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Washington University Jurisprudence Review

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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Argument And The "Moral Impact" Theory Of The Law, Alani Golanski Jan 2019

Argument And The "Moral Impact" Theory Of The Law, Alani Golanski

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

The innovative Moral Impact Theory (“MIT”) of law claims that the

moral impacts of legal institutional actions, rather than the linguistic

content of “rules” or judicial or legislative pronouncements, determine

law’s content. MIT’s corollary is that legal interpretation consists in the

inquiry into what is morally required as a consequence of the lawmaking

actions.

This paper challenges MIT by critiquing its attendant view of the

nature of legal interpretation and argument. Points include the following:

(1) it is not practicable to predicate law’s content on the ability of legal

officials to resolve moral controversies; (2) it would ...


Reconciling The Rule Of Law: Rights And Punishment, Benjamin L. Apt Jan 2019

Reconciling The Rule Of Law: Rights And Punishment, Benjamin L. Apt

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

There is an intractable paradox in the relation between rights and criminal punishment. Criminal punishment frequently conflicts with rights; people typically have identical rights within a legal system, yet the punished are unable to exercise the rights to the same extent as other people. But criminal punishment, in conjunction with criminal laws, also operates to protect rights. To clarify the tension between rights and punishment, I start by analyzing the content and purpose of rights. Next I discuss the nature of rules and the particular types of rules that make up a typical “systems of rules.” I then argue that ...


Polarization At The Supreme Court? Substantive Due Process Through The Prism Of Legal Theory, Miriam Galston Jan 2019

Polarization At The Supreme Court? Substantive Due Process Through The Prism Of Legal Theory, Miriam Galston

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Much has been written about Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that

same-sex marriage is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Virtually

all commentators view the decision as an example of an increasingly

polarized Supreme Court.

This article challenges that characterization by analyzing Kennedy’s

majority opinion and Roberts’ dissent in Obergefell in light of the legal

theories of H. L. A. Hart and Lon Fuller. The article argues that, from a

legal theory perspective, Kennedy and Roberts exhibit numerous, often

surprising commonalities. In addition, Kennedy’s arguments seem to

accurately reflect the methodology he explicitly endorses. Roberts, in

contrast, seems to exaggerate ...