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Judicial Citation To Legislative History: Contextual Theory And Empirical Analysis, Michael B. Abramowicz, Emerson H. Tiller May 2005

Judicial Citation To Legislative History: Contextual Theory And Empirical Analysis, Michael B. Abramowicz, Emerson H. Tiller

Public Law and Legal Theory Papers

Judge Leventhal famously described the invocation of legislative history as "the equivalent of entering a crowded cocktail party and looking over the heads of the guests for one's friends." The volume of legislative history is so great and varied, some contend, that judges cite it selectively to advance their policy agendas. In this article, we employ positive political and contextual theories of judicial behavior to examine how judges use legislative history. We consider whether opinion-writing judges, as Judge Leventhal might suggest, cite legislative history from legislators who share the same political-ideological perspective as the opinion-writing judge? Or do judges ...


What Is Legal Doctrine, Emerson Tiller, Frank B. Cross May 2005

What Is Legal Doctrine, Emerson Tiller, Frank B. Cross

Public Law and Legal Theory Papers

Legal doctrine is the currency of the law. In many respects, doctrine is the law, at least as it comes from courts. Judicial opinions create the rules or standards that comprise legal doctrine. Yet the nature and effect of legal doctrine has been woefully understudied. Researchers from the legal academy and from political science departments have conducted extensive research on the law, but they have largely ignored the others’ efforts. Part of the reason for this unfortunate disconnect is that neither has effectively come to grips with the descriptive meaning of legal doctrine. In this article, we attempt to describe ...