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Full-Text Articles in Law

Originalism And The Law Of The Past, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Originalism And The Law Of The Past, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

Originalism has long been criticized for its “law office history” and other historical sins. But a recent “positive turn” in originalist thought may help make peace between history and law. On this theory, originalism is best understood as a claim about our modern law — which borrows many of its rules, constitutional or otherwise, from the law of the past. Our law happens to be the Founders’ law, unless lawfully changed.

This theory has three important implications for the role of history in law. First, whether and how past law matters today is a question of current law, not of history ...


Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

How should we interpret the Constitution? The “positive turn” in legal scholarship treats constitutional interpretation, like the interpretation of statutes or contracts, as governed by legal rules grounded in actual practice. In our legal system, that practice requires a certain form of originalism: our system’s official story is that we follow the law of the Founding, plus all lawful changes made since.

Or so we’ve argued. Yet this answer produces its own set of questions. How can practice solve our problems, when there are so many theories of law, each giving practice a different role? Why look to ...


The Original Theory Of Constitutionalism, David Singh Grewal, Jedediah Purdy Jan 2018

The Original Theory Of Constitutionalism, David Singh Grewal, Jedediah Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Constitution embodies a conception of democratic sovereignty that has been substantially forgotten and obscured in today’s commentary. Recovering this original idea of constitution-making shows that today’s originalism is, ironically, unfaithful to its origins in an idea of self-rule that prized both the initial ratification of fundamental law and the political community’s ongoing power to reaffirm or change it. This does not mean, however, that living constitutionalism better fits the original conception of democratic self-rule. Rather, because the Constitution itself makes amendment practically impossible, it all but shuts down the very form of democratic sovereignty ...


Law And Recognition-- Towards A Relational Concept Of Law, Ralf Michaels Jan 2017

Law And Recognition-- Towards A Relational Concept Of Law, Ralf Michaels

Faculty Scholarship

Law is plural. In all but the simplest situations multiple laws overlap—national laws, subnational laws, supranational laws, non-national laws.

Our jurisprudential accounts of law have mostly not taken this in. When we speak of law, we use the singular. The plurality of laws is, at best an afterthought. This is a mistake. Plurality is built into the very reality of law.

This chapter cannot yet provide this concept; it can serve only develop one element. That element is recognition. Recognition is amply discussed in the context of Hart’s rule of recognition, but this overlooks that recognition matters elsewhere ...


James Dewitt Andrews: Classifying The Law In The Early Twentieth Century*, Richard A. Danner Jan 2017

James Dewitt Andrews: Classifying The Law In The Early Twentieth Century*, Richard A. Danner

Faculty Scholarship

This paper examines the efforts of New York lawyer James DeWitt Andrews and others to create a new classification system for American law in the early years of the twentieth century. Inspired by fragments left by founding father James Wilson, Andrews worked though the American Bar Association and organized independent projects to classify the law. A controversial figure, whose motives were often questioned, Andrews engaged the support and at times the antagonism of prominent legal figures such as John H. Wigmore, Roscoe Pound, and William Howard Taft before his plans ended with the founding of the American Law Institute in ...


Originalism Without Text, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2017

Originalism Without Text, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

Originalism is not about the text. Though the theory is often treated as a way to read the Constitution’s words, that conventional view is misleading. A society can be recognizably originalist without any words to interpret: without a written constitution, written statutes, or any writing at all. If texts aren’t fundamental to originalism, then originalism isn’t fundamentally about texts. Avoiding that error helps us see what originalism generally is about: namely, our present constitutional law, and its dependence on a crucial moment in the past.


Originalism’S Bite, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2016

Originalism’S Bite, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

Is originalism toothless? Richard Posner seems to think so. He writes that repeated theorizing by "intelligent originalists," one of us happily included, has rendered the theory "incoherent" and capable of supporting almost any result. We appreciate the attention, but we fear we've been misunderstood. Our view is that originalism permits arguments from precedent, changed circumstances, or whatever you like, but only to the extent that they lawfully derive from the law of the founding. This kind of originalism, surprisingly common in American legal practice, is catholic in theory but exacting in application. It might look tame, but it has ...


Some Reasons Courts Have Become Active Participants In The Search For Ultimate Moral And Political Truth, George C. Christie Jan 2015

Some Reasons Courts Have Become Active Participants In The Search For Ultimate Moral And Political Truth, George C. Christie

Faculty Scholarship

This short essay was prompted by the increasing delegation to courts of the responsibility for deciding what are basically moral questions, such as in litigation involving human rights conventions, as well as the responsibility for deciding basic issues of social policy with at best only the most general guidelines to guide their exercise of judicial discretion. The essay discusses some of the reasons for this delegation of authority and briefly describes how courts have struggled to meet this obligation without transcending accepted notions governing the limits of judicial discretion.


Originalism As A Theory Of Legal Change, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2015

Originalism As A Theory Of Legal Change, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

Originalism is usually defended as a theory of interpretation. This Article presents a different view. Originalism ought to be defended, if at all, not based on normative goals or abstract philosophy, but as a positive theory of American legal practice, and particularly of our rules for legal change.

One basic assumption of legal systems is that the law, whatever it is, stays the same until it's lawfully changed. Originalism begins this process with an origin, a Founding. Whatever rules we had when the Constitution was adopted, we still have today -- unless something happened that was authorized to change them ...


