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Full-Text Articles in Law

Constitutional Fidelity, The Rule Of Recognition, And The Communitarian Turn In Contemporary Positivism, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2006

Constitutional Fidelity, The Rule Of Recognition, And The Communitarian Turn In Contemporary Positivism, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Contemporary positivism has taken a communitarian turn. Hart, in the Postscript to the Concept of Law, clarifies that the rule of recognition is a special sort of social practice: a convention. It is not clear whether Hart, here, means “convention” in the strict sense elaborated by David Lewis, or in some weaker sense. A number of contemporary positivists, including Jules Coleman (at one point), Andrei Marmor, and Gerald Postema, have argued that the rule of recognition is something like a Lewis-convention. Others have suggested that the rule of recognition is conventional in a weaker sense -- specifically, by figuring in a ...


The Supreme Court In Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, And The Future Of Unenumerated Rights, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2006

The Supreme Court In Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, And The Future Of Unenumerated Rights, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay advances a formalist conception of constitutional stare decisis. The author argues that instrumentalist accounts of precedent are inherently unsatisfying and that the Supreme Court should abandon adherence to the doctrine that it is free to overrule its own prior decisions. These moves are embedded in a larger theoretical framework--a revival of formalist ideas in legal theory that he calls "neoformalism" to distinguish his view from the so-called "formalism" caricatured by the legal realists (and from some other views that are called "formalist").

In Part II, The Critique of Unenumerated Constitutional Rights, the author sets the stage by briefly ...