The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement

Steve Teles’s book is out from Princeton, and Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy gives it a nice write-up.

Just in time (let’s hope) for the demise of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, RBC’er Steve Teles (now teaching public policy at the University of Maryland) has published his long-awaited book, based on lots of interviewing and archival research, about how one aspect of that conspiracy was plotted and executed. In a gesture of comity between Red Blogistan and Blue Blogistan, Volokh Conspirator Orin Kerr gives Steve’s book a nice write-up,

The book’s starting premise is that 30 years ago, when all of the major legal institutions were left/liberal, conservative and libertarian activists set about trying to create conservative/libertarian institutions to counter them. The book focuses heavily on what Teles sees as the leading institutions that have resulted, such as The Federalist Society, the Institute for Justice, the Center for Individual Rights, law school centers of law & economics (many funded by Olin), and George Mason University Law School. Teles’ interest is in how these organizations got off the ground, what makes them successful, and what role they play. Much of the book is drawn from interviews with the founders and directors of these various institutions; Teles also draws a great deal from access he was given to their historical files.

I haven’t yet read the published version, but I read big chunks in manuscript. It’s a compelling read. “Know your enemy,” and all that.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: