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2000

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Martin A. Kotler

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Social Norms And Judicial Rulemaking: Commitment To Political Process And The Basis Of Tort Law, Martin A. Kotler Dec 1999

Social Norms And Judicial Rulemaking: Commitment To Political Process And The Basis Of Tort Law, Martin A. Kotler

Martin A. Kotler

This Article looks at the respective roles of judges and juries in common law civil litigation and considers the legitimacy of both in light of our essential commitment to majoritarian politics. It concludes that the legitimacy of judicial rulemaking is highly suspect and can be justified when necessary to protect the political process by policing fraud and under a few other narrow sets of circumstances. Jury decision-making, on the other hand, is by far more defensible representing, as it does, a form of direct participatory democracy.

Thus, although the tort reform debate often focuses on the conflict between legislative bodies ...