Religion Belongs at Law Schools

In the Jewish tradition, law and religion are nearly inseparable, but in American law schools, this isn’t the case. Mark Movsesian writes:

The Northwestern University law professor James Lindgren has published a survey revealing that religious commitments are comparatively rare on American law faculties. “Even compared to other professors,” he writes, “law professors are much less religious.” . . . Law professors are also “less likely to attend religious services than their non-professorial counterparts,” Lindgren writes.

Of course, Jews are undoubtedly overrepresented among the faculty and students at law schools, and there are a fair number of Orthodox Jewish law professors. But Movsesian’s argument, that religious perspectives on law would be a welcome addition to legal academia, should be relevant to people of any faith:

[R]eligious perspectives would enrich our discussion of law and offer our students perspectives they currently lack. For example, centuries of Christian reflection exist on many legal questions, in areas as diverse as contracts, criminal law, torts, property, legal ethics, and, of course, church and state. Few American law professors think to ask, though, what Christian learning has to say about these questions, and doing so would not be a good career move. With a few notable exceptions, elite law reviews have little interest in articles exploring Christian ideas about law.

This is a pity, because religious perspectives on law would offer much to our students. It is not simply a matter of knowing the historical foundations of our laws or appreciating the critiques of the past. Religious perspectives would offer students insights into current legal controversies. For example, in America today, we are debating whether the state may constitutionally order churches to close during an epidemic. . . . To understand the cases, students need to hear not only the secular perspectives of most law professors, but the perspectives of people inside faith communities, who can explain why believers find orders to close such an imposition. The comparative absence of religious law professors makes it less likely students will hear both sides.

Read more at Law and Liberty

More about: Academia, American law, Law, Religion

Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria