Neglected Policies: Constitutional Law and Legal Commentary as Civic Education

Duke University Press
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In Neglected Policies, Ira L. Strauber challenges scholars and critics of constitutional jurisprudence to think differently about the Constitution and its interpretation. He argues that important aspects of law, policies, and politics are neglected because legal formalisms, philosophical theories, the reasoning of litigators and judges, and even the role of the courts are too often taken for granted. Strauber advocates an alternative approach to thinking about the legal and moral abstractions ordinarily used in constitutional decision making. His approach, which he calls “agnostic skepticism,” interrogates all received jurisprudential notions, abandoning the search for “right answers” to legal questions. It demands that attention be paid to the context-specific, circumstantial social facts relevant to given controversies and requires a habit of mind at home with relativism.

Strauber situates agnostic skepticism within contemporary legal thought, explaining how it draws upon sociological jurisprudence, legal realism, and critical legal studies. Through studies of cases involving pornography, adoption custody battles, flag burning, federalism, and environmental politics, he demonstrates how agnostic skepticism applies to constitutional issues. Strauber contends that training in skeptical critique will enable a new kind of civic education and culture—one in which citizens are increasingly tolerant of the ambiguities and contradictions inherent in the law and politics of a pluralistic society.

Using insights from the social sciences to examine the ways constitutional cases are studied and taught, Neglected Policies will interest scholars of jurisprudence, political science, and the sociology of law.

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About the author

Ira L. Strauber is Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Sep 6, 2002
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9780822384267
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Legal Education
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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With dynamic learning features and visual aids, the Inside Series helps you make the most of your study time, throughout the semester and as you prepare for the final. Unlike heavily abridged treatises, the Inside Series is carefully written in a concise, straightforward style that clearly identifies the essential components of the law and how they fit together. You can quickly learn what is important and why. Overviews and Tables of Contents in each chapter act as a roadmap to guide you through topics, showing you how each relates to the larger legal framework. FAQs clarify points of law and help you avoid common mistakes and misconceptions. Sidebars give fascinating additional detail from legal history, policy, famous cases and more. The graphic design supports your visual learning, and features such as bolded key terms, summaries, and Connections help reinforce your understanding while giving you ample opportunity for self-review.

Surprisingly concise, visually compelling, the Inside Series is extremely useful throughout the semester to help you identify the essential components of the law and how they fit together.

Comprehensive coverage of the essential topics emphasizes what you need to know and why. Clear, straightforward, informal writing explains every topic for you without over-simplifying the concepts. Overviews and Tables of Contents in each chapter act as a roadmap to guide you through topics, showing you why each matters and how it fits into the larger framework of the law. FAQs clarify points of law and help you avoid common mistakes and misconceptions. Sidebars enrich the text with fascinating detail from legal history, policy, famous cases and more. Bolded key terms, Connections and summaries reinforce your understanding and give you ample opportunity for self-review. The overall graphical design of the series supports your visual learning.
Constitutional Rights: Cases in Context, Second Edition places primary emphasis on how constitutional law has developed since the Founding, its key foundational principles, and recurring debates. By providing both cases and context, it conveys the competing narratives that all lawyers ought to know and all constitutional practitioners need to know. Teachable, manageable, class-sized chunks of material are suited to one-semester courses or reduced credit configurations. Generous case excerpts make the text flexible for most courses. Cases are judiciously supplemented with background readings from various sources. Innovative study guide questions presented before each case help students focus on the salient issues, challenging them to consider the court’s opinions from various perspectives, and suggesting comparisons or connections with other cases.

Key Benefits:

Revised doctrinal areas with newer cases. Updated background contextual material to reflect current scholarship. A highly accessible and engaging structure that examines the competing narratives that pervade the development of American constitutional law since the founding. Related cases are grouped together into “assignments” and make for a reasonable amount of reading for each topic. A wealth of photographs, maps, and primary documents to bring the cases to life.

The purchase of this Kindle edition does not entitle you to receive access to the online e-book, practice questions from your favorite study aids, and outline tool available through CasebookConnect.

Professors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one
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In sum, although the authors believe that no exam guide can
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One L, Scott Turow's journal of his first year at law school introduces and a best-seller when it was first published in 1977, has gone on to become a virtual bible for prospective law students. Not only does it introduce with remarkable clarity the ideas and issues that are the stuff of legal education; it brings alive the anxiety and competiveness--with others and, even more, with oneself--that set the tone in this crucible of character building. Turow's multidimensional delving into his protagonists' psyches and his marvelous gift for suspense prefigure the achievements of his celebrated first novel, Presumed Innocent, one of the best-selling and most talked about books of 1987.

Each September, a new crop of students enter Harvard Law School to begin an intense, often grueling, sometimes harrowing year of introduction to the law. Turow's group of One Ls are fresh, bright, ambitious, and more than a little daunting. Even more impressive are the faculty: Perini, the dazzling, combative professor of contracts, who presents himself as the students' antagonist in their struggle to master his subject; Zechman, the reserved professor of torts who seems so indecisive the students fear he cannot teach; and Nicky Morris, a young, appealing man who stressed the humanistic aspects of law.

Will the One Ls survive? Will they excel? Will they make the Law Review, the outward and visible sign of success in this ultra-conservative microcosm? With remarkable insight into both his fellows and himself, Turow leads us through the ups and downs, the small triumphs and tragedies of the year, in an absorbing and throught-provoking narrative that teaches the reader not only about law school and the law but about the human beings who make them what they are.

In the new afterword for this edition of One L, the author looks back on law school from the perspective of ten years' work as a lawyer and offers some suggestions for reforming legal education.

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