Morton Horwitz: Legal Historian as Lawyer and Historian
TRANSFORMATIONS IN AMERICAN LEGAL HISTORY: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF PROFESSOR MORTON J. HORWITZ, pp. 319-326, Daniel W. Hamilton & Alfred L. Brophy, eds., 2009
9 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2009
Dean William Treanor examines and celebrates the work of legal historian Morton Horwitz, author of two magisterial histories of American law, The Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860 (Harvard University Press 1977) and The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy (Oxford University Press 1992), through the lens of Horwitz’ path breaking treatment of takings law. With personal memories of Horwitz as a point of departure, Dean Treanor assesses Professor Horwitz’s contribution to the understanding of the evolution of theories of property and the history of the takings clause. Treanor highlights Horwitz’s ability to examine contending views of the takings principle from within the context of larger political and economic movements. Perhaps Horwitz’s greatest contribution to the ongoing conversation about the history of American law, in Dean Treanor’s view, is his awareness of a tension between the ambiguity at the center of takings doctrine and the constraining force of legal reasoning.
Keywords: Takings Clause, Eminent Domain, Legal History, Morton Horwitz, Transfromation I, Transformation II, The Transformation of American Law
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