Foreword: Testing the Constitution
41 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2015
Date Written: November 3, 2015
Over the last decade, legal scholarship has taken an empirical turn, but Constitutional Law has remained largely aloof from that development. We think that is a mistake, especially in light of the fact that judges – including the justices of the Supreme Court – are looking increasingly for quantitative guidance. In order to spark interest among scholars, the authors of this essay organized a symposium entitled Testing the Constitution. It involved experts in Constitutional Law and experts in quantitative methods pairing off to show how empirical work can assist the twin projects of constitutional law and theory. This Foreword discusses how the legal academy and the legal world have embraced quantitative methods, and how Constitutional Law has failed to do so; it documents interest on the Supreme Court in empirical scholarship; and it uses the doctrine regarding dog sniffs and the Fourth Amendment to show how attention to quantitative methods could improve judicial decisionmaking.
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