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Series

Constitutional Law

2002

Maxwell Stearns

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How Is Constitutional Law Made?, Tracey E. George, Robert J. Pushaw, Jr. Jan 2002

How Is Constitutional Law Made?, Tracey E. George, Robert J. Pushaw, Jr.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Professors George and Pushaw review Maxwell L. Stearns’ book, “Constitutional Process: A Social Choice Analysis of Supreme Court Decision-making.” In his book, Stearns demonstrates that the U.S. Supreme Court fashions constitutional law through process-based rules of decision such as outcome voting, stare decisis, and justiciability. Employing “social choice” economic theory, Professor Stearns argues that the Court strives to formulate rules that promote rationality and fairness. Perhaps the greatest strength of Stearns’ book is that he presents a grand unified theory of the Court’s rules of constitutional process and the resulting development of doctrine. This strength can also be a weakness, …