The Magazine

Harvard Law vs. Free Inquiry

Dean Martha Minow flunks the test.

May 17, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 33 • By PETER BERKOWITZ
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If Dean Minow’s principle that hurtful opinions must go unspoken and unexamined were taken seriously and applied impartially, then law schools and universities would be obliged to close down the dispassionate investigation of an enormous range of important public issues, from the morality, law, and politics of abortion, affirmative action, and same-sex marriage to the causes of the financial crisis; from the efficiency and justice of health care reform to the rules governing the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of enemy combatants; from Middle East politics to immigration.

And that’s no way to run a law school or a university.

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.


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