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Reason in Law, CourseSmart eTextbook, 8th Edition

By Lief Carter, Tom Burke

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jul 22, 2009

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Arguing that good legal reasoning remains the best device by which we can ensure that judicial impartiality, the rule of law, and social trust and peace are preserved, Thomas F. Burke and Lief H. Carter present an accessible and lively text that analyzes the politics of the judicial process.  Looking at the larger social and institutional contexts that affect the rule of law — including religious beliefs and media coverage of the courts — Reason in Law uses cases ripped from the headlines to illustrate its theory in real-world practice.

Table of Contents

1          What Legal Reasoning Is, and Why It Matters 

An Overview of Law and Politics 

A Definition of Law 

A Definition of Legal Reasoning 

Legal Reasoning Does Not Discover the “One Right Answer.”

The Four Elements of Legal Reasoning

Sources of Official Legal Texts 

The Choices That Legal Reasoning Confronts 

Illustrative Case 

Questions about the Case 


2          Change and Stability in Legal Reasoning 

Sources of Unpredictibility in Law 

Is Unpredictability in Law Desirable? 

Vertical and Horizontal Stare Decisis: A Stabilizing and Clarifying Element in Law.
Illustrative Cases 

Questions about the Cases 


3          Common Law 

Origins of Common Law 

Reasoning by Example in Common Law 

Keeping the Common-Law Tradition Alive 

The Common-Law Tradition Today 

Illustrative Case 

Questions about the Case 


4          Statutory Interpretation 

What are Statutes? 

Four Misguided Approaches to “First Instance” Statutory Interpretation 

Purpose: The Key to Wise Statutory Interpretation

Stare Decisis in Statutory Interpretation 

A Summary Statement of the Appropriate Judicial Approach to Statutory Interpretation

Illustrative Case 

Questions about the Case 


5          Interpreting the United States Constitution 

“The Supreme Law of the Land”

Conventional Legal Reasoning in Constitutional Interpretation 

Judicial Review and Democratic Theory 

The Turn to Individual Dignity 

Illustrative Case 

Questions about the Case 


6          Law and Politics 

The Rule of Law

Three Threats to the Rule of Law

The Rule of Law as Liberal Justification 

Illustrative Case


Appendix A: Introduction to Legal Procedure and Terminology

Appendix B: Law and Politics: The Rule of Law and the Bush Administration

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Reason in Law, CourseSmart eTextbook, 8th Edition
Format: Safari Book

$29.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-77817-1