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Michigan Law Review

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The Formulaic Constitution, Robert F. Nagel Nov 1985

The Formulaic Constitution, Robert F. Nagel

Michigan Law Review

This essay explores the ways in which the formulaic style is different from other, older forms of constitutional doctrine. It argues that the modern style affects the content that the Court finds in the Constitution and that it illuminates the current interpretive functions of the judiciary. Perhaps most importantly, the formulaic style establishes an identifiable relationship between the Court and the public and thus constrains how the Court's version of the Constitution bears upon the larger political culture.