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2007

Formalism

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Blinking On The Bench: How Judges Decide Cases, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich Nov 2007

Blinking On The Bench: How Judges Decide Cases, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

How do judges judge? Do they apply law to facts in a mechanical and deliberative way, as the formalists suggest they do, or do they rely on hunches and gut feelings, as the realists maintain? Debate has raged for decades, but researchers have offered little hard evidence in support of either model. Relying on empirical studies of judicial reasoning and decision making, we propose an entirely new model of judging that provides a more accurate explanation of judicial behavior. Our model accounts for the tendency of the human brain to make automatic, snap judgments, which are surprisingly accurate, but which ...


Comments On The Comments, Robert S. Summers Mar 2007

Comments On The Comments, Robert S. Summers

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The paper replies to Bix and Soper (Bix 2007; Soper 2007). Bix’s paper raises methodological questions, especially whether a form-theorist merely needs to reflect on form from the arm-chair so to speak. A variety of methods is called for, including conceptual analysis, study of usage, “education in the obvious,” general reflection on the nature of specific functional legal units, empirical research on their operation and effects, and still more. Further methodological remarks are made in response to Soper’s paper. Soper suggests the possibility of substituting “form v. substance” of a unit as the central contrast here rather than ...