notes august 30 - RECAP The law is a body of rules enacted...

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August 30, 2005 RECAP The law is a body of rules, enacted by the government, backed by the force of the state. The rule of law is the norm—or expectation—that legal disputes will be resolved according to pre-existing rules and procedures, regardless of the status of individual rights. The logic of the triad vs. self help Three self-help scenarios: 1. “Go-it-alone”—Litigant 1 acts unilaterally 2. “The Godfather” –Litigant 1 goes to a third party, who acts unilaterally; litigant 2 does not appear before the Godfather. 3. “Mutual accommodation”—Litigant 1 and litigant 2 work it out without help. So what? If courts cannot resolve disputes, parties will engage in self-help, which can be troubling because… Self-help is often less transparent Self-help lacks checks against mistaken or arbitrary action Self-help can lead to retribution/escalation. Oh Yeah! Some Least Likely examples U.S. v. Nixon: president complies with court orders, despite likely resignation. NY Times v Sullivan: court sides with civil rights advocates against entrenched political elites in the South. NOTES Law as a Means to Correct Political Failures Definition: Law and courts promise to “correct political failures,” meaning law
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