Students at the City University of New York School of Law explained this week why they shouted: “fuck the law” during a guest lecture on their campus at the end of March.
On March 29, Professor Josh Blackman of the South Texas College of Law was shouted down by a group of protesters during a visit to the City University of New York School of Law. The protesters were concerned over Blackman’s stance on DACA, a concern that Blackman quickly quelled when he explained that although supported the aims of DACA, he found it unconstitutional.
Breitbart News reported on April 13 on the protests and highlighted that one student shouted “fuck the law!” while Blackman tried to begin his lecture. Now, the student protesters have released a statement explaining the meaning of the phrase, “fuck the law.”
In their reports on the demonstration, conservative media has become focused on the words of one protester: “Fuck the law.” Blackman and conservatives alike ﬁnd it paradoxical that students studying the law could hold such a belief. So, what do we mean when we say “fuck the law”? We mean that law was written to uphold white supremacy. and limit the freedom of communities of color. We mean that the law is not neutral. As it is written. the law oppresses, dehumanizes, displaces, departs, and incarcerates our communities and loved ones. When we say “fuck the law,” we mean that under that the current political administration, we will not engage in a “civil debate” about the validity of someone’s existence. When we say “fuck the law,” we mean fuck the law.
The perspective of the protesters derives itself from critical legal theory, a somewhat popular school of thought in American law schools that suggests that all laws are written to support the dominant group at the expense of minority groups.
In an essay for Quillette Magazine, author Andrew Kelman explained this concept. “The fundamental premise of critical legal theory was that the Western justice system was not a neutral or unbiased body of laws and procedures,” Kelman wrote. “On the contrary, the system is a tool of power, and pre-existing legal theories and structures were little more than frauds perpetrated by white male heterosexuals to consolidate their own power.”