The Judiciary's Class War
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, the Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee, highlights the American judiciary's inherent lack of diversity in his pithy pamphlet, The Judiciary's Class War. And he's not referencing race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Instead, Reynolds focuses on the country's great class divide between "front-row kids," the driven, mobile, well-educated political and business leaders of society; and the "back-row kids," who care less about academics and more about home, faith, and family. These monikers were coined by Chris Arnade following the 2016 presidential election. Arnade, a self-avowed socialist and former Wall Street bond trader, has spent nearly a decade traveling the country's forgotten corners photographing and chronicling plain, ordinary Americans.
The good professor had an epiphany one day during his con law class: while these so-called back-row kids could be elected in the legislative and executive branches of government, they could never infiltrate the judicial branch. In the judicial system, back-row kids are limited to serving on juries. Judges, at both the state and federal levels, are nearly always comprised of front-row kids. By definition, they are members of the "educated elite" prone to espouse front-row worldviews.
The back-row kids seem forever barred. They would need an abundance of time, money, encouragement, and counsel to obtain undergraduate degrees, take the LSAT, and earn law degrees. They would enter a highly hierarchal domain where they would realize that all law degrees are not equal, and that, currently, one needs a law degree from an Ivy League school to have a shot at a U.S. Supreme Court appointment. This was not always the case.
Reynolds claims there are no law reviews supporting back-row viewpoints, and he cites several instances in which the "class...