Prophets, Priests and Power Blockers: Three Fundamental Roles of Judges and Legal Scholars in America
University of Pittsburgh Law Review
legal education, judges, legal scholars
This Article is concerned with legal scholars' intellectual and social obligations emerging from their having preempted the field of law, possessing a monopoly on legal education, and benefitting from their privileged status as intellectuals of the law. While these obligations fit under the general heading of service to the original and natural idea of knowledge, it is argued here that legal scholars and judges fulfill their obligations primarily through three fundamental roles. The three fundamental roles of American legal scholars and judges are 1) judges and legal scholars acting as reformulators (priests and prophets) of "ultimate truths" in the particular language of each culture and generation, 2) judges and legal scholars serving as societal "shock troops," and 3) judges and scholars as "power blockers."
David R. Barnhizer, Prophets, Priests and Power Blockers: Three Fundamental Roles of Judges and Legal Scholars in America, 50 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 127 (1988)