The importance of Being Logical

The importance of Being Logical

“In my opinion, what makes any particular Supreme Court decision defensible as an exposition of the Constitution’s meaning is whether the Court’s reasoning follows an internal logic. A syllogism must be put forth that defends the majority’s interpretation as the logical consequence of undisputed first principles, the overall structure of the document, and prior interpretations. This is a process that allows the students to separate good results from bad logic (Plyler v. Doe?) and helps the students to isolate cases where the underlying assumptions of the Court are more important than the Court’s reasoning (Marbury v. Madison?). This past semester, I assigned the book Being Logical by D.Q. McInerny as optional reading in order to assist my Constitutional Law students in this process.”

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Skills

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November 1, 2019