The long suspected left-tilting biases of a Harvard law journal editorial board turned out to be more than conservative paranoia or speculation.  David Lat reports in an article in Above the Law that a Harvard law journal’s editorial team had its electronic deliberations go public accidentally this past summer. Much to the embarrassment of the Harvard Law School Human Rights Journal, that brief glimpse behind its editorial curtain showed that the editors’ scholarly judgment was hardly, well, scholarly.  Instead, correspondence between editors revealed an unabashed bias against legal and political conservatives. It also exposed a clear prejudice by the editors toward snob appeal over more fair, scholarly integrity.

As Lat reports, the correspondence included clear evidence of ideological bias against conservatives, such as these gems:

“In addition, I am a little concerned based upon [Author D]’s CV. He is incredibly conservative, clerked for [Conservative Justice A], worked in the White House under Bush, questioned [Liberal Justice B] during her confirmation hearings in Congress, and has written critically on [Liberal Justice C] in the wall street journal. Maybe that background isn’t important to all of you and I understand the need to have HHRJ be open-minded buuuuuuut, yeah, doesn’t make me want to take this article.”

A fellow editor replied to that message with the following thoughts:

“ok i trust [Editor Y]’s judgment — those all sound like major concerns and are enough to reject the article. i’m fine with rejection based on that — we really need to act quickly on all this. other thoughts?”

The article was rejected.

For more on this story, see “A Look Inside the Law Review Sausage Factory–and Possible Evidence of Bias Against Conservatives.”

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