The Law: Conservative Activist

The best-known law professors these days seem to be activist and liberal, urging sweeping social and political reforms. At Yale, Alexander M. Bickel, Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History, is as much an activist as any of his colleagues. He considers himself a liberal Democrat, campaigned for Robert Kennedy and serves as a contributing editor of the New Republic. Yet Bickel is a notable exception to the liberal stereotype: he is most noted for his judicial conservatism.

In the pas,t year Bickel, 45, has shuttled regularly to Washington to testify on...

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