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Legal Philosophy

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Articles 1 - 30 of 112

Full-Text Articles in Law

Complicity And Lesser Evils: A Tale Of Two Lawyers, David Luban Jan 2021

Complicity And Lesser Evils: A Tale Of Two Lawyers, David Luban

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Government lawyers and other public officials sometimes face an excruciating moral dilemma: to stay on the job or to quit, when the government is one they find morally abhorrent. Staying may make them complicit in evil policies; it also runs the danger of inuring them to wrongdoing, just as their presence on the job helps inure others. At the same time, staying may be their only opportunity to mitigate those policies – to make evils into lesser evils – and to uphold the rule of law when it is under assault. This Article explores that dilemma in a stark form: through the ...


Modernity And The Law: A Late Twentieth Century View, Robert P. Burns Jun 2020

Modernity And The Law: A Late Twentieth Century View, Robert P. Burns

Notre Dame Journal of International & Comparative Law

This Article explores Roberto Unger’s understanding of the specific significance that modernity has for law. It provides an account of the distinctions among customary law, bureaucratic law, the modern liberal rule of law ideal, and the unraveling of the rule of law in postliberal societies. It compares his views with those of other major theorists of modernity and with legal theorists. Finally, it discusses his speculations about then future developments and the relationship between central institutional and philosophical issues.


Of Moral Outrage In Judicial Opinions, Duane Rudolph Apr 2020

Of Moral Outrage In Judicial Opinions, Duane Rudolph

William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Moral outrage is a substantive and remedial feature of our laws, and the Article addresses three questions overlooked in the scholarly literature. What do judges mean when they currently express moral outrage in the remedies portion of their opinions? Should judges express such moral outrage at all? If so, when? Relying on a branch of legal philosophy known as hermeneutics that deals with the interpretation and understanding of texts, the Article argues that in interpreting and understanding cases judges should express moral outrage when faced with individuals from communities whose voice has historically been at risk, is currently at risk ...


Understanding Kaye Scholer: The Autonomous Citizen, The Managed Subject And The Role Of The Lawyer, Nancy Amoury Combs Sep 2019

Understanding Kaye Scholer: The Autonomous Citizen, The Managed Subject And The Role Of The Lawyer, Nancy Amoury Combs

Nancy Combs

The Office of Thrift Supervision's (OTS) unprecedented enforcement action against Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays and Handler (Kaye Scholer) prompted howls of protest from the legal community. OTS, it was claimed, was using its excessive power to redefine the role of the lawyer. This Comment confirms that OTS sought to impose duties on Kaye Scholer that conflict with professional ethics rules. The Comment then goes on to suggest that the conflict over professional responsibility in the Kaye Scholer case reflects, more fundamentally, a conflict over the role of the citizen, and the citizen's relationship with the state. Our adversarial ...


The Unruliness Of Rules, Peter A. Alces Sep 2019

The Unruliness Of Rules, Peter A. Alces

Peter A. Alces

No abstract provided.


The Semantics And Pragmatics Of Legal Statements, Michael S. Green Sep 2019

The Semantics And Pragmatics Of Legal Statements, Michael S. Green

Michael S. Green

No abstract provided.


The New Eliminativism, Michael S. Green Sep 2019

The New Eliminativism, Michael S. Green

Michael S. Green

No abstract provided.


Prediction Theories Of Law And The Internal Point Of View, Michael S. Green Sep 2019

Prediction Theories Of Law And The Internal Point Of View, Michael S. Green

Michael S. Green

No abstract provided.


On Hart's Category Mistake, Michael S. Green Sep 2019

On Hart's Category Mistake, Michael S. Green

Michael S. Green

This essay concerns Scott Shapiro’s criticism that H.L.A. Hart’s theory of law suffers from a “category mistake.” Although other philosophers of law have summarily dismissed Shapiro’s criticism, I argue that it identifies an important requirement for an adequate theory of law. Such a theory must explain why legal officials justify their actions by reference to abstract propositional entities, instead of pointing to the existence of social practices. A virtue of Shapiro’s planning theory of law is that it can explain this phenomenon. Despite these sympathies, however, I end with the suggestion that Shapiro’s ...


