Obama’s “Secret” Record at Harvard Law School

Obama’s “Secret” Record at Harvard Law School

by Dr. Robert D. Crane  

  Today I checked an abandoned mailbox at the bottom of my mountain in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and found my Christmas mail from last December.  This included the October 2008 issue of the Harvard Law Bulletin with many excellent articles, especially an article, written after the November election, entitled “A Commander-in-Chief,” on Barack Obama’s record at Harvard Law School.  This is absolutely amazing, but he played it down in order to avoid getting branded as an elitist.

  Even as a first-year law student, Barack captured everyone’s attention.  Professor Lawrence Tribe, who is universally recognized as one of the world’s greatest constitutional law experts, hired Barack as his assistant, even though he had never hired a first-year student before.  Tribe says he taught about 4,000 students before Obama and another 4,000 since, but none has impressed him more. 

  All the people interviewed for this article in the Harvard Law Bulletin were amazed at Obama’s attention to and mastery of the details in every issue before he took a position.  In his first year at Harvard Law, according to Professor Tribe, he showed this mastery in his work helping Tribe write two books, one on physics and constitutional law and one on abortion.

  Martha Minow, an equally well-known human rights scholar, who replaced Elena Kagen last month as Dean of Harvard Law School (who left to become the new Solicitor General), comments that he had a remarkable respect from his peers and that when he spoke in her class on law and society “everyone became very attentive and very quiet.”

  Obama was elected President of the Harvard Law Review, which consists of the top 5% of the class, because he excelled as a mediator and conciliator in the ideological battles then raging between the conservatives and liberals.  His strongest supporters included the conservatives.

  Jonathan Molot, a fellow Law Review member and now a law professor at Georgetown University, commented recently, “I’ve never in my life encountered anyone about whom I said, ‘This person should be president’.”

  When he graduated, he turned down an offer from Sidley Austin, one of the top handful of law firms in the country, and chose to join a little known civil rights law firm, where he led a national movement for civic engagement as a substitute for over-reliance on government funding and authority.  At one panel of 33 experts in the late 1990s, Professor Minow said that after he summarized everyone’s views, a group of panelists button-holed him to ask when he was going to run for the U.S. Presidency.  From then on, she said, the group started calling him “Governor.”

  Unfortunately, I was at Harvard Law School almost two generations too early, because my only memory was that my three years there were the most boring (and in fact the only boring) years of my life.  I went there to study justice, but in three years there I never once even heard the word.  The only purpose of law was to maintain order, and the only purpose was to learn what is rather than what ought to be. 

  Since the time of the Civil War, Harvard has brainwashed generation after generation of American leaders to reject the natural law jurisprudence that gave rise to classical American thought and to substitute for it the positivist jurisprudence that elevates man to the level of God.  There have been many threats to America, from Nazism to Communism and to various forms of religious extremism, but the most serious and insidious threat to human civilization until about the time that President Obama went there was Harvard Law School.

  Barack Obama was one of those who helped transform Harvard Law School into what it is today.  There is good reason to be skeptical, but no reason to be cynical, about what he can do as president of the United States to transform America from a failed state to a moral model and leader of the world.


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