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Desperately Seeking Certainty

The Misguided Quest for Constitutional Foundations

Irreverent, provocative, and engaging, Desperately Seeking Certainty attacks the current legal vogue for grand unified theories of constitutional interpretation. On both the Right and the Left, prominent legal scholars are attempting to build all of constitutional law from a single foundational idea. Dan Farber and Suzanna Sherry find that in the end no single, all-encompassing theory can successfully guide judges or provide definitive or even sensible answers to every constitutional question. Their book brilliantly reveals how problematic foundationalism is and shows how the pragmatic, multifaceted common law methods already used by the Court provide a far better means of reaching sound decisions and controlling judicial discretion than do any of the grand theories.

Table of Contents

1. Of Law and Latkes
2. In the Beginning: Robert Bork and Other Originalists
3. The Formalist Crusade of Antonin Scalia
4. Richard Epstein and the Incredible Shrinking Government
5. Akhil Amar and the People’s Court
6. Bruce Ackerman’s Magic Amendment Machine
7. Ronald Dworkin and the City on the Hill
8. Dethroning Grand Theory

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