Foreword: Testing the Constitution

41 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2015

See all articles by Lee Epstein

Lee Epstein

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Barry Friedman

New York University School of Law

Geoffrey R. Stone

University of Chicago Law School

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.

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Lee and Friedman, Barry and Stone, Geoffrey R., Foreword: Testing the Constitution (November 3, 2015). New York University Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 4, 2015; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 15-50; NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 15-22. Available at SSRN:

Lee Epstein

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States


Barry Friedman (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
Room 317
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-998-6293 (Phone)
212-995-4030 (Fax)

Geoffrey R. Stone

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-4907 (Phone)

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