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Desperately Seeking CertaintyThe Misguided Quest for Constitutional Foundations$
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Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226238081

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226238104.001.0001

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Dethroning Grand Theory

Dethroning Grand Theory

Chapter:
(p.140) Chapter 8 Dethroning Grand Theory
Source:
Desperately Seeking Certainty
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226238104.003.0008

This chapter reviews the six constitutional theorists and concludes that they seek a universal method of interpretation that will serve as a strategy for judges faced with any constitutional issue. Grand theorists believe that the rule of law will suffer if judges lack sure theoretical guidance, apart from their overblown anxiety about democratic legitimacy. These theorists reconcile judicial review and majority rule and respond in very different fashions to Learned Hand's fear that judicial review replaces democracy in the reign of philosopher kings. Grand theory can be useful in helping to understand overlooked aspects of constitutional law. It has been such a dominant feature of constitutional scholarship that constitutional scholars are constantly searching for pieces that might be decisive to current legal disputes.

Keywords:   constitutional theorists, grand theorists, grand theory, democracy, constitutional scholarship

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