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Faculty Scholarship

Duke Law

Jurisprudence

2015

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...