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Legal Realism, Innate Morality, And The Structural Role Of The Supreme Court In The U.S. Constitutional Democracy, Karl S. Coplan Jan 2011

Legal Realism, Innate Morality, And The Structural Role Of The Supreme Court In The U.S. Constitutional Democracy, Karl S. Coplan

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

The classical rationale for judicial review of the constitutionality of legislative and executive acts is based on a deterministic assumption about the nature of constitutional legal rules. By the early twentieth century however; American legal realists persuasively questioned the determinancy of law in general and posited that indeterminate cases were decided by judicial intuitions of fairness. Social science research has discovered that self-identified liberals and conservatives predictably place different relative values on different shared moral intuitions. At the same time, neurological research suggests that humans and primates implement "decisions" before the cognitive parts of the brain are even aware that …