On Fallibility and Finality: Why Thinking Like a Qadi Helps Me Understand American Constitutional Law
14 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2010 Last revised: 10 Oct 2013
Date Written: 2009
Despite the pejorative use of the word "qadi" in American constitutional case law, the institution of the judge (qadi) in Islamic legal history provides an illuminating lens through which to consider the nature of Supreme Court judging in the United States, specifically the intertwined roles of final adjudicator and ultimate expositor. Seeing the job of Supreme Court justices through the lens of the Muslim qadi, I believe, helps bring a new awareness of the choices made by Supreme Court justices when faced with the competing pulls of their methodological convictions, the nature of the United States legal system, and their sense of their role within it.
Keywords: Islamic law, sharia, fiqh, qadi, judge, judiciary, judicial, Supreme Court, methodology, constitutional law
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