by Adam J. White
American Enterprise Institute
September 13, 2013
Every June, the Supreme Court concludes its year’s work by releasing many of the term’s most controversial decisions. In Democracy in America, Tocqueville observed that “[t]here is almost no political question in the United States that is not resolved sooner or later into a judicial question.” Yet Tocqueville offered this not to criticize judges and lawyers. To him, lawyers and courts were the natural conservative force in civic society. But whatever the merits of his assessment in 1835, today we face a different state of affairs. Lawyers are no longer a conservative check on revolutionary political passions; quite the reverse. The legal profession’s evolution raises important questions on the place that lawyers ought to occupy in civic society today.



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