Can The Law Meet The Demands Made On It?, George C. Christie Jan 2014

Can The Law Meet The Demands Made On It?, George C. Christie

Faculty Scholarship

This is my contribution to a festscrift in honor of Professor Don Wallace on his retirement from the Georgetown University School of Law. My essay points out the problems and dangers of the increasing delegation to international and domestic courts, in broad and vague value-laden language, the responsibility of making basic moral and policy decisions for society. It saddles courts with a task that they are not particularly suited to perform and it is certainly not the way a democratic society should function.


Saving Originalism’S Soul, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2014

Saving Originalism’S Soul, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Borrowing And Nonborrowing, Lee Epstein, Jack Knight Jan 2003

Constitutional Borrowing And Nonborrowing, Lee Epstein, Jack Knight

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Abuse Of Rights: An Old Principle, A New Age, Michael Byers Feb 2002

Abuse Of Rights: An Old Principle, A New Age, Michael Byers

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Taking What They Give Us: Explaining The Court’S Federalism Offensive, Keith E. Whittington Oct 2001

Taking What They Give Us: Explaining The Court’S Federalism Offensive, Keith E. Whittington

Duke Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Super-Statutes, William N. Eskridge Jr., John A. Ferejohn Mar 2001

Super-Statutes, William N. Eskridge Jr., John A. Ferejohn

Duke Law Journal

Not all statutes are created equal. Appropriations laws perform important public functions, but they are usually short-sighted and have little effect on the law beyond the years for which they apportion public monies. Most substantive statutes adopted by Congress and state legislatures reveal little more ambition: they cover narrow subject areas or represent legislative compromises that are short-term fixes to bigger problems and cannot easily be defended as the best policy result that can be achieved. Some statutes reveal ambition but do not penetrate deeply into American norms or institutional practice. Even fewer statutes successfully penetrate public normative and institutional ...


On The Idea Of Private Law, Martin Stone Jul 1996

On The Idea Of Private Law, Martin Stone

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Gender Law, Katharine T. Bartlett Jan 1994

Gender Law, Katharine T. Bartlett

Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy

The inauguration of the DUKE JOURNAL OF GENDER LAW & POLICY represents an exciting step in the institutionalization of a subject area in academic law formerly found only at the fringe of legal scholarship and law school curriculums. Often shunned as a political activity inappropriate to institutions committed to academic rigor, objectivity, and neutrality, gender law has begun to lay down roots as a disciplined set of inquiries that enhance the rigor of conventional legal study and offer tools for improving the objectivity and neutrality of law, even as it challenges the conventional meanings of those concepts. There are two principal ...


Rules Versus Standards: An Economic Analysis, Louis Kaplow Dec 1992

Rules Versus Standards: An Economic Analysis, Louis Kaplow

Duke Law Journal

This Article offers an economic analysis of the extent to which legal commands should be promulgated as rules or standards. Two dimensions of the problem are emphasized. First, the choice between rules and standards affects costs: Rules typically are more costly than standards to create, whereas standards tend to be more costly for individuals to interpret when deciding how to act and for an adjudicator to apply to past conduct. Second, when individuals can determine the application of rules to their contemplated acts more cheaply, conduct is more likely to reflect the content of previously promulgated rules than of standards ...


Liberalism, Community, And State Borders, Lea Brilmayer Sep 1991

Liberalism, Community, And State Borders, Lea Brilmayer

Duke Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Congressional Delegation Of Adjudicatory Power To Federal Agencies And The Right To Trial By Jury, Paul K. Sun Jr. Apr 1988

Congressional Delegation Of Adjudicatory Power To Federal Agencies And The Right To Trial By Jury, Paul K. Sun Jr.

Duke Law Journal

The continued growth of the administrative bureaucracy and its increased impact on the rights and duties of citizens is a well-documented phenomenon of the twentieth century. 1 At the federal level, bureaucracy flourishes as Congress delegates ever more responsibility to agencies. 2 Within their statutorily defined fields, federal agencies typically perform the functions of rulemaking, enforcement and adjudication. 3 This note focuses on the adjudicatory function 4 and considers whether, when Congress creates a new statutory cause of action, 5 the seventh amendment 6 limits Congress's ability to delegate responsibility for adjudicating cases under that statute to a federal ...


Alaska’S Insanity Defense And The Guilty But Mentally Ill Verdict, Suzan E. Debusk Jun 1987

Alaska’S Insanity Defense And The Guilty But Mentally Ill Verdict, Suzan E. Debusk

Alaska Law Review

No abstract provided.


Pure Comparative Law And Legal Science In A Mixed Legal System, Lawrence G. Baxter Jan 1983

Pure Comparative Law And Legal Science In A Mixed Legal System, Lawrence G. Baxter

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Book Review, Michael E. Tigar Jan 1973

Book Review, Michael E. Tigar

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


International Order And National Sovereignty - They Can Co-Exist, Arthur Larson Jan 1971

International Order And National Sovereignty - They Can Co-Exist, Arthur Larson

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Law And The Liberal Mind, Malcolm Mcdermott Feb 1950

Law And The Liberal Mind, Malcolm Mcdermott

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.