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Jurisprudence

Georgetown University Law Center

Judges

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Jazz Improvisation And The Law: Constrained Choice, Sequence, And Strategic Movement Within Rules, William W. Buzbee Jan 2023

Jazz Improvisation And The Law: Constrained Choice, Sequence, And Strategic Movement Within Rules, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Article argues that a richer understanding of the nature of law is possible through comparative, analogical examination of legal work and the art of jazz improvisation. This exploration illuminates a middle ground between rule of law aspirations emphasizing stability and determinate meanings and contrasting claims that the untenable alternative is pervasive discretionary or politicized law. In both the law and jazz improvisation settings, the work involves constraining rules, others’ unpredictable actions, and strategic choosing with attention to where a collective creation is going. One expects change and creativity in improvisation, but the many analogous characteristics of law illuminate why …


The Common Law As Statutory Backdrop, Anita S. Krishnakumar Dec 2022

The Common Law As Statutory Backdrop, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Amidst the whirl of commentary about how the U.S. Supreme Court has become increasingly textualist and what precise shape modern textualism should take, the Court’s continued reliance on one decidedly atextual interpretive tool has gone largely unnoticed — the common law. Indeed, the common law has played an underappreciated, often dispositive, gap-filling role in statutory interpretation for decades, even as the textualist revolution has sidelined other non-text-focused interpretive tools. But despite the persistent role that the common law has played in statutory interpretation cases, the use of common law rules and definitions as an interpretive resource is surprisingly understudied and …


Supreme Silence And Precedential Pragmatism: King V. Burwell And Statutory Interpretation In The Federal Courts Of Appeals, Michael J. Cedrone Oct 2019

Supreme Silence And Precedential Pragmatism: King V. Burwell And Statutory Interpretation In The Federal Courts Of Appeals, Michael J. Cedrone

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Article studies statutory interpretation as it is practiced in the federal courts of appeal. Much of the academic commentary in this field focuses on the Supreme Court, which skews the debate and unduly polarizes the field. This Article investigates more broadly by looking at the seventy-two federal appellate cases that cite King v. Burwell in the two years after the Court issued its decision. In deciding that the words “established by the State” encompass a federal program, the Court in King reached a pragmatic and practical result based on statutory scheme and purpose at a fairly high level of …


The Anti-Empathic Turn, Robin West Jan 2011

The Anti-Empathic Turn, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Justice, according to a broad consensus of our greatest twentieth century judges, requires a particular kind of moral judgment, and that moral judgment requires, among much else, empathy–the ability to understand not just the situation but also the perspective of litigants on warring sides of a lawsuit.

Excellent judging requires empathic excellence. Empathic understanding is, in some measure, an acquired skill as well as, in part, a natural ability. Some people do it well; some, not so well. Again, this has long been understood, and has been long argued, particularly, although not exclusively, by some of our most admired judges …


Introduction: The Jurisprudence Of Justice Stevens Symposium, William Michael Treanor Jan 2006

Introduction: The Jurisprudence Of Justice Stevens Symposium, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Fordham Law School opened its doors on September 28, 1905, a school with ten students and six faculty members. That day marked a great beginning, and on September 28, 2005, we began a year-long celebration of Fordham Law's history and the law school community's remarkable achievements over 100 years. The heart of any great academic institution is, of course, academics, and, as part of the centennial celebration, we are hosting an extraordinary series of conferences. This issue of the Fordham Law Review presents the papers produced by the first of the year's conferences, the Symposium on the jurisprudence of Justice …


Pragmatism And Judgment: A Comment On Lund, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2004

Pragmatism And Judgment: A Comment On Lund, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Nelson Lund's article is entitled The Rehnquist Court's Pragmatic Approach to Civil Rights.' I raise three questions about his analysis, two of which take off from the phrasing of his title. First, calling the present Court the Rehnquist Court is obviously easy, and I do it myself in the subtitle of my forthcoming book. Professor Lund has of course taken his charge from the conveners of this Symposium, and I do not mean to criticize him for doing so. Still, it may be worth pointing out that convening a symposium that encourages people to think in terms of "the Rehnquist …


The Meaning Of Equality And The Interpretive Turn, Robin West Jan 1990

The Meaning Of Equality And The Interpretive Turn, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The turn to hermeneutics and interpretation in contemporary legal theory has contributed at least two central ideas to modern jurisprudential thought: first, that the "meaning" of a text is invariably indeterminate -- what might be called the indeterminacy claim -- and second, that the unavoidably malleable essence of texts -- their essential inessentiality -- entails that interpreting a text is a necessary part of the process of creating the text's meaning. These insights have generated both considerable angst, and considerable excitement among traditional constitutional scholars, primarily because at least on first blush these two claims seem to inescapably imply a …