Legal Realism

June 28, 2007

It has always been stunningly obvious to me that the law is (mostly) twisted by power and politics, not crafted by objective Vulcans in black robes. This view is called legal realism and lawyers generally hate it (read more here). I’m not sure they disagree, rather they prefer not to acknowledge it. If the law is the sum of the personalities on SCOTUS, then all those law review articles and high-minded debates are a waste of time. Another concern I’ve heard is that if the American people believed in legal realism, it would undermine the authority of the Court. With the addition of Alito and Roberts to SCOTUS, the Court has trampled over many liberal precedents as it veers sharply right. Now some legal talking heads are beginning to accept the reality of legal realism. This means that SCOTUS nominations will become even more vile and bloodthirsty than ever. It’ll be good fun for us C-SPAN junkies.

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