week 1: Mon Aug 31 & Wed Sept 2
Viewing laws as rules that are applied to individual cases is the most common picture of legal reasoning. Is this picture accurate? How are rules applied to individual cases?
reading – Schauer, Rules—in law and elsewhere
week 2: Wed Sept 9 — No class on Mon Sept 7
We will read a case in which a legal rule about inheritance was interpreted and applied according to its purpose and not its letter.
reading – Riggs v. Palmer (1889) [PDF]
week 3: Wed Sept 16 — No class on Mon Sept 14
Same topic as last week.
week 4: Mon Sept 21 — No class on Wed Sept 23
Some judges believe judicial decisions should be guided primarily by the text of the law; others believe the purpose of the law should play a pivotal role. We will examine their arguments.
watching – Scalia and Breyer Debate the Constitution [video]
week 5: Mon Sept 28 & Wed Sept 30
We will continue the discussion “text versus purpose” by looking at the imaginary case of the speluncean explorers [slides].
reading – Fuller, The Case of the Speluncean Explorers