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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Why Bernie Is Confused: Populist And Progressive Strands In Liberal Constitutionalism, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2019

Why Bernie Is Confused: Populist And Progressive Strands In Liberal Constitutionalism, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Many modern liberals believe that the federal government is captured by a “billionaire party” determined to wield public power for private gain. But many of them also believe in giving the federal government greatly enhanced powers, like administering “Medicare for all.”

There is a history to this contradiction. Modern liberalism is an amalgam of older populist and progressive impulses with deep roots in the country’s past. The populist impulse locates the source of economic oppression in government corruption. The solution to this problem is direct, popular democracy. Progressives tend to locate the source of economic oppression in the malfunction ...


Philosophical Legal Ethics: An Affectionate History, David Luban, W. Bradley Wendel Jul 2017

Philosophical Legal Ethics: An Affectionate History, David Luban, W. Bradley Wendel

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The modern subject of theoretical legal ethics began in the 1970s. This brief history distinguishes two waves of theoretical writing on legal ethics. The “First Wave” connects the subject to moral philosophy and focuses on conflicts between ordinary morality and lawyers’ role morality, while the “Second Wave” focuses instead on the role legal representation plays in maintaining and fostering a pluralist democracy. We trace the emergence of the First Wave to the larger social movements of the 1960s and 1970s; in the conclusion, we speculate about possible directions for a Third Wave of theoretical legal ethics, based in behavioral ethics ...


Jurisprudence As Narrative: An Aesthetic Analysis Of Modern Legal Theory, Robin West Jan 1985

Jurisprudence As Narrative: An Aesthetic Analysis Of Modern Legal Theory, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Recent legal scholarship has engaged in a growing dialogue tying literary criticism to jurisprudence. In this article, Professor Robin West adds her voice by advocating the reading of legal theory as a form of narrative. Drawing from Northrop Frye's “Anatomy of Criticism,” Professor West first details four literary myths that combine contrasting world visions and narrative methods. She then applies Frye's categories to Anglo-American jurisprudential traditions and employs aesthetic principles to analyze influential legal theorists within these traditions. Finally, Professor West argues that recognizing the aesthetic dimension of legal debate frees us to realize our moral ideals.