HARVARD LEGAL THEORY FORUM

Legal Theory Reading Group, Wed., Oct. 28, 7:30 PM, Lewis 301

October 25th, 2009 · No Comments

The Legal Theory Reading Group will meet on Wednesday, October 28, at 7:30 PM in Lewis International Law Center Room 301. We will discuss two sections of Toqueville’s “Democracy in America” and a recent article discussing American judges’ use of Toqueville.

The selections from Tocqueville are:

Vol. I, Part Two, Ch. 6 [sometimes numbered Ch. 14]–particularly the sections under the headings, “General Tendency of the Laws under American Democracy…” and “Respect for Law in the United States…”

Vol. I, Part Two, Ch. 8 [sometimes numbered Ch. 16]–particularly the section under the heading, “The Temper of the Legal Profession in the United States…”

Reading some of the surrounding material (e.g., Ch. 7 [sometimes numbered 15], in between the two cited here) would also be helpful, but isn’t necessary.

Jonathan Bruno recommends the translation by Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop, published by the UChicago Press in 2000. But the free translation posted online and linked above is also good enough for our purposes.

The recent article (which is short, 14 pp. double spaced) to discuss in connection with Toqueville is Christine A. Corcos on “A Man for All Reasons: The Use of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Writing in U.S. Judicial Opinions,” a short article describing how courts in the U.S. have used citations to Tocqueville.

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