Greatness Thrust Upon Them: Class Biases in American Law

Robert E. Rodes Jr.

Notre Dame Law School

American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 28, 1983
Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 06-26

A common view of our present society is that it is largely egalitarian and classless. This paper proposes that this conception of an egalitarian and classless society belies reality. It argues that there is a dominant class of leaders in government, labor, and business who are characterized by their organizational skills and their technical expertise, and who have more in common with one another that they have with the respective constituencies in whose name they exercise power. It further argues that this class, in effect, is able to wield power to control the structure of society and the legal system to closely match their experiences and concerns without adequate regard for those more vulnerable than themselves. It concludes, after many examples of class biases in the law, by reflecting on how protection of the rest of society through legal reform is a positive moral duty which all of those in the controlling class must embrace.

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Date posted: September 20, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Rodes, Robert E., Greatness Thrust Upon Them: Class Biases in American Law. American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 28, 1983; Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 06-26. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=931635

Contact Information

Robert E. Rodes Jr. (Contact Author)
Notre Dame Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

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