Objectively Correct

9 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2020

Date Written: August 20, 2020


This short essay replies to Professor Steven Smith’s response to my article, Animus and Its Discontents, 71 Fla. L. Rev. 155 (2019). In his response, Professor Smith critiques the idea of animus by contending that that very idea of “animus” connotes bad subjective motivations. Such connotations, he argues, both corrode democratic discourse and reveal animus’s foundation in an incoherent understanding of how government decision-making is made.

This reply contends that courts can develop a more objective understanding of animus. Such an understanding both moderates the corrosion critique and places the concept of intent, and animus in particular, on a firmer legal footing. It concludes that one can, in fact, develop a theory of unconstitutional animus that is objectively correct.

Suggested Citation

Araiza, William D., Objectively Correct (August 20, 2020). Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 646, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3678196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3678196

William D. Araiza (Contact Author)

Brooklyn Law School ( email )

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States

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