Legal Philosophy Research Group (LPRG)
Attention all students interested in Law and Politics!
Beginning in Fall 2011 join the Legal Philosophy Research Group (LPRG) and help Profs. Waller and Sterling write the book What is Judicial Activism? A Debate on Legal and Political Philosophy (Continuum Press, under contract). Prof. Karen Swenson, J.D. will also be working with the group to make sure that we all understand the relevant legal intricacies.
The book will be a written as a dialogue between Prof. Sterling (defending a broadly "conservative" view) and Prof. Waller (defending a broadly "liberal" view). Each chapter will be a back-and-forth discussion with each professor writing a few pages. The discussion will also explore and evaluate important legal arguments (including those of Dworkin, Hart, Scalia, and others.)
This project is supported by a EIU Partnership Grant.
How Can You Get Involved?
There are a couple of ways to get involved:
(1) Join the discussion by adding your name to the LPRG group discussion listserv. Just click on the link, then click "Join this Group." Then after each chapter is written, we will send it out to the whole group for comment/suggestions. Then we will meet to talk about what changes we should make to the chapter before it is published.
(2) Talk to Profs. Waller and Sterling about doing in-depth research. This research can then help in the drafting of responses and ultimately appear in the text of the book. The LPRG has received an EIU grant in order to purchase books for student research. These books are available to check out. Just talk to Profs. Sterling or Waller.
Who Can Join the LPRG?
Any undergraduate (of any major) or graduate student who is interested in law and politics is welcome to join in the discussion.
Short Formal Book Description
"In this non-polemical and entertaining new book two philosophers (one conservative and one liberal) square off in a substantive and friendly debate on the nature of “judicial activism.” Applying philosophical clarity to this contentious issue, the debate is an ideal introduction for anyone interested in law, philosophy, or politics. The dialogue opens by distinguishing three different areas of “judicial activism”: in relation to common law, statutory law, and constitution law. Each chapter then examines a particular aspect of “judicial activism” in one of these three areas in a back and forth format that is a model of respectful civil discourse."
Introduction: The Many Meanings of “Judicial Activism”
Part I: Foundational Issues
Chapter One: What is the Purpose of the Law?
Part II: “Judicial Activism” in Common and Statutory Law
Chapter Two: Do General Rules Decide Concrete Cases?
Chapter Three: What Role Should Moral Principles Play in the Application of Common and Statutory Law to Particular Cases?
Chapter Four: How Should Precedents Be Interpreted?
Chapter Five: Is There a Sharp Difference Between Applying the Law and Creating the Law?
Part III: "Judicial Activism" in Constitutional Law
Chapter Six: Is the Constitution Dead or Alive?
Chapter Seven: How Do We Identify the “Unenumerated Rights” Protected by the Ninth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?
Chapter Eight: What Role Should Stare Decisis Play In Constitutional Interpretation?