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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Limits Of Process, Robin West Jan 2011

The Limits Of Process, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article presents four major objections to Jeremy Waldron’s claim that for “Rule of Law” to exist it we must move beyond basic formal requirements that laws be general and knowable rules we can all comply with, towards substantive requirements that when the law imposes its censorial and punitive will upon us, it is applied in a way that acknowledges our intelligence and respects our individual dignity. After challenging Waldron’s claim, the author suggests that if Rule of Law theorizing is intended to capture our ideals of law, then the three paradigms of Rule of Law scholarship that ...


Is Law? Constitutional Crisis And Existential Anxiety, Alice G. Ristroph Jan 2009

Is Law? Constitutional Crisis And Existential Anxiety, Alice G. Ristroph

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the recurring discussions of constitutional crises, one may find three forms of existential anxiety. The first, and most fleeting, is an anxiety about the continued existence of the nation. A second form of anxiety—to my mind, the most interesting form—is an anxiety about the possibility of the rule of law itself. Third, and most solipsistically, references to crisis in constitutional law scholarship could be the product of a kind of professional anxiety in the legal academy. We may be asking ourselves, “Constitutional theory: what is it good for?” and worrying that the answer is, “Absolutely nothing.” And ...


Is The Rule Of Law Cosmopolitan?, Robin West Jan 2000

Is The Rule Of Law Cosmopolitan?, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

What I will argue in the bulk of the paper is that whether or not the rule of law implies ethical cosmopolitanism depends: it depends on how we understand or interpret the legalistic sense of justice that law and the rule of law seemingly require. The virtue that we sometimes call legal justice, and the correlative meaning of the rule of law to which it is yoked, can plausibly be subjected to a range of different interpretations, each resting on quite different understandings of the point of law and of what the individual law is meant to protect. Some of ...


Law, Literature, And The Celebration Of Authority, Robin West Jan 1989

Law, Literature, And The Celebration Of Authority, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Richard Posner's new book, Law and Literature: A Misunderstood Relation, is a defense of “liberal legalism” against a group of modern critics who have only one thing in common: their use of either particular pieces of literature or literary theory to mount legal critiques. Perhaps for that reason, it is very hard to discern a unified thesis within Posner's book regarding the relationship between law and literature. In part, Posner is complaining about a pollution of literature by its use and abuse in political and legal argument; thus, the “misunderstood relation” to which the title refers. At times ...