A Liberal Lawyer Asks: Is It Okay For Me To Discriminate Against Conservatives?


That was the question posed in yesterday’s popular Ethicist column, in the New York Times. Here’s the question that a reader posed to columnist Randy Cohen:

While interviewing law students for jobs as paid summer interns and full-time associates for my firm, I noticed several had résumés listing their activities in the Federalist Society. Some of my partners have conservative views similar to those of the society, but I do not. These students’ politics would not affect their professional function, but my review is meant to consider their judgment and personality (though I don’t need to give reasons for the assessments given). May I recommend not hiring someone solely because of his or her politics?


I am thinking about the best office manager we hired. She was wonderful. She was also a punked-out, hearing impaired, lesbian woman–and I’d guess, but never asked, a Democrat. And I’d hire her back in an instant.

Don’t liberals understand that they’re missing out on knowing great people by being so limited in their world-view?

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