The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis Jun 2019

The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis

Alexander Tsesis

This Article argues that the Reconstruction Amendments incorporated the human dignity values of the Declaration of Independence. The original Constitution contained clauses, which protected the institution of slavery, that were irreconcilable with the normative commitments the nation had undertaken at independence. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments set the country aright by formally incorporating the Declaration of Independence's principles for representative governance into the Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence provides valuable insights into matters of human dignity, privacy, and self-government. Its statements about human rights, equality, and popular sovereignty establish a foundational rule of interpretation. While the Supreme Court ...


The Semantics And Pragmatics Of Legal Statements, Michael S. Green Jun 2019

The Semantics And Pragmatics Of Legal Statements, Michael S. Green

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Invisible Adjudication In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Michael Kagan, Rebecca Gill, Fatma Marouf Oct 2018

Invisible Adjudication In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Michael Kagan, Rebecca Gill, Fatma Marouf

Fatma Marouf

Non-precedent decisions are the norm in federal appellate courts, and are seen by judges as a practical necessity given the size of their dockets. Yet the system has always been plagued by doubts. If only some decisions are designated to be precedents, questions arise about whether courts might be acting arbitrarily in other cases. Such doubts have been overcome in part because nominally unpublished decisions are available through standard legal research databases. This creates the appearance of transparency, mitigating concerns that courts may be acting arbitrarily. But what if this appearance is an illusion? This Article reports empirical data drawn ...


Invisible Adjudication In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Michael Kagan, Rebecca Gill, Fatma Marouf Mar 2018

Invisible Adjudication In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Michael Kagan, Rebecca Gill, Fatma Marouf

Faculty Scholarship

Non-precedent decisions are the norm in federal appellate courts, and are seen by judges as a practical necessity given the size of their dockets. Yet the system has always been plagued by doubts. If only some decisions are designated to be precedents, questions arise about whether courts might be acting arbitrarily in other cases. Such doubts have been overcome in part because nominally unpublished decisions are available through standard legal research databases. This creates the appearance of transparency, mitigating concerns that courts may be acting arbitrarily. But what if this appearance is an illusion? This Article reports empirical data drawn ...


How Well Do We Treat Each Other In Contract?, Aditi Bagchi Feb 2018

How Well Do We Treat Each Other In Contract?, Aditi Bagchi

William & Mary Business Law Review

One of the important contributions of Nathan Oman’s new book is to draw focus onto the quality of the relationships enabled by contract. He claims that contract, by supporting markets, cultivates certain virtues; helps facilitate cooperation among people with diverse commitments; and produces the wealth that may fuel interpersonal and social justice. These claims are all plausible, though subject to individual challenge. However, there is an alternative story to tell about the kinds of relationships that arise from markets--i.e., a story about domination. The experience of domination is driven in part by the necessity, inequality, and competition enjoined ...


Contract Law And The Common Good, Brian H. Bix Feb 2018

Contract Law And The Common Good, Brian H. Bix

William & Mary Business Law Review

In The Dignity of Commerce, Nathan Oman offers a theory of contract law that is largely descriptive, but also strongly normative. His theory presents contract law’s purpose as supporting robust markets. This Article compares and contrasts Oman’s argument about the proper understanding of contract law with one presented over eighty years earlier by Morris Cohen. Oman’s focus is on the connection between Contract Law and markets; Cohen’s connection had been between Contract Law and the public interest. Oman’s work brings back Cohen’s basic insight, and gives it a more concrete form, as a formidable ...


Do Judges Make Law?, Michael L. Barker Dec 2017

Do Judges Make Law?, Michael L. Barker

The University of Notre Dame Australia Law Review

No abstract provided.


