--Elements of Law 3.0: On the Relevance of a First Year Law Course Designed to Frame the Law School Curriculum).Grounded in the principles of the sociology of law, the course has morphed into an effort to introduce students to law as a self-referencing system with its own particular structures, premises, constraints and language, with its own logic and taboos and its own means of understanding the world. That systemicity (cf. Peter Checkland, Systems Thinking, Systems Practice, Chichester : John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 1999) is then a critical element in the way in which the legal system (in this case of the United States) interacts with the world, both as a legal and as a socio-economic-political actor. The course has also expanded from its original narrow and technical focus, to a broader focus on principles and the use of language and logic to build and operate a system of law. That broadening has made it possible to offer the course not just to first year law students, but also to graduate students in the social sciences and in international affairs, as a grounding in the legal systems that are important in their respective fields.
--Developing a New Course--"Elements of Law"
--"Elements of Law" Course 2.0: A Framework Course for the U.S. Law Curriculum,
This and the posts that follow produces some of the materials I will be presenting to the class. I offer these materials in hopes that they may prove of use and that you might share comments, perspectives and suggestions as I develop those materials on this site. Thanks.
This post includes a draft of the second Chapter of Part II-- Hierarchies of Law and Governance; Sources and Uses, Chapter 9 (Ordering Government Through Law: Constitutions, Statutes, Treaties, Regulations, Judicial Decisions and Other Sources).
That process of the growth of areas subject to legal regulation and the nationalization of law has been managed largely by the federal courts. In the United States, the courts manage legal hierarchy through the application of the doctrine of preemption. Preemption issues tend to focus on the authority of states to legislate in the face of federal power. The following case provides an example of the approach of the courts both to the expression of the doctrine and to its application against the law of a state.