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University of Michigan Law School

Social science

Supreme Court of the United States

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Comparative Constitutionalism In A New Key, Paul W. Kahn Aug 2003

Comparative Constitutionalism In A New Key, Paul W. Kahn

Michigan Law Review

Law is a symbolic system that structures the political imagination. The "rule of law" is a shorthand expression for a cultural practice that constructs a particular understanding of time and space, of subjects and groups, as well as of authority and legitimacy. It is a way of projecting, maintaining, and discovering meaning in the world of historical events and political possibilities. The rule of law - as opposed to the techniques of lawyering - is not the possession of lawyers. It is a characterization of the polity, which operates both descriptively and normatively in public perception. Ours, we believe, is a nation ...


Constitutional Fact And Theory: A Response To Chief Judge Posner, Deborah Jones Merritt Mar 1999

Constitutional Fact And Theory: A Response To Chief Judge Posner, Deborah Jones Merritt

Michigan Law Review

In his James Madison Lecture on Constitutional Law, Chief Judge Richard Posner chides both professors and judges for devoting too much attention to constitutional theory and too little time to empiricism. Although I agree with Judge Posner's endorsement of empiricism, I dispute the roles he assigns empiricism and theory. Social science matters when interpreting the Constitution, but not in the way Posner posits. Facts cannot replace constitutional theories, nor can they mechanically resolve questions posed by theory. Instead, empirical knowledge is most useful in unmasking the theoretical assumptions that undergird constitutional law, in focusing those theories, and in contributing ...


Predicting Court Cases Quantitatively, Stuart Nagel Jun 1965

Predicting Court Cases Quantitatively, Stuart Nagel

Michigan Law Review

This article illustrates and systematically compares three methods for quantitatively predicting case outcomes. The three methods are correlation, regression, and discriminant analysis, all of which involve standard social science research techniques. Two prior articles have generated requests for a study dealing with the problems involved in handling a larger number of cases and predictive variables. The present article is also designed to provide such a study. It does not presuppose that the reader has read the earlier articles, although such a reading might help to clarify further some of the points made here. The cases used to illustrate the methods ...