God bless the rear guard of the legal academy
Seems appropriate ahead of the surely imminent Roe reversal.

I studied under Prof. Presser, not in the NU law or business schools or even the history dep’t where he was also a fixture but in the one course he taught in the English dep’t. He has characterized Literature of American Republicanism as “perhaps the highlight of my career” (which  I only very recently learned i.e. a. couples of weeks ago in the process of winnowing old lecture notes and other papers). This was astonishing to me as his career has been truly brilliant.

It was quite a tough course for me, definitely had to put in the work. I chuckled at how he described Holmes’ introduction of the Socratic method in the Harvard law school: students “fled in droves to Boston University.”  Chuckle As I often felt I was his favorite “victim” as he deployed this method without mercy. But he truly was as he is introduced here and when it came down to it, a veritable “Mr. Chips” and I am very glad I stuck it out as his class will always loom large and fondly in my academic memory.

Anyway, please enjoy these presentations by a titan in conservative American legal thought.


Stephen Presser: What is Really Going on in American Law Classrooms
482 viewsStreamed live on Nov 20, 2017

The Heartland Institute
38.5K subscribers
Watch a presentation by renowned legal historian Stephen Presser on how law professors impact not only our laws, but also our politics and culture.


Stephen Presser

I taught at the law school for 41 years, ending up as the Raoul Berger Professor of Law Emeritus, and at Kellogg for 26 years, finishing as a Professor of Strategy Emeritus. I am finishing my academic career this year 2018-2019, as Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Most of my scholarship was as an American legal historian and expert on shareholder liability for corporate debts. I was frequently an invited witness before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on issues of Constitutional Law. Over my four decades with Northwestern I also taught about 20 times for the history department, and once for the English department (perhaps the highlight of my career). I wrote many law review articles and casebooks, as well as a treatise entitled Piercing the Corporate Veil, and, most recently, a book on the legal academy, Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law (2017). I continue to contribute political commentary from the right of the political spectrum to journals and newspapers, including the Washington Times, the Chicago Tribune, Newsmax, and the American Greatness website.


And on Trump:


Stephen B. Presser: President Trump: A Danger to the Republic? (Sept. 13, 2018)
536 viewsSep 17, 2018

Benson Center
5.64K subscribers
Presented at CU Boulder on September 13, 2018

The Center for Western Civilization, Thought and Policy presents:

President Trump: A Danger to the Republic?

In his first address to the CU Boulder campus as Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought & Policy, Prof. Stephen B. Presser will examine the origins of President Trump’s judicial philosophy and the judicial views of his Supreme Court appointees (Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh). Is President Trump making American law and the constitution great again, or is he a danger to the republic? Who gets the law and the constitution right, the President or his critics? Prof. Stephen B. Presser will also touch upon Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation and the possibility of impeachment.
He must increase, but I must decrease. (Jn. 3:30, ERV)
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Professor Presser weighs in on today’s momentous ruling.


Overturning Roe: A Conservative Legal Triumph and Return to Common Sense

Today’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21...2_6j37.pdf overruling Roe v. Wade is a momentous achievement of the conservative legal movement and an act of great courage, to say nothing of common sense and fidelity to the Constitution, by the five majority justices.

We few, we happy few paleoconservative professors in the legal academy doubted that we would ever see this day, as Roe had been made by the left-leaning media and by progressive politicians into something they called a “super-duper precedent,” one that could never be overturned, since it had become such a fixed star in the jurisprudential firmament.

But overturned it was, and in the strongest imaginable language.  Labeled by the author of the majority opinion (for which he will long be remembered), Justice Samuel Alito, as essentially devoid of any real connection to the Constitution, and an example of “egregious” judicial abuse, Roe and its 1992 affirming decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey were repudiated in a manner unlikely to be reversed.

This was the strongest blow in two generations at ending “government by judiciary,” the manufacture of spurious Constitutional rights in accordance with progressive policy, but not found in the original understanding of the Constitution.

I have earlier suggested in this forum https://chroniclesmagazine.org/web/the-s...d-opinion/ that if Alito’s leaked draft became official (as it now has) this would be a notable return to common sense on the part of the Court, a recognition of the basic principle of separation of powers supposedly enshrined in our founding document, that courts are not legislatures, and that if new policy is to be forged, it should be done by the people’s elected representatives, in Congress, or even better, in the legislatures of the states.

Dobbs is thus a culmination of roughly two generations’ effort on the part of conservative Justices such as William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, among others, to remind their fellows of the second great recently neglected Constitutional principle: Federalism. The federal government (and its judiciary) are supposed to be bodies with express and limited reach, and that, as the Tenth Amendment provides, the powers not granted to the federal government are to be retained by the states, and the people thereof. 


About author

Stephen B. Presser

Stephen B. Presser is the legal affairs editor for Chronicles magazine. He is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law and Professor of Business Law Emeritus at the Kellogg School of Management. He is a leading American legal historian and expert on shareholder liability for corporate debts.

*The remaining half of his commentary is well worth reading (https://chroniclesmagazine.org/web/overt...mon-sense/)
He must increase, but I must decrease. (Jn. 3:30, ERV)
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