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

Asifa Quraishi-Landes

University of Wisconsin Law School

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Quraishi-Landes, Asifa, On Fallibility and Finality: Why Thinking Like a Qadi Helps Me Understand American Constitutional Law (2009). Michigan State Law Review, Vol. 2009, No. 2, 2009; Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1233. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1722245

Asifa Quraishi-Landes (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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