Order without Formalism

13 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2023 Last revised: 27 Jul 2023

See all articles by Rachel Bayefsky

Rachel Bayefsky

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: December 18, 2022


The quest for order and structure is a powerful force underlying influential jurisprudential theories such as originalism and textualism. This Article suggests that Justice Ginsburg’s jurisprudence represented an alternative vision of order in federal judicial practice—one guided by commitment to judicial virtues like concern for the methodical administration of justice, sensitivity to context, and epistemic humility. In short, Justice Ginsburg’s jurisprudence highlights the possibility of order without formalism. Justice Ginsburg’s attachment to that vision emerges from her opinions on topics including jurisdiction, procedure, and stare decisis. The Article draws out implications of Justice Ginsburg’s approach for current controversies, such as the role of precedent and the meaning of judicial restraint.

Keywords: Formalism, textualism, originalism, civil procedure, federal courts

Suggested Citation

Bayefsky, Rachel, Order without Formalism (December 18, 2022). George Washington Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 6, 2022 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4378740

Rachel Bayefsky (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.virginia.edu/faculty/profile/yyt5yx/2994875

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