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The Rule of Recognition and the U.S. Constitution$
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Matthew Adler and Kenneth Einar Himma

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195343298

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343298.001.0001

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7. Rules of Recognition, Constitutional Controversies, and the Dizzying Dependence of Law on Acceptance

7. Rules of Recognition, Constitutional Controversies, and the Dizzying Dependence of Law on Acceptance

Chapter:
(p.175) 7. RULES OF RECOGNITION, CONSTITUTIONAL CONTROVERSIES, AND THE DIZZYING DEPENDENCE OF LAW ON ACCEPTANCE
Source:
The Rule of Recognition and the U.S. Constitution
Author(s):

LARRY ALEXANDER

FREDERICK SCHAUER

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343298.003.0007

This chapter takes up the question of the nonlegal foundations of any legal system and, in particular, H. L. A. Hart's notion of the ultimate rule of recognition—the master rule that pedigrees the other rules governing what officials and citizens are legally obligated to do. Initially, the chapter raises but not necessarily resolves several questions about Hart's own account of the rule of recognition. The second section of the chapter then looks at the United States Constitution—and the practices that have developed regarding its interpretation and enforcement—through the lens of the idea of an ultimate rule of recognition.

Keywords:   ultimate rule, Constitution, rules of recognition, legal system, H. L. A. Hart

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