Lofty schools, lofty positions

“Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets.”

— Russell Baker

Barack Obama graduated from Harvard Law School.

George W. Bush studied at Yale University and Harvard Business School. Bill and Hillary Clinton met at Yale Law School. George H.W. Bush went to Yale. Jack Kennedy went to Harvard.

Next week, the 2019-20 session of the Supreme Court begins. Let’s see, if you look at the current Supreme Court, you see batting for Harvard Law School Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch. Recently retired justice Anthony Kennedy also graduated from Harvard.

Poor Yale Law only has Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas. Of course, the successor in Kennedy’s seat, Brett Kavanaugh, graduated from Yale.

The rest of America’s law schools have a combined total of zero. Zilch. Nada.

If you want to be a member of the Supremes, it’s obvious you must either go to Harvard or Yale law or know Diana Ross personally.

Now, we voters don’t get to vote for Supreme Court justices — but we select the presidents who nominate them. And, pardon a poor Texas Tech alum for being paranoid, but it sure seems that life at the very top of our legal system is a closed club. Crimson and Bulldogs only.

Not a single Red Raider or Rainbow Warrior in the bunch.

For a society that is supposed to value diversity, you’d think we’d appreciate a little broader approach than just legal minds that were trained in either Cambridge, Mass., or New Haven, Conn.

As the new Supreme Court term starts next week, it’s interesting to wonder which of those justices identifies with those of us sweating away at the supper table in our undershirts.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.


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