Law Professors

Senator sticks to his accusation: Communists outnumbered Republicans at Harvard Law School

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Christopher

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t denying the reports. In fact, his spokeswoman is repeating the accusation: Harvard Law School was home to numerous Marxist professors when Cruz attended in the early 1990s.

The New Yorker reported on Cruz’s Harvard remarks, made in a July 4, 2010 speech. The magazine noted the speech after Cruz’s aggressive questioning of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel about his past associations, spurring some Democrats to allude to McCarthyism.

In the 2010 speech, Cruz said President Obama was the most radical U.S. president ever, and Obama “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School.” Obama attended the school four years ahead of Cruz.

“There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists,” Cruz said. “There was one Republican. But there were 12 who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”

Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the Blaze she found it curious that the New Yorker would dig up the old speech. “Regardless, Senator Cruz’s substantive point was absolutely correct,” she said. “In the mid-1990s, the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of ‘critical legal studies’—a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism—and they far outnumbered Republicans.”

One of Cruz’s former law professors, Charles Fried, told the New Yorker that Cruz’s statement about Communists “lacks nuance.” Fried says he was one of at least four Republicans at the school when Cruz attended. There was a group of left-leaning law professors in the critical legal studies movement, Fried said, and the leader of the group, Duncan Kennedy, was influenced by Karl Marx. But Kennedy regards himself as a social democrat, rather than a Communist, and he never advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, Fried said.

“I have not taken a poll,” Fried told the New Yorker, “but I would be surprised if there were any members of the faculty who ‘believed in the Communists overthrowing the U.S. government.’ ”

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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