Book Review of Brian Tamanaha's Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging

8 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2012  

Marin Roger Scordato

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2012

Abstract

Prof. Tamanaha seeks to show that many judges of the formalist era did not publicly espouse the kind of rigid, doctrinaire formalism that is so often ascribed to them. Instead, he suggests, many jurists thought to be formalists held a far more nuanced view of common law jurisprudence that was far closer to the traditional realist account than is generally supposed. Similarly, Prof. Tamanaha seeks to demonstrate that many classic legal realists, including Jerome Frank, Roscoe Pound and Karl Llewellyn, acknowledged the “rule bound” nature of actual adjudication much more than the conventional account suggests. His ambition in the book is nothing less than to thoroughly debunk and disprove the conventional account of the development of common law jurisprudence in the first half of the twentieth century.

Keywords: jurisprudence, realism, formalism, judges

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Scordato, Marin Roger, Book Review of Brian Tamanaha's Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging (February 1, 2012). University of Richmond Law Review, Vol. 46, p. 659, 2012; CUA Columbus School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002156

Marin Roger Scordato (Contact Author)

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law ( email )

3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States
202-319-6295 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.cua.edu/Fac_Staff/ScordatoM/index.cfm

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