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Law

2006

Michigan Law Review

Interpretation

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Burkean Minimalism, Cass R. Sunstein Nov 2006

Burkean Minimalism, Cass R. Sunstein

Michigan Law Review

Burkean minimalism has long played an important role in constitutional law. Like other judicial minimalists, Burkeans believe in rulings that are at once narrow and theoretically unambitious; what Burkeans add is an insistence on respect for traditional practices and an intense distrust of those who would renovate social practices by reference to moral or political reasoning of their own. An understanding of the uses and limits of Burkean minimalism helps to illuminate a number of current debates, including those involving substantive due process, the Establishment Clause, and the power of the president to protect national security. Burkean minimalists oppose, and ...


Contra Proferentem: The Allure Of Ambiguous Boilerplate, Michelle E. Boardman Mar 2006

Contra Proferentem: The Allure Of Ambiguous Boilerplate, Michelle E. Boardman

Michigan Law Review

Bad boilerplate can shake one' s faith in evolution; not only does it not die away, it multiplies. The puzzle is why. Much of boilerplate is ambiguous or incomprehensible. This alienates consumers and is i ncreasingly punished by courts construing the language against the drafter. There must, therefore, be some hidden allure to ambiguous boilerplate. The popular theory is trickery: drafters lure consumers in with promising language that comes to nothing in court. But this trick would require consumers to do three things they do not do-read the language, understand it, and take comfort in it. There is a hidden ...


Contract As Statute, Stephen J. Choi, G. Mitu Gulati Mar 2006

Contract As Statute, Stephen J. Choi, G. Mitu Gulati

Michigan Law Review

The traditional model of contract interpretation focuses on the "meeting of the minds." Parties agree on how to structure their respective obligations and rights and then specify their agreement in a written document. Gaps and ambiguities are inevitable. But where contract language exists for the point in contention and a dispute arises as to the meaning of this language, courts attempt to divine what the parties intended. Among the justifications for deferring to the intent of the parties is the assumption that parties know what is best for themselves. Deference also arguably furthers autonomy values. Not all contracts and contract ...