Critical Legal Thinking

Critical Legal Thinking-5
Critical legal studies developed out of the pragmatic school of the American legal realists.This includes luminaries such as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Jerome Franky.By the 1980s, critical legal studies was one of the most prominent and certainly the most infamous movement in legal philosophy, inspiring both passionate advocacy and derisive dismissal.

Critical legal studies developed out of the pragmatic school of the American legal realists.This includes luminaries such as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Jerome Franky.By the 1980s, critical legal studies was one of the most prominent and certainly the most infamous movement in legal philosophy, inspiring both passionate advocacy and derisive dismissal.

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Many scholars on the left became unhappy with the generally Marxist perspective adopted by most critical legal scholars.

While they were happy to retain the overall critical outlook toward the law, some wished to examine other intersectional forms of marginalization.These pragmatists argued that oftentimes the meaning of the law was ambiguous, which meant that judges most effectively legislate from the bench if they are to do their job.The critical legal theorists accepted many of the epistemological positions of the legal realists, but gave the earlier tradition a critical twist.In Explaining Postmodernism, Stephen Hicks lumps critical legal theory with other postmodern movements dedicated to undermining reason, individualism, and support for liberal values.Others claim that critical legal thinking is destroying the very idea that there can be “truth” in legal analysis.These fears are often invoked to justify the appointment of conservatives justices who will interpret the original meaning of the law.These expressions of anxiety belie the fact that critical legal thinking is more often parodied and ridiculed than engaged with seriously.For these reasons, critical legal theory branched out into a broader array of interpretive lenses and disciplines, such as critical race approaches to law, socio-legal studies, and so on.Critical legal scholars differed widely in their interests and focus, often deploying deconstructive tools to examine a broad array of topics in the law.Though there is some debate about the topic, most believe critical legal studies emerged in the mid-1970s with the publication of a sequence of classic texts, including Duncan Kennedy’s “Form and Substance in Private Law Adjudication” and Roberto Unger’s Knowledge and Politics.These texts secured immediate academic fame (and infamy) for their authors, and inaugurated a new school of legal thought in Anglo-American law schools.

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