Critical Legal Studies (“CLS”), which started as a Left movement within legal academia, has undergone so many changes, that one may liken it to products of pop culture, such as the television cartoon show, South Park. South Park features a character named Kenny, totally unlike any other cartoon hero, tragic or otherwise. Like Kenny, who is an outsider and who speaks a language unintelligible to all except, astonishingly, his classmates, CLS no longer seems to possess a voice comprehensible to anyone outside its own small circle. Kenny, unlike all other cartoon figures, dies in every episode. Significantly, often Kenny's death has been self-inflicted--though not necessarily intentional--when, for instance, he ignores warnings of imminent danger. Like Kenny, CLS has suffered many often self-inflicted injuries. Like South Park, generally, CLS is certainly colorful, but often little more than that and, as in the cartoon, except for the certainty of Kenny's death and later resurrection, there seems more flash than substance in its existence. We are left to guess whether CLS will prove to be as resilient after apparent death, as Kenny.
Neacsu, E. (2000). CLS Stands for Critical Legal Studies, If Anyone Remembers. Journal of Law and Policy, 8 (2). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/law-faculty-scholarship/22