Critical Legal Studies: An Introduction. Prof. Angelina Godoy Autumn 2007. Where we’ve been and where we’re going. What is the relationship between law and justice? Liberalism - Marxism –
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Critical Legal Studies: An Introduction
Prof. Angelina Godoy
Legal decisionmaking is indeterminate
(precedent itself is contradictory and there are multiple interpretations possible; there is no standardized outcome that will yield a “correct” decision every time)
its framers wanted to limit democracy (at least in the way we understand the term today), protect the power of a minority
“This is a history of progressive inclusion, equality, democracy, and protection of individual freedom, for which we can rightly be proud of our people – rather than any legacy from the founders, conservative principles or values, language in the Constitution, or legal reasoning.” (9)
What is the answer, then?
“The law, though indeterminate, political, and most often conservative, ant though it functions to legitimate existing social and power relations, is a major terrain for political struggle that has, on occasion, yielded or encoded great gains and simply cannot be ignored by any serious progressive trend or movement.” (16)