Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1473968
 


 



Is Law? Constitutional Crisis and Existential Anxiety


Alice Ristroph


Seton Hall University - School of Law


Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 25, No. 431, 2009
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 1473968
Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 1473968

Abstract:     
In the recurring discussions of constitutional crises, one may find three forms of existential anxiety. The first, and most fleeting, is an anxiety about the continued existence of the nation. A second form of anxiety-to my mind, the most interesting form-is an anxiety about the possibility of the rule of law itself. Third, and most solipsistically, references to crisis in constitutional law scholarship could be the product of a kind of professional anxiety in the legal academy. We may be asking ourselves, “Constitutional theory: what is it good for?” and worrying that the answer is, “Absolutely nothing.” And yet, I argue, existential anxiety is not always to be regretted, cured, or mocked. Indeed, it may serve as a valuable reminder of the difficulty-and necessity-of giving law to oneself.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Constitutional law, Constitutional crisis, National security, Self-defense, Rule of law, Legal theory, Constitutional theory

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K39, K19

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Date posted: October 3, 2009 ; Last revised: October 29, 2010

Suggested Citation

Ristroph, Alice, Is Law? Constitutional Crisis and Existential Anxiety. Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 25, No. 431, 2009; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 1473968; Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 1473968. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1473968

Contact Information

Alice Ristroph (Contact Author)
Seton Hall University - School of Law ( email )
One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States
(973) 642-8811 (Phone)
(973) 642-8194 (Fax)
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