Constitutional Law as Fiction: Narrative in the Rhetoric of Authority

Constitutional Law as Fiction: Narrative in the Rhetoric of Authority

by Lewis H. LaRue, Lewis H. Larue
     
 

ISBN-10: 0271014075

ISBN-13: 9780271014074

Pub. Date: 03/14/1995

Publisher: Penn State University Press

The fundamental thesis of Constitutional Law as Fiction is that in writing the opinion that explains a judgment, a judge not only analyzes and organizes precedent and makes and defends policy or value judgments, but he or she also tells a story, much as a historian does.

Like a history, this story has the appearance of simple truth, but, in fact, of

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Overview

The fundamental thesis of Constitutional Law as Fiction is that in writing the opinion that explains a judgment, a judge not only analyzes and organizes precedent and makes and defends policy or value judgments, but he or she also tells a story, much as a historian does.

Like a history, this story has the appearance of simple truth, but, in fact, of necessity, it is a "fiction" as well—not in the sense of a lie or fairy tale, but in the sense of a constructed meaning. Strangely enough, these fictions persuade those who read them and those who write them, and without this persuasion, the law would lose much of its authority. L. H. LaRue examines several critical Supreme Court cases, including Everson v. Board of Education and Marbury v. Madison, and specifically examines the rhetorical techniques of Chief Justice John Marshall.

In analyzing the construction of meaning in the rhetoric of the law, LaRue ultimately contends that judges must not abandon the "fictions" in their judgments; they must strive to improve them.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271014074
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
03/14/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction1
1Telling Stories8
2The Story of Limits42
3The Story of Growth70
4The Story of Equality93
5What Stories Should We Tell?121
Index155

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