all term for political views that aren’t the views of college-aged reactionary progressives. Social conservatism is about preserving existing social structures and traditional values. 

The doctrine of honest but mistaken belief in consent isn’t intended to preserve existing social structures or uphold traditional gender roles or sexual relations. It’s purpose is just to uphold the rule of law and, in particular, to ensure individuals are not convicted in the absence of the requisite mens rea

To the extent the doctrine fits in well with any political ideology, it would just be classical liberalism.

In contrast, social conservatism is, amongst other things: opposition to gay marriage; opposition to trans rights; opposition to abortion access; supporting traditional family structures with a single, male breadwinner; etc. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
Substantial edits for tone.
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Diplock
  • Lawyer
2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

@Diplock I’m not sure you’re using the term “socially conservative” properly. 

Social conservatism isn’t just a catch-all term for political views that aren’t the views of college-aged reactionary progressives. Social conservatism is about preserving existing social structures and traditional values. 

The doctrine of honest but mistaken belief in consent isn’t intended to preserve existing social structures or uphold traditional gender roles or sexual relations. It’s purpose is just to uphold the rule of law and, in particular, to ensure individuals are not convicted in the absence of the requisite mens rea

To the extent the doctrine fits in well with any political ideology, it would just be classical liberalism.

In contrast, social conservatism is, amongst other things: opposition to gay marriage; opposition to trans rights; opposition to abortion access; supporting traditional family structures with a single, male breadwinner; etc. 

That's an interesting tour through the dictionary, and to the degree that I'm agreeing with @SNAILS about what you tend to find in a class at law school I acknowledge he fudged the distinction in the first place and I'm just following along. My point isn't to be pedantic about social conservatism vs. rule of law. My point is that if law students - who you describe as "college-aged reactionary progressives" - can't even remain rational about their preferred beliefs when they come into opposition with basic rights in the criminal justice system, do you imagine they are able to respond reasonably to conservative positions with which they vehemently disagree?

You're right about differing concepts, here, but they exist on a continuum. Essentially, you're saying "you've offered proof that students can't be rational when confronted with X, but you haven't proved they can't be rational when confronted with X-squared." And my reply is, I really think I have.

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer
6 hours ago, Diplock said:

You're right about differing concepts, here, but they exist on a continuum. Essentially, you're saying "you've offered proof that students can't be rational when confronted with X, but you haven't proved they can't be rational when confronted with X-squared." And my reply is, I really think I have.

I’m actually not saying that, nor is anyone else in this thread. Go read the comments you think you are responding to – has a single one of them taken the position that law students actually react well to socially conservative positions? 

You’ll see that the answer is no. We all just made fun of the fact that @SNAILS doesn’t know what social conservatism is (to be fair, some of his more recent examples are socially conservative, but nobody responded substantively to those). 

In that context – where nobody is disputing the premise but instead everyone is mocking the inability to find a correct example – chiming in with another incorrect example doesn’t do what you think it does. 

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Diplock
  • Lawyer
2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I’m actually not saying that, nor is anyone else in this thread. Go read the comments you think you are responding to – has a single one of them taken the position that law students actually react well to socially conservative positions? 

You’ll see that the answer is no. We all just made fun of the fact that @SNAILS doesn’t know what social conservatism is (to be fair, some of his more recent examples are socially conservative, but nobody responded substantively to those). 

In that context – where nobody is disputing the premise but instead everyone is mocking the inability to find a correct example – chiming in with another incorrect example doesn’t do what you think it does. 

Okay, if no one is actually disputing the premise, then we largely agree.

Also, just to add a new wrinkle. It was noted earlier that criminal lawyers skew libertarian. I'm sure that's true. For those who aren't familiar, rather than political inclinations being described on a single axis - liberal to conservative - it's much more accurate to add a second axis that runs libertarian and authoritarian. Essentially, the first axis describes what you want to see as social policy and outcomes, while the second describes how you want society to go about achieving those ends. It's a far better way to look at things, which I know BQ understands and I'm just adding for context.

It is a common misconception to equate conservatism more with authoritarianism. That may have been true at some times in the past, but it is skewing more and more in the opposite direction right now. Those involved with criminal law really do span the spectrum from liberal to conservative, and what binds us in commonality is that almost all of us are fairly strongly libertarian. Meanwhile, classes in law school seem to skew both liberal and authoritarian - committed not only to a liberal perspective but also to enforcing it in society with a heavy hand. For liberal criminal law types it's a bit obnoxious to see students so engaged with enforcing their agenda that they lose sight of everyone's individual rights in the bargain, but at least it's broadly an agenda we (I say we because I'm one of them) agree with, which makes it easier to swallow. For conservative criminal law types, it must be damn near impossible to sit through a discussion in law school without getting angry about it. Because you're confronted at every turn with people who not only vehemently disagree with your values, but think that your values and the ways you wish to express them need to be made impermissible and even illegal.

Anyway, that's my explanation for why someone in that position would very likely start to lose sight of the difference between anti-conservative and anti-libertarian views in law school, at any rate.

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Scrantonicity2
  • Law Student
Quote
Quote
7 hours ago, Diplock said:

Okay, if no one is actually disputing the premise, then we largely agree.

Also, just to add a new wrinkle. It was noted earlier that criminal lawyers skew libertarian. I'm sure that's true. For those who aren't familiar, rather than political inclinations being described on a single axis - liberal to conservative - it's much more accurate to add a second axis that runs libertarian and authoritarian. Essentially, the first axis describes what you want to see as social policy and outcomes, while the second describes how you want society to go about achieving those ends. It's a far better way to look at things, which I know BQ understands and I'm just adding for context.

It is a common misconception to equate conservatism more with authoritarianism. That may have been true at some times in the past, but it is skewing more and more in the opposite direction right now. Those involved with criminal law really do span the spectrum from liberal to conservative, and what binds us in commonality is that almost all of us are fairly strongly libertarian. Meanwhile, classes in law school seem to skew both liberal and authoritarian - committed not only to a liberal perspective but also to enforcing it in society with a heavy hand. For liberal criminal law types it's a bit obnoxious to see students so engaged with enforcing their agenda that they lose sight of everyone's individual rights in the bargain, but at least it's broadly an agenda we (I say we because I'm one of them) agree with, which makes it easier to swallow. For conservative criminal law types, it must be damn near impossible to sit through a discussion in law school without getting angry about it. Because you're confronted at every turn with people who not only vehemently disagree with your values, but think that your values and the ways you wish to express them need to be made impermissible and even illegal.

Anyway, that's my explanation for why someone in that position would very likely start to lose sight of the difference between anti-conservative and anti-libertarian views in law school, at any rate.

 

 

FWIW, in my experience, I think you're right that there are some authoritarian tendencies among liberal law students. However, I think this tendency is strongest amonst those who are most vocal (whether on social media or through involvement in politics/student government, or even just in class). In contrast, many of my lefty classmates who spend more time in the trenches (clinic work, invovlement in community-based movements and orgs) tend to be more broadly anarcho-socialist, preferring less state intervention in a lot of areas (child welfare, criminal law etc.).

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  • 6 months later...
BHC1
  • Lawyer

OP @CndnViking - you should study to become a union side labour lawyer. You can collect a six figure salary while continuing to cosplay as a Marxist. 

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