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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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1. The Rule of Recognition and the Constitution +

1. The Rule of Recognition and the Constitution +

The Rule of Recognition and the U.S. Constitution


Oxford University Press

This chapter is about ultimate standards of law in the United States. It attempts to discern the jurisprudential implications of widespread practices involving the Constitution and other standards of law. The chapter proceeds at three levels: (1) application to the United States of Hart's concepts regarding the rule of recognition; (2) enrichment of those concepts in light of the United State#x0027;s law and legal institutions; and (3) evaluation of some strengths and weaknesses of this general approach to how ultimate legal standards are discerned, and a sketch of a fuller and more adequate account. The main body of the chapter primarily addresses the first level, though it involves comments of obvious relevance for the second level and lays the groundwork for discussion at the third. The end of the chapter draws together conclusions about how Hart's theory requires amplification, and treats the relevant disagreements between Hart and Dworkin in a systematic way.

Keywords:   standards of law, U.S. law, U.S. Constitution, Hart, rule of recognition

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