March 15, 2007
Law & Society Annual Meeting - Panel on The New Formalism
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
I thought, particularly after taking the MPRE without too noticeable an increase in my heart rate, I was beyond getting too nervous about professional challenges any more. But this one may test my aerobic condition.
Larry Solum (Illinois) has organized an otherwise luminous round table for Saturday afternoon (2:30 pm), July 28, at the Law & Society Association's annual meeting at Humboldt University in Berlin, and somehow got confused and included me on it. The subject is "The New Formalism," and in addition to Larry, the participants will be Dennis Patterson (Rutgers-Camden), Randy Barnett (Georgetown), and Mariah Zeisberg (Michigan - Political Science, left). Here's the abstract of the planned discussion:
Formalist modalities of legal reasoning have recently come to the fore in a variety of contexts. In the theory of constitutional interpretation, the so-called “new originalism” or “original meaning originalism” has gained new prominence and transcended association with conservative judicial politics. In the theory of statutory interpretation, plain meaning or textualist approaches, once considered outre, are increasing dominant in both judicial practice and scholarly debates. Even in the realm of common-law judicial decision making, instrumentalist approaches are challenged by advocates of “strong stare decisis”. This roundtable will discuss the “new formalism,” from the a variety of perspectives, including jurisprudence, political theory, and the philosophy of language.
I will be making my first official appearance with "Suffolk Law School" on my badge. If my voice does not quaver too much, I will offer some thoughts on formalism and neo-formalism in contract law.
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