Common-Law Constitutionalism and the Limits of Reason

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Common-Law Constitutionalism and the Limits of Reason

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dc.contributor.author Vermeule, Cornelius Adrian
dc.date.accessioned 2014-03-31T10:42:02Z
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.citation Adrian Vermeule, Common-Law Constitutionalism and the Limits of Reason, 107 Colum. L. Rev. 1482 (2007). en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0010-1958 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12019087
dc.description.abstract In recent years, the central claim of common-law constitutionalism has been that precedent and tradition embody some form of latent wisdom. Judges will generally do best by deferring to the wisdom embodied in precedent and tradition, rather than trusting to their unaided reason. In what follows, I offer a critical analysis of this family of claims. Drawing throughout on Jeremy Bentham's critique of the subconstitutional common law, I conclude that the constitutional common law is not plausibly seen as a repository of latent wisdom, at least not to any greater extent than statutes and other nonjudicial sources of law. The mechanisms advanced by common-law constitutionalists suffer from infirmities of internal logic and from a failure to make the necessary institutional comparisons between and among precedent and tradition, on the one hand, and the outputs of legislatures, executive officials, and constitutional framers on the other. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Columbia Law Review Association, Inc. en_US
dc.relation.isversionof http://www.jstor.org/stable/40041740
dc.relation.hasversion http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=969527 en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.title Common-Law Constitutionalism and the Limits of Reason en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Author's Original en_US
dc.relation.journal Columbia Law Review en_US
dash.depositing.author Vermeule, Cornelius Adrian
dash.embargo.until 10000-01-01

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