The New Eliminativism, Michael S. Green Jan 2016

The New Eliminativism, Michael S. Green

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis Jan 2016

The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis

Faculty Publications & Other Works

This Article argues that the Reconstruction Amendments incorporated the human dignity values of the Declaration of Independence. The original Constitution contained clauses, which protected the institution of slavery, that were irreconcilable with the normative commitments the nation had undertaken at independence. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments set the country aright by formally incorporating the Declaration of Independence's principles for representative governance into the Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence provides valuable insights into matters of human dignity, privacy, and self-government. Its statements about human rights, equality, and popular sovereignty establish a foundational rule of interpretation. While the Supreme Court ...


The Trial Of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Rodney A. Smolla Jul 2015

The Trial Of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Rodney A. Smolla

Rod Smolla

No abstract provided.


The Third Pillar Of Jurisprudence: Social Legal Theory, Brian Z. Tamanaha May 2015

The Third Pillar Of Jurisprudence: Social Legal Theory, Brian Z. Tamanaha

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Prediction Theories Of Law And The Internal Point Of View, Michael S. Green Dec 2014

Prediction Theories Of Law And The Internal Point Of View, Michael S. Green

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


On The Conceptual Confusions Of Jurisprudence, Aaron J. Rappaport Nov 2014

On The Conceptual Confusions Of Jurisprudence, Aaron J. Rappaport

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Reconstructing Constitutional Punishment, Paulo Barrozo Jan 2014

Reconstructing Constitutional Punishment, Paulo Barrozo

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Constitutional orders punish—and they punish abundantly. However, analysis of the constitutionality of punishment tends to be reactive, focusing on constitutional violations. Considered in this light, the approach to constitutional punishment rests on conditions of unconstitutionality rather than proactively on the constitutional foundations of punishment as a legitimate liberal-democratic practice. Reactive approaches are predominantly informed by moral theories about the conditions under which punishment is legitimate. In contrast, proactive approaches call for a political theory of punishment as a legitimate practice of polities. This Article integrates the reactive and proactive approaches by bridging the divide between moral and political theories ...


Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser Jan 2014

Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Natural Law And Bona Fide Discrimination: The Evolving Understanding Of Sex, Gender, And Transgender Identity In Employment, Kylie Byron Jan 2014

Natural Law And Bona Fide Discrimination: The Evolving Understanding Of Sex, Gender, And Transgender Identity In Employment, Kylie Byron

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Reasonable Rage: The Problem With Stereotypes In Provocation Cases, Nicole A.K. Matlock Jan 2014

Reasonable Rage: The Problem With Stereotypes In Provocation Cases, Nicole A.K. Matlock

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Confined To A Narrative: Approaching Rape Shield Laws Through Legal Narratology, Kathryn C. Swiss Jan 2014

Confined To A Narrative: Approaching Rape Shield Laws Through Legal Narratology, Kathryn C. Swiss

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


An Argument For Incentivizing Voluntary Regulation Of The Fashion And Modeling Industries, Allison Clyne Tschannen Jan 2014

An Argument For Incentivizing Voluntary Regulation Of The Fashion And Modeling Industries, Allison Clyne Tschannen

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Holding The Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives, John L. Warren Iii Jan 2014

Holding The Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives, John L. Warren Iii

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


On Hart's Category Mistake, Michael S. Green Sep 2013

On Hart's Category Mistake, Michael S. Green

Faculty Publications

This essay concerns Scott Shapiro’s criticism that H.L.A. Hart’s theory of law suffers from a “category mistake.” Although other philosophers of law have summarily dismissed Shapiro’s criticism, I argue that it identifies an important requirement for an adequate theory of law. Such a theory must explain why legal officials justify their actions by reference to abstract propositional entities, instead of pointing to the existence of social practices. A virtue of Shapiro’s planning theory of law is that it can explain this phenomenon. Despite these sympathies, however, I end with the suggestion that Shapiro’s ...