American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 28, 1983
16 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2006
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.
Suggested Citation: 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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